As usual, we’re running at full speed, nearing completion on the farm office, kitchen, and brewing room. That has been a very long process as we had to do most of the work on our own due to most contractors simply not showing up and the one who did was such a poor craftsman that we had to undo and redo a great deal of his work. We are pleased. We are pleased to announce that the farm building will be complete by Christmas, enabling us to expand freezer space to ensure we stop running out of meat as often. We can also begin working out Kombucha recipes. While we can’t sell that without a commercial kitchen, our friends at Smith Pastures are installing one this year, so we anticipate having Kombucha blends by early 2023. That will also clear a ton of poultry supplies out of the house as we currently do cuts in our kitchen, which makes sense, but does not allow much space for living. Having a totally separate kitchen for brewing and food prep will ensure we don’t lose our minds. I would say something about cleanliness and food standards, but we keep our place super clean, so I don’t see any improvement there.
In other news, the Red Rangers and Cornish Cross chicks from Hoover Hatchery are doing spectacular. The Turkeys went out to pasture a week after the chicks arrived and are doing stellar. We had some serious losses on the Cornish chicks the first 72 hours, losing 10 or 30, but they are doing wonderful since that point. We really can’t say enough good things about Hoover’s hatchery, but we will have to try another hatchery due to the heavy losses from transport, 3 days in the mail is just too long. They were kind enough to refund us for all the birds we lost in the first 48 hours, which is more than any other hatchery will do, but that shipping stress is simply too much. We’re now looking at a New Mexico-based Hatchery and will try another local hatchery a second time to identify if the feed or the chickens were the problems. With that note on feed, we have just started sourcing our feed from a church-based co-op near Waco, TX. They are amazing! The feed is some of the best I’ve seen, both for the pigs and the chickens. Our health problems have completely vanished, and animals are growing much better. The downside to our new feed provider is the 4-hour drive and doubled cost. That also means a higher cost for customers, unfortunately, but with the feedback, we’re getting from our meat, we don’t expect that to be a huge problem.
The last update for this month is the lamb. We sent 5 off to Freezer Camp, but have 4 more ready to go. We would really like to find a Halal butcher in San Antonio, TX. We found Alamo Heights Market, but they can only do as small as quarters for our lamb and not individual packaged pieces under State or USDA regulation. If you know anyone, please reach out as we would really like to serve the Islamic Community with a high-quality, grass-fed lamb for Arbaʽeen, Eid-e-Shuja’, or Mawlid an-Nabī this year. We chose to breed our herd in order to provide the lamb for these holidays specifically, but lack connections with the community, and our friends in other places don’t know anyone locally.
That’s all for this month folks, have a good one and be sure to check out what we’ve got in stock over at the store.