If you’ve been shopping with us for very long, you have probably seen the dreaded line through the BACON category on our farmers market signage.
Breakfast is ruined, emotions run high, panic ensues, it’s never fun… and I can assure you we hate it as much as you do!
Our bacon is pretty much amazing. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s crunchy, it’s good for breakfast, in a BLT, on a salad, as a midnight snack, the list could go on. It’s basically what dreams are made of, I completely get it.
In a perfect world, we would never run out of any cut, but it’s just not realistic for small farms operating at our scale. Each pig, steer and chicken only has so many body parts!
Part of the bacon challenge is that on a 200+ pound hog, we only get somewhere around 16 packages of bacon. The belly and a little bit of meat from the jaw is the only meat from a hog that can be made into bacon. The majority of a pig is chops, hams, shoulders, ribs and sausage.
As consumers, we are used to shopping the grocery store where every cut is stocked, at all times. We can shop any time of day or night and there will be bacon and pretty much anything else we could imagine, at any given moment, waiting for us to toss it into the cart.
It’s different for small farms. We use and need to sell the entire animal so nothing goes to waste and so we can afford to raise the next batch of animals.
The same concept of cut scarcity is true for beef and chickens too. We tend to run out of cuts like filet, ribeyes and rump roasts very quickly since each animal only has a small amount, but we can’t beef up (ha, get it!) beef production so we always have filet without balancing the demand for the other cuts.
Sometimes we also run out of cuts simply because all of you are amazing and we sell out faster than expected!
It takes 6-8 weeks to raise a batch of meat chickens, 5-6 months before a laying hen starts producing eggs consistently, 6+ months to raise a finished hog, and 2-2.5 years to raise a finished beef steer. When we run out of things, it takes time for us to stock the freezers again.
2019 will be our 4th year farming, and we are continuing to fine tune when we need to have animals processed, how many to raise, and what your favorite cuts are, but we always appreciate feedback about what you like or would like us to offer!
So, my challenge to you is to try incorporating a wide variety of cuts into your meals. Branch out, try something new! And if you need ideas on how to cook it, send me an email and I would love to help. The end result will be more bacon for everyone! :)
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