September 2013 Newsletter

Welcome September!

It’s Labor day, which marks the ends of the summer and time for all of us to and get back to work (and school)!  I know that my checklist of things to do for the winter is long, and I am slowly checking things off.  I am preparing in earnest this year as not only will we have a winter to get ready for, but we will have help around the farm while I have the baby!

Recently, I have had many requests for beef, and we now have an ongoing opportunity for you to purchase beef!  I was raised on a cattle ranch in eastern Oregon, where all of my living relatives (4 generations) still live and work.  It has long been my intention to bring beef to our farm patrons, and that is now possible, starting immediately. These cattle spend their entire lives on pasture.  They are finished on a local, non-GMO grain ration.  The quality of this meat is very high!  We will sell ¼, ½ or a whole animal.  The cost is $4.00/pound hanging weight (including cut and wrap), which of course varies with the animal.  Generally speaking, the hanging weight of a whole animal is approx 650 pounds (325 pounds for a half animal or 163 pounds for a quarter).  Please let me know if you are interested in beef and I can reserve one for you.

In other news, we will be processing 12 rabbits the first week of the month, and some of them are still available for $18.  These are the last rabbits until late winter!  There are also 3 chickens and 3 ducks left up for grabs.  We will not do another batch of poultry until after winter, so it is your last chance to stock up!

Now for a few farm “housekeeping” points that have come up recently. This communication is not directed at anyone in particular, but is written as a general request to help keep the farm operating well without raising prices.

Please remember your milk jar etiquette.  We do not require a deposit for our milk jars and lids. As such, the jars that are engraved with “Cast Iron Farm” are the property of the farm.  PLEASE DO NOT USE THEM OR THEIR LIDS FOR ANYTHING ELSE!  Return your your jars clean and dry.  The lids mold when they are put on a wet jar, and it is usually not possible to scrub out the mold.  I have had to throw a lot of lids away due to mold, someone writing on them with permanent ink, breakage or dogs chewing on them.  If I constantly have to replace the lids, it will drive up the price of your milk, which I am sure you can agree would be an inconvenience.  Lastly, please, please remember to bring back your empty jars.  Over the past month alone, I have had to add over 100 jars into circulation due to jars not coming back to me.  This is not a cost I can cover in the future without having to charge a jar fee.

We have also had a some instances of property damage recently.  We love our community and the people that we provide food to and we are so happy to share our farm with you, but it is really hard to come home and discover that someone has used our property and damaged it.  There have also been instances of our livestock being fed without our consent!  For those and legal/insurance reasons, I must ask that when come to pick up your milk that you not go into the barn or explore around the farm unless you have made an appointment to do so beforehand, and please keep an eye on your children and don’t let them play on the trampoline or play structure without a farmer present.

Along that vein of scheduling, I now have two school age children!  I have spent the last month transitioning into being a full fledged, homeschooling mother of two!  Though the kids and I are around the farm a lot, a good deal of that time is now dedicated to schoolwork.  To be able to keep our schedule in order and our schooling on track, I ask that if you would like to come out to the farm and will need extra attention from me that you please, please first make an appointment with me.  I’m most available by text.

All that said, I hope that you enjoy the next few weeks as the summer bleeds away, the leaves begin to change and we transition into the rainy, Oregon fall.  Thank you for your patronage to our beautiful little farm.  It really is a pleasure to produce this quality food for you.  And, as always, ENJOY YOUR MILK.

Farmer Christine