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Processing Processes

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 24 Jan 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Happy Tuesday! It was another cold one this morning. The milking machine was too cold again and it took a while with the hair dryer to get things moving. We are trying to work out the best approach for the machine in the cold. Is it better to drag this 150 pound machine back and forth from the house to milking barn or is it better to try to find a way to keep it heated overnight? It has 2 wheels and a handle but is quite awkward to pull around. We had a shop light with a 60 watt incandescent bulb on it last night but it either wasn't in the right spot or it just wasn't enough to keep it warm. We'll keep working it until we figure out what works best for us. Stella the Jersey calf is a week old today and she is so fun to watch. She runs, bucks, and generally plays around when we go out to milk. The top pic is Stella standing next to Betty as she moved into her stanchion for milking. Everything inside her tells her to do what her mom does. Betty and Happy are both doing very well with the milking process. Everyone seems to be getting into a good routine. We shipped a container of pork yesterday to friends in Florida. Also, yesterday, we put fresh straw out for everyone in preparation for the upcoming winter storm. This afternoon it is forecast to begin with rain and then transition to 5-8" of snow, potentially up to 12". We unrolled hay a bit later today so the animals will still be good if we aren't able to get to them until later tomorrow. We made a gallon and a half of yogurt and 2 1/2 pounds of cheese yesterday. We're making another gallon and a half of yogurt today. I had the privilege of making my first milk and egg delivery this morning! So cool to be able to share what we are doing with our local community.

Yesterday, I took a wether to the processor. We use a facility that is about 2 hours away. It is USDA inspected and we are very happy with their service. The first time we pulled up to the facility, we were a bit apprehensive. It was our first time delivering animals to a processor and we had no idea what to expect. We just followed the trucks with livestock trailers in front of us to a series of gates. The kindest gentleman greeted us and immediately put us at ease. He directed us to exactly where we needed to be. He then helped me unload the 11 hogs and gently walked them through a series of gates leading them to the scales. Another gentleman worked the scales and recorded each individual live weight. Since they were to be inspected, he marked them with a number. He then handed us a sticky note with all of their numbers and corresponding weights and instructed us to go around to the shop to fill out the remaining paperwork. The shop was attended by ladies that are just as kind and courteous as the gents in back. We quickly filled out the required forms and we were off. We have now repeated that process multiple times with multiple species and it is always the same calm, courteous, and kind experience. Depending on the species, we go back anywhere from 4 days later to 3 weeks later to pick up the vacuum sealed, custom labeled, deep frozen meat. All in all, we are very satisfied that the animals that we have treated so humanely at our farm continue to receive that same treatment throughout.

It's been a while since I showed the hogs, so I added a couple of pics of the hogs from feeding time yesterday evening.

Local Farm Report for 23 Jan 2023:


26 Chicken eggs

6 Duck eggs

4 1/2 Gallons of milk



Farm Subtractions:

1 Wether lamb

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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27 janv. 2023

Hey Rich and Shelley!

You guys make this look so easy! I’m been following the blog and have really enjoyed it learning a little something new everyday. This blog answered one of the questions I had about your farming process. I was curious about the labeling and what type facility you guys were using. Kelly, the girls and I want to try to visit sometime.

Cheers from NW Alabama!


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