The power is back on! We are open!

It only took all day, and the help of Lucy and Erin (who live here), Miguel (who works here), Richard (from Fowler and Son), three people from Duke Power, and a very nice lady named Rebecca from the Wake County permit office.

So far we’ve lost one big freezer (as in it’s dead), one generator (couldn’t be resurrected), and a bunch of stuff in one of our backup freezers that got dumped to make room for the higher value goodies. Huge thanks to Miguel for loaning me a generator to get us through the day. Otherwise I’d have had to go buy one since my normal generator had apparently died.

All the meat and dairy stayed cold thanks to the generator so we didn’t lose anything.

Now I need to get the freezer repaired (that will cost money), buy a new generator (that will cost money) and get this place cleaned up (that will cost time.) Other than that everything is fine.

The good news is, WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS TOMORROW! And as previously communicated, we have beef and pork and chicken all in stock. Plus new cheeses, new lamb and I don’t know what all else.

Sorry for the lack of pictures and witty comments. I’m going to get this weekly email out to everyone that didn’t go this morning, then I’m going to go have a beer!

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

We have new farmers, and new products in the store

Yesterday I made my weekly big trip around NC to pick up goodies from our regular farmers. I also went to both of our processors to pick up both pork and beef. The truck was the fullest I’ve ever had from farm goodies and I traveled about 300 miles yesterday making all of the pickups. In addition to our regular farmers, I also stopped by a few new people that I’d been talking to these past few weeks.

The first farm was a new lamb farm in Oxford. I was too busy dodging thunderstorms and marveling at the beauty of the place to take pictures. I bottle fed some little lambs (too CUTE!), talked to the owner, and grabbed some lamb from the freezer to try both in our kitchen and in the store. In addition, we talked beef cattle (they also raise cattle) and I think we are going to have a great relationship. You’ll be hearing more about this new farm in the coming weeks and months, but for now we have some sample lamb in the freezer if you are looking for a treat. I’d have pictures of the lamb chops, ground lamb, etc. but we lost power at the barn last night and I cannot open the freezers to take pictures. Expect more about lamb as we get things back to normal around here.

In addition to our new lamb farmer, I  received a call from Brit at Celebrity Dairy asking if we’d like to sample some of their goat cheese and maybe carry some in our store. Would I! SWMBO and I LOVE goat cheese and I’d been looking for somewhere I could get soft cheese to carry in the store for months. I figured Celebrity Dairy wouldn’t have time for little ol’ us but Brit said he was happy to sell to us and welcomed the relationship. Woo hoo!

Brit said they were located just down from our beef processor and I could stop by next time I picked up beef and get some samples. Yesterday I picked up beef and on the way home popped into Celebrity Dairy. Brit gave me a quick tour and handed me a few samples.

Goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy
Goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy

I explained that I couldn’t come home with just a couple of samples, SWMBO would kill me if that’s all we had. I needed an entire order so I could satisfy her munching and still have some stuff to sell in the store. In addition to cheese of all kinds, I also purchased from them goat cheese gelato. Sounded strange but what the heck.

Last night, after unloading the truck for a few hours and putting everything away, we opened a bottle of wine and sampled various goat cheeses from Celebrity Dairy.

Soft goat cheese, rolled in herbs
Soft goat cheese, rolled in herbs

Mainly I sampled the goat cheeses. SWMBO was cooking a special cut of beef we keep called a shoulder medallion. This is one of those “butcher’s cuts” that nobody ever knows what to do with it so it doesn’t sell. Their loss! It tastes like a ribeye and cooks easily. Since I was unloading the truck, SWMBO cooked the steak, along with today’s veggies from Lucy’s garden. I opened a bottle of mead from our friends at Starrlight Meadery and happily munched away on different goat cheeses.

Starrlight Mojito mead
Nextar of the Gods

After dinner, SWMBO and I talked about our simple meal. Goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy in Chatham County, Mead from Starrlight in Pittsboro, veggies from our own garden, beef from our cow. Ginger gelato from Celebrity Dairy. This meal would have been over the top in a restaurant, easily over $100. With mead and desert, probably $150. For us, it was just normal Thursday night dinner. Being a farmer, I find that we don’t really go out to dinner much. Meals like that remind me why. I’m not missing anything.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

The power is out

This morning I headed over to the barn to snap a few pictures and get some posts up early of some exciting new stuff we have at the farm. Instead I arrived at the barn to find this.

Limb laying on downed power line
This limb fell during the night and of course landed right on the power line

A limb, centered on the line the feeds power to the main barn. Which in turn feeds power to the well that water the entire farm, and also feeds power to all the freezers in the barn!

But this line has been hit by limbs before and just snapped back. Maybe it’s just drooped down but everything is actually ok.

Power ripped from the barn
Power ripped from the barn

Um, no. It’s ripped the entire power feed from the barn, broken the wire that supports the power, and probably knocked out all the power to the entire barn.

I went inside the store and the lights were on, but the freezers were off. But the AC seemed to have power. Maybe we just lost a leg and one side is still working? If that’s the case, I can run drop cords to the working outlets and get power back to the freezers. Even if I have to rotate the power from freezer to freezer, it is still ok. They stay frozen for a long time.

I run upstairs where all the power is off and grab some drop cords. I pull the beef freezer out, pull the power plug, and put it into the drop cord which has power and…

POP!

Then the freezer dies again. My heart falls into my shoes because this freezer is stuffed with fresh beef just put in yesterday and now apparently it’s blown up.

Before anything else blows up, I call Duke Power and get them coming. I’ll call Fowler and get them coming as well to fix the pop, whatever that was. And in the meantime, I guess we’ll play a waiting game with the ice cream in the freezer to see how long it will last before I have to pull it and bring it to the house.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

We will have lamb in the store

We’ve had requests occasionally from customers for lamb in the store. Occasionally I’ve sold some from a farmer here or there but I never had a steady supply or tried to stock it.

Enter SWMBO and my offspring. Turns out, they like lamb. And so do I. Seems silly to make something a special order when it tastes so good and my whole crowd wants it on the plate. So I reached out to the NC farming community to see if we had some lamb farmers who would like to sell their lamb and have struck gold. It turns out that there are lots of people who have lamb, but better yet, one of my long lost friends who went off grid some years ago to go farming has resurfaced as a lamb farmer. I visited her (and her family’s farm) this past week and they are processing my first lamb as we speak. I love that I’m able to have my friends as my farmers. Some who were friends before (Hi Jennifer and Paul), some who have become friends (Hi Christy and Kevin).

Lamb cuts diagram
A whole new protein to try on the dinner plate

I’ve also contacted another lamb farmer, who lives not far from one of my farmers I already visit weekly, and they have some lamb in the freezer ready for me to try. I’ll be stopping by today on my weekly run to pick up some samples and inspect their farm.

So end of story, by the end of the day today I will have lamb in the freezer for you (and us) to try, and going forward, I plan on keeping lamb in the freezer to stock. I’ll update the products page once I have the cuts and pricing in place.

What’s that? You’re not sure about eating lamb?

Lamb chops, cooked to perfection
Lamb chops, cooked to perfection

You don’t know what you are missing. Lamb is a delicacy. A lighter flavor than beef, but with all the juicy goodness. The world over loves lamb, it’s only in America where we think of it as an alternative meat. Find out what everyone else knows! Lamb is good and good for you. 

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

We have beef! Plus an announcement

Well, almost.

Tomorrow morning first thing I’ll be picking up our latest cow from the processor. That means when Lucy is working from 2-5 tomorrow afternoon, and on Saturday 8-5 (excluding lunch) when the girls will be working, we will have beef fully stocked. All the steaks, ribs, cube steaks, etc will be here ready for you and for the upcoming 4th of July cookout you are planning. You remembered that it is next weekend, right?

Grilling steaks for the 4th of July
Now that’s American

Make sure you have your beef ready for the grill, come get some tomorrow or Saturday.

Speaking of Saturday, the promised announcement.

We are doing something different this coming Saturday. If you are only coming to shop in the store (no tours) then you don’t need an appointment, just stop by. The girls will be here and open from 8-12, and then from 1-5. Just stop by and shop away without worrying about an appointment. We are trying an experiment to see if the girls can handle the flow now that they are experienced. They will, as usual, have chocolate chip cookies as well so that should be enticement enough.

So come and get some steak and give the girls a test. SWMBO will be here as well to help out in case it does get a bit hectic.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Why our pork is different

If you’ve been here before, you know that produce is what makes our pigs different. We don’t feed commercial bag feed to our animals.

Pig eating corn from a self feeder
This is how a pig is typically fed, even on a hippie or Organic farm

Above you see a normal way to feed pigs. Once a week, once a month, whatever, you dump bags of feed into the top of the feeder and then you basically walk away from the pigs and ignore them.  If you are certified Organic, the only difference is that you dump Organic feed in instead of Tractor Supply feed. No really, that’s what Organic means. Different feed. The pigs generally eat what you see in this picture, corn. If they are Organic then its Organic corn. Corn is the animal equivalent of this.

Hostess Ho hos
Not the healthiest of options

Corn is calorie dense, but nutrient deficient. Of course people may feed a grain mix, or a prepared pellet like this.

Pig pellet food
Yummy, yummy pellets. Looks tasty does it not?

The grain companies will tell you all the nutrition the pig needs is in this pellet. Probably is. Of course they are telling you that your pig will gain at a maximum rate for the minimum cost to produce the biggest pig possible in the shortest amount of time possible. They aren’t promising the pig will live a long healthy life since that pig will be slaughtered at 6 months of age. It is not like the pig will get heart disease, joint problems, etc in only 6 months. But the pig will get the results of this kind of diet in the meat in 6 months. The same meat you will be putting into your body. I’m assuming you’re planning on living longer than 6 months.

Fed with a self feeder, when pigs want to eat, they walk over to the feeder, nose it open, and munch on the grain inside. After they eat their fill, they go lay back down and don’t do much else the rest of the day. We’ve bought pigs fed this way before. They are extremely fat and lazy to the point of it being funny. I actually loaded some large pigs one time from a farmer. Usually loading pigs is kinda upsetting to them. They are going into a strange new place and are locked in. The doors slam and people yell and poke. They can get upset. We closed the trailer door behind them and started chatting for a minute while I wrote the check. About 2 minutes after loading, I heard snoring and looked in to see one of the pigs passed out asleep and already snoring. Folks, that’s not calm, that’s fat and lazy!

When those pigs would get to our farm (we no longer buy pigs), we would melt about 25% of their body weight off in a couple on months. It was like starting a gym membership and weight loss program all at once. Suddenly they had to work to get their food, and their food wasn’t high calorie, nutrient poor corn. The pigs became active and spent their days rooting and looking for additional food besides the produce we fed them. Once they lost their blubber, they grew at a normal pace and finished out nicely. What they weren’t able to be anymore was this.

Couch potato
What your typical pig is on a grain diet

So what do think makes for a healthier meat for you and your family, the couch potato above, or this?

Man feeding adult pig produce
Michael giving one of our expectant mothers some breakfast

Oh, and did I mention there is NO COMPARISON in the taste? Try our pork chops or Boston butts and see what real pork tastes like. There is no comparison.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Update to the scheduler, and to our schedule

We’ve been in crisis mode since December just barely keeping our head above water. Now, things are settling down and we can be a little more normal.

I’ve updated the scheduler on our website to make it easier to use. No longer will you have to pick your provider. Just pick the type of appointment you want, and then click on the date on the calendar. The scheduler will show you what is available, and book the correct person for you.

Speaking of the correct person. We have some changes in personnel.

For shopping only:

The girls will still be working all day on Saturdays as normal

Lucy is working Wednesday’s and Friday’s in the afternoon.

For tours:

Spork will be working all day on Saturday.

On Monday and Tuesday, Dan will be handling tours and in store appointments.

We are closed on Sundays, and we are closed on Thursdays.

As always, if you need something special, just contact Dan and set it up directly. We have flexibility, but the above is our normal schedule.

Dan Moore on sabtwitterDan Moore on sabgoogleDan Moore on sabfacebookDan Moore on sabemail
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Your local source for beyond organic beef and pork