Friday, March 24, 2006

The Farm Store

Last year a Nor'Easter blew through on turkey processing day (November 22nd). It was plenty cold during the day while we were processing, but it turned especially nasty in the evening when people were due to come pick up their Thanksgiving turkeys. It was about 20 degrees with 40 mph winds. In the past our customers have picked up their birds at our processing building that we call the Gut Hut. The birds have always been in the chill tank until people arrive to pick them up. Unfortunately we always seemed to have a bottleneck because of the time it took to pull the chickens out of the tank, drain the water out of them, bag them, weigh them and figure up the bill. Sometimes we had five people waiting for their birds. Anyhow, this problem, combined with bad weather and a desire to be able to sell our products year round gave us the urge to build an on farm store. Last week I had 22 tons of gravel (modified) delivered and began to level up a spot to put the store. It is going to be connected to the existing Gut Hut. As you can see from the (bad) drawing it will have a shed roof that will extend towards the processing building. We are trying to get ahold of a walk in freezer that we could put under that shed as well as a fridge for eggs and possibly a table to sell some produce off of when we have a surplus from the garden. A walk in freezer would make it possible for us to get chicken out of the chill tanks and bagged up before people arive to help take care of the bottleneck. The store itself will have a bunch of chest and upright freezers in it so that we can sell frozen chickens and turkeys, as well as beef and pork by the individual cut. Currently we only sell beef and pork by the half and whole. I plan to post the progress on this building as we get it built.

Besides, Colleen Kane, who owns Sea Hag Soaps in Brackney gave us a really great cash register that she wasn't using anymore, so we have to build a spot to use it.


Blogger Joe Greene said...

Would be intersted to read about any legal/health dept. hurdles to selling meat by the cut. Great blog!

3/24/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Peter comly said...

As far as I understand it, animals being sold by the cut would need to be processed in a USDA inspected plant. The slaughter house we currently use gave up their USDA inspection because the inspector they were dealing with seemed to be bent on regulating them out of business. Under Custom butchering regulations we are only able to sell wholes, halves, and quarters, and the end customer technically owns their portion of the animal before hand. As far as selling meat out of an on farm store, a farm about 10 miles from us is doing it. He said they had to get a license and someone inspected their freezers to make sure they were cold enough (below 0 I believe). I don't know who issues the license or inspects the freezer. I will give more details as I wallow through that swamp.
I have been enjoying your blog as well. I will link to it when I get a chance.

3/25/2006 08:24:00 PM  

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