TLC Ranch

  (Watsonville, California)
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What's Growing On 1.18.09

Residents of the Monterey Peninsula can now rejoice.  TLC Ranch will be trying out the Pacific Grove farmers' market with our very own booth, selling both meat and eggs.  Come by every Monday afternoon from 4-7pm (winter hours) and support this great, new market and the producers that are committed to it year-round.  A big thanks to Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms for bringing our eggs all last year and building up a strong group of dedicated customers.

Other news is that we bought a group of 21 Hereford pigs from some farmers up in Oregon and plan to grow them out.  The pigs look great, really healthy, and seemed to immediately take to foraging malva and other weeds in our fields.  Our Gloucester Old Spots are nearly ready for harvest, but don't bother asking- they are all reserved months ago.  We likely won't be selling half and whole pigs for quite some time, if at all this year.  We need all the pork we can produce for the farmers markets.

Our eggs are about one month away from finally being certified organic.  We have been dilly- dallying all these years about getting certified.  Now that so many of our eggs will be marketed a couple hours away, we won't have that face-to-face contact with our customers where we explain our growing practices.  The words on our label ("pasture-raised" and "certified organic") as well as a cool new website coming out in March will have to suffice for meeting the farmer.

Since Rebecca got a new job, we have hired a marine biologist turned farmers marketeer, Jason, to work the markets for us.  Although he is new to meat and meat sales, he is very patient and friendly.  Please say "hi" to him and share your favorite ways that you like to cook our meat.  That will help him build his recipe repertoire.


What's News 11.14.08

Jim has been installing solar-powered lights on each chicken coop, a rather tedious process but well worth the effort.  We are excited about the idea of maintaining our egg production over the winter with just a few extra hours of light a day.  Hens need approximately 14 hours of daylight to lay an egg.

We are butchering pigs for the farmers market next week, with hopes that we will have the pork back the first week of December.  We will have quite a few nice bone-in hams for the holidays, as well as sausage, pork chops, roasts, ribs, and bacon.  Welcome back bacon!!! 

Our two amazing workers, brothers Saul and Sergio, will be returning to Mexico for a couple months to spend time with their families.  It will be hard without them, but they need a break and their families miss them. 

We are still looking for land to rent or possibly purchase within the 3 counties around Monterey Bay.  We need at least 20 acres of flat to <5% sloped land, and we would consider more if it is oak woodland (pigs love acorns).  

That's all for now!

-Jim & Becky 

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