Category Archives: News, etc.

To our vegan and vegetarian friends

When we opened our farm up to the public, we had a bit of trepidation oh who would show up. Beer bellied BBQ guys? Health nuts? Atkins diet people? Soccer moms? Grand parents? Weston A. Price people? Liberals? Conservatives? Libertarians? What kind of people will walk through our door.

Several years later the answer has been, yes. We have them all. And they are all amazing people with their own interesting stories and varied backgrounds. And at the end of the day, if they are polite to my kids then we’re tickled to have them here, one and all.

But there is one group of people that we worried might show up. The one that caused the most questions from friends and peers. “What are you going to do is vegetarians/vegans show up?” I mean, we are a meat farm. While everyone here lives a very happy life, there is an end date on pretty much everything on the farm. And we don’t hide it, we celebrate it. What if protestors show up? It was, and is, one of our bigger concerns of running a public farm.

But here is the odd thing. We have lots of vegetarians and vegans as customers. And they are wonderful people. Some bring their non-vegetarian family for a visit. But more often, we get customers who are here because their doctor has sent them here. They’ve been vegetarian/vegan for 5,10,20 or more years and they now have major health problems that they are learning came from their diet. This isn’t my opinion, this is what they are telling me walking in the door. Morally, they are VERY unhappy about eating meat. But they are at a point that they HAVE to have protein to get any quality of life back. Their doctor has told them so, their now non-vegan research has told them so and usually once they introduced meat back into their diet, it was like turning on a light switch. The change was that quick. So the results are telling them so. But it’s still against everything they believe in.

You’d think this would be the part where the meat farmer, long maligned by the vegan/vegetarian movement, pokes them in the eye and says how right we meat eaters are and how wrong they are. After all, there is quite a forceful movement to try to make meat bad in the public eye. Why not exact a little righteous revenge? There are a couple of problems with that.

One, all I feel is sorrow for them when I hear of the health issues they are dealing with. They are chronic and life altering. They are, at this point usually, not going to completely go away either. The damage is not repairable. Yes, eating meat is making them feel much better but they’ll never be like they were before becoming vegetarian/vegan. Trust me, I’ve heard the stories first hand.

Two, one of my best friends is a vegetarian (Hi Jim!). I’ve learned as much from him as I have from anyone in my life. He’s an awesome person I’m blessed to know. And when I’m with him and we go out to eat, I eat the vegetarian meal. Not because he’s ever asked me to or expects me to, but because I like vegetables too. I’m a vegetarian myself. I just usually happen to have some meat on the plate to accompany my vegetables. Some of my favorite meals are the vegetable portion of the meal. So big deal, I’ll eat my veggies that day.

All this vegetarian thing had been rolling around in my mind because of all the people we meet here, it’s the vegetarians and vegans that have been the most unexpected. I hadn’t really crystalized this into a post or a real opinion. It’s just been floating around in the grey matter. And then I happened across this podcast, called Lierre Kieth on the vegetarian myth. It was produced back in  2012. I listened to it while driving to Siler City and back yesterday, taking our latest cow to the processor. Listening to Lierre was like having one of our customers standing in the store telling their story to me. One I’ve heard by now many times. Only this time, there is a book to go along with the story.

When we started having customers to the farm, I didn’t expect all these terrible stories. I also didn’t expect to see the sorrow in people’s eyes when they are forced by health to go against their morals and eat meat. I can see their struggle and it’s not fun to watch. I try to let them know how good of a life our animals have. To know that without customers, the animals would never have lived at all. We don’t breed pets.

We talk about how humane the last day is for an animal. How they are treated at the processor, etc. How animals are part of the nutrient cycling system designed by God as a perfect closed loop system. Anything to help them overcome years of propaganda saying that eating meat is evil, period. This change is akin to being a devout Christian and having to admit and profess that there is no God. It’s not easy. However there is only so much I can do in the few short minutes I have with them. So now, I can point them to this post and this podcast, and this book. I think Lierre did a good job of explaining the problems and pointing out her view of the solutions. It’s not a perfect argument and I don’t agree with everything she said but it’s worth a listen. And if this helps just one of our recovering vegetarians, then it was worth it.

Since this was a heavy post with lots of feelings and stuff (not what you expect from me) here is something to make you smile.

Guy with vegan tatoo eating a meat hot dog
Note the tatoo “vegan” on his arm. Then note the hotdog.

We are open today 2-6pm

It’s not all fun and games around here. We’ve actually been getting some work done. Restocking freezers, doing taxes, painting, buying freezers, planning the new layout, picking up goodies from our farmers, testing a new point of sale system, sampling new goodies.

Well I guess we did all play Superfight the other night. It was slightly less organized than the picture above.

Come see us today. We have lots of everything, including pet milk.

The new store gets better and better

New door in the store.
New door in the store.

Ok, this one isn’t as exciting to you as it is to us. But having this door here is a huge deal for us because we now have the freezer room connected to the store. That means when we have to bring stock in to refill the freezers, we bring it straight in and not have to walk all the way around the barn.

When you are moving a couple hundred pounds of meat from various freezers, being able to walk straight through is really nice. For you, when we disappear to go find that special cut, or your pre-order, it means we can pop out and right back. And not disappear for 10 minutes.

We are still slowly working on bringing the store together. I expect we’ll have some new products in by the end of this month. We are still making selections, deciding what we’ll carry, looking at new stuff. It’s all very fun and exciting.

Today Lucy will be in the store from 2-6pm. You can see her use the new door because we had a large order for about 100 lbs of meat this week and the beef freezer will need to be restocked while she is here.

One of the additions we made recently was adding in a backup refrigerator. This allows us to hold more milk on hand. That means we are fully stocked on pet milk so for those of you always looking for some, we have yours and everyone else’s currently available.

And of course, the girls will be in the store tomorrow from 8-5, with fresh cookies. Stop by and see them. The weather should return to gorgeous by tomorrow.

So apparently it’s national pig day?

I didn’t know that was a thing. But since this link was too cool not to share, I’m not going to fact check it. Let’s just go with it.

See when pigs fly

Lucy is in the store today from 2-6pm and we have lots of pet milk in the fridge. Both cow and goat.

We also have our door to our back room almost done and almost all the freezers put together in the main part of the store. Over the next few weeks we’ll be working on selecting more product for the store, building shelves, bringing in stock, etc.

Our store expansion goes public

The construction debris has been removed and the lights are on. It’s official. We’ve expanded the store!

We aren’t quite done. We have all the interior fit out to do. Shelves, new product, new freezers and fridges, that kind of stuff. We also have a door to cut into our new freezer room. That will get done next week. But the big box that is the room is painted, lighted, and open! It’s an exciting day. And we did it on schedule!

Store expansion 2017
The view as you walk in the door

As you come in the door this is your new view. The lighter colored concrete is the new area and the old rear wall used to stop right where the first post is. Now the big freezers have been pushed into the new area and against the wall, opening up the store to much more available room.

Store expansion 2017
The new area in the back of the store

This is a little better view of the new area. Again the lighter colored concrete is the new section. You can see a cubby we made under the stairs. This is going to be the kids play area. Toys and whatnot will be kept there for young kids to be entertained while mom and/or dad shops. It’s small enough to be cool for kids but still big enough to play in. Kinda of a secret little toy cave. Score one for SWMBO for this idea. Now we need someone who can paint cool kid friendly farm murals on the walls in there so it really is fun. Know anybody?

Store expansion 2017
The view from behind the counter

This is the employee view from behind the counter. We may end up moving the counter to another part of the store. The entire thing is up for grabs. We don’t know exactly what we’ll be doing quite yet, as we need to bring in additional shelving, product, freezers, etc. All that has to fit, Tetris style, and that will drive what we end up doing. Everything is mobile and flexible so we will figure it out as we go. Expect some rearranging from time to time.

Store expansion 2017
The view from the new area back into the old store

Where the window unit A/C is in the picture above is where the new door is going to go. That will open up to the freezer/storage room. That’s where we will keep all of our safety stock so we are less apt to run out of product. Just like a grocery store. It also will allow us to store more pet milk so we can meet that demand better. Now we are constrained by storage, not production. But Monday we have a new freezer arriving and I hope I’m picking up another one on Tuesday if it’s still available. Then we’ll really have some room to store/display goodies and keep it on the shelves for you.

The vertical posts in the picture can be a blessing or a curse. They are required for structure (my office is located above) so they are non-negotiable from an engineering standpoint. However I think they are cool. Whenever we do anything to the store, I always try to balance the clean new look of our construction with retaining some of the look of it being a barn. We accomplish this by our rustic wooden counter and our unfinished concrete floors balanced by finished and painted drywall walls and ceilings. I’ve often thought we are a bit too much towards the clean side with all the white. I think the posts bring the look back home. Plus we’ll be able to use them to hang goodies for sale, signage, etc. Give us a year and you’ll barely see them behind all the stuff hanging off of them.

We aren’t 100% there yet, but we are excited to have the new section open. We are also excited for you to come out on this gloriously beautiful day and see what we’ve done and are doing. I’ll be around most of the day and would love your feedback when you stop by. The girls will be here 8-5.

This day in 2015

Car wrecked in the snow
The entrance to our farm

When I sat down this morning to work on the website, I had a little flashback thingy on my picture storage. I’m sitting here in shorts and flip-flops, already tan, ready to start a day where it is going to be sunny and nearly 80 degrees.

Above is what we had, this day, in 2015. Yikes!!

Today we are open from 8-5. We still have room for additional tours today and of course room for plenty of people to stop by anytime and shop. We’ll have chocolate chip cookies, happy kids, plenty of sunshine, and animals begging for bananas today. Stop by and see the store expansion and get some goodies for dinner. And enjoy that the only thing cold is the meat.

This is my kind of winter. Not that white stuff above!

The weather is GORGEOUS and we are open!

So it must be time for a visit to the farm.

Today’s schedule is pretty busy with tours. There is one slot open at 1pm and we are booked solid the rest of the day. Those are my tours.

Spork has a series of tours through midday tomorrow but still good availability in the morning and in the afternoon. It is a great day to come out and get some sunshine, see some critters, and pick up some goodies.

Speaking of goodies, we just received in a fresh cow this week from the processor. So steaks are fully stocked, as well as hamburger, stew meat, soup bones, etc, etc. It’s all here.

We also have a special in with this last cow. T-bone steaks are in stock this time. At least as long as they last. We get the request routinely for t-bones. Get them while they are hot, er, frozen.

For those of you who don’t need a tour, we are open normal hours today 2-6pm. And tomorrow 8-5pm. Just stop on in and see what we have going on. Hint hint, the store expansion is nearly done!! There will be pics coming soon of that. Or you can come see for yourself.

As I finish this quick post, I note that there is no picture. Studies say that a post with a picture gets clicked on and read more than a non-picture post. But I don’t really have an appropriate picture for this post. Hmm. I do have a totally inappropriate picture for this post though.

Kids dressed up as hippies
Flower power Baby, Yeah!

So it seems that on occasion the co-op where my kids go to school on Fridays has a dress up day. I guess for fun, or maybe to support what they are learning about. Dunno. What I do know if SWMBO took this picture yesterday and it is too good not to put somewhere. Apparently today is dress like a hippie day. I’m unable to discern who has my favorite outfit. They are all stunningly good. I think this picture is going to be a keeper!

So here you go. One click bait picture for your viewing pleasure. Now stop laughing and come buy some meat. I need room in the freezers so we can move into the new store!