Monday, January 3, 2011

A year in review

OK quick, who can find the mistake on our business card?  Got it ? Yup. The word horomone should be HORmone. See what happens when the proofreader is also the secretary and the relief calf feeder, and the laundress and the chicken egg collector and the cook and the bookkeeper ? Mistakes happen. Just one more thing to put in our 2010 yearbook.

No, I'm not going to attempt to review our entire farms operation in one blog, but I thought I would start tonight and continue through the week. Keith and I have so very much to review such as what worked, what didn't, WHO worked, who didn't. We need to rip apart the finances (ouch !) and decide where else expense reductions can be made  and which areas must we pour some more money into and then decide where that money will come from. We need a one year plan, a five year plan and a ten year plan. We do not need a 15 year plan because in 10 years and one day I will be reclining in my leather club chair in front of my roaring peat fire in my little cottage on the Cliffs of Moher. Really, it could happen. Those derelict cottages clinging to the side of the cliffs are already half price this year.

So before we can plan we need to review. These are the primary profit centers of South Pork Ranch, and I use the word "profit" quite loosely.

     Certified Organic Dairy which provides
               Raw Milk for sales to
                      direct customers who come to the farm to get milk
               Organic Beef from steers and cull cows for sales to
                     direct customers by the quarter, half and whole
               Grocery stores by the piece

     Certified Organic Pastured Pork which provides
               Organic Pork for sales to:
                      Direct customers by the half and whole
                      Grocery stores by the piece
                      Restaurants by the half and the whole

     On site Farm Store which provides
              Organic beef and pork by the piece to the consumer
                      who drives to our farm.
              Honey in the bottle from our own hives
              Homemade soap.
              Organic corn meal and wheat flour produced by a farmer friend
              T-shirts with our farms' logo.

That concludes the profit part of our farm. Or at least those areas with the largest potential for profit. Tomorrow I will spend time on Quicken looking at those areas of most activity. I am sure meat sales will rise to the top, yes even higher than the cream on our organic milk, but in order to plan for this next year I will need to know which meat (beef or pork) and then which cuts were most popular.

Ground beef or Italian Sausage ? Pig feet or beef stew meat ? Meat by the piece or by the carcass. Bacon ? Of course. We can never keep enough bacon around. Last night I saw a couple of our customers out in the hog pasture with Kinsu knives just waiting for a "sudden death."  Like those pansy handed, Nike wearing, ranch house dwellers would even know how to cut slab bacon out of a pork belly. Get real. Well maybe Mike Manahan  could do it but not you other city slickers.

So I have work to do. Stay tuned.


  1. You do make me laugh farm lady!!! Let us all know how those pig feet come out~ we were looking for a little niche side business for the farm and this might just be what puts us over the top to make a proffit next year!

  2. Hi Donna!
    Thanks for stopping by the blog and sorry it took so long to hop over to yours! Can't wait to read all the archived posts.

    So, in 10 years we may be neighbors over there in County Clare... I know a great little place for sale in Kilmaley for a mere 99,000.00 Euros that is like a step back in time. And the current heat IS a peat fire! Just one thing though, if you buy it you'll have to invite us over. We can pay our way in playing tunes for your house sessions! Get yer dancing shoes on, haha...

    Glad I hopped over to see all about your farm life!

  3. Brian and I always had a New Years Eve date with our "Blue Binder" AKA the farm plan book. This is the first year since we've been together that we didn't do it. No farm no farm book. So I worked instead.

    FYI: to solve the "Not enough bacon" dilema we started having the shoulders made into "Cottage" or "Australian" Style bacon and some of the loins made into Canadian bacon. Don't forget business 101: if you are constantly out of it then your price is probably too low. We sold bacon for $9 a pound at the end and still couldn't keep it in stock.

  4. Mike was so proud of the Shout-Out! Keep up the fabulous work. You will no doubt have continued success.

    Big J