Hi folks -
We thank you for your patience as we continue to slice away, and pack boxes to ship. The $100 rewards have been tallied so we know what some of you are getting to replace salami. Thanks again for your flexibility! They will be packed and shipped on the next few Mondays/Tuesdays so the meat does not arrive or travel over the weekend.
New on the farm:
The pigs have been transitioned to a whey and whey-soaked grain diet to save on feed costs. The cost of our locally grown hog mash (finely ground corn, wheat, and soybeans) increased by about 40% this summer due to change in commodity prices with the drought in the midwest, so we started looking for more economical ways to feed 150 pigs. Whey from a local cheese plant is proving to do the job well, in addition to whey-soaked barley, pasture, and woods forage (acorns are dropping like crazy!).
As promised, here are a few more pictures of the butcher shop you all helped to finish. They are a bit out of order from the last update - I couldn't find some of the earlier ones and the realized I had taken them with my phone, so they're a bit more poor quality, but you can see what we started with!
November 2011: Anna and Leila in the doorway of the garage, soon to become the shop.
Kaj getting ready to backfill the floor drains.
Interior of the concrete block garage, dirt floors. Inspector ensuring proper drop in drain lines and all connections properly sealed. Laser level on the right for setting concrete pour.
Friend Brad with his Dingo so we could maneuver stone into place to get 4" basae before adding concrete (also 4")
November 2011: Brad making final run of drain pipe out to blood tank. All wastewater is reapplied to fields - no solid waste, only small amounts of blood and wash-down water.
And in here would be all the photos from last update - concrete pouring, etc.
After the concrete was poured, I reframed the roof with trusses so it could hold the building together and handle snow loads, and framed out the interior. Then I ran electric, and then the front wall was framed out and insulated. Finally, the interior and exterior walls were finished for full wash-down capability.
March 2012: Messy interior with OSB walls - soon to be covered with FRB. Ceiling is roofing tin with all gaps sealed so that it can be washed down.
April 2012: Front walls framed out, insulated, ready for roofing tin. South-facing windows provide lots of natural light and a nice working environment. We can watch our pigs while we work!
West end of shop with the walk-in attached. We've since brought the barn parking lot up 4" to meet with the base of the concrete pad.
June 2012: Finished exterior with log flower beds.
Finished exterior - right side door is entrance for kill room (notice the feathers), middle windows are processing room, left door is packing and walk-in.
July 2012: Shop interior - eviscerating and sausage table in foreground (with a hole for viscera), 200 lb grinder-mixer on right, processing table in back with sink and storage.
Same shot, but you can see the wash-down lights, floor drains, and the entrance to the packing room and walk-in.
Quite a transformation! We'll have some more interior shots to come - of the kill room and more. Let us know what else you'd like to see. We'll also have some photos of the interior of the current drying room, and the excavation for the new drying room.
Thanks for your support!
Brooks and Anna