Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter is Here ... Cows are in the Shed

It always seems like if I'm not prepared for something it comes and worse than expected. Then, if I am prepared it doesn't happen. But, this past few days it was a case of me being somewhat prepared and the winter storm showing up pretty much as they said it would. All told I think we had around 14 inches of snow between Tuesday night and Wednesday night and with that came high winds and then finally bitter cold temperatures. My preparation this time came in the form of working on the inside of the cattle shed.

On Monday my in-laws showed up and my father-in-law helped me line the inside walls of the shed with oak boards to protect the steel. We also built a hay feeder along the inside wall for winter feeding. I was quite surprised with how quickly everything came together and by the end of the night we had the inside of the shed mostly done and even had the fencing up for the winter paddock. With all of that accomplished I decided that I might as well have a little cattle drive and move everyone the one hundred yards or so to their new home.

The cattle drive was a piece of cake. I just called the cows over and led them across the yard with a bale of hay. I can now look out the front windows and not see any cows ... it is a nice sense of accomplishment to see an empty pasture. Also, feeding in the shed is much easier and less wasteful because everything is contained in the feeder and the feeder is right next to the hay storage. (I hope to have pictures up soon)

But, none of this would have been possible without the help of my father-in-law. He is a woodworker and has made much of the furniture in our house, but he has also lent his skills to us building the house and finishing up the shed (the inside and the steel siding). The picture on the left is of a roll top desk he made for my wife. You can check out some of the other pieces he has made and see what is available on his website (he is taking orders and has a few things in the shop ready to go) ... I think the shed is pretty nice, but as you can see he can do quite a bit more!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Stoneyfield Farm Thanksgiving Update

Happy Thanksgiving from Stoneyfield Farm!

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you were able to reflect on the blessings from the year. We have been blessed so much on the farm this past year through friends and family. We were glad to be able to spend the holiday with our families and happy to share a Stoneyfield ham on Thanksgiving Day with so many who have helped us.

With more holiday parties coming up and people looking for a gift for that person who has everything, I thought I would take a minute to share with you what we will have available this winter for meat. Right now we have 3 different options with our pork: sampler packages, individual pork cuts / sampler add ons, and orders for wholes and halves.

As always, our hogs are raised according to the same standards as Niman Ranch. They are kept outside free of confinement houses and have been allowed to live the way pigs were designed to live - rooting up the ground, wallowing in the mud, and relaxing in the sun. They have not been given or fed any antibiotics or hormones, and their custom rations contain no animal proteins.

~+~ Wholes and Halves ~+~
We are now taking orders for our winter pork that will be sold as halves and wholes. Our processing date is scheduled for January 14 with the pork being ready around the last week of January. The price per pound hanging weight to Stoneyfield Farm is $1.85. There will also be a locker fee of around $0.60 - $0.65, depending on the types of cuts chosen. We have attached a locker worksheet showing the various cut options.

~+~ Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages ~+~
Our Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages are still available while supplies last. Although we currently have a variety of choices, we do only have one package left for a couple of our sampler package options. A comparison chart of our sampler packages is attached and prices for packages are as follows:

Sampler 1 $25 (~6 – 6.5 lbs)
Loin End Roast, Sandwich Ham, Bacon, Cottage Bacon, Breakfast Sausage

Sampler 2 $25 (~5.5 – 6 lbs)
Butterfly Chops (2), Ham Steak, Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Ham Hock

Sampler 3 $30 (~7.5 – 8 lbs)
Loin End Roast, Ham Roast, Cottage Bacon, Italian Sausage, Soup Bone

Sampler 4 $30 (~7.5 – 8 lbs)
Iowa Chops (2), Ribs, Ham Steak, Bacon, Italian Sausage

Sampler 5 $35 (~7 – 7.5 lbs)
Tenderloin (2 unbreaded), Sandwich Ham, Shoulder Roast, Bacon, Ground Pork, Soup Bone

Sampler 6 $40 (~9 – 9.5 lbs) SOLD OUT
Butterfly Chops (2), Ham Steak, Shoulder Roast, Bacon, Italian Sausage, Ground Pork, Ham Hock

~+~ Individual Pork Cuts / Sampler Add Ons ~+~
Our Individual Pork Cuts / Sampler Add Ons are new and will be available as supplies last. If you found a sampler package you like but want just a bit more, you can buy individual cuts of pork by the pound. These cuts are also available without purchasing a sampler package if you just want to give our pork a try. Prices for individual cuts are as follows*:

~ Ham Cuts ~
Sandwich Ham - $5.00/lb
Ham Steaks - $5.00/lb
Ham Roasts - $5.00/lb

~ Bacon Cuts ~
Cottage Bacon - $5.75/lb
Traditional Bacon - $5.50/lb

~ Loin Cuts ~
Iowa Chops - $4.25/lb
Butterfly Chops - $4.50/lb
Tenderloin (unbreaded) - $5.00/ lb

~ Roasts ~
Shoulder Roast - $3.75/lb
Sirloin Roasts - $4.25/lb

~ Ground ~
Ground Pork - $3.00/lb
Breakfast Sausage - $3.25/lb
Italian Sausage - $3.50/lb

~ Ribs ~
Ribs - $3.75/lb

~ Soup Bones ~
Soup Bones - $1.80/lb
Ham Hocks - $1.80/lb

~+~ Pork Delivery ~+~
The Mix and Match Pork Sampler Packages and Pork Sampler Add Ons / Individual Cuts can both be purchased from our farm. We are also able to deliver into Knoxville most days and can deliver to drop off locations in Pella, Des Moines, and Cedar Falls when we gather enough orders for a trip. We will consider other delivery locations if there is enough interest.

~+~ Grass Fed Dexter Beef ~+~
We have been getting quite a few inquiries about our Grass Fed Dexter Beef. Since we are building up our herd right now, we are not yet selling by the whole and half. We are hoping to have sampler packages available on a limited basis this winter. All we are waiting on now is making some additional room in our freezer (by selling a few more pork sampler packages) or by acquiring another freezer. We are currently taking names to be put on our waiting list for our beef. Our waiting list is getting quite long, but we will work our way down the list as soon as we have beef available.

If you have any questions about our grass fed beef or naturally raised pork sampler packages, individual cuts, or wholes and halves, please feel free to contact us. May your blessings continue to be evident as we move into the advent season!

*Some prices have been adjusted since our newsletter.

If you have any questions about our grass fed beef or naturally raised pork sampler packages, individual cuts, or wholes and halves, please feel free to e-mail us . May your blessings continue to be evident as we move into the advent season!

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