New Year Old Plan

Sorry in advance for the long post. But here are our plans for 2017 and a pic of me and my nephew on the farm yesterday.

I got into farming when my parents bought me 20 pigs around 5-6 years ago, I fell in love with raising them. From day one I knew I didn't want to do things the way a lot of other people did them. I am not just talking about CAFO's either, I wanted my pigs and chickens to have the best quality life they could have, that meant bigger than needed pastures, searching all over for different types of feed, handling them daily, and just in general treating them the best I could. Raising livestock in a sustainable/humane way is why I farm and the proudest moment of my farming career was obtaining AWA status. We do our best not to stray from this commitment, but I do feel like for the past year or two I was too busy to appreciate the farm/ enjoy it and to give the animals the attention they crave.

So, with in 2017 we are making some big changes here at SF Farms. First, we are going back to where we started Pigs and Chickens (pork and eggs), there might be the occasional cow or sheep but our focus will be on pork and eggs. The past few years we have branched out all over the place from CSA boxes, Huge veggie gardens, and buying basically a whole chicken processing plant. It was fun, filled with successes and mistakes, plenty of lessons learned, but it was also overwhelming and I was stretched too thin.

WE ARE ALSO CHANGING HOW AND WHERE YOU GET OUR PRODUCT. (pork and eggs). First by cutting out farmer’s markets, for us the drama, the cost, and the time where not worth it. This is a hard decision for me because other than working the farm, meeting all our customers at the market was my favorite thing to do. Some of you may be wondering where to get our stuff and to answer that I have made a list below.

STOREFRONTS- The two listed below are the ones who have already placed orders for this upcoming season. We are in talks with two others one more in Wilmington and one in Jacksonville.
Salty Air Open Market
Port City Produce

CSA Boxes
we are in the process of working with different farmers to get our meat and eggs in their box. One in Wilmington and another in Beaufort/Morehead area have already expressed interest.

AT THE FARM-
This is new this year, we will offer all our products at wholesale prices right at the farm on these days. Tuesdays and Thursdays if you call in advance (I Ethan will be there) and Saturdays from 7am-3pm (Lance the farm manger will run this)

WHOLE HOGS AND BULK MEAT will be offered and delivered once every three months.
March
June
Sept
Dec

Restaurants- This one will also be new this year right now we are in talks with one in Wilmy and one in Swansboro.

If you have a store you shop at or a CSA boxe you get and would like to see our product or any other sustainable product in it, please reach out to them. Customers are the driving force behind any business so if they feel the demand for something they will carry it.

If you have any questions call me at 252-808-7340

The happenings

It's been an eventful few months at the farm to say the least. Oh, where to start............ Let's start with the bad news: first it came in the form of intruders, the two-legged kind. Sadly, we lost more than a few pigs to these intruders, the law was called, reports were filed, but nothing has come of it thus far. Thinking it couldn't get any worse I went back to farming and became a little more aware of my surroundings. Weeks went by and everything was getting back to normal when disaster struck again. This time it was a month long onslaught from four-legged raiders. A deadly game of cat and mouse began with me sleeping at the farm nearly every night and them striking when I would have to go off to handle business. Sheep, pigs and chickens were lost in this fray, and my four legged protectors' pride was more than a little hurt( not much they could do verse eight though.) I had to step up my game and get some around the clock help which unfortunately sadly came in the form rubber booted traps ( something I would prefer not to have to use) and for the first time we put barb wire around the outside of all of our fences. When word got out that traps were out, the four legged creatures magically disappeared...... I have my on thoughts on where they went but I will leave them out of the blog.........  ( the good news ) Its now been a few weeks and thankfully stuff is starting to look up: no more intruders, four-legged or two.The chickens have started to come back out of their coop, the sheep are wandering the pastures again, the pigs have a little more swag in their walk, and the guardians are back to holding their heads high. We've started  signing up for the markets, the store is coming along great, I've started getting the greenhouse back in shape with Sara, and as soon as it drys we will be plowing rows/ planting the garden. 

 

P.S.- If you haven't visited Morning Glory Coffee Shop on Dawson Street in Wilmington, it's a pretty chill place and happens to be where I am writing this short and to the point blog post. 

 

 

 

 

( scroll to bottom for first post) A Farmer’s Day is Never Quite Over (The farmer’s response)

The phrase “A farmer’s day is never quite over” could be considered an understatement at best. Most times, I don’t know where one day ends and another begins. The first thing I remember from this week (what week is it again?) is wading knee deep in mud…in the pouring rain… chasing pigs and fixing wire. Thrilling right? 

The next thing I remember, it is the middle of the week and I’m twenty sheep over my head realizing that, unlike a pig, they need at least 5 strands of wire to keep them from turning the entire farm (and possibly a little bit of the neighbor’s farm) into their buffet. The new lambs were also very quick to inform me that, like me, they don’t much appreciate being out in the rain. 

So now it’s the end of the week and I’m watching my girlfriend finish nailing boards on one end of their new shelter while I am screwing down tin on the other. My mind is thinking about the boxes I have yet to pack, the eggs that are still under the hens, the milk and cheese that are yet to be picked up, and the four A.M. alarm that is waiting to be set. 

So this brings me to the end of the post but the true point I want to bring home to everyone is that for me, the “farmer’s day” didn’t begin this week, or last week but rather, it began 3 years ago with a vision and the purchase of 20 hogs. 

Is it exhausting sometimes? Yes. But the rewards are well worth it. So I hope this “farmer’s day” never ends. 

-The farmer (Ethan)

A Farmer's Day is Never Quite Over...

Today, I woke up at 3 in the morning because Ethan had to deliver his “end of the year” meat boxes to his awesome customers’ door steps in Wilmington and we were staying at his farm house that night (which is about an hour and ten minutes outside of Wilmington.) 

Prior to going to sleep last night we huddled into the meat room behind his house and stocked all of the end of the year meat boxes with various meats and packed them in the truck so they’d be ready to go before the sun even rose. 

We left around 3 in the morning, but I slept in the car until 9 in the morning because although I date a farmer, I’m not quite cut out for those early morning treks. Being the sweet, southern boy he is, he had the front seat leaned back for me stocked full of comfy pillows and a big down comforter. When I woke up, he was already done with his deliveries to Wilmington and we were well on our way to Hillsboro, North Carolina to go to Maple View Farm to pick up farm-fresh milk and butter. We then headed about 2 miles down the road to Chapel Hill Creamery to pick up cheese to show case in the storefront in Cedar Point, NC! While there, we even got to see a 15 minute old baby calf with its mama. The farm was beautiful and refreshing, and you can tell from the people who work there that they are just as passionate about what they do as Ethan is about what he does! 

We got some new flavors of cheese for the week, but the supplies are very limited. The flavors include New Moon cheese, Carolina Moon and our personal favorite, Farmer’s Cheese. These cheeses are have very distinctive tastes with the New Moon and the Carolina Moon being similar. The Carolina moon cheese is a “North Carolina version of camembert with a buttery and mushroomy flavor with a creamy texture” and it is best enjoyed with some crusty bread on the side. The New Moon cheese is a semi-ripened version of the Carolina Moon with a “light coat of white mold and a refreshing lemony flavor!” Last but not least, the Farmer’s cheese is soft, fresh and tangy! The cheese flavors will vary weekly but will cycle back and forth depending on what is available to us each time. We hope you are as excited about the new addition as we are! 

After leaving the Chapel Hill Creamery, we headed to the storefront in Cedar Point in order to stock our shelves with the new products as well as ensure that tomorrow’s meat boxes were ready to deliver! After a long day's work, we are still here finishing up the last few things to do. We’ll then retreat back to his house, rest up and do it all over again tomorrow! 

We cannot wait to keep these new additions coming and we look forward to hearing about your experiences shopping with us at our storefront in Cedar Point.

Until next time,

-The farmer’s girlfriend (Sara)