Colors of leaves are changing slowly, enrichening the odyssey at this time of year.
We wrestle with some anxiety as the leaves turn, because the odyssey that faithfully takes us from summer to winter, and from summer markets to winter markets, typically reduces our income by half. Many regular customers from the summer market disappear over the winter. We wonder why - perhaps because the social aspect of the marketplace is less, the winter market is more inconvenient due to adverse weather, or the novelty wears off... But nutrient-dense foods are not novelties; they are basic staples of life, upon which civilizations and well-being have depended over millennia.
Since our costs as a business continue unabated through the winter, we are looking for ways to invite customers to continue to patronize us during this time. If you can empathize with our challenge, here is a proposal that might resonate with you.
A number of you have expressed interest in our Simple Giftssubscription program. We are hoping to encourage you to give it a try.
This program presents two meals per week of prepared meats, per individual. The meats include: beef barbacoa, pulled pork, short-rib burgers, meatballs, Moroccan or Vietnamese Sliders, chili, Italian sausage, and Bolognese sauce, at this point. The Italian sausage is prepared by the meat processor, and all else is lovingly and expertly prepared in Susan's Soulful Kitchen. It is truly exquisite food, that can be cooked or heated up in about 15 minutes. During the course of a month, you do not receive duplicates, unless you ask for them. Your package is picked up every other week at the local farmers market, but can also be delivered to your home for a fee. Storage required in the freezer is no larger than a shoe box. If you are out of town, we hold the delivery for a later date. This is a customized and flexible service, with the goal to simplify your life, by providing soulful care-packages of excellent prepared food. You pay in advance for one of four options: a Single for two months, a Single for six months, a Household (two singles) for two months, a Household for six months. Prices average around $9/person/meal. Most of you have tried our prepared foods by now, and know how good they are.
Below is testimony from one of our courageous early-adapters - Catherine:
I've really enjoyed my Simple Gifts subscription. I have been very happy with the meals each week. Everything has been delicious and so convenient. If I forget to take something out of the freezer all I need to do is boil it in the bag for about 15 minutes and dinner is on the table in no time. Whether you are a novice or expert cook, the subscription is wonderful.
You incur little risk by taking this plunge, as we guarantee our products. We need foul-weather customers as well as fair-weather. Please consider whether Simple Gifts would be a good fit for you. It would certainly help carry us through the winter blues.
If you are on the fence about this program, we hope this entreaty will entice you to take the plunge and give it a try, the way Catherine did. She bought a Household for Six months for herself, providing 4 prepared meats per week for her table. Let your odyssey be enriched this winter by Simple Gifts, which you may purchase by going to:
We always have projects underway of one sort or another on the farm. Below are pictures of a laneway we are constructing to pass beneath a bridge, so dairy cows may more easily access a pasture on the other side of the road.
When composing these newsletters, the question arises of what to say that is meaningful, that honors your precious time. The answer always seems to be simply to convey what is transpiring on the farm, for that is real and thus worthy.
Today a disturbing event unfolded, which was indeed real, reflecting a potent odyssey in itself. Upon returning to the farm from Cincinnati this Thursday morning around 10:30 AM, I couldn't help noticing 15 police cars clustered in the small town of Cynthiana, outside of which our farm is located. They were gathered around a pick-up truck they had chased for 20 miles, that ended its flight by crashing into the broad side of a mobile home in Cynthiana. The home and truck were destroyed; the female passenger was taken into custody; and the male passenger escaped on foot, at a fast run. The truck, which proved to be stolen, was full of drug paraphernalia. The driver escaped into a corn field, crossed a busy road, and headed up a wooded hillside, as reported by the police. A patrolman with a dog was on the hillside, tracking the man, by the time I showed up. Resolution seemed at hand.
This wooded hillside was across a fairly busy road from our barns, and I felt safe the action was moving away from rather than toward us... How wrong I was. It turns out the escapee came back across the busy road into a patch of woods, that led directly to our barnyard. In plain daylight, he then climbed into one of our pick-up trucks, and drove out the front lane and down the road, escaping notice of the many policemen. At the time, Brendan was in the fields attending to our livestock, and noticed the truck missing upon returning to the barnyard to head home for lunch. He notified the police right away, but the culprit had been gone for nearly two hours. Truck and culprit remain at large, as of this writing.
In April, drug-induced tragedy struck an entire family in Pike County, twenty miles from our doorstep. Today, that tragedy entered our barnyard. Such incident calls on our emotional and psychological courage to make sense of it. This kind of incident doesn't happen often, but it does happen. It is a grievous symptom of a failed agri-industrial policy, which produces food at low-cost financially, but high-cost sociologically, environmentally, and medically. The disenfranchised farm-worker ends up dealing drugs to make ends meet, instead of walking the land in care of animals and soil. How different his life could be.
We are on the front lines out here, engaging with these acute sociological distortions, all the while committed to bringing nutrient-dense, grassfed meats to you. The beauty of the picture below, taken during our wedding celebration, does not tell of this particular illness, running like water down the ravines of the hillsides.
The power of your pocket-book to affect change is profound. When purchasing foods from us, you are: addressing climate change, by storing carbon in soils through grazing methods; addressing rural unemployment, by providing meaningful jobs on farms like ours; creating health for you and your children, by investing in grassfed foods; and helping us run a business, by providing revenues and cash-flow. You are critical to much that happens way out here in the country, as well as in your own homes. You should feel good about that.
We will be attending the first indoor market for Hyde Park at Clark Montessori (3030 Erie Ave.) this Sunday, from 10 - 1.
Beth & Bob will be at Findlay Market on Saturday and Sunday this week.
We commence on-line ordering for Milford, now, for delivery Wednesday Nov. 16, at 5:30, at the same location as the summer market, in front of Grant's Nursery.