Now that we have the butcher shop up and running we’ve been working on getting our cut and pack times down as well as adding sausage to our repertoire. I’ve made many small batches as I perfect my techniques. So far I’ve made Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Breakfast Sage and Chorizo which is a hot Spanish style sausage.
I’ve been working on scheduling CSA Pre-Buyers and Kickstarter buyers in Vermont for whole pigs, sausage and other meat packages. Deliveries started last month and I’m gradually working my way through the list to line up orders. If you’re in Vermont and are a CSA Pre-Buyer or Kickstarter backer then watch your email address for details. Once I’ve worked through that list then I’ll start on the surrounding states for people who can come to the farm (tour included!) or meet us along our weekly delivery route.
It’s great to finally be cutting our pork in our own on-farm butcher shop. A humongous thank you to everyone who helped with Kickstarter, CSA Pre-Buys and personal loans to fund the Butcher Shop at Sugar Mountain Farm!
Outdoors: 35°F/14°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 59°F/63°F
Daily Spark: Count your chicks before they hatch if you want to know how much feed to plant.
How much time of your week do you (the Jeffries) expect to spend in the butcher shop?
Right now we spend about two days a week cutting and packing. With time I expect our speed to improve – it already has. On sausage weeks I spend about another half day making sausage. My goal is about two days a week but I expect that to fluctuate with the seasons.
That seems a nice sustainable amount. Considering the prior diversity of a farm life–it would seem confining at a 40 hour week. Heck, 40 hours a week doing any one thing is too much for anyone.
The banks and government pushed hard for us to do other people’s livestock. They made it a requirement to get any loans or grants. To do it their way would have meant a much more expensive building, hiring people, working 60 hours a week and no real improvement in our quality of life. I have maintained all along that we are only interested in doing our own livestock and the work load is one of the many reasons. I’m perfectly happy to share about how I constructed our butcher shop on a very tight budget so that other farmer’s can do similar projects. The world we be a better place with many small processors scattered around. It’s great if some of them want to do other people’s animals as well as their own – that just isn’t the right mix for us.
Congrats on being up and running. As I am dreading loading and hauling pigs to the processor this week, over an hours drive from here, the thought of an on-site butcher shop makes me envious.
I don’t want to gloat over folks who are still waiting, but we got ours!!
Aye, as a very early backer and a willing experimental subject Charles got his pig cut under the Custom Exempt rules as we tested the butcher shop and just before the official opening for inspected cutting! :) Since then more backer bundles have passed through these doors.
How did you get a part time inspector? I’ve heard that you would have to pay them a full salary year round to in order to be inspected
I have been told it may be easier in a small state like Vermont than in some big states like Texas which focus on large scale processors.