Saturday, February 14, 2015

Winter Is Just a Different Kind of Busy

I find that I keep half starting posts but never get around to finishing them.  As this post title states, Winter is just a different kind of busy, both on and off the farm.  While the fields lay dormant and the garden is a shade of mud, we have other projects happening this time of year and planning begins for the year ahead.  Seed catalogs fill the mailbox.  Orders are placed for new things to plant, and the barn is wired with new electric.  Hallelujah.  Now you can actually see in there during the dark days of winter!

A new year brings a new method of marketing our product.  Previously we only sold half and whole hogs.  We thought it might be time to try something different since not everyone has a deep freezer; and when you are only cooking for 1 or 2, it might take a long time to eat half of a hog.  Recently we introduced our pork packages.  These will vary from one processing to the next slightly, but they have around 30 pounds (two paper grocery sacks) and contain an assortment of sausage, bacon, chops, and ham steaks.  Some also have roasts, spare ribs, or neck bones.  These are fabulous if you want to try our pork and don’t want to commit to a half hog.  The advantage of getting a half or whole hog is you get more say in what you receive and how it is processed.  For example, you might choose ground pork instead of breakfast sausage seasoning; or you might get your chops cut in a different thickness; or you could choose to have your ham steaks fresh instead of cured.  There are other options too.


In other news, I’m so excited to share that this week we reached over 200 likes on Facebook!  Social media is pretty amazing and Matt and I are both part of various Facebook groups related to topics that interest each of us separately.  For example, I follow a Cincinnati baby-wearing group’s off topic page where they ask questions of the group that are outside the topic of baby-wearing even though that is what brought all of us to that group.  Someone was looking for suggestions on where to buy a ¼ or ½ beef locally and that morphed into lots of suggestions for local meat including a friend of mine tagging me and mentioning our farm (Thanks so much Jennifer!).  I responded and shared more information and now we have a few new followers from that group.  We have done similar things with other groups lately where someone asks about local meat sources and it opens up the opportunity for us to share what we have to offer.  There are so many forums to inquire about local food these days and connect the customer directly to the farmer.  There truly is something to be said for knowing your farmer and where your food comes from as well as the manner in which it is raised.

Piggies have plenty of hay to keep warm
On the other side of the spectrum, Matt attended a conference this past weekend for the local Food and Growers Association.  This gave opportunity to network with others and hear some success stories on how some farms are marketing their products.  He came home with a few things for us to explore in the year ahead.

I’m working on a post (possibly more than one) to tell you about the recent annual event where our family gets together and butchers a few hogs for our personal consumption.  After all, this event is really what lead us to raising our own pigs and the creation of Fork Right Farm.

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