Mid-Season Transitions

Genevieve and I have separated and are on the route to getting divorced.  There.  I’ve put it out there.  She has moved into town and I will be staying on the farm.

What this means–among many other things–is that I have a severe labor shortage on my farm.  The 70+ hours per week of activity (~30 she was doing plus the 40+ I was already doing) now falls solely on me.  So what is happening is that I am rapidly deciding and acting on what to keep–what I can keep–and what has to go on my farm.

Wanting to shrink enterprises down to more sustainable levels for myself I am selling the dairy goat herd barring any immediate interest from an individual or individuals to work here and or live here and maintain the herd.  This likely will not happen as the assholes at Farm Bureau Insurance have consistent been extorting me to NOT operate a goat share program as they (FBI) really just represent the interests of big ag in the state of MI.

I am also selling most if not all of the piglets that I had in June as there may be times soon where I am the only one physically present here on the farm and cannot load them off to market by myself (yet).  So the pork enterprise will likely shrink if not go away.  I have pigs available NOW (approx. 10) for processing at great prices.

I also plan to let the chicken and duck egg enterprises shrink down to more manageable levels.  I currently have 455 laying hens and 70 ducks on pasture.  These numbers will likely reduce to half.  The quail continue to produce but as their egg numbers drop and the interest in processed whole quail rises they may go by the wayside as well.

What shall remain for now as I see it and possibly receive greater investment is the organic vegetable garden I have (approx. 1/6 of an acre with room to grow), the sheep flock (lambs, wool, mutton), the meat goat herd, and the rabbits.  Interest is high for all of these and upkeep relatively low.  Again, the poultry will remain as well but the numbers will be allowed to drop to more manageable levels.

I intend to continue to farm and sell CSA shares and product for as long as I can.  I am attending and will continue to attend the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in downtown Traverse City for this season and my current plan is to offer the beginning of a fuller, year round CSA share next spring (or this winter) with a TC drop off every week.  From May thru October this will be at next season’s Sara Hardy Market.  The off-season is to be determined.  I will also be offering lamb, mutton, goat, rabbit and an array of vegetables next season in addition to the CSA shares (which will include vegetables, meat and eggs).  I’ve decided I need to return to a model of customer relations where there is more pull from the customer than push from me.  I need to only be raising what there is relatively high and consistent demand for and get all larger (B2B) relations in writing (tough but important lesson learned there).  One might ask then (a subject more fully for another post) “Then why have you pulled out of Oryana?”  The answer is simple: I cannot grow my farm or engage my customers in the manner I want to selling eggs for $3.25/dozen through a distributor to solely Oryana.  I cannot grow my farm at that price and having essentially a single customer is not sustainable for me and my farm vision.

I have ads up for wwoofers and am having ongoing email exchanges but so far have no confirmed plans for any help.  The living, working and farming model will evolve somewhat rapidly here at Morganic Farm.  I am open to discussions around forming a farming community.  The house currently has one normal and one large (multi-person) bedroom available in it.  It is likely my daughter Lovisa may move out sometime in the coming month or two and that will open up another large bedroom.  Finn will be splitting his time between Genevieve’s and here at the farm.  There is no denying that many hands make light work.  Morganic Farm is a bountiful place and grows and has much more room to deepen and grow.  It just needs passionate hands and souls that are up for the lifestyle.  Enquire within.

If you have interest in checking out what I am doing, what I’d like to do or just want to spend some good time outside doing good work and leave with some good food please let me know.  Saturdays and Sundays are great work sampling opportunity days here on the farm.

Thanks for your patience and understanding and–always–more to come.

Stuart

Dairy Goats For Sale

Leaping Kid

Morganic Farm is selling its dairy goat herd.  Goats can be purchased individually or you can by the entire herd (Gah!!!  Who WOULDN’T want to do this???).  This herd currently includes:

  • 1x Lamancha doe in milk  ($250)
  • 1x Nubian mix doe in milk ($250)
  • 1x Alpine mix not in milk ($150)
  • 1x Oberhasli/Alpine mix (she looks Oberhasli)  ($150)
  • 1 doelings ($100)
  • 2 bucklings ($50 each)

Please call or email for further details or pictures.  (some pics to come)

Thanks,

Stuart

The Wednesday Sara Hardy Farmers Market (today!)

Dear local food supporters:

Just a heads up that I will be at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market this morning–and remember–it is in the Old Town Parking Garage on 8th Street (half a block west of the Old Town Playhouse, on the north side of the street).  Market runs from 8 am to 12 noon but I should be there in a little over an hour (before 7 am).

I will have all of the usual offerings (chicken eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs, pork cuts, soap, lard, worm castings) as well as some stewing/stock birds freshly processed.  Details on what these are and how to prepare them can be found here.  These run $3 per pound are weights range from 2.5 pounds on up to 4+ pounds.  I will also scout around to see if we have any wild strawberries.  I have begun soaking the shiitake logs again and hope to have more mushrooms by this Saturday’s or next Saturday’s market.

And if you do come down to the market please remember to walk completely around the concourse and check out all of the farms’ offerings.  On Saturday there were so many of us that an additional row or branch was created to the east.  Please check everybody out–as you never know what gifts you’ll find.  And, if this market continues to grow during this time frame there will be more and more of us filling that concourse in the garage.

Thanks and looking forward to seeing you this morning!

Stuart

Piglets for sale

Morganic Farm has Hereford/Mulefoot cross piglets available for sale right now.  Females and males (intact) available.  $50 per.  Please call or email with your order.  Piglets are out on pasture and thus will be captured and crated 24 hours in advance of your pick up.  Our lines reach market weight in 6-7 months.  No pharmaceuticals or concrete for these guys.  100% local non-gmo, pastured lives for these little ones.  A great opportunity to try raising pigs for the first time or raise one or four up for your family and friends.  Please call or email today.  These will be the last piglets available for at least 5-6 months.  Thanks!

Worm Castings!

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Lovisa has started harvesting the castings of the worms who have inhabited her compost system for what seems like the past half year to year.  I will have these available today at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market.  You can plant directly into it or you can do a mix of 1/8-1/10 castings to soil/dirt volume and also benefit.  $10 for a 16 ounce container.  Thanks so much for sharing Lovisa!  And great job on the product sheet!  😉

Different Market Location July 1st, 5th and 8th!

Dear Sara Hardy Market goers:

Please note that with the Cherry Festival Happening for the next week or so the Sara Hardy Farmers Market shifts its location for Wednesdays and Saturdays to ye Old Town Parking Garage at 125 E Eighth St:

Parking Garage

I will be there all three days (yes–now marketing on Wednesdays) and will have eggs, pork cuts and offerings TBD from my garden.  I may–MAY–also have some poultry at the July 8th market.  😉  I also plan to have some sample surprises.  Please do not hesitate to come on by even if you do not need anything.  I love the chat and always gain by and am thankful for it.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Stuart

Just one pup!

Our Spring 2017 litter of pups just turned 8 weeks old today!  Of the five puppies, we have matched four up in wonderful homes already!  This litter of pups was tested last week with the Volhard puppy scores and this was probably our best litter for calm family dogs!  Our remaining puppy will be a lovely pup for a family, and will be content with just the most basic of training.  His energy levels are comparatively low and he doesn’t require as much stimulation as some puppies do.  Please contact us if you’re interested at morganicfarmcsa@gmail.com .  This pup will be fully registered under your name with the English Shepherd club.

puppies 091 smaller Rocket

What is “Morganic?”

I keep meaning to get into a big breakdown of what “Morganic” means and how our farm came to choose that name.  I hope to do that soon.  Typically, the first words or statement out of my mouth when someone asks this question is “more than organic.”  I’ll elaborate further on that in a future post.

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But at this moment I am interested in sharing some words about one of the key attributes that word/non-word has for us and why we chose it.  Simply stated, when you buy or support “organic” (or “certified organic”) foods that can still be food that is transported from hundreds if not thousands of miles away.  There is nothing within organic that captures what is to me an overwhelmingly necessary ethic and path toward an enduring (NOT “sustainable”) present and future–that being the need to engage in and support local purchasing.  Nor does “organic” necessary imply anything about the nutritional content of that food.  It can be organic seed raised up using organic methods but it can still leave you malnourished and diseased.  More of that too in future posts–but the reason I mention that is that in the context of the “3000-mile Caesar salad” (thank you, James Howard Kunstler) that organic food that comes from 3000 miles away is all the more likely to be nutritionally deficient by the time it makes it to your table.  Let alone–what community is built or invested in by making that purchase?

So part of the Morganic ethic for us is to engage in and support local relationships.  Simple stated, I would rather buy an $18 goat block from a locally-owned farm supply store than an $11 goat block from Tractor Supply Company.  Will I pass that expense on to you?  I have to–as it is an input of my farming equation.  However–two things:  1. if you are buying our products you are already leaning in the direction of if not having already thrown yourself over the cliff with us and are good with that if not “getting” that.  You are not looking for the best deal a la cheapest, most exploitative product you can find (no judgement there–I understand the evolutionary dilemma presented by “greatest gain for least effort”–however, are you getting the greatest gain for the least amount of effort?).  You are looking for a product that builds community–be it the community of your gut, the community of your family, of your neighbors (including us), or the community of your bioregion.  You are buying products based on their investment potential, their ability to keep on giving–not products that provide short-term (literally) gain and really, in the great scheme of things, benefit no one and no system.  IMAG1337[1].jpg

And 2.  in addition to having to consider the expense of that $18 goat block that also compels me to find waste (or “uncompromised savings”) elsewhere in our farming model so that I do not necessarily have to pass that expense on to you.  Using local sources and local ingredients forces me to farm and shape our business differently than most.  Akin to the documented experience that some local foodie authors have put themselves through (Barbara Kingsolver’s ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE or the otherwise XXX-mile diet) we at Morganic Farm also consider ourselves on that local diet and have from the get-go.  Thus, again, Morganic.

So what local relationships have you invested in lately?  Here are some of ours from the past few weeks:

  • The Kitchen for a rare dining out (before our daughter’s scholastic awards event)
  • Hall Farms for animal feed
  • Brilliant Books for the latest edition of THE NEW FARMER’S ALMANAC published by The Greenhorns
  • Oryana, Oleson’s Supermarket, Northland Foods–the we prefer and try to buy/barter from neighbors and grow our own
  • Square Deal Country Store for onion starts and mineral blocks for livestock
  • Forest Area Federal Credit Union (we recently began the process of no only refinancing our home with them but also moving all of our accounts over the them–from Chase)
  • Grand Traverse Pet Supply for dog food–though we try to make as much of our own dog food as we can
  • And we continue to take advantage of the goldmine which is our Traverse Area District Library and also their MelCat service (Michigan Electronic Library CATalog)

Please share some of yours.

Thanks for reading!

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