Category Archives: News, etc.

Pork is 20% off!

We are trying to bring our pig numbers down on the farm. This winter we were at about 130 pigs. We are currently at about 100 pigs, and we need to be down to 60-70 by fall, which is quickly approaching. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but that’s actually 30 pigs in three months. Since each pig weighs about 350 lbs, that’s 3500 pounds of pork per month, for the next three months. That’s a tall order. To get where I need to be, I can take pigs to the processor and sell them live. I can call other farmers and see if they need any pigs. I can go to restaurants and see what they will take. Or I can continue to take care of my customers first and last! Guess which one I chose.

From now till July 8th, we are having a sale of nearly all of our pork (minus bacon, because come on, it’s bacon. And a couple other things listed below) Basically everything porky will be 20% off of our normal price. This is a straight, off the top sale. All you have to do to qualify is to purchase three pork sale items. So a couple of packs of pork chops, and one breakfast sausage qualifies. Or since one pack of breakfast sausage barely lasts one meal, get two packs and then some kielbasa or bratwurst. Or come and stock up on pork across the board. Whatever works for you.

We may continue the sale till later in the season, I don’t know at this point. For now, it’s on like Donkey Kong from now till basically after 4th of July week. Help us make some room in the freezers, and help us make some room on the farm.

Sale excludes bacon, bacon pieces, jowl bacon, ribs, and all items from Weeping Radish. Sale items may (and probably will at some point) be out of stock.

Genius level marketing. A how to.

I’ve spent some time in the past explaining what we do around here, and why. I often give the thought behind our events and promotions, and the results.

Internet famous t-shirt
My standard apparel

Since I’m a famous internet blogger now, I think that makes me an expert so let me give you a genius level class on marketing and customer loyalty programs.

Step 1. Purchase a new point of sale (POS) system in March 2017.
Step 2. Throw out all the marketing that was already working quite nicely with the existing POS. It’s old and tired.
Step 3. Make “plans” to read all the instructions on the new POS for how to setup marketing, customer thank you emails, sales, etc.
Step 4. Realize it is June and you haven’t done anything yet. (It’s called procrastination. It’s a fancy college word. Try to keep up.)
Step 5. Turn on the new POS customer loyalty program, after fiddling with the settings for about an hour and mostly understanding it.
Step 6. This is the most important part, especially for a customer loyalty program.

Don’t tell anybody you have a loyalty program

That’s right. Once you’ve mastered procrastination, and believe me, I am world class, then the truly genius part of marketing your loyalty program is to not say a word to anyone. What if people found out about it, saw how easy it is to earn cash discounts, and then started shopping more? What if they discovered that by simply swiping their credit card, they could earn automatic cash discounts on their next purchase? It would be chaos! People coming back weekly, skipping that trip to Harris Teeter and instead buying our products.

Nope, I’ve combined my master level procrastination with my genius marketing for the ultimate in secret customer loyalty programs, which have been quietly running for a month already. That means that if you look at your receipt, you should see something that says “Congratulations, you’ve earned X points. Only Y points till you earn a $10 off discount.”

So what is a genius marketer to do next, having so successfully launched this top tier loyalty program. Why ignore your family while on vacation and finally sit down and announce the program, of course. Nothing brings a family together like dad staying behind and staring at a computer while they go have fun. You are taking notes on how to be dad of the year aren’t you? I mean you won’t be. I will be. But you can aspire to second place. It’s important to have goals.

So in summary. If you shop with us and use a credit card, you are already part of the program. If you pay cash, we need to enter your name or email address in the POS so it tracks you. That’s why we ask for your info at checkout.

For each dollar you spend, you get one point. When you have 500 points, you get $10 off at checkout. No loyalty cards (I hate them), no secret passwords, no special handshake. Just something as simple as I could possibly make it, as a thank you to our regular customers. Just look on your receipt for your points balance at each checkout. When you hit 500 points, it will tell you, and us, you are due $10 off.

Piggies and pops

Lots going on at the farm today. We have an update on the baby piggies and a new product in the store that is already a hit.

Kids eating locopops in front of the store.
What’s better on a hot day than a cool natural sweet treat?

This week we received in a new product that SWMBO has been chasing for a while. SWMBO is a lot like our customers. She has a gaggle of kids that she wants to:

  • Have fun
  • Learn something
  • Eat healthy.

Not necessarily in that order and not always all three at the same time, but as often as possible. So she understands what mom’s want when they come to the farm with their kids. That’s why when she said she’d like to bring Locopops into the store I didn’t really even question it. We did take a quick run over to Pullen Park to try a few different flavors (no, my job isn’t bad) and declared they were perfect.

This week we received our first order and the picture you see above is the first kids who came into the store after their arrival. Every single kid walked out with one and the smiles are obvious. I’d call this a success.

Locopops aren’t like the sugary mess that we call popsicles here in the US. These are Mexican style, which means real fruit juice and not nearly as sweet or sticky. My comment after I tried the first one?

“Meh, it tastes like what mine do when I make them at home.”

At the time I thought that was kinda of a bad comment. But then I realized that when I make popsicles I make them out of 100% real ingredients without added sugar. Find that combination in the grocery store.

Now onto the piggies. First the cuteness.

Stripe and Rue sleeping
Stripe and Rue sleeping

We have two stories on the piggies we are hand raising. One is Stripe, pictured above. Basically it’s about how it looks. Totally pampered, getting away with murder, having breakfast cooked (yes cooked) for her. Play time in the yard. Getting fatter and bigger but still a runt. It’s about as good as it gets. Big smiles on this one.

Then we have Eeyore. Eeyore is the piglet that was stepped on by mom. She wasn’t able to walk, or really get around at all. She had maybe a broken pelvis and surely one broken leg, maybe two. We’ve been nursing Eeyore for weeks, hand feeding her every few hours, medicating her, and holding her up and letting her walk with basically no weight on her legs. She had even gotten her up to the point of short hobbles on three legs on occasion.

Then things took a turn for the worse. She started throwing up and had diarrhea. This went on for several days. We were able to get fluids into her but she was slowly fading. Last night I had to pull the plug on her because at this point all she would do is suffer. Could we have gone to the vet, spent $2000, and she lived? Maybe. IV drips, constant monitoring, maybe a surgery or two?

At some point you have to realize that she was a farm animal and this is a business. She’s not our pet poodle. Frankly, it sucks but it’s part of being a farmer.

Eeyore being buried by Wildflower
A sad day

Eeyore received a farm animals funeral in our compost pile. That means that she will return to the earth, and become part of a future project on the farm. We did the best we could by her, more than she’d ever have received at any commercial farm. We’ll have to take solace in that.

Update on the baby piglets

Feeding the runt piglet baby food from a syringe
Feeding the runt piglet baby food from a syringe

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated you on the baby piglets. Last everyone saw them we had them out for our pig petting event. We have two currently living at the house, or with Lucy depending on what is going on at the time. They will be in the house until they are back on their feet in one case figuratively, in the other literally. We have Stripe, pictured above, who is a true runt but otherwise healthy. And we have Eeyore who is the one who was stepped on by her 700 lb momma.

Stripe is just going to need food and care until she is big enough to eat solid food. Cute to do the first couple times, annoying after a week or two, but no big deal regardless. Then Stripe will be able to fend for herself with the other piglets. It’s just a time thing for her so there isn’t a lot to worry about there.

Eeyore on the other hand has problems. We think she may have broken her pelvis. I’m pretty sure she broke one front leg. Regardless if they are broken or not, she cannot really walk much at all. That means we are having to care for her more than Stripe. Fortunately piglets grow very quickly so even broken, her bones should be knitting and getting stronger fairly quickly. Hopefully we’ll have her back on her feet in a few weeks. I really don’t want to contemplate what will happen otherwise.

Girl feeding baby piglet
Piglets outside in the planter

So overall the little piglets are doing well. They’ve readily taken to eating baby food from us and they much enjoy their time outside and in the planter where they can play and root and get some sunshine.

More updates to come as they progress.

Pastrimi (and other deli meats) have arrived

Pastrami and tomatoes cut up for lunch
Make lunch for the kids? No problem!

We’ve been waiting for this to show up for more than a month now. Pastrami, deli ham, and bologna, made with our meats by The Weeping Radish are here! Fortunately it was the day that I was in charge of making lunch for the kids so lunch was a no brainer. I thawed out some pastrami and ham and made a sandwich from each of them. But not before I made a test sandwich for the chef! Pastrami, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and Lusty Monk mustard, all wrapped in a tortilla (no bread, watching my girlish figure). Ohh, lunch is gonna be awesome from now on.

The meats come in 1/2 pound packs and they are as good as I’d hoped they’d be. We should have stock for a while, depending on how quickly they fly out of here (remember the hot dogs?) so next time you stop by, grab some sandwich meats for your next Dagwood sandwich. 

Speaking of hot dogs, we do have more coming. I hope they show up Friday. I’m getting calls and emails, and texts from people asking if they are here yet. Don’t worry, I’m also getting poked by SWMBO and the kids constantly asking the same question. I sent two huge hogs to be made into hotdogs so we have plenty coming. It just takes a while to get them here. As soon as they show, I’ll do a post about it.

Don’t let the rain fool you

It’s a great day to visit the farm. We have Alarita here with samples of their products. 

With the rain, lack of pettable piglets, and general normalcy it hasn’t been non-stop people. The girls, never to be bored, decided to go get a game to play. This is what they came up with. 

Girls playing apples to apples with Alarita
Crystal dealing out the next hand of Apples to Apples

I know I probably played it at some point but I don’t really remember how it works. However with Alarita here, it must be a hoot because I can hear them screaming with laughter in between customers and it’s big smiles all around when I get into the store. You never really know how it will go with vendors in the store but I can say that between how good the products are and how good the people are, Alarita will always be welcome at our store.

I know this post is late in the day. While the girls were a bit bored, I certainly haven’t been. But we are open till 5pm so if you can stop by, it’s a great day to visit and stock up. We still have father’s days baskets available as well.

Gift baskets for fathers day

Me – Wait! Why do I have to be in the picture?

SWMBO – Because you are a dad!

Me – But why can’t I just use a generic picture? Like this?

Gift basket available for sale
Gift basket available for sale

SWMBO – What?! It’s sitting on top of the freezer and you just snapped an iPhone pic of it. There are probably cobwebs on it. Did you even look?!

Me – Sure…maybe. It’ll be fine, what’s the big deal?

SWMBO – Get out here and hold the stupid thing. It’s father’s day and you are a father.

Me – But I don’t want to. Doesn’t being father’s day mean I can do what I want?

SWMBO – Shutup and hold the basket. No not there, come outside.

Me – Shuffle, shuffle, grumble, grumble.

SWMBO – Ok! Pretend you’re happy. 

SWMBO – You look constipated! And there is a squirrel in the background! Can’t you just pretend you are happy for 2 seconds?

Me – I thought I was happy. I can’t fake this. Can’t we just use my picture?

SWMBO – Just one more. 

Me – There, that’s as happy as I can be. Can we go home so I can eat this stuff rather than holding it?

SWMBO – Fine, go put the basket back. Some poor wife is going to need something for her husband on father’s day and you have paw prints all over that one.

So… we have gift baskets for sale. The way it works is you only pay normal pricing for the goodies in the basket. The basket, bow, wrap, etc is free (no really, it’s not a scam) so in reality you’re getting a cool present for dad for the cost of the stuff he’s gonna eat anyway. Plus if he’s a cool dad he’ll use the stuff in the basket to make your dinner because that’s what dad’s do so it’s a win-win.

You can wander around the store and pick whatever you want for the basket so you can really get dad what he likes. We have different sizes and SWMBO makes them for you to order. Swing by the store tomorrow 2-6 and pick one up for dad, or come on Saturday and you can sample Alarita products with their folks on site to answer questions and get a goodie basket.