From Farm to Table:
Did you read that I have had my head down charging towards the red flag. Hindsight is always better than foresight, right?!? Somehow in the midst of a pandemic and the building shortages that have been part of it, I managed to get in the middle of three separate building projects which are all nearing completion.
1. Home farm: On March 27, 2020 our home barn burned to the ground with roughly 40 head of sheep still inside and my children’s lifetime of tools and memories. As I have learned through another large fire, there is often a silver lining if you can see it through. Building got underway for our new barn and today it sits on farm almost twice the size of the previous barn. Many lambs came through the lambing pens through the spring lambing season this year. Boy was I glad we lambed in March and April as we still are working to electrify the barn. I am confident that when it is complete it will be a stress reducer but in the mean time, whew, has it been stressful.
2. New Cold Storage space at our processing facilities was started in January of this year. In listening to our farmers, we know cold storage space is one of their largest hurdles to direct marketing. It is certainly one of our biggest hurdles to pushing product through our process. We hate having to give the call that shares our limited storage pain point with an already stressed farmer or end customer. When completed this month, we will have 150 new pallet spots for product storage. Next week, the power will come on. Soon after that we hope to have the wiring hooked up to the refrigeration equipment. Anyone look at the cost of wire and conduit lately?
3. Table growth: We are expanding our reach to the table through our first Urban Butcher Shop opening on the South side of Lafayette before summer’s end. The former bank building at 3623 Braddock Lane was certainly not an easy one to remodel to meet the needs of This Old Butcher Shoppe. I know when we look back on the experience that it will be seen as a learning experience as the pain of the build out process fades. It is looking great both inside and out!
If you ask me if I would do three building projects at once again, I will definitely say no. Why do we as humans have to learn the hard way?