It has been a rough couple of months for us in farming. Our pork processor burned down, leaving us with nowhere to take our pigs to be processed. We went to another processor to try to get by, but they needed two months to do incorrectly, what our normal processor did in a week.
Then we had a problem with our beef processor. I don’t want to get into what happened as it was an honest mistake. But it cost us a cow. Understand we produce one cow per month. So costing us a cow costs us 1/12 of our annual production. It is a big deal.
Then our chicken farmer was coming off of winter and we were unexpectedly out of a bunch of chicken parts for longer than expected.
Pork, beef, and chicken make up about 90% of our total sales and all three have been hammered in the first quarter due to availability in the store. It has been rough.
In addition to all of the above, our seafood and premium cuts freezer died on us and took a week or so to get fixed. That means all those items had to be stuffed in other freezers, which fortunately due to the above had room in them.
So what are we/did we do about it?
We were blessed to form a partnership with BB Organic prior to all of this and we were able to buy a cow from them which offset our missing cow. We label their meat with their farm name so folks that want just our beef know the difference but their product is excellent and raised beautifully. We’d been working on this relationship for some time prior so it was just a blessing that their first cow for us came up right when we desperately needed it.
For pork, our hogs FINALLY got processed so we were able to stock up for a time. Now we have our next pigs going to a different processor for the kill part, and back to our normal processor for the value add. That means it will look and taste just like normal. It took us over a month to get an appointment at this new processor and those hogs are going next week so give us a a couple of weeks and we’ll finally have some fresh pork back in the freezers.
For chicken, our wonderful chicken farmer finally made it through the winter and has started processing again so we are back in business on chicken and chicken parts. She also is greatly ramping up her rabbit production with some fancy new rabbits from Alabama so we should be solidly in rabbits going forward.
Lastly, during all this Jeanette has been bearing the brunt of our lack of stock. of course she hasn’t sat on her laurels. She has found sources for farm raised, pasture raised elk, venison, boar, and water buffalo. Pretty fancy stuff. She’s brought in the meats, plus she’s bringing in the organs of these animals because we have a large contingent of customers who buy organ meats for their pets.
In addition to all that, we have some new seafood options as well. Oysters on the 1/2 shell plus the normal seafood we’ve been getting already. I’m having oysters and beer one day soon, that I can promise you.
I am taking a cow this Friday to the processor. One that we won’t have any trouble with this time as we are all a little smarter. So we’ll have our beef heading back in the following week. With more beef from BB Organic following shortly behind.
Lastly, $800 later, our freezer is fixed and full of product again so we are back to speed.