Bindel Farms

  (Spencer, Ohio)
Life on our farm
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Winter is finally here!

Today is the Winter Solstice, the official start of winter and if you live in northeast Ohio it also mean dealing with cold weather and snow.  I have to admit that we have been pretty fortunate around here this year as it just started snowing today. I can remember some years that we had snow on the ground before Thanksgiving.  We have also been pretty busy on the farm balancing farm work with getting prepared for Christmas which is only 4 days away!  I still have some Christmas shopping to do especially for my wife and my father but I should be able to accomplish that after one of my last customers arrive Sunday to picking up her Christmas turkey.

We are quite please with what our 18 month old cow dressed out at, 388 pounds hanging weight!  It might not sound like a lot for a cow but he was just a Jersey steer which is a dairy variety of cow and since he was grass fed, he did not get as large as some other breeds of beef cows on grain.

I was disappointed with a new butcher that I used this year for some of our pigs because I was told by other farmers that he was the best of the best in the area.  This is not the same butcher I discussed about in the last posting on here. With the exception of no nitrite added hams and bacon that he offers, which is the reason we went to him this year, I found out that he seriously price gouges for his services and his costs can be twice as much as other butcher shops in our area which I was not prepared for. (I normally also include processing in my price per pound cost so this is a real problem.)  One pig cost me as much as $350.00 to be processed by him!!! I know most of you are saying that I should have check out his charges before hand.  I did!  They are on his website but it is quite difficult to see and I am still going over the invoices to see where all the charges are adding up.

Although I was happy with the way the meat was cut and packaged, I was very disappointed with the way he packaged my pork fat that that I requested back which will be used to make lard.  Most butchers I deal with pack this in plastic in small quantities, I found it instead thrown all in a box and frozen like spaghetti all entangled together.

He also did not label my boxes the way I wanted which caused a problem when I got the pork back to the farm and had to rummage through 20 boxes to get one CSA pork order together.  This left some of my customers waiting while I figured out what they did and carefully packaging their pork orders.  This is a butcher I had high hopes for but I guess not anymore unless my customers want to pay a premium charge for his processing.

We are wrapping up the CSA season this year on the farm and looking for a new and prosperous 2013 year!

Before I leave I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Christmas hams, the butcher, and more!

We are almost half way through this month and in 12 day it will be Christmas!  There is so much that has happened in this month to make it so busy on the farm. 

We have been in the process of sending our hogs off to the butchers to get processed so our customers will have hams for Christmas.  We are also wrapping up our CSA program for the year with the pork orders this month.  I know a lot of customers are very excited about this because they have never had heritage Tamworth pork before.

In my search to always find a butcher who will offer more variety of no MSG sausages, we stumbled onto a not so good butcher this year.  Not that his butchering skills were bad or his sausage was bad tasting as it wasn't!  He had very good tasting sausage but unfortunately he did not keep his word to have my pork ready before Christmas so hence he does not have four hog carcasses hanging in his freezer anymore. Luckly thanks to another butcher I know who also does a great job agreed in a minute notice to squeeze these four hogs in so that my customers can have their pork back before Christmas. What was also strange about him is that he sold his frozen pork in the shop in vacuum bags but was only going to use butcher paper for my customer's pork. I even offered to pay a little more for quality plastic but he insisted that the plastic is only for beef that he process and not pork.  I was not cool with that because my customers pay me for the vacuum bags so that they don't have to spend their weekend wrapping meat for the freezer.

In other news, we will also have a cow going to the butcher in a couple days.  I am very excited about this as it is my first grass fed cow I have ever raised and I haver been waiting over 18 months to try the beef as it will be dry-aged and the cow of course was grassfed.

We also managed to sell the three boars I was stuck with that did not get castrated earlier this year.  One boar was sold to a local farm for breeding with his Hampshire sows and the other two were sold to someone who wanted to buy them to make sausage.  I told him there probably would be boar taint but it did not stop him from buying.  So I am pretty happy about this since I did not have to take them to the sales barn which is about an hour drive away from the farm.

I have also been busy trying to get registered papers for pigs I bought this year.  This year I purchased a new registered Tamworth boar and a registered Large black gilt.  Now we will be able to offer registered breeding stock of Tamworth pigs and I will also be offering for the first time a Large Black-Tamworth cross pork this coming year.  Very excited about this!


Looking for our Christmas Tree


Today we went out looking for our Christmas tree. Traditionally we go out a week after Thanksgiving and usually it is cold and sometimes snowy but today was a balmy 60 degrees.

 I alway make a point to shop local farms for product and today was no exception.  We found a tree farm several years ago not too far from home with in about half drive.  Although it was raining on the way here, it seamed to let up just in time to go out and take a hike looking for a tree.

It is such a great experience to go out and look for a tree and once you find that special tree, personally cutting it down.  This guarantees that it is fresh and will last awhile in the house.

I got to say that this farm always is well taken care of and always has plenty of trees so it usually does not take long before we find one that we like.  It is a no frill kind of place but who needs frills.  You are there to pick out a tree.

Did you shop and support your local tree farm for a Christmas tree this year?

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