Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Some Changes on the Farm

OK, for our regular customers, I suspect this isn't going to change much at all. But it is going to change our work load on the farm. It's been a while in the making, and for the sanity of our family, we need to do this.

We are ratcheting back our egg production. This isn't really a huge deal. We had a restaurant as a customer, that we have no longer. Originally, that was the Wayside Inn, in Berthoud.  Those of you in Berthoud may remember them! Shortly after they closed, and we were donating eggs to the food bank (like we are now) we wondered what we were going to do. Another restaurant came along - they more than picked up the slack, and we stayed in the egg business.

I believe Larry encouraged me to cut out the eggs last year, when we were egg free for a year due to a respiratory illness. We have successfully eliminated that from the farm, and I ramped up our egg production to meet restaurant production.

But the restaurant is no longer engaged. We switched to organic feed, due to what we thought was market demand. But the price went up with that.  And the customers aren't responding.

OK, that's not 100% true, we have many of our regular customers buying organic eggs, and we thank you for that! But we don't have enough demand for the flock of 100-120 chickens we have out back.

SO, we are going to pare that flock down by a BUNCH. They are less than a year old, so we can sell them to folks looking for a backyard flock. This will reduce our daily workload to something more management, and hopefully restore some family unity that is much needed.

This shouldn't effect our meat production in any way, except that we will have fewer stew hens available. This will allow us to continue hatching our own flock (making us more sustainable) and selling baby chicks, just in smaller quantities. This was the first year we have sold homegrown chicks, and we were surprised at the demand and the success!

So we will still have our lovely egg laying ladies. We will probably switch and have a larger portion of them raised on conventional feed, and a smaller number on organic feed, but we will still have both options. We feel confident that we will have enough to supply our direct customers. We won't be looking for restaurants or distributions points outside the farm for our eggs anymore. It's the lowest profit margin product we have on the farm, and it takes the most work!

So this is a business decision, and we think it's right for us and our little operation.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Food Drive on the Farm

This is a repeat from our mailing list, but wanted to broadcast it everywhere!

At my day job, I am part of the Community Giving committee; each year we are part of the Corporate Challenge sponsored by the Community Food Shares of Colorado. Our farm has donated food items to the food bank, which serves thousands of people in the Boulder area. We've decided to see if our wonderful customers would like to participate.

For every 3 boxes/cans of non-perishable foods you bring to us to donate between May 1st and May 17th, we will give you one free dozen chicken eggs (max 8 per family).

So if you would like to bring some food items for us to donate, we will pay you back in free eggs! We can help our community get some food on their tables, and spread the love of free range chicken eggs as a reward!  We'll match all your donations with a gift of eggs to the food bank, as well! So it's a two-fer all around. I'll put a large box on the porch next to the egg fridge, if we are not home, feel free to donate your items and take eggs from the fridge! Leave us a note to let us know that you donated.

Want to know more about Community Food Shares? Here are some tidbits on their operation and the need in Boulder and Broomfield Counties:
  • There are over 56,000 people in Boulder and Broomfield Counties who are living at or below 130% of the federal poverty level ($31,005 annually for a family of 4)
  • In 2014, Community Food Share distributed over 8.3 million meals. The value of the food was over $14.3 million.
  • Since 2003, Community Food Share has distributed over 64 million pounds of food to those in need of food assistance in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. The value of the food was over $98 million.
  • Community Food Share distributes all food free of charge.
Want to help the campaign with a monetary donation? Click here to donate to the Compete to Beat Hunger Corporate Challenge
You can select a company you'd like to list for your donation, or select mine, Rosemount DP Flow. There are 23 companies competing this year, if you are affiliated with any of them, feel free to donate under their name. This is a corporate challenge, and the competition is fierce! Some of these companies have full time employees who work SOLELY on this campaign every year!