Tuesdays are now our pickup/restock days

New welcome sign and store entrance sign

If you’ve been in our store one of the first things we point out is that not everything we carry comes from our farm. We are quite proud of the fact that we support other farms in our operation and we always share who everyone is that we do business with. This is actually unusual in our industry as a lot of people slip other peoples products into their offering and relabel it under their name. Even at the State Farmers Market this is allowed as long as it is less than 50% of the offering, if I recall the percentage correctly.

With all this “other” stuff in the store, there is a lot of meet and greet that goes on to meet these small scale farmers and exchange wares and checks. Jeanette spends a lot of her days off meeting people for crackers and whatnot. I don’t have the flexibility to meet on various days so what I do is try to make all my meets on the same day. My main pickups are to meet our chicken farmer, who I meet weekly, and to stop by our dairy operation and restock on milk and milk products. I can’t drive all the way to the other farm (it is an hour away!) for a few gallons of milk so going once per week and meeting other people on the same trip helps offset the gas and the time.

We had been meeting on Mondays, which worked out great because I could bring everything in before we opened on Monday. But then we had a scheduling conflict and now the pickup day has been moved to Tuesday. That works well because it takes the pressure off of me to be back before we open at 2pm, but it means now the new product shows up in the store on Wednesday. For those of you who want to be here when things are freshest or when you know we’ll be fully stocked, Wednesdays and Fridays are now your days.

We are continuing to process a cow once per month and pigs about once per month (not the same time of month) as well. I haven’t been posting when we receive a cow in like I used to. I’m going to try and remedy that so you have some visibility to when we have steaks in stock. In reality we’ve had a lot of our steaks pre-sold so I’ve been kinda lazy. But that is no excuse, plus we have an extra cow going this month so we’ll have extra stock coming shortly.

I just picked up three hogs worth of product so we do have the pork freezer stocked again. I’m sorry we got down so low, we had a series of problems that kept things from making it back to the freezer. But that is mostly behind us now (there is still a tractor issue, but that is getting resolved).

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

#130 is born

Continuing my trend of posting these things weeks later for some reason, here is our “latest” calf, number 130. The birth date was actually November 2nd, but I’m just now getting it posted.

calf #130
#130, just born and ear tagged

When I was feeding this Sunday, it was a gorgeous winter day. Plenty of sun (FINALLY) and the weather was mild and pleasant. This little guy was having what I can only describe as a nutty. He was just running all over the pasture, circling around obstacles, doing spins, just happy to be here. Basically like a puppy, but 75 lbs on the way to 1200. It was super cute and set the tone for the entire day.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Holiday hours

Farmer holding runt pig at Christmas

At the request of several of our customers, and of course our employees, I’d like to post out holiday store hours for this upcoming holiday season.

Thanksgiving week we will be open the 19th and 21st. We will be closed Friday the 23rd and then open Saturday the 24th.

For Christmas we will be closed Christmas eve, December 24th. We will be open the 26th, 28th, and 29th as normal.

For New Years, we will be closed Monday December 31st, then open our normal hours going forward.

We look forward to seeing all of you on all of our other open days for your special order standing rib roasts, egg nog, turkeys, and whatever else you have ordered for those guests coming in from out of town.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

#129 is born

#129 calf
#129, one day old

#129 was born back on 10-23. I’ve been trying to get to a computer to post the note, and to post the cute picture. There was a delay because of a few reasons:

  1. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for the Civil Air Patrol lately
  2. We moved all the cows back to the main farm the day after this photo was taken
  3. I’ve been slack and just haven’t done it
  4. When I finally did sit down and write this post, I got interrupted and then forgot to come back and hit publish

Moving all the cows back is kind of a big deal. In the spring we move our momma cows and the babies over to a farm that we lease. Come fall, we move all those cows, plus any new calves that were born during the summer, back to our farm. This allows us to have all the cows in one place for the winter since we have to take them hay daily. It is easier to keep up with feeding when everyone is together.

Plus this gives us a chance to check over all the cows, ear tag anyone that we missed, and generally do farmer stuff at least twice a year.

Because #129 was just born, we had to split a load so that this little girl could ride in the last load with very few friends along for the ride. She is too small to get jumbled in with all the other cows so she rode in the last trailer load. The downside of this arrangement is that her mom was one of the first to go. While #129 was quite content to hang out without mom’s nagging, mom was quite upset that the calf didn’t ride with her to the new farm. She came up to the trailer at each drop off and checked the trailer for her baby. Since we had to wait till the last load to get the baby, it was wash, rinse, repeat for each load. It was nice to see them rejoined on the last load and then scamper off to go graze on the fresh pasture.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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 won the Next Door challenge!

Cow with a halo, Holy Cow
Holy Cow! I can’t believe that we won!

It isn’t like it was the mid-term election or anything. This was actually important! Top choice in the NextDoor.com local favoritesOur customers have voted us the number one activity and farmers market! Our competition was the State Farmer’s Market, amongst others. That truly is a David and Goliath competition. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us. I have absolutely no idea what to do with this information except feel warm inside on this cold, rainy day.

If you want to see the full recommendations list, you can click here.

marketing for dummies front cover

Looks like it is time to blow the dust off and read chapter 2.

Seriously though, thank you everyone for supporting us. We have ZERO dollars in advertising budget, we don’t go to farmers markets, have a stand by the road side, or heck even have a real sign telling you we are here, so things like this are huge for us.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Exciting new dairy products in the store

With the advent of herd shares in North Carolina, we are now able to offer products in the store you’ve never seen before (because they were illegal).

For members of our herd share, you will now be able to purchase raw milk butter, honey butter, and yogurt. All of these products are made from our raw milk at our dairy farm.

These products actually showed up for the first time last week. However I didn’t announce them when they came in because almost immediately it all went back out the door, so there wasn’t much to talk about. 

We’ve had requests for years for raw milk butter. I’m glad to finally be able to help out our customers.

We’ve also had requests for raw milk yogurt, but of course all I could offer there was that you could make it yourself. Now we have ready to eat yogurt in the store!

In addition to our raw milk products, next week we’ll have our holiday favorite, egg nog from Simply Natural Dairy, back in stock. As always, Simply Natural products are pasteurized, but they are as good as it gets for traditional dairy products. Egg nog is only available during the holiday season and we only get a gallon or so a week so if you know you want some, make sure to put in a special order with Jeanette or the girls. We will have some for you the next week.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

No milk today

Two gallons of milk on the counter

Just a quick note. One of my farmers I meet on Mondays suddenly couldn’t meet till Tuesday this week. That means my normal trip to our dairy farm that I do at the same time will now be on Tuesday as well.

Therefore, we will not have fresh pet milk in the store today but will instead have it on Wednesday. My apologies to everyone, these things are out of my control.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Vote for us on Nextdoor.com

I received an email over the weekend saying that NextDoor.com was holding an annual best in the area contest and that I should vote for who I liked. I took a moment to scroll through all the choices and saw that we are listed as one of the choices!

I don’t know how you go about being on the list but I’m thankful to be there. I know as I was looking through the choices I was paying attention to who was listed and maybe getting some ideas for date night.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help on things like this, at least according to all the requests I get to go vote in this or that, which I rarely do. So with that black hole of karma, I’m asking you, our customers, to give us some love and vote for us in the farmers market category. We are up against the State Farmer’s Market, so I doubt we’ll be winning anything but at least having a good showing would give us some notoriety which would be great for our little store. The biggest obstacle we have as a business is simply getting the word out to people that we are here so something like this is huge for us.

This is the link that was sent to me in my email, CLICK HERE. I hope it works for people that are not me. The link is about 1000 characters long so who knows? If it doesn’t, go to Nextdoor.com and click on the left side for “recommendations.” You should be prompted to vote in the contest.

Thank you everyone for your help.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

Herd shares at Ninja Cow Farm are starting, here are the details

Senate Bill 711 became law on October 1st, 2018. This means that for the first time in my lifetime, herd shares are legal in the state of NC. There isn’t a lot of detail in the law concerning what is and what is not a herd share so it is left up to us farmers to implement the law as best we can. As I see it, we have several choices.

  1. Setup a monthly payment plan for the “purchase” of your milk cow. (i.e. $50 a month, plus extra fees like delivery, storage, container fees, refrigeration, etc.)You get a picture of your cow and you can say this is Bessie’s milk. Whether you want milk this week or not, you get your gallon.
  2. One time purchase of a fraction of the cow. A milk cow is worth about $1500. So we’d charge each and every person who buys in a portion of that figure. Then there would be associated fees for the milk just like the above. You’d have to purchase your milk each week, as above. The result would be the same as for ownership, but the upfront cost would be much higher. The paperwork for the farmer would be less though.
  3. We combine all fees, costs, etc. into an ongoing per gallon fee that works for the farmer and the consumer. We need to charge a fee for the buy in, but after that we charge based on demand. For a completely different example; if you want to go to the private bar, you pay a membership fee. Once inside, you pay for each drink you consume. If you are the designated driver, then all you pay is your membership fee. If you are the regular at the bar, you pay the membership fee plus your bar tab each night. The membership fee stays the same, the bar tab changes depending on your consumption. We would handle herd shares exactly the same. There is a membership fee, plus a cost per gallon (instead of per drink).

We did look at all three options, but in the end we’ve elected to go with option 3 for the following reasons.

  • Our costs are already built into the current price of milk. That means that what you are paying now would be what you would pay going forward. Per gallon costs would not change.
  • The administrative expense of maintaining our current setup, plus a list of herd share customers, is fairly minimal.  We would not be adding much in the way of costs.
  • We are not going to sell the entire animal to the customer, nor rights to sell fractions, or have authority of the management of the animal, including its outright sale. What we are selling is the rights to the animal through one lactation. Technically we are selling you the animal, but each lactation cycle devalues the animal as she gets older. By buying in, you are part of the herd share, but there is no need to buy you back out at the end of the lactation. We will simply retire the current list of herd share members, who forfeit their buy in price as a depreciation on the cow. We then start a new herd share list the next year with everyone who is interested buying in anew.

With all of the above in mind, here is our plan:

A gallon and a half gallon of cow/goat milk will remain at its current price for herd share members.

To buy into the herd share, we will charge the cost of one gallon of milk.

Once you have bought in, we will add your name to the herd share list and you will be free to buy milk and milk products (we have butter and yogurt coming from our cows!)

For those that do not want to buy into the herd share, we will not charge the herd share buy in fee. We will instead charge one dollar more per gallon than our current pricing. This will be to offset the cost of the pet milk label that must be affixed to the container under NC law. We will not discuss what you are doing with said milk, other than to hear how much your dog/cat/goldfish likes the milk. If you tell us you are drinking it, we will refuse the sale as it is still quite illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption outside of a herd share agreement.

We hope that you find this arrangement very easy to understand and more importantly easy to implement. As you come in expect to be queried about herd shares. We truly do not mind which option you chose, but we will try to make all options available to you, our valued customers.

 

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.

No turkeys this year due to Hurricane Florence

After much back and forth, I’ve just received work from our chicken farmer. Sad face emoji

No turkeys this year for Thanksgiving. The losses from Hurricane Florence were just too great to be able to supply us and this late in the game there just isn’t time for a plan B. I’m terribly sorry that this happened, and that it has taken this long to get word out to people. This post is up not more than two minutes after I found out.

For those of you who we’ve put on our pre-order list, we’ll be contacting you directly to make sure you received the word. But I wanted to get the broadest word out first which is via a post to the blog.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, 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.