Oh yeah, We Have A Blog!

I realize we’ve been away from the blog for a while.  I actually wasn’t planning on posting even today, but we are in the middle of a rain storm with 25 mph winds so I thought this would be a good use of our time in between bouts of frantic running to check on the hens
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I think the standard “things have been busy” introduction is becoming a bit cliché, so I will lead in saying things have been hectic.  We are processing the second batch of chickens this week (500 in all), which as I sit here shivering is great to say is the last of the season.  Demand has slowed, but we are doing what we can to get the birds sold.  This batch was ordered before we processed the first batch and decided to shrink our numbers to a more manageable size.  Of course, the agricultural gods think they are quite humorous and this hard-to-sell and way-too-big batch is having record low mortality and was even sent from the hatchery with 15 extra chickens.

To help get some new customers, Shae went to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival last week and setup a small booth for the farm.  The festival is the largest event in the city and we were blessed to have an amazing friend who lives right on Main Street and let us use her driveway for our booth and dodge the booth rental fee of $5,000.  We brought a couple of live turkeys to show off, and they were a huge hit.  Kids seem to be as enchanted as we are by these silly guys, and it gave parents a momentary respite to talk about the farm with us.  We met some great people and got about 30 new customers out of the day.

Another big help has been that our restaurant customers are phenomenal.  About 150 of our birds have an invitation to dinner at Café Gibraltar, Pasta Moon, or Flea Street Café.  This is a huge relief, and we are always excited to see what amazing preparations these stellar restaurants come up with.  In terms of helping us avoid buying more freezers, Jesse (the owner) and her executive chef Carlos at Flea Street Café have been downright amazing, though.

Flea Street Café has been deeply committed to local food for decades, suffering through the years when it was not trendy.  When they heard through the grapevine that we had about 200 extra birds, they called and told us that they’d find/rent extra freezer space and buy all they could.   While I certainly don’t want them to feel obliged to do so, just the offer made Shae and I feel amazing.  This obviously helps us, but it also means that they will have pasture-raised chicken through the Winter after we stop production for the rainy season.  It is another reminder for us that small and locally-based business models creates significantly closer and stronger relationships that can get either party through a short-term hardship.

Well, I just heard a large wooosh of wind and a crash.  I guess it’s time to head back outside.

 P.S. As I promised, I have more pictures of our effect on the land.  Here's an update of our mobile processing shed's impact.  Hint: we processed on the green spot!