Friday, February 19, 2010

5 things that i've learned while farming

I started the farm with the idea that I'd be doing mostly pastured poultry, ala joe salatin. I built the pens, and bought the plucker, and started that way. But then I learned that there are cultures that prefer a whole, live bird, and near a big city, it's rare to find them, and they're willing to pay for them.

Lesson #1: Sell what the customer wants, not what you planned to. If you get asked for something else (a lot), seriously consider changing your plan.

Most of the customers that I sell to don't use english as their primary language at home; I can now say "chicken" and "turkey" in five languages.

Lesson #2: Speaking the customers language makes it friendlier for them, and for you, and opens the culture to you. Learning another language is good.

I had a calf that I purchased go down on ice last year, spraddled, and it lay there until I found it in the morning. I tried my best to save it, and ended up just delaying the decision.

Lesson #3: Learn to know when you know enough, and don't prolong the decision. Sometimes it is time to act.

Lesson #4 (related to #3) Don't get too attached to your livestock. Everyone has to go sometime. Love them while they're here.

After putting the cow down and butchering it, I cut it into various cuts and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Lesson #5: Maybe a tough decision has some benefits. Oftentimes it simplifies your life, which is good in itself.

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