Duran's Farm Fresh Products

  (Waterford, Pennsylvania)
news from Duran's
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BUSY, BUSY, BUSY HERE ON THE FARM !

Busy seems to be the verb around here these days.  We have 9 sows due to deliver baby pigs before the end of next month, just in time for all you 4H youth out there, and also for anyone that would like to be a part of our "adopt a pig" program.  We have 3 litters, and 6 more to go.

We have ordered all our seeds and they should be arriving here shortly, then it's off to the greenhouse to get busy playing in the dirt! I have a HUGE box of daffodil and tulip bulbs I ordered (200 or so, if I remember right) and I hope to force them into blooms for Easter. If all goes well, they will be offered for sale at a much lower price than the stores. I'm anxious to get the flower seeds in early and not let myself plant the vegetables too early...it's hard...fresh tomatoes are TOO tempting ! yum!

We will also be picking up 60 more hens (17 weeks old) that will begin laying about the end of May or June to ADD to our flock we have now. They are just beginning to lay, so I am confident that we will not have a 'waiting list' for our fresh brown eggs very very soon. 

We are still gaining about 2-5 more milk customers every month...word of mouth is a powerful tool it seems. People are becoming very aware of the food they eat and buy and like the peace of mind that comes from knowing where your food comes from, how it was raised, and what went into producing it (or better yet, what did NOT go into it !) Pot O Gold Dairy is a family operated Christian farm where we purchase milk for our family and yours. We order every FRIDAY and pick up your milk the following week. They come in 1/2 gallon GLASS bottles and I usually try to purchase a few flavored milks in the 12 ounce 'pot bellie' containers as well.

We are making progress with the country store being built as soon as the weather breaks.  It's funny....it sure doesn't see like 10 years that we've been sharing the bounty with our community. Wow.  We love what we do and being able to share the Blessings of good food, properly raised, has not only brought us you as consumers, but as friends.  Once we get the formal 'go ahead' from Waterford Township, and the weather breaks, we expect to see the store go up within a month or so.  We will truly appreciate your patience, as we acclimate ourselves to our new environment and make changes in our inventory to best serve your needs.

We've have numerous repsonses to our survey and many great ideas for classes or workshops to be held here.  We're really looking forward to that unique aspect of the store and wait eagerly to see how it progresses.

I am currently shopping around for the meat slicer we'll need for our lunch meats and cheeses and for a grain grinder so that you can (or we will) grind your whole grains here in the store for you.  I'm anticipating the wonderful aromas from the oven with fresh baked whole grain breads...mmmm.  Add some freshly churned butter from the raw milk, some tomato slices from the garden, a leaf of two of lettuce, also from the garden and that lovely thick sliced, hickory smoked bacon from our own pigs....the perfect meal for me!! That's what I call heaven!

I guess the only thing I didn't mention was our cattle.  They are enjoying their time in the barn now, due to that white stuff out there in the pasture.  We just added 3 ANGUS heifers that are due to deliver in April to our herd.  We have Hereford, Herford-Angus cross, and Jersey steers that are ready to be part of our 'adopt a cow' program.  You can be sure of the quality of beef you'll receive with no growth hormones and raised the way the Lord intended them to be.  They are 80% grass fed, with grain supplement, depending on the quality of that year's hay crop we put in.

Here's looking to Spring and all the possibilities and Blessings it will hold !

Thanks for dropping by, and if you ever have questions or need to contact us, please feel free, either by email, website, or phone. We'll be happy to hear from you !

Blaine & Karen

 
 

JANUARY 2010--- A BRAND NEW YEAR

There are so many things here on the farm that will be growing and changing this year, it’s hard to hold back the eagerness for spring, the anticipation of the new store, and all that it holds. Right now we are full of questions and you, our loyal and supportive customers have the answers we seek.

If you would like to help us better serve you and the community, we are looking for MUCH INPUT from you.We will be ordering seeds soon, preparing to build and stock the bulk foods store and tend to the plants in the greenhouse.  Questions you might comment on:

**What plants and varieties of plants will you be shopping for?
**What kind of bulk food items would you like us to carry?
**We will be carrying cheese making supplies–what items would you like to see us offer?

**We will offer a small selection of health and beauty items...organic, all natural....anything in particular we should search for?
**We will reserve space in our store for workshops and classes. One of the first ones will be cheese making. We’d like to recruit someone for a canning/freezing/preserving food class….know anyone?
**Ideas on other workshops you’d be interested in??

We are accepting bids for the construction of our store. If you know of a construction crew willing to put in a bid for the job, have them contact us asap. We’d like to break ground as soon as the weather permits. We would like to open the doors for business in April or May.

Other notes to be aware of:

We still have a few pigs and steers waiting to be adopted for your freezers. This will be first come, first serve. We have 9 more sows that will be delivering this month and next, for 4 H youth projects. We’ve already been contacted by several families wanting us to ‘hold’ animals for them. We look forward to traveling to the local fairs and seeing our animals all grown up, so to speak, and how well the youth have done in raising them.

We appreciate any and all comments, suggestions and questions as we take this huge step into unknown territory concerning the store opening. We will be adding and changing our inventory as time passes and we learn what products you desire and need.

JANUARY’S $25.00 CONTEST !!
Please do not forget that in about 2 weeks we will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one lucky winner from our mailing list. If you are on our list, you are already entered. If you’d like to be entered a 2nd, 3rd or more times, refer another person to be added. Be sure they mention your name or email addy and they will be entered and you will receive an additonal entry for each one you refer. February, we will be giving away $25.00 CASH for that month’s give away. Just a small way for us to say THANKS to you all.

Keep warm out there and God Bless !
Blaine & Karen

13 January

May you all have a Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year

We wish all of our customers, both old and new, the most Blessed Christmas and Joyful New Year.

Each new year brings hope and promise for new beginnings. It also makes us reflect on loved ones we’ve lost the past year and hardships we might have struggled through. Remember the One who became one of us, to pay the perfect price so that we would have more than the hope of 1 new year, we have the hope of salvation in eternity.

May 2010 bring you all the joy and opportunities you dream of.

Blaine & Karen

22 December

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

Wishing all our customers and friends a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms.”
Psalm 95:2

25 November

MORE PORK AVAILABLE FOR YOUR FREEZER

We delivered another litter of baby pigs yesterday the 12th. She had 14 total. That is a reasonable and good size litter. They look great!

If you missed out on the last 2 litters that were adopted, you have another chance. If you would like feeder pigs to raise yourself, these ones will be 6 weeks old and weaned just about Christmas Day. Call Blaine at 450 4811 after then, to purchase or tag.

These pigs will be ready for your freezer about May. We will still deliver them to your butcher FREE OF CHARGE. You have TOTAL CONTROL OVER HOW YOU WANT YOUR ANIMAL PROCESSED AND PACKAGED. WE ACCEPT CASH, LOCAL CHECKS, AND YOU CAN USE YOUR DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD IF YOU USE OUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT.

If you are interested in the ALL NATURAL, QUALITY PORK for you and your family, this is for you. We do not give the animals any type of growth hormones or chemicals to get them to market weight sooner than God allows.

You purchase the animal at 6 weeks old, we tag it with a number, we set up an account for you and then you pay us on a monthly basis to help with the cost of feed and care. You would pay every month for 4-6 months depending on how fast the animal grows. You could also pay in full at any time, and if you do, call Blaine, as he might give you a special price. Paying by the month, helps us with our feed bills, and helps you pay a little bit each month, rather than the total amount when it’s ready to go to the butcher. When we deliver it to the local butcher, you are responsible for the processing costs, which usually are between 30 and 40 cents per pound. A pig at a good market weight should be bewteeen 200 and 250 pounds.

There are different ‘weights’ you should know about. Live weight is the amount of pounds Blaine gets paid for the animal (you pay him); Hanging weight is the weight of the animal when the butcher is ready to process it; and then there is the total amount of pounds of pork or beef you have in your freezer. Each weight is just a little bit less than the first. If you have questions about this, call Blaine anytime and he can explain it a whole lot easier !!!

OVERALL, YOU USUALLY END UP PAYING BETWEEN $2.00 AND $2.50 PER POUND WHEN YOU’RE SAID AND DONE, AND THAT IS BOTH PORK AND BEEF.

SO IF YOU NEED PORK OR BEEF FOR YOUR FREEZERS, WE HAVE PIGS AND STEERS READY TO ADOPT OUT ANY TIME AFTER CHRISTMAS !!

THIS WILL BE ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS, AND THEY WILL PROBABLY GO QUICKLY.

You can email us (kmduran@earthlink.net), call the house (814 796 2849); or call us directly (Blaine 814 450 4811) (Karen 814 490 2179).

13 November

GIFT CERTIFICATES NOW AVAILABLE

Due to several requests for gift certificates, we are now making them available to everyone. You may purchase them on your next visit to the farm, request by phone (814 490 2179), or request online. You may pay by cash, check, and debit or credit cards if you use our paypal account. We reserve the right to delay the receipt of the certificate until unknown checks clear our bank. If we suspect any duplicating or copying of these documents, we cannot honor them.

You may purchase a gift certificate in any amount. They can be used for ANY product here on the farm. Currently they will be credited on purchases of Milk and Eggs, but once the store opens in the Spring, you can use them for a variety of products: bulk food items, cheese, honey, maple syrup, candy, lunch meat, seasonal produce, garden plants, and cuts of our all natural cuts of beef and pork, raised right here on the farm.

They would make a GREAT stocking stuffer for this Christmas!

6 November

TONS OF EXTRA MILK THIS WEEK

Due to some unforseen problems last week, we have some extra milk available for anyone who has been wanting to come out and buy some, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

This week is YOUR week! We have some larger orders we picked up today, and they are overlapping, so we are offering the extra to you for this week only.

Check out the Pot O Gold page for prices. Black Raspberry is the flavor this week. I have TONS of Raw, Chocolate, Whole, 2% and a few Skim and a couple of the Black Raspberry.

You can email me, or better yet, call me asap and I will hold your milk order and tag it with your name and you can pick it up at your convenience here.
Call Karen 814 490 2179

If you know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to call and come out and try this great milk, bottled right there at Pot O Gold Dairy and brought here to Waterford, just for you.

OH! AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE ON OUR EMAIL (ONLY) MAILING LIST, PLEASE send your name (first only is fine) and email addy to us: kmduran@earthlink.net with ADD TO MAILING LIST IN SUBJECT LINE.

CALL TODAY !

5 November

TRANSITION TIME

Well folks, it is time.

This past Sunday we moved the roadside stand back away from the road in preparation for the store to be built this spring.

WE WILL STILL HAVE MILK AND EGGS ALL WINTER LONG!!!

Our hours will remain the same, Mon — Sat 10am to 7pm and Sun 10am to 6pm.

Just pull in the driveway , back to the stand, which is next to the greenhouse. The door facing the driveway will be the one you will use. ALL MILK ORDERS WILL BE STORED THERE FROM NOW ON. The eggs will be in one of the smaller coolers. We have installed some lights and connected the electric so we are up and running. We may even place a Kerosene heater out there during the colder days just to be sure that nothing freezes.

Please note a slight change of inventory control for us. When you pick up your milk / eggs orders, please fill out the sheet on the clipboard provided with your NAME, WHAT YOU BOUGHT, BOTTLES RETURNED, AND AMOUNT PAID so that I can keep my books straight and the inventory current. The money for your purchases will still be placed in the cash box and the security camera will be rolling, just because we are still having people stop and not pay or not pay the correct amount. If anyone needs change or assistance, we leave a dry erase board up letting you know we’re home and not working. Just come to the house or barn (depending on where we are) and we are happy to help you.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
IF YOU ARE PICKING UP YOUR MILK ORDERS, PLEASE PICK UP ONLY WHAT YOU ORDER, SO THAT EVERYONE GETS THE CORRECT AMOUNT. If you do need extra or a change in your order, call us first to be sure we can accomodate this. Call Karen 490 2179.

We will still be purchasing extra bottles every week for the new customers that happen by, and for changes in orders at the last minute, but definitely not the amount we have been in the past. Due to the upcoming weather, we don’t anticipate as many ‘new’ customers dropping by. And since we pay the dairy up front, we don’t want to have milk leftover that we cannot sell.

We have sold/adopted out all the pigs we had available and the new litters will be born sometime after the first of the year–February or March perhaps. We have 3 calves, to be adopted for freezer beef and another 9 coming after they are born.

The cattle out in the pasture will be brought into the barn for winter in the near future so it will be nice to have a fuller barn again! The new chicks I purchased in September are growing FAST! Boy do they eat ALOT! They should begin laying eggs about March so that will help us keep up with your egg purchases. Right now, I am filling orders so the stand will NOT have eggs available for about a week for anyone that stops by. EGGS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE ABOUT NOVEMBER 1ST OR SOONER. Just call, email or leave us a note with your eggs order and phone number and we’ll call you as soon as we have them ready for you.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND PRAYERS AS WE MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS NEW VENTURE OF HAVING A STORE FOR YOU!!

Blaine & Karen

26 October

OCTOBER UPDATE

WELCOME!
Well, the garden is done producing for the year so I guess it’s time to post a little update here for you all.

We will have cabbage, pumpkins, winter squash, carrots, peppers available until they are all gone or sold. And corn stalks for those of you who have asked for them. A bundle is only $1 for about 12 or so stalks.

Our 60 new hens arrived on the 24th of September, as day old chicks, so that we can keep up with your demand for the brown eggs. They will be ready to lay in 6 months–March 2010. That should bring our total flock up to about 140 or so. Blaine has picked up 3 calves so far from Pot O Gold dairy of the 12 we are getting to feed out for you and your freezers. We will offer them the same as our pigs. You can pay by the month while we raise them for you, or pay in full at any time. Delivery to 1 of the local butchers is always FREE. Our 2 litters of pigs born the end of August are ready to tag/choose or to purchase and feed out yourselves.
We’ve already had 1 customer wanting to buy all of them, but since I know that several of you have asked for one, we had to turn him down. He wanted all or none. These pigs should be ready for your freezers about Feb/Mar 2010. You will need to contact us asap if you want one. We will be tagging and setting up accounts on a first come, first serve basis. When they are all tagged, we will not have anymore due to farrow until spring and those, most likely, will be sold to local 4H youth for next fall’s fairs. Pigs take about 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days to farrow once they are bred. So more will always be available.

REMEMBER, when we close up the stand for the winter months, we will STILL HAVE BROWN EGGS AND POT O GOLD MILK AVAILABLE ALL YEAR ROUND. It will be available here at the house, and we try out best to accomodate your’s and our busy work schedules. ( we both have full time outside jobs). Contact us anytime to purchase, order or if you just have questions. I usually order several extra bottles of milk from week to week for first time customers or if someone is just running a bit short and needs an extra bottle or two. A simple phone call and I can let you know if we have what you need. CALL ANYTIME–490-2179 and I’ll be happy to help you!

We have contacted a builder and are working with Gannon’s small business development center to open our full time store hopefully in the spring. We will have the same quality items you buy now: eggs, milk, seasonal produce and garden plants but we will be adding bulk food items, lunchmeats and cheeses, and freezer cuts of beef and pork rather than having to purchase an entire animal. It will be processed through Walter’s meats who is USDA inspected.

We expect to be busy enough to repay the loans needed to build the building and cover the increased insurance costs as well as try to do some adverstising. We have seen our customers grow in numbers by just word of mouth, so if we add the formal advertising, we should be able to keep busy enough to be successful. Please keep this venture for us in your prayers, so we can continue to supply your needs for Farm Fresh items.

We always like to hear from you, so feel free to contact us anytime!

Blaine & Karen

30 September

BABY PIGS BORN TODAY 8/23/09

Just a quick update–we had the first of 3 litters of baby pigs born today. Some have already been requested by previous customers, so not all that were born today are available.

If you are interested in purchasing one, we sell them when they are 6 weeks old, when they are weaned or if you’d like us to raise one for you, you may purchase one anytime (you are welcome to come out to the farm and choose one or we can tag one for you).
These pigs should be at market weight and ready to butcher about March/April 2010.

They will go quickly, so if you have questions or need more information contact us anytime!

23 August

BEEF FOR YOUR FREEZER

Finally! We are in the process of acquiring 12 head of Jersey cattle that we will be feeding out for you and your freezers.

Pigs only take about 6 months to raise to market weight, where cattle will take 18 months to 2 years to feed them out to market weight-aprx 1000-1200 pounds.

You will receive the same great all natural quality of meat and the knowledge that these animals are never given any growth hormones to speed up the process. We would still deliver the animal to your butcher of choice when it’s time and you decide how you want the animal processed, the same as with the pork. Your cost of processing is the same per pound, but realize you will be receiving alot more pounds than with a pig! A ball park estimate of processing costs could be anywhere from $300 and up for an animal that would be the correct weight. You could contact your butcher and ask them directly at any time for a more exact cost.

You may wait until the animals are at market weight and pay in full, but you also can set up an account with us and make payments at your convenience. We are compiling a list of interested buyers at the moment and you can add your name at any time. It would be best if you were sharing the animal, to make those arrangements so that we can sell a whole animal and not have to find customers for a 1/2 or 1/4 beef.

We are still gathering information on opening a full time store, and if that comes to be, then we should be able to offer cuts of beef and pork rather than the whole animal. Keep us in your prayers for this business venture, and we will see where we are led.

Thanks!
Blaine & Karen

12 August
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last snow of the season, we hope

Well, that Erie lake effect snow thing has happened again and hopefully it will be the last of the season.  Here on the farm we are preparing for spring, as are most rural people in the area, I'm sure.

I will be confined to the house here for a month or so after tomorrow's surgery. Not looking forward to it and hoping the recovery time will pass quickly and with as lilttle pain as possible.  I am having both knees partially replaced, or at least they have promised to fix the problems I have had since a car accident in 2004 when my vehicle was T-boned by a school bus.  Funny how long it takes to realize that something is wrong.

Here on the farm, we have delivered 4 litters of baby pigs, which the majority of are spoken for by local 4H youth. We have had a small number this year per litter and not quite sure the reasons.  We are checking into this and are thinking it might be the minerals that were added to the feed. Very nice gilts and barrows and they are growing very nicely.  We hope to see some of them in the upcoming fairs in a few months and hope to see them with those treasured banners above their pens!

I have been hobbling back and forth to the new greenhouse to check on the seedlings and start more seeds for  the garden and for customers that will want to buy for their home gardens.  They are progressing nicely. I have started quite a few flats of flowers and am anxious to see if my green thumb extends to flowers as well as the vegetable plants.  I tried my hand at 'forcing' daffadil and tulip bulbs this year and am learning for next year's crop. I hope to have an abundance next year in time for your Easter purchases. This year they have done well, but I see room for improvement. 

I know this snowfall will last today and tomorrow, perhaps, but am looking forward to worrying about keeping the greenhouse cool rather than warm.  I know hubby dearest is looking forward to having time to check the pasture fence and make any repairs so that Bully and the girls can get out to the pasture real soon and the 'shoveling' will be on hold for them, at least until November when it will be time to put them back in the barn. We should have 2 calves born and are hoping of course for heifers to build on the herd. Right now we have : Bully, Nina, Lily, Petey, and Calvin (he was Oreo but as he grew, he looks more like the Calvin of "Calvin & Hobbs", thus the name change). 

We are looking for breeding swine as well, to alter our blood lines. If anyone knows of gilts in the Erie or into Ohio area, please, please, please let us know.  We have purchased from Parrish farms before in the past, but for the price, we aren't that pleased with the outcomes.  Nice looking pigs, but not that great when they farrow, with litter size and 'momma' attitude.

Sure would like to see some comments, a review or two of our new website and hear from other local farmers, so check us out anytime at www.duransfarmfreshproducts.com

thanks for reading,

Blaine and Karen 

 
 
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