The trailer from our local meat processor just left with some of our pigs on board. By law, we're required to send them to a USDA-inspected slaughtering facility. We are able to process the sides of meat here at the farm, which means a busy week next week. I'm usually in charge of the wrapping & labeling of our pork products, as well as mixing up the herbs & spices for our multiple sausage varieties. Some of the pigs that left today will go towards filling last fall's freezer pork orders, and the rest will be frozen for sale at the stand when we open at the end of the month. We'll have fresh pork as well, but we like to have some frozen on hand too, and this allows the necessary time for the smoking & curing of the hams and bacons so we'll be able to have those as well. It was nice to have a break from meat processing over the winter, but it's that time of the year again. It really takes a lot of planning to get everything scheduled properly!
We moved our broiler chickens to a larger pen today. We want to get them out on pasture as soon as possible, but it actually snowed here today and these birds just don't handle cold & wet weather well. To keep them healthy without pumping them full of antibiotics, we decided it was best to put them in another indoor pen with a raised floor, but we'll be watching the weather to get them out on grass as soon as possible. Unlike the pork, we are able to process our chicken start to finish here at the farm, so that will take place just a couple of days before our opening day. Not only will we have some chicken available at the reopening of the stand, we also have a new batch of broiler birds arriving this week. They will be able to be out on grass for a longer period of time, as we hope the weather will cooperate when they no longer need their heat lamps in a few weeks.
The cold continues tonight, with frost forecasted. We're a bit concerned about some of the crops, like sweet corn and blueberries, but the majority of what's in the ground, like lettuce and onions, won't be damaged if it gets nipped by frost. It's so exciting to actually see veggies up, and I even have some early radishes to incorporate into our dinner tonight.
I was delighted with the new bottles that arrived this week and have been in the process of filling them with flavored vinegars. Our Thai Sweet & Hot dipping sauce will be in them as well, so be sure to check them out when you stop to see us!