TLC Ranch

  (Watsonville, California)
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What's Growing On 12.16.08

Hello folks!  Our pork is back at the farmers' markets.  Boy does absence make the heart grown fonder, in this case, the belly has gotten fonder.  People are lining up to get their share of hams, chops, roasts, ground pork, sausage, bacon, ribs, hocks, and more. We sell out fast, so get to the markets early to get the best pick.

Our solar-powered lights are up and running.  Without these lights, our egg production would have dropped to around 75 dozen a day, but we are maintaining around 135 dozen a day with the lights.  The lights allow us to give the hens a full 14 hours of daylight so that we continue to get decent egg production in the winter.  If not, we would get really far behind on our feed bills!

We are gearing up to sell our eggs into a lot more markets and stores next year.  By February of next year, we should be the LARGEST pasture-based laying hen operation in the country! We are also getting certified organic and getting beautifully designed egg cartons made.

Other than that, things are still very busy.  With animals there is really no off season.  We can't do any traveling because the eggs have to be collected daily and the animals fed and watered too.  We will be at home for Christmas, probably savoring one of our ham roasts or a leg of lamb.  Still working out the menu...


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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