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  • Cliff McConville

A few days rest, fall farm festival, price changes coming soon

FARM NON-HAPPENINGS

Last weekend Anna and I headed out for the hills of central Missouri to enjoy a few days off to celebrate her birthday. We stayed at a cozy little cabin on one of Greg Judy's farms - those of you in our audience with farming aspirations may have read one of his books or seen him speak at grazing conferences.


We enjoyed a long relaxing and peaceful weekend with absolutely no agenda, it was fantastic. We did a little hiking, a little canoeing, drank coffee on the front porch, and visited some Amish shops, On Tuesday Greg gave us a tour of his farms and we enjopyed learning more about his beef herd and sheep flocks which are known around the world for their excellent grass genetics. On the way home last Tuesday we stopped at a tree nursery along the Missisippi River and purchased a truckload of 4-5 foot tall native hardwood trees to replant at our farms to replace those lost in recent storms.

When we got back to the farm last Wednesday we were happy to find no major crisis erupted in our absence...our fantastic farm crew took care of all the animals and chores and customers and the farm store while we were out of town.


FALL FESTIVAL AT THE FARM - SATURDAY OCTOBER 16TH

Just a reminder we are holding our first annual Fall Festival at the Farm next Saturday, October 16th from 2 - 6 PM. Fun events will include hay wagon tours of the farm, volleyball, bags, badminton, pumpkin picking, and the round hay bale obstacle course.


Food will be provided by the La Adelita Taco Truck. They will be coming out from Chicago to serve up their famous street tacos - Carne Asada, Beef Birria, Chicken Tinga, Al Pastor and Mojo Mushrooms. Made with our own grass fed beef and pasture-raised pork and chicken. Side dishes will include elotes, chips and salsa, roasted tomato rice, refried black beans, and guacamole. All you can eat including soft drinks and water will be provided. We have quite a few tickets left - to purchase please visit the Online Store on our website.


PRICE INCREASES COMING SOON

Last month I wrote about the significant price increases we have experienced this year from our organic feed supplier and the likely need to raise prices for our broiler chickens.

It's no suprise to most that inflation has increased substantially this year across many sectors of the economy. We have seen big price increases not only for organic feed, but also for livestock processing. diesel fuel and gasoline, equipment, maintenance, building materials, insurance, taxes, and of course our biggest expense - labor costs.


On the revenue side we have not changed the prices for many of our staple items - eggs, chickens, ground beef - since we opened the farm store back in May 2016. As the farm sales have grown over the years we've tried to keep prices as low as possible with more efficient operations, but we have seen our slim margins get even tighter this year. Our financial objective has always been to achieve a modest but consistent 10% profit margin, and to get back to that level we will need to increase prices on most of our home grown products 5% - 15% over the next several months.


FARM STORE UPDATE

On Friday I ran out to Eickmans processing near Rockford and picked up a trailer full of pork from 10 hogs we dropped off in August. So for now we have an excellent supply of pork chops, shoulder roasts and steaks, ham roasts and slices, smoked hocks. and yes - even some bacon! More hogs are going in for processing at month end and through November and December so we anticipate having lots of pork available through the late fall and winter. And no shortage of half and whole hogs for those looking to fill their freezers before the cold weather sets in.

  • The fresh vegetable season is coming to an end but Karolina is harvesting green peppers, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, several varieties of squash, and pie pumpkins from her organic gardens here at the farm.

  • Fresh local and organic fruits and vegetablels from other nearby farms include pears, Gala and Honeycrisp apples, red beets, spaghetti squash, white and yellow onions, and red and russet potatoes.

  • Honey with the honeycomb inside from Willy's Honey of McHenry

  • Big selection of All Grass Farms custom logo t-shirts made with organic cotton


RECIPE OF THE WEEK - BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND TURKEY CHILI

This recipe comes from Riemer Family Farm and was published in the Band of Farmers Cookbook (we still have a few copies available in the farm store). Ready in 50 minutes.


- 1 lb. pulled turkey breast or ground turkey

- 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes

- 1/2 cup chicken broth

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 (4.5 oz can) chopped green chiles

- 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes

- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans with liquid

- 1 (15.5 oz) can white hominy, drained

- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

- 1 Tbsp. chili powder

- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin

- 1 tsp. garlic salt

- 2 Tbsp. olive oil


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes, then add the turky and stir until crumbly and no longer pink. Add the butternut squash, chicken broth, green chiles, tomatoes, kidney beans, hominy, and tomato sauce; season with chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

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We are thankful for the rain we have received over the past week, and looking forward to some cooler, fall-like weather coming this weekend. Hope to see many of you Saturday at the fall festival!


To Your Health,


Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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