Who are the Hillbilly's, Part 3
Continued from yesterday's post where you can get caught up here.
When you move to a piece of property there is a lot to take in. What will you do first, what is a necessity, what would be nice to have? We knew we had a lot of land clearing to do, we had fencing to consider, and we wanted animals! Pigs, goats, chickens, & sheep were all on our list. We assessed fencing integrity, grasses, problem areas, and ideal areas for each animal.
Our primary goal has been to provide the most nutrient-dense and best quality meat. During our co-op days and before moving to the farm, we paid particular attention to the requests of our customers. Meeting their needs/expectations was the driving force in the type of meats we sold. We became affluent in what feeds the farmers used, how their animals were raised, what the animals living environments looked like, how often they were rotated and were they on pasture? This was all before the animals made it to the butcher. Once there, we paid particular attention to what ingredients went into every sausage and cured meat we sold so we knew this would be a challenge as we started to work through all of these logistics for our own farm.
We didn't own a livestock trailer until the day we went to pick up our first two pigs. Soon after that, we bought our first 6 sheep, a few goats, 6 chickens, and a slurry of other farm friends that have come and gone. As we look back on our learning curve, it has been steep. Things move quickly and we always hope they move in the right order, but even when that's not the case, we make adjustments and move forward.
We are on our second processor and our first boar is no longer with us. Our donkey hated us, and we are pretty sure that the goats that have come and gone have left for the last time. Our fencing and rotation strategy has changed at least 6 times as we have learned to use our land. And as much as we plan and dream there will always be nuances to those goals. We stay flexible, we communicate, and we do it together.
Our motivation to eat clean, passionately raised meats came over us like a wave. How that led us to where we are today I can only thank the good Lord above for laying it on our hearts and guiding us to fulfill those dreams. We thank every single farmer that has guided us, friends and family that have supported and believed in us, and customers that develop a taste to eat like a hillbilly too. We are looking forward to serving more delicious meats to more customers in 2020.