|Spring...It's out there.|
Indeed it is a rarity and usually comes right after we've bragged about how we rarely get sick, and this time was no different. After a very long and arduous winter we were commenting about how at least neither of us got sick during all those below zero days, all the snow storms, all the wind storms etc...
Oops. Should've kept our traps shut. Flu hit us both and now 10 days later we are finally getting back to normal, up and running, er shuffling in stupid pink slippers, again. Me, not Keith. He's not a slipper guy.
Officially then tomorrow, winter is over. Happy happy day. Our losses were the worst in our 19 history here on South Pork Ranch. Due to the horrific weather we lost 3 large steer, 1 newborn calf, two full Red Wattle newborn litters, a few chickens and one adorable donkey.
What that means in the long term is about 2000 less pounds of beef and approximately 3200 less pounds of pork to sell. Financially, that means lost revenue of around $10,000 for the beef and $24,000 for the pork bringing us to a grand total loss of $34,000.
WOW. Really regretting that I took the time to figure that out.
So what do a couple of respectable organic farmers do? Well we certainly trashed ourselves about ways we could've saved those animals. Maybe. It's easy to think one can control all variables in farming but truth is we did not order the weather and we really did our best. Then we went back to what we do well; we took action.
Two weeks ago we travelled north to buy 10 new calves and 2 new Red Wattle sows. Another $3000 in one long day. Oh well easy go, easy go. Then we took a hard look at our breeding program for the pigs and you can bet there will be no PLANNED litters born next winter (if we're still here but probably not.)
Finally though spring and hope and new growth and all that jazz is here. The weather is warming, snows have melted and the sun shines more. Animals are frisky, chickens are in the yard and some days we are doing chores in jackets with NO HATS!
Soon we will be moving 100 miles an hour towards our life on the new farm while making this farm as strong and viable as it can be for its new owners planning to take possession next fall. Stay tuned and watch us go!