I had the most refreshing and invigorating discussion with the man who sells my pork. He is on a mission to feed good people good food and get good farmers a paycheck. This is how it works. On a given day the growers in his group add to his spreadsheet when they have to sell. Vegetables are the major contribution of course but there is also oils, honey, flour, seeds, beef, pork, lamb, etc. Lots of different foods.
The restaurants look at the spreadsheet and order what they need that week. Marty and his son sends the farm their each order, then the farmer picks and cleans and packages and labels the vegetables and transports them to Marty’s farm by a certain day. He has huge chillers. The next day he transports the products to Chicago and does the rounds of the restaurants delivering our goods.
For me I deliver the animal to the abbatoir on organic day and Will collects the carcass in his refrigerated truck and takes it up to the restaurant who ordered it.
The farmers, Marty, and his son Will, go through this process 51 out of 52 weeks a year. All the food is organic. He only works with growers who are guardians of the land and who ‘get it’ and he only sells to restaurants who are dedicated to good food and understand the concept of locally grown. (For instance, you are not going to get tomatoes and piles of eggs all years round in the midwest). He turned down almost 50 restaurants last year. So the demand is larger than what he can supply.
Last year he took the last of my pork. I was recommended by Jake and we were all flat out and in the middle of the season so he took me on to sell those last 8 plonkers without even meeting me. My little farm did well out of the arrangement.
Yesterday I went through a proper introduction and discovery with Marty and am now officially a part of this organisation.
And I can proudly say that I am the only woman he has who supplies pork. And now he has undertaken to buy my beef too! This summer he is all set to literally double his output. So, if I want to, I can grow and sell even more this summer. They love my pork – the chefs – they really do.
I have told him I cannot grow bigger than my land can handle, but I think I can become a bit more efficient and use the land better and maybe steal more family land from corn and beans.
So next I will have a meeting with my financial backers (John and his mother: The Matriarch) and we will discuss putting more land into pasture for cows, and we need to look carefully at the fences we use to pasture the pigs so I can extend their pastures.
I see the biggest loss being the garden – I just cannot have that huge garden to manage anymore. The garden takes more time than everything else combined and made very little last year. Having said that our plan as a couple has always been for me to grow the farm to just more than I can handle, by the last year John works in construction, then he will be available to farm with me and there will be enough work for him. (OK that sentence is way too convoluted) Let me put it this way. Our John retires in October and then he can help on the farm too. Though I may have to smash his IPad.
And he will be the gardener. I will still need my milking cows garden! And the kitchens garden.
In fact I was thinking of reducing my animal numbers because of Johns retirement. He has been heavily subsidising the farm. I could not see it working. But with the introduction of selling beef to the restaurants we may just get our heads above water.
So after having laid the groundwork for years and slowly growing my land and my herds and my network it looks like we are set to make enough money for the farm to pay for itself. I just need to hold steady and not take fright and flight.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: More clouds. Cooling off. How did it get to be Saturday again – already?.
Saturday 01/27 20% / 0 in
Partly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 47F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday Night 01/27 10% / 0 in
A few passing clouds. Low 26F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
7:07 am 5:04 pm
Waxing Gibbous, 78% visible 1:19 pm 3:01 am