Sunday, December 23, 2012

The real costs of Hogs

This post comes because of some recent "spirited debate" that I have been having with folks.  Some folks in Eastern Colorado have expressed concern about our pricing.  So, I am going to attempt to break down our pricing and philosophy here.  Let's start with input costs.  Our hogs are outside year round.  In the warmer months they have acreage to roam.  In the colder months they are in their pen.  Their pen is fairly good sized, I would say roughly 65' x 32' vs about 10' x 15' in commercial operations. So, they have room.  Because they are in a large area year round, they gain weight very slowly, because they are active.  Which is why our meat is so lean.  It takes us about 9 months to get a hog up to market weight, vs about 5 to 6 months for the commercial operations.  Our hogs just don't sit around all day confined indoors breathing ammonia, with their head stuck in a trough.   They have a forage crop in the summer and we supplement in the winter.  So, because they are active it takes more feed.   I get the argument, a lot, about how much cheaper it is at the sale barn.  So, let's address that concern.  When you go to the sale barn, you have no idea what you are getting.  Large hog producers have contracts to fill.  They sell to major companies like Hormel, SeaBoard and Farmland.  So, their hogs are spoken for long before they are even born, which...chances are...is not at their facility.  Which leads us to the point I am making.   When you go to the sale barn, where did your animal come from and what conditions was it kept?  Chances being pretty good, you have no clue.  You are always welcome at our place.  You can see first hand how things work around here.  So, let's break down costs some more.  A trip to the sale barn is an all day or most of the day event, depending on how close you are to one.  So, how much is your time worth to you?  What about fuel to drive to and fro?  What about a way to transport your new hog?  Don't forget that just because you go to the sale barn, doesn't mean that you are going to come home with something, you never know.  Now let's compare this with our place.  You can come here if you like.  You are always welcome.  You know what conditions the hogs are kept in and you know what they are fed.  We give no antibiotics or hormones.  The best part is, you don't even have to leave your house.  Just pick up the phone and call me.  Let me know what you want.  I will load it and transport it to the butcher.  All you have to do is pick it up when it is done.  You get the meat cut and prepared the way you want it.  You can also come pick it up yourself.  We give a discount for that.  You get healthy lean meat that is the way you want it and it is going to be better and cheaper than what you buy in the store.  Starting this spring we will also be offering individual cuts that will be priced competitively with the grocery store.  I hope this clears some things up.-Chris

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Our turkeys will be ready for Thanksgiving!!!

This year we raised Rio Grande Wild Turkeys.  These turkeys are smaller then commercial breeds, but are very healthy and tasty.  They are known for having a rich taste making them worth the wait since they take longer to reach maturity then commercial breeds.  Our Turkeys are All Natural....Hormone and Antibiotic Free.

Place your order now for your Thanksgiving Turkey.

You can purchase the turkey alive and pick up at our farm for $20.00 or you can purchase the turkey ready to eat for $3.00 a lb.  Turkeys will be ready the week of Thanksgiving.

Call 719-671-3063 to reserve yours or email info@stpeternaturalfarm.com


Friday, October 12, 2012

Hogs Update

Just wanted to give everyone an update.  We will have a few hogs available in late Nov/Dec, but most will be ready in January/February.  The hogs have really been enjoying the weather of the last few days.  They enjoy the cool mornings and warmer afternoons.

It is a lot of fun to go outside and just watch them run and play.  Our hogs currently have around 4 1/2 acres to enjoy and have eaten up most of their forage crop for this season.  They are being supplemented with grain, vegetables and potatoes.


If you are interested in more information on our Hogs or would like to reserve yours today, please contact us by email at info@stpeternaturalfarm.com or call 719-671-3063.

Reminder we do accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Picture Update

 A few weeks back we released the hogs into the forage crop area.
 They love having the freedom.



 Turkey Coop
 We have baby chicks.  One of our hens keeps hatching babies; so far we have 8.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Forage crop

Some good news!  That little bit of rain we got a the other week helped the forage crop out.  We are guessing about 40% has come back.  Now we are just hoping for another good rain to help it grow a bit more and keep it alive before we put the hogs out to forage on it. 

We are starting to take deposits on the hogs.  They will be ready for butcher between late October and early December, depending on what size you want them.  Call or email now to contact us about reserving your hog.

Also we can are now accepting Visa, Master, Discover and American Express. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yuma Farmers Market

Yuma Farmers Market starts Tuesday July 24th, 2012.  It will be every Tuesday from 4:00p.m.-7:00p.m.  It will be located in the Yuma Soil Conservation Office parking lot on Hwy.34.

 We may not have a lot to sell at the market, but we will be there to promote our hog sales.  Come out, visit us and support other local farmers.  We look forward to seeing you there!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Update

Well, I'm going to go ahead and call it.  After months of no rain and extremely high heat, the crops are all wiped out.  We couldn't throw down enough water to do anything, it was a loosing battle.  The only thing that might survive is the squash.  However, that being said, triple digit heat and drought aren't the best conditions to pollinate in.  So, we may have a few plants, but who knows if they will pollinate and produce.  We did manage to get some rain last night and into this morning.  However, it is too little, too late for us and many around us.  On a side note, the hogs are doing well though.  All except for the fact that their whole forage crop has been wiped out for the most part, due to drought.  So, we will take these lessons learned and we will be irrigating next year.  We are leaning toward drip irrigation and double row planting.  So, we will see how that turns out.  With any luck, maybe next year will also bring us a much needed upgrade in tractor as well.  Who knows.    





-1858-
The good wife has especial care for the comfort of her husband and his laborers at this season. She knows that they labor hard, and that time must be improved; and she strives to lessen care, and to provide the best and most substantial things in the house for their comfort. This kind of forethought of the wife is the sunshine of the farmer’s home, and helps not a little to inspire cheerfulness, and give success to the labor of his hands.
[Leavitt’s Farmer's Almanac]
 
-1898-
Teach the boys the importance of rejecting for market all vegetables that are not of good quality, and also impress upon them the importance of having the inside of the package just as good as the outside. Neighbor Cheathim is very careful to put all the best peas on the top of the box, and the small stalks of asparagus in the centre of the bunch, and then wonders why he does not get as good customers and as high prices as his neighbor, who picks only good peas, and rejects all the poor vegetables. If you expect your boys to be successful in any business, teach them to be generous as well as honest in all their business transactions. A good set of customers can never be secured by the miserly or ungenerous man.
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]




-1899-
This is a busy month for the market gardener; he has not only to fight the bugs and the weeds, but must be gathering and preparing for market his radishes, peas, strawberries, early turnips, and beets. As soon as the land is cleared of the early crops, he must be prepared to plough it, and plant his late crops, or success will not crown his efforts. He cannot idle away his time without running the risk of having his trees and vines destroyed by bugs, his chickens eaten by the skunks, and his beans and asparagus eaten by the woodchucks. Eternal vigilance is the price of success in market gardening.
 [Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]




C/O Agrarian Nation



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Layout

Here is a diagram of our garden layout for this year.  The garden is about 2 acres in size.  If you are wondering about the coding here is the breakdown:

Green Bean Coding:
EP=Easy Peasy Pea
SP=Snap Provider Green Bean
EZ=E-Z Pick Green Bean

Corn Coding:
BS=Hybrid Bi-color Sweet
SQ=Hybrid Silver Queen
OF=Old Fashioned Sweet
ST=Hybrid Yellow Sweet Spring Treat

Melon Coding:
SC=Hybrid Sarah's Choice Cantaloupe/Muskmelon
EG=Eden's Gem Specialty Melon
FR=Hybrid French Charentais Savor Melon
SU=Hybrid Sunshine Yellow Watermelon
NO=Hybrid New Orchid Orange Watermelon
SF=Hybrid Sweet Favorite Watermelon

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hogs

We picked up the hogs this morning!  They will be ready for butcher between Oct-Dec; dates vary depending on the size you want them.  Call now to reserve your whole or half hog.





The above picture is of the forage crop we planted for them.  It is coming up very nicely and should be ready for them to be turned out to pasture in 30-40 more days.  

For more information on our hogs, visit the hogs tab on the page or feel free to contact us by email or phone.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Getting the Garden Planted

Chris got just about everything planted yesterday.  The only things left are the onion bulbs, radishes and the pepper and tomato plants we have been growing inside.  He will get these items planted in another week or two.  Here is a collage of pictures from yesterday.





Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update

 Chickens and getting ready to plant strawberries.

 Pepper Plants (We have 80 in total)

 
 Tomato Plants (We have 80 in total)


Some pictures from the orchard:

 Blackberry Bushes


  Cherry Tree and Plum Tree

Apple Tree

Turkeys are arriving around May 7th and we pick up the hogs mid May; going to be a busy month.

Call for more details on the hogs and to reserve yours for the fall 719-671-3063.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hog Nursery & Chickens at Play


Hog nursery area almost complete.  Our hogs will remain in the nursery area for 30-45 days until they are big enough to protect themselves from the coyotes.



Chickens at Play.  During the day we let our chickens out to run around and find all types of good things to eat.  They get locked up at dark until the morning, to protect them from predators (coyotes, badgers, skunks, etc.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

3/19 Photo Update

Photo Update:

 Our New Hog Hut; Chris still has to get the roof put on it.

 Hog Pasture almost ready for the forage crop to be planted.



Loading & Unloading Ramp Chris built a few months ago. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

How some things always hold true through-out time.

-1878-
If you can pay off all debts, so as to start with a clean bill, you can let the world wag. Debt is the load that drags so many people down. No man will be apt to fail if he takes care not to run into debt. 
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac] c/o  Agrarian Nation Blog


-1861-
Now is the time to plan the operations for the coming year. Pay off old debts. Interest eats into your substance night and day. It grows while you are sleeping. Better drive a little closer to the wind, work a little harder, spend less, and “owe no man anything.”
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]   c/o  Agrarian Nation Blog


-1855-
Now, it is my humble opinion that, to make a good farmer, it is needful to have a good wife. Yes, there are no two ways about it; the article is indispensable. I have always thought so. 
[Leavitt’s Farmer's Almanac]    c/o  Agrarian Nation Blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Ready

The hogs are gone and it is time to start getting the ground ready for growing season.  Chris went out and started on the garden and our expansion area.  We are tilling under more land so we can plant a good forage crop for the new hogs we are planning to get late Spring.  Once we have more information on pricing and availability of the hogs we will post it on the site.  Here are some shots from this weekends work.


In the original garden (Above)




In the new hog area. (Above)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hen Boxes

We ordered some new Hen boxes from Henpals.  Check them out:



 The Hens love them.  Our hens started laying early and we are getting just over a dozen a day.  If you want to purchase some farm fresh eggs and are in the area (Yuma, CO), let us know.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hogs in the Garden

Once the hogs got bigger we moved them into our garden.  The garden had turnips and radishes that were planted for them and lots of left over crops to forage off of.  This is part of our plan to produce lean and healthy hogs.  Below are a few pictures of the hogs a couple months after being in the garden.