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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We need your help please

Now that I am retired I have gotten active in the fencing team at Ledyard High School in Ledyard Ct.

We need to get our web site hits up so google will pick us up.

If you have a free moment would you please help the team by going to our web site at

The students would really appreciate it and I would be so grateful.

Cheers and thank you,


Friday, January 04, 2008

January Newsletter

January Newsletter

Now that I am retired from the USPS I will have time to farm, time to get my business act together, and time to get all the jobs done around here that my Dear Wife Sheryl has seen me put off.

I hope to make at least one entry per month in my blog as way of a newsletter just to keep all of our great customers up to date on what we are doing around here.

Here are some highlights, good and bad.

Last Sept we lost 146 chicks within two weeks of arriving from the hatchery. They were replaced but due to decreased sunlight and lowering temps the new birds are STILL with us.

All of our chicken customers for October are STILL waiting for their birds and by now have probably given up on us. Having the birds for so long I just do not know how they will be for tenderness, it has been entirely too cold to process them as our processing area is outside and open air.

Everyone may have to wait until this spring to get their birds but we will post more after we find the weather and time to process some and try them out. If they are not up to our standards I will not sell them.

Perry the Boar is killing piglets, I just figured that out and really it guess I should say I THINK he is the one doing it. The piglets now over 3 months old have been turning up dead in the new paddock.

I had tried to move them out of the new area which does not have electric fence and into the area (the rest of the farm) that does. All we have had is escapee piglets and many times chasing the little oinkers to get them back in the steel fenced paddock.

We have lost at least 5 in about a week.

Both Olive and Pearl are laying on their babies and killing them.

So I have made a purely business decision: I will take Olive and Pearl to the sausage factory with much regret. I had so wanted to keep both of them until they died here, but their grain cost is just nuts if they are not producing and or are killing their babies. Both girls are 7 or 8 now, so from a business point it is way past time.

Perry will either be sold or turned into boar sausage.

This spring I will travel to buy a new boar and perhaps one or two new sows.

Perry in the meantime will be visited by four sows from two different farms not to mention getting back with the ladies here.

We gave away our ducks, at least most of them, we have about a dozen flying around here now and the rest went to another farm, I just could not kill them.

2008 will see us focus on Pork and chicken, we will do turkeys only for our family and then decide if we want to do them in 09.

Julia from Cedar Meadow has been in touch with a man who says his Bourbon Reds get up over 25 pounds, he claims it is all about genetics, so Julia will be buying eggs from him, hatching them and we will buy some poults from her to see how these work out.

Our Ct Dept of AG Viability Grant work is done except for the final touches on our feed bins, we didn’t realize we had to have a audit done on our receipts etc and have found out it will cost around $200.00 for that. Next time I will figure that in to the grant.

We will apply for a grant again at the end of the year as we want:
To get water lines to all pastures for water spigots
To irrigate all of our pastures
Increase our egg production to 100 dozen per week
Buy two hoop houses, one for the layers and one to start a new project: Mushrooms.
To construct steel fence in a big pasture instead of the electric fence so as to be a “graduation” paddock between the piggery nursery and our normal pastures
To purchase a walk-in cooler so our customers don’t have to be inconvenienced in picking up their orders, and to allow us to hold more sausage and bacon.

Having the new road is the BEST part of the grant, it sure makes life easier for me as does the feed bins, no more trips to Manchester (3 hours out of the day) for 1500 pounds of grain.

We have to ask for an extension for our SARE grant, with lack of help and a full time job last year we never had the time to get the Chill System done, we only hope that the SARE folks will understand and allow us the time to fulfill our promise.

I’ve got lots more to say but time has come to get out side and do chores.

One last thing:




A Honorable Man

January 4, 2008

There really is some honor left in the business world.

I hadn’t heard anything from the folks at Litchfield Locker and my blood was boiling, I was preparing to send letters to every news media entity that had ever done a story on us.

I wanted to “tell the world” about what a lousy job Litchfield Locker had done for us.

We had lost over 100 pounds of sausage from our old processor and then to loose all this meat just put me over the edge.

But I decided to call Litchfield and give them one more chance before I unleashed my “army”, I still had not heard anything from them and being ignored is worse than anything else someone could do to me.

I am glad I waited. I arranged a meeting with Bjarne Svensson, co owner.

Yesterday I drove the hour and 45 minutes and arrived around 8:30 to meet with Bjarne.

We went upstairs, he offered me a seat and listened to my dissertation of what had happened, how well we are known because of our Certified Humane designation and what my future plans were on the farm along with our need to develop a long term relationship with both a Slaughter House and a Processor.

Bjarne is “Old School”, honorable, calm (good thing he’s a big guy) and a man with vision, most importantly he backs up his product and his word. He offered to buy our whole pig… after his offer was made a third time I took him up on it and he immediately wrote me a check for the entire amount.

That is something unheard of in today’s business.

We talked for almost an hour, he showed me around, explained that he had just bought in four short months ago and had already made some of the “past practice’s” disappear.

This man impressed me, that ain’t easy.

He took time to explain how to get more out of my product and more importantly he made me understand why things are done the way they are. Why as an example if you make different kinds of sausage you loose some meat in the process, how long it takes to change between these different sausage batches etc. Knowledge is power and now I at least had a better understanding of how things work and why.

Bjarne and I come from the same school as we both feel “If I don’t like it. I won’t sell it”.

So now I feel comfortable in taking the next load of three pigs to be killed at Bristol Beef and processed by Litchfield Locker. I fully expect to develop a long term business relationship with both facilities and I expect our customers to be glad we have made this decision.

On the way home I immediately called the other farms whom I had relayed my past experience to and I strongly suggested to them that they give Litchfield a try, I think all concerned will be happy with the arrangement.

My apologies to Bjarne for not meeting with him face to face before I fired the broadside, in this day and age it is not a normal occurrence to meet such a man with high standards, old school business practices and a honorable way of solving mistakes.