At the market the other day…
“Your sold out of your wonderful bacon again. Why can’t you make more bacon so it would last longer?”
Why shouldn’t we just make more bacon? That’s a simple question that requires a not so simple answer.
We would love to make more of our nitrate free bacon, but it isn’t as simple as turning on a tap. Our small family farm only has a certain number of sows and to increase the number of sows is a slow process. To increase our pork means that we need to increase our infrastructure and staffing. This last year we built a new pig home for the farrowing sows and have made investments in watering systems and movable field shelters and we are still planning more infrastructure improvements this year. It takes lots of time and money to increase the number of pigs we raise. It also takes the pigs time to grow once they are born. Planning for the pork that we sell at the market this week started over a year ago.
Bacon is just one of the products that we will get out of a pig and the pork bellies, where bacon comes from, is a small percentage of all of the meat that we get from a pig. We need to sell all of the meat that comes from the whole pig so if we increased our herd to just supply bacon, we would soon be overrun with other pork cuts. It is a complicated equation to try and figure out exactly how many animals are the right balance in order to have as much as possible of the popular cuts without ending up with a freezer full of the less popular cuts. We also do not buy in specific cuts of meat in order to fill the demand for that item. Because we are a values based farm we will also never increase our numbers to a point where we feel that we can no longer properly take care of the animals. Our priority is that our animals are healthy, happy and humanely raised.
Everybody has become so used to having access to a constant supply of food that it can seem strange that we run out of product. Food is moved all over the world so that we, in the first world countries, have consistent access to any food that we want. This isn’t the realities of local, small farming. We are amazed by how much we are able to grow on our farm but there will always be a few products (bacon is just one example) that are in such high demand that we will be challenged to provide them in an abundance. As a customer that supports us you will have noticed that we do run out of some products and some are in short supply. This is a positive. For it shows that you are not supporting a large corporate farm. You are supporting a small farm. You are supporting our farm. We are committed to providing as much of the cleanest, purest food as possible.