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Author Topic: March/April 2012  (Read 4139 times)
Sheri Salatin
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« on: March 19, 2012, 08:03:25 AM »

Welcome, Spring!

Thank you

Thank you for rising to the challenge last month and purchasing pork fat to make your own lard. We were amazed at the response and loved hearing your feedback and stories.

Also, thank you for buying the Larder Packages. Many of you took our larder letter to heart and are busy stocking your kitchens with with food. No more emergency trips to the supermarket for you. Hurray!

Farm News

Spring has come early to the valley. In the past week, we have moved all 4,000 layers out of the hoophouses to egg-mobiles, their summer homes. Cows are off hay and onto pasture. Pigs are rummaging in the glens or turning compost (Pig-aerator pork).

To welcome spring, we are offering as a thank you to our loyal customers and an incentive to new ones a special price on pork loin products. We're calling it the High-on-the-Hog Special. The loin comes from the highest part of the hog. When eating any of the below list, Old Timers called this "eatin' high on the hog", the best parts.

Look for this caption online or in your inventory update- High-on-the-Hog Special - now through April 30.

This includes:

  • Pork chops
  • Tenderloin cutlets
  • Bone-in and boneless Pork roasts
  • Country Style Ribs

100% Club

Just a reminder to those who have already placed an order for last month's drop. You are now eligible for the 100% club if you continue placing orders every month.

Last year's reward was a free Lunatic Tour voucher for the member and their entire family. This year's will be something equally exciting.

We have the opportunity to see many other online and co-op style buying groups. The majority of these have an annual membership fee ($50-$100) or a minimum order. We don't.

All it takes is a pound of sausage or one pkg of something every drop to receive 100% status. Thank you!

HOW DO I AFFORD THIS FOOD?


Now that we're all on the same page regarding the importance of re-creating a domestic larder with integrity food, how much more expensive will it be than cost cutter bargains at Wal-Mart?  Let's think for a minute.  Polyface bacon does not shrink in the pan.  Nor does the ground beef.  The eggs have 30 times as much folic acid as supermarket eggs--including organic eggs.

We know times are tough.  Nobody got a bonus at Polyface in 2011.  We're glad we escaped the year without a loss--barely.  Be assured that here at the farm we do everything reasonably possible to keep expenses and prices as low as possible.  We are looking at some changes like sprouts and pasture cropping to reduce expenses.  You should know that one of our Staunton feed mills has offered to sell us chicken feed for 15 cents a pound compared to our current GMO-free organic-supplement local at 30 cents a pound.  Those are not typographical errors.  You read it right--half price.  That amounts to about $2 per broiler.  At 30,000 broilers, that's $60,000.  Whew!  Talk about tempting.

How can they do it so cheap?  Their GMO (genetically modified organism) grain is coming from international sources, often from South America. The farmers and distribution networks that develop it receive transportation, production, research, and employee subsidies/concessions that externalize to society the true costs.  Do you want to know the real kicker?  If we used it, you probably couldn't tell.  We're not trying to scare you, but it is important to let you see into our lives.

That $2 per bird, if you buy even one a week, represents $100 in a year.  That's only a couple of pizza parties.  Perhaps one nice dinner date for two.  Fuel to drive to two significant soccer tournaments.  One night in a hotel.  A handful of Starbucks coffee.  You get the drift here.  Polyface is committed to GMO-free local non-subsidized.  In the big scheme of things, spending a few hundred dollars or even a thousand a year for food that tastes better, makes us feel better, is more nutritious, and leaves an appropriately massaged ecosystem for our kiddos is a doable sacrifice.  Thank you for agreeing.

If you're going to cut pennies, cut them from Disney.  From Hollywood.  From Starbucks.  One more point:  many of you have seen the documentary Food Inc.  One glaring weakness in that film is the Hispanic family that stops at Burger King and then declares fresh food unaffordable.  Listen closely.  That meal at Burger King cost nearly $10.  You can buy almost two pounds of Polyface grass-finished local artisanal royalty-quality ground beef for $10.  Guess which purchase has more nutrition?

Ultimately the things we buy and spend our time on portray our value system.  What adorns our bedroom walls, occupies our time, takes up floor space and counter space in our homes is the physical expression of what we think is important.  Look around.  Is this a better world?  Or is it more of the same?  Is it regenerative?  Is it healing?  Thanks for resolving to be part of the solution.

And finally, it appears that the world is catching up to Polyface prices.  Perhaps the whole price discussion will soon be moot.  Whole Foods grass fed ground beef is 6.99 per pound;  Polyface bulk is 4.65 and singly, 5.50.   How about chicken?  Whole Foods pastured chicken (and who knows what their pastured means?) is 3.99 per pound;  Polyface is 3.25 bulk and 3.65 singly.  How about sausage?  Whole Foods is $8 per pound;  Polyface is 4.50.

Do you think it's unfair to compare to Whole Foods?  Okay, how about organic at Kroger?  Ground beef:  6.00 per pound--still way more than Polyface.  Martin's "All Natural" Giant brand (which doesn't mean anything)--$5.49:  still more than our bulk price and identical to our single price.  Sausage at Kroger, Johnsonville brand, 5.79 per pound, a whopping 1.29 per pound more than Polyface.  Martin's Nature's Promise brand is 4.99 per pound, still 49 cents more than Polyface.

We won't bore you with this--we have a chart showing more product and more comparisons online (https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B9g6dSOvsRsxSF9SZ1hoNVZSNU9VemZMZ21ya3h1UQ).  The bottom line is that if you compare anything purporting to be the good stuff, Polyface is actually cheaper at the cash register.  That's exciting for us because it appears our model in production and marketing is actually more efficient than most.

We'll see you at the next drop and we hope to see you here at the farm, too!
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