Farm Report - January 2020
Orders Keep Flowing In
Farm-to-table delivery is growing
The year 2020 is off to a great start here on the farm, and we have YOU to thank for spreading the word about our pasture-to-porch proteinaceous products! As a reminder, new customers get a 10% discount plus free delivery on their first online order. If you refer a friend or family member, have them put REFERRAL in the code section at checkout. Ask them to list your name in the comment box and we will send you a code for a discount on your next order.
Our next two order days will be:
Monday, January 20
El Paso County and surrounding areas
Monday, January 27
Fremont and Pueblo Counties
Our delivery window is between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm on delivery days. Please make sure that you have a cooler available to receive your order. If you do not have a cooler, we can supply one for a $20 deposit. We try to send text messages once delivery is complete, but some of our customers do not have phone numbers that receive texts. If you want a text notice, please make sure that the number that you enter on your order can receive text messages.
Down on the Farm
Beef . . . it really is what's for dinner.
Our beef sales continue to grow faster than our cattle herd does. The good news is that we have worked out a deal with Westcliffe Meats to provide grass fed and finished ground beef when we run out of our ground beef. Their ground beef comes from a local ranch, and the flavor is quite good.
Having Westcliffe Meats as a back-up also allows us to try to get a few more months growth on our cattle. Ideally, we like to butcher a beef around 28 to 30 months of age. (Compare that to about 18 months for industrial, GMO-grain raised, government subsidised beef.) Adding just four to six more months of growing time adds 50 to 75 pounds of additional product, along with better marbled beef.
We currently have four beeves set for processing this spring and early summer, and more lined up for the fall. Further, we added six more breeding cows to our herd last summer. It takes time, but we are working to grow into the demand for our beef products.
Which came first?
For us, the eggs truly did come before the chicken . . . at least before our broiler chickens. We have been raising laying hens for longer than any of our other animals, and for the past few years our housing systems worked pretty well. Unfortunately, our coyote population, along with some crafty owls, have put a great deal of pressure on our laying population. We are in the process of completely reworking our layer housing system to provide a safer nighttime environment for our ladies. In the meantime, please know that it will be a few months before we offer Viresco Farm eggs on a regular basis. Until then, please enjoy the great eggs we sell from Amish Acres in Westcliffe.
As for our broilers, I will apologize for the short supply of a lot of our chicken products. We had a lot of chicken left over in 2018, but 2019 was a completely different demand. Heat seemed to have a negative impact on our growing period, so we are making some adjustments for next season. Our last set of birds finished out anywhere between 1.5 pounds and 5.5 pounds. We are working to get more consistency across each set of birds. Also, please note that our butcher only processes chicken during the summer months. As such, we will not have more chicken available on our web store until June. Sorry!
Rounding out your breakfast menu.
Eggs, of course, makes me think of breakfast. And nothing goes better with eggs than our bacon or breakfast sausage . . . with the possible exception of Crestone Coffee! Another great business from Westcliffe, owner/roaster Stephen Holmes has a real passion for coffee sourced from sustainable farms around the globe. In the next couple of days you will see a variety of Crestone Coffee available through our web store and home delivery.
Partnering with other businesses.
Many in business will advise against getting away from your core competencies. (My wife is a consultant and reminds me of this principal on a regular basis.) The core competency of Viresco Farm is raising pastured beef, pork, chicken, and eggs. Lest it appear that we are beginning to look more like a retail market than a farm, let me assure you that our focus is farming and providing the most efficient means of getting our products to our customers. Nevertheless, our delivery service opens up an opportunity to share products from other great farms and business. In many ways, we are simply trying to set up an online farmers market. While our product offerings from other businesses will continue to grow, note that all of these businesses are selling through us on consignment. We are not a retailer of their products and we do not carry inventory of anything outside of our farm products. Please feel free to contact any of the other businesses directly if you have any questions about their products.