We're Prepping our Farm to Secure your Food
April 30, 2020
Let's face it. The Great Lockdown has created unknowns and uncertainties that defy comprehension. We're in uncharted waters. No model exists to predict what's ahead.
We could argue whether the lockdown to 'flatten the curve' was wise or if we should have allowed 'herd immunity' to get us past the curve quickly. But I'm not going there.
The point is: No matter what we think should have been done... we're forced to deal with what has been done. What's done is The Great Lockdown has created huge gaps and disruptions in America's food supply and service chain. And what we see is only seeing the beginning.
But we are not afraid. God is in control. We trust Him. God does not give us the Spirit of Fear. God gives us the Spirit of Power, the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of a Sound Mind. ~taken from 2 Timothy 1:7
But still, it's only wise to prepare. And preparing doesn't have to be frantic, desperate fear. It can be calm, thoughtful wisdom.
So Here's The Family Cow Prepper Promise: We promise to not surrender to fear, but to do everything to the best of our power to prepare, to love each of you to the best of our hearts, to use every part of our God-given sound minds to plan, grow, secure, and deliver the best of our foods to you.
So help us God. We can do no other.
How is the Craziness Hitting our Farm?
1st Crazy - A Shortage of Food Containers and Packing Supplies: Early on we were warned of a milk jug shortage, so we bought extra while we still could... But before we knew it, we ran into trouble securing egg cartons, and then it was jars for bone broth, lard and chocolate milk mix... and then it was lids, and then it was paper towels to line the cartons of UPS shipped eggs.
But the biggest surprise came when we tried to order the ice blankets we use for UPS shipping. The Federal government had confiscated the supply of cloth backing for making masks! So we were out of luck! Whoever would have seen that one coming?
So you see what I mean... We do not know what packing supplies may be the next to be unavailable and for what reason.
So the boys and I and team kicked into high gear and majorly expanded our packing supply storage area. Then we went on a search.
We stocked up on all of the supplies we could find even if they were different than normal. Jugs, jars, lids, paper towels and yes egg cartons. So just a heads-up, folks... you'll be seeing some weird egg cartons soon. :) Hey... even pinkish cartons are better than hauling eggs to you in zip-lock bags!
So with the extra storage areas well stocked, I am at least fairly sure that we will not be shipping your milk in 5 gallon pails! :)
2nd Crazy - A Run on All our Foods
It's important to know that we have abundant food production at the farm... and we can rather easily grow even more food. But when stock-up demand surges suddenly, as it did in the last month, it takes a few weeks/months until enough food can grow to meet the new demand.
As you noticed, some foods in the last few weeks have been limited or even sold out. Not all of this is unusual. Our chicken and turkey are always seasonal and usually do sell out just ahead of the new season. We only grow them when the green grass grows. So, since the green grass is growing... guess what! Yes... you got it! That means our 2020 pastured chicken will be here soon. We'll be offering only whole birds the first few weeks... but by the end of May we hope to have parts to offer as well.
And because we butcher the chicken with our own team in our own facilities right here on our own farm and deliver most of them on our own trucks, we should not have any bottlenecks between our farm and your table.
Here are a few things we're doing to ramp up our food growing.
- Our crew scrambled to build more pastured shelters to grow more pastured poultry.
- We added a 5th chick brooder so we can start more meat bird flocks for 2020. Chicken coming soon!
- We've adding more hens to have more soy free pasture eggs.
- We've added more cows for more raw milk and more cheese and more yogurt and more butter.
- We're growing more beef and pork at Rodrick and Jeanette's Amen Acres Farm
- We started a small grist mill to grind cornmeal from our homegrown USDA certified organic corn.
- And yes, we've welcomed new folks to our team to butcher more chicken, process more orders, answer more emails and in general serve your food needs better.
So yes... there is and will be food. Because... pandemic or not, there's nothing wrong with God's good Earth and its food production. Spring time is here!
But we do request your patience... We don't manufacture food. We grow food. Growing takes time. We do not "order in a shipment."
Big difference there!
3rd (and worst) Crazy: We HAVE Beef and Pork... but we DON'T!
Folks, believe it or not... we DO have plenty of beef in the pasture and pigs in the woods... but we do NOT have full stock of meat in our freezers! And that's frustrating. I don't need to say it twice.
What's the problem? It's a backlog at the butcher shop. The small local USDA butcher shop where we get our beef and pork done is jammed up because everybody and their brother is also trying to butcher more beef and pork.
If you follow the disastrous news of the industrial giant meat packing plant closures across our nation... you will understand!
So what do we do about this? How do we push through this USDA butcher shop bottleneck so that we can still supply you with the beef and pork that you depend on? How do we solve this frustrating problem?
These are though-provoking questions. We need answers. You need assurance that we are finding answers. Your food security depends on it. Your trust in us as a dependable food source depends on it. We have been pulling our hair out agonizing over this question for the last two months!
And yes, we do have a plan. A dream! We did something similar in 2014 when we ran into a bottleneck with chicken butchering.
But I'm not able to reveal the dream-plan just yet because it's still embryonic and not quite ready to birth.
But I will tell you this... When we are ready to make our move, you might even be able to help us with our dream. We will welcome it. And if we work together and are successful, it will shorten the food chain and strengthen food security for each one of The Family Cow Tribe!
Stay tuned... more soon. Better days ahead!
Your Farmer ~ Edwin
P.S. Please do not ask questions about the dream plan yet... We'll tell you as soon as we can. Until then... sit on your questions! :)