Friday, July 29, 2011

Bored Smored

I am ALWAYS shocked whenever I hear anyone say these two words.

"I'm Bored"

I cannot comprehend that statement. I have so much to do in so little time that I am never ever ever bored.
I, in fact, find myself totally unable to keep up with all that has been occurring lately. Just a few highlights:

Yesterday was Chicago delivery day. We met up with Jared Van Camp and Zeeshan of Old Town Social the very first restaurant to buy our whole pork carcasses over 2 years ago. Yesterdays delivery will be a very famous pig for Jared. He is being filmed TODAY by the Discovery channel for their show The Meat Guy which will be shown on their 3D network. Jared will be taking apart one of our copper haired, certified organic, raw milk fed, Red Wattle hogs.  Piece by piece he will compare it to the carcass of a confinement hog.

This is a big deal. No, we're not a big deal, we're still just two sweaty, smelly, pig and cow farmers but the show will be a big deal as viewers will be able to see with their own eyes the real difference in quality and taste. Well, the viewers won't taste the actual product but if I know Jared he'll be cooking up some fine plates of pork for the TV crew to inhale after the show.

Thank you Jared for choosing our farm, our pig.
Stunt Sow Morticia standing in for the Red Wattle Sow who sacrificed
her hide, her loins, her jowls in order to bring attention to the
fine meat produced by Red Wattles all over the world.
THEN...we recently heard that Joliet Junior College in scenic Joliet, Illinois just won their national culinary competition in Dallas Texas. If you follow the link and look at the entree section under the menu on the left you'll see "suckling pig"  The suckling pig (2 of them ) came from our farm due to the voice of our daughter in law Tab Brownell.

Tab is a student at JJC's Culinary school, a dream she has worked on making a reality, for a very long time, and when she heard the chefs mention they needed suckling pigs she told them of our farm. A few calls back and forth to Chef Bucci and we decided to donate a sucking pig. ( What can I say ?...We really love Tab) They loved it and bought two more to use in this competition. We are very grateful Chef choose our little piggies to compete with and we are even more grateful for the physical strength God has given us to do the work required to raise these fine animals.

In addition, our Farm Store gets busier every day. When we once had 3-4 customers a week it is now common to have 3-4 customers a day. Not exactly Whole Foods customer numbers but strong activity for us. We might have to hire a carry out boy. I will call him Buster. Or maybe Gunther.

One gentleman buys many many gallons of raw milk each week which he feeds his Confinement Pigs as he has discovered the great improvement in their overall looks and health. He has done well in recent swine shows with his "secret" feed ingredient and continues to come back for our raw milk every week. In addition, he stops at our store and picks up a little organic meat for his family. The fact that he wears sunglasses and a ski mask is of no concern to us. The helicopter which hovers overhead each time he makes a purchase, is basically just amusing. At least this time it is not shining down on me.

These top secret purchases make  us gleeful. We live in a area of GMO corn and CAFO animals. Locals are not regular customers of ours.  Organic is still looked at suspiciously by our neighbor farmers and, very few small farms around us even have livestock in their fields anymore, if they own them at all. So when a local farmer tries our products and then keeps coming back for feels quite awesome.

One more reason for not blogging  much this week; it seems my rural writing career is taking off. I've been writing for an online magazine The Renegade Farmer for a few months now.  Every Saturday a new piece. In addition, Graze Magazine, a national grass farmer focused publication asked me to write an article about our farm. It came out last week and recieved positive comment.

Yup, one farmer wrote "nice" in the comment area on their website. Can't get much more positive than that. The fact that his name was the same as my husbands is pure coincidence. After all that media frenzy, the editor contacted me yesterday and asked if I would be a regular writer for Graze, traveling and interviewing farmers about their farms.

Yes, I said.  Yes.  ( I am such a maroon.) So much for simplifying our lives. You might ask yourself,  "Was anyone really surprised Jay Lo and Marc Anthony are divorcing?" or an even more focused question such as, "Why does this packing- peanuts- for- brains -woman keep taking on more work when she keeps telling us she wants a less chaotic life?"

The answer would be, because we need to build up our new sources of income before we sell off the current sources of income. Sort of the storm before the calm.

So now I lay me down to sleep. Until I pick up the grandkids and resume job number whatever. Doesn't matter, I just know its the best paying job I have with the most unending benefits. One job that will remain the same before, during and after our big life change, at least that is my daily prayer.


  1. Organic is quite common here, but it still has its critics. I was talking about being organic to one neighbour recently who said 'It's OK for YOU to be organic, but WE need to make money'.

    You must feel very proud about your pigs. Well done, and long may you thrive!

  2. Do you know when the show featuring Jared and the red wattle will be on the Discovery channel? I'd love to see it. If you could give a heads-up when it will be aired, I'd really appreciate it.

  3. I'd like to see that show on Discovery as well...
    Congrats on the new job.

  4. Such an inspiring post for all us "wanna-be's"! You are excelling in every area you attempt! One day we will all be able to say we knew you when....

  5. Woman! WE ARE PROUD to have you as our writer! You are a hoot, a gem of a writer, I say!!

    I am so happy things are happening for you, especially in the way you raise your animals and use REAL farming methods! Isn't it sad that your neighbors ARE suspicious of ORGANIC methods? That's when I say, the brainwashing of this country has been a success, when you have folks choosing chemical laden, sickly animals rather than properly cared for, humanely raised animals and dairy products!

    But neither here nor there: I am looking forward to stories of your lighthearted assistants--I personally prefer the name "Gunther," myself! :)

  6. WOW! This is an awesome, inspiring update! You are spreading the positive news of organic farming and it is such a valuable position. Keep going full strength. Isn't life full of wonderful changes when we least expect them?

    We'll be wanting to watch this episode about the difference in the meat...keep us all updated! We're just starting the process to get our land organically certified and it gives me INCREDIBLE respect for all you have gone through to get to this stage.

    Congratulations and SAVOR every moment! You have earned it!

  7. Cro, funny, I always thought Europe was more enlightened about organic farming.! Funny huh ? And by "enlightened" I mean to understand that that there are many ways to farm but whatever way we choose should be a manner we feel proud of.

    Walt, MBJ, I will let you know when they have a release date for the show. Perhaps it will coincide with our "release date" from our wonderful but oh too busy farm :)

    Crazy, Zan and Lana. You are too kind. I really am not good at everything I do, I just don't speak enough about my faults. For example I have patience issues, patience issues and oh yeah...PATIENCE ISSUES!!

  8. Congratulations on the writing! It is an important work to do, so I hope you always have the energy and inspiration for it. It's a shame Illinois has been overtaken by corporate mindset farming. But then, that's the mindset here in South Carolina too.

  9. Hiya Donna

    Fab blog, now I've gotta find even more time to read it!

    Don't know why the word 'organic' is still a taboo with many farmers over here too.

    Changeover periods, especially where income is concerned, are tricky. Hope yours goes smoothly (even if fraught at times).