USDA Walk Through!
On this past Thursday morning, March 15th 2018, Dr. C, the regional head of meat inspection from the USDA came to view our on-farm butcher shop here at Sugar Mountain... Read more
USDA Inspection Application In Process
Our USDA application is in process. I have a few items on my list that I'm working on changing in the butcher shop and then we'll have our first official... Read more
Official Letter from the USDA
Today received the official letter from the USDA verifying for federal inspection at our on-farm butcher shop assigning us our Establishment Number and Frontline Supervisor.
The next steps are label... Read more
Call from the USDA
Monday afternoon I got a call and an email from the USDA verifying various items on our application for federal inspection at our on-farm butcher shop. A little while later... Read more
Bacon on the Shelves
I just did a blog post about our new bacon and a surprise note at the end that Kickstarter Backers outside of Vermont will be delighted to here... Check out:... Read more
North East Backers, Energy, Tours & Surveys
This June and July we've been fulfilling Kickstarter backer packages for people who live outside Vermont but are able to meet us either along our delivery route in Vermont or... Read more
Greater New England Backers Contacted
After completing† Kickstarter packages to Vermont backers we contacted everyone in the great states of NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NY and NJ - that is to say the greater... Read more
We've now delivered to all† of the Kickstarter backers in Vermont. Thank you to all of you for all of your support! It was great to meet you and hear... Read more
Status Update 2017 Winter
I hope you've all been having a good winter. We just got over a foot of snow with more to come in the next couple of days.
This year we... Read more
Vermont Kickstarters All Contacted
I have finished contacting all of the Kickstarter backers here in Vermont. If you are in Vermont and haven't gotten an email from me about your meat and goodies then... Read more
Things to do with Fresh Belly
Now that we have our Vermont State Inspection at the butcher shop we've been delivering in-state Kickstarter packages. One person recently asked for ideas of what to do with fresh... Read more
FSA Audit Passed!
As you all know we opened the butcher shop last fall and have been working on filling backer orders starting with in Vermont.
We just passed another milestone: our Food... Read more
Porchetta Packaged - Delivering Kickstarter Packages and CSA Pre-Buys
Now that our butcher shop is up and running we have been filling the CSA Pre-Buy and Kickstarter orders which helped in part to buy the concrete and other materials... Read more
Now that we have the butcher shop up and running we've been working on getting our cut and pack times down as well as adding sausage to our repertoire. I've... Read more
Butcher Shop Opening in the TV News
You may enjoy this little news reel about the opening of our butcher shop here at Sugar Mountain Farm. It gives you a peak inside the cutting room and... Read more
First Cut Under Inspection
Today we had our first day of meat processing in our new butcher shop under Vermont state inspection! This means that we can now start doing our own butchering and begin... Read more
License to Cut!
In this morning’s mail I received our meat processing license from the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets division. We are now able to officially begin butchering under Vermont state... Read more
Wet Run #3 with Master Butcher Cole Ward
As we await our license we've been practicing. This week we did our wet run #3 with master butcher Cole Ward who we apprenticed with for 18 months to learn... Read more
Wet Run #2 - Sausage!
On Tuesday we did our second wet run with the second half of the pig. Again this was not inspected yet since we don't have our license quite yet -... Read more
Dry & Wet Runs
Yesterday we did our first wet run in the butcher shop, cutting our first pig. Everything went perfectly! A proof of years of planning and work. Very exciting! This pig... Read more
HACCP & Friends - Submitted!
I just pressed the Send button to submit our final paperwork to get our licenses for opening our on-farm State Inspected Meat Processing Facility – also known as the Butcher... Read more
Vermont Inspected Label Sneak Preview
A sneak preview at our label...
Click through for more details...
Inspector's Desk Developing - Last Chance!
Postcards, stamps and artwork have been flying in from all over the world for embedding in the Inspector's desk. There's still time to send yours in. Get it post marked... Read more
The butcher shop construction is completed. Like yesterday. For details on the last item see:
Send a Postcard for Inspector's Desktop
I just epoxy coated the inspector's desk in our butcher shop and I'm down to the last finishing details. The only construction thing left is installing the Aqua - a flying... Read more
Applications to Butcher
This afternoon the head of the Vermont Department of Meat Inspection came out to our butcher shop and went over the final details of construction, loved everything, check off the... Read more
Toilet, Sink, Shower, Water!
We have a date to meet soon with the inspector for hopefully the final inspection of the construction and then it is a matter of... Read more
This winter I got hit hard by influenza and was down for seven weeks. Apparently the virus let in a not so friendly bacterium, or few, and my lungs got... Read more
Wired & So-Low
This week I finished up wiring in what we call the Admin section of the building. This includes the inspector's office, bathroom, hall and initial meat cutting room where we'll... Read more
As we get ready to open the butcher shop we're doing those final little details like moving in the freezers and refrigerator, the inspector's desk, chair and file cabinet and... Read more
End of 2014 Update
I'm hoping we'll begin cutting meat here in January. Check out the updates here:
I'm working on the last little bits of electrical wiring, have some water lines to... Read more
Dressed for Cutting
We're dressed to cut! Our butchering cloths arrived this past week and I took that opportunity to shoot the family photo for our 2015 calendar. Check out this blog post... Read more
Polyurea Painting Completed!
Today we finished painting the last of the trim in the butcher shop in the inspector's office. Now it will cure for several days so that we can move equipment... Read more
Pigs West - Vet Visit - Farm Tour
As I write this we're waiting for the second coating of polyurea on the floors to cure so we can apply the next coating. The polyurea goes on in many... Read more
Stainless Steel Setup
Stainless Steel Tables, counters and Shelves done, tested and in place - before removing them all for final painting with polyurea.
See more pictures at:
The Inspector and the Water Heater
The last piece of equipment has arrived to open the butcher shop! This is our 80 gallon water heater. It is a tank based heater that works slowly and cheaply.... Read more
Equipment in Mock Butcher Shop
Holly and Ben - Proud New Owners of a Hobart Meat Saw!
Check out this blog post to see more photos of equipment installed in the wooden mockup of our... Read more
Holly with Washer and Drier in Laundry Closet
As a USDA Inspected meat processing facility we'll need to provide laundry services to the USDA inspector for their smocks and other... Read more
Inspection Visit & Door
Above is the door from the hall to the initial cutting room (iCutter). Will finished welding it this week and we just hung it. The barrel hinges are the same... Read more
First Vacuum Pack
It's not meat but it is our first vacuum packaging. Really cool!
The vacuum packager extracts 99.9% of the air from packaging to make it... Read more
Messages, Emails & Progress
For some reason Kickstarter's system isn't sending messages to me so I didn't get a note that a backer had sent recently. You can always reach me at email@example.com which... Read more
Back on February 6th I wrote about Equipment Choices for the Butcher Shop. The time has come and equipment started arriving this week.
Recent big equipment arrivals include:
Hobart... Read more
Hall Floor Poured
The World's Largest iPad Sapphire Glass Door Interface for Smart Building technology of the future. Total building sensor recording and operational controls all from the comfort of the throne. You are... Read more
Doors on Deck
Will is working on making the doors for the butcher shop. These are stainless steel for longevity, easy cleaning and sanitary conditions for food processing. The doors need to be... Read more
Curing the Butcher Shop
No sign of the snows receding yet here on Sugar Mountain but we are approaching the end of the cure time for the plaster on the walls and ceilings of... Read more
Picking Equipment - Opinions?
We are just finishing plastering the walls of the bathroom and initial working rooms. The coving in the bathroom is almost completed. Cove the corners of iCutter will probably get... Read more
New Butchering Book by Cole Ward
Many of you received the Cole Ward DVD series about meat cutting and I thought you might be interested to know that Cole has a new book out. He is... Read more
Pig Sticks and Wands
Today we finished plastering the ceiling of the initial cutter room. On Wednesday we met with the head of the department of meat inspection for Vermont. He came out to... Read more
Updated Progress Chart 12/29/2013
For those who like to keep track of things happening check out the updated time table for our butcher shop. Many of the milestones have new progress... Read more
Updated Progress Chart
Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving! I've updated the progress chart with percents done for the various line items on our To-Do list for completing the butcher shop.... Read more
For those who enjoy the construction progress and pictures check out this new blog post:
Pink Concrete On Roof
I've posted an updated schedule of our To-Do list and expected ship dates on my blog that will bring us to the point of being able to do on-farm butchering... Read more
After I got done doing the initial cutter room's floors the inspectors came by at night and checked my work. In the morning I found their signatures... Read more
Sills in - Subfloor Poured
Yesterday we poured the subfloors after getting the last of the sills in. Final we have parts that are more than just structural, these stones are the actual surfaces we'll... Read more
Pipe Flow Tests
The picture above shows the access point for our plumbing systems. As I placed the pipes I flowed water through and pressure tests to make sure my joints... Read more
Striped caterpillar spotted while picking delicious blackberries out in the fields. It did not mention winter and the wooly bears are being mum.
Today I finished the sub-slab plumbing in... Read more
Cutting Pipe with String
Plumbing is almost done for the initial meat cutting area and administration section - finally! This is my plumbing assistant Hope cutting PVC pipe with a string. I had heard... Read more
Today I ran into one of our Kickstarter backers while I was in town (Hi Allen!) and was telling him about the progress on the butcher shop. July has been... Read more
Today we had our next big concrete pour for our butcher shop. This was a big milestone for us as it is the final structural element of the project and... Read more
Someone asked about being able to update their address before we ship meat. Yes, before we ship we'll confirm address and make sure you'll be home to receive your meat.... Read more
Happenings on the Farm
Once the snow melted we switched our primary focus to farm things that must happen every spring.
1) Fences all got repaired and updated - the winter snow pack breaks them... Read more
Butcher Shop Unbedded
Since we closed in the the structural building in December we've been working on the interior of the butcher shop all winter. The town's road agent opened the roads to... Read more
Spring Quickie Update
Piglets are popping out and the snow is finally melting on Sugar Mountain! We're working on the interior of the butcher shop. We've been working on plumbing and form work... Read more
Cubes in Tubes
Sticker Back Stories
With calendars are mailed we're packaging other goodies that don't involve meat orders. Our daughter Hope, age nine, helped me pick out the photos to use on the stickers for the... Read more
The last of the calendar's are shipping to Kickstarter backers. Calendars start with March 2013 and run to February 2014 to carry you over the new year. If you ordered... Read more
We have a lot of sows farrowing, that is to say giving birth, right now. It is snowing and I've been sitting watching them as I write postcards so we... Read more
Sponsor's Page Updated
Just a quick note to let you know I have updated the Sponsor's Page on our farm's web site with the names of everyone from the Kickstarter Survey Reports. The... Read more
Goodies Arrived from Printer!
Kickstarter Goodies Shipping
In addition to Roaster Party Packs that don't require the on-farm butchering that have shipped we have also been shipping out some of the goodies like knuckle... Read more
The propane tank had been installed back in November 2011. that's a bit over a year ago. We did it at... Read more
T-shirt Sizes - Interesting Data
T-shirts are ordered!
Ever wonder how many of each size T-shirt to order for an event if you don't know people's individual sizes? The chart above gives you the ratios... Read more
Kickstarter Goodie Choices Chart
We've been working on sending out Kickstarter rewards. A number of meat items that don't require our butcher shop shipped such as Roaster Party Packages and... Read more
Ben's Butcher Shop Model Tour
Ben's Model of our Butcher ShopTo show his grandparents at Christmas what we have been up to this year our son Ben built a model of our on-farm Butcher... Read more
Now that we have closed in the butcher shop we've been working on shipping some of the initial rewards. Someone asked for a clarification of the status of reward shipping.... Read more
Someone asked about the time frame for shipping meat as he was concerned that he was going to be away on vacation and didn't want it to arrive while he... Read more
Insulation vs Concrete - Closing in on Opening Up
We are closed in and getting ready to finish off the interior so we can start cutting meat... Read more
A Good Year!
It has been a very busy year here at Sugar Mountain Farm. We did three big pours on the construction of the butcher shop which closed in the building so... Read more
We've been having small amounts of snow for a while but they always melt by mid-morning. Today we got five inches and it stuck. This probably won't melt away until... Read more
Cutting Room Revealed
We're a little behind but making steady progress. Above is a photo of the cutting room where we hope to be cutting your pork in February or March. It is... Read more
Practically Perfect Pour
Today we poured 132,000 lbs of concrete. One more ring pour and we're at the top. Check out the post with lots of pictures on my blog.
Butchering DVDs Shipped
We've had a long, long string of glorious sunny days to work on construction of our on-farm butcher shop which in part our Kickstarter projected has helped with funding. This... Read more
Meat Cutting DVDs Arrived!
The Cole Ward meat cutting DVDs arrived in the mail today and we'll be shipping them right out. If you ordered one, watch your mailbox and enjoy! Hope, showing off... Read more
Forms Pulled - Working on Rewards
Yesterday we pulled forms out of Admin. It looks fantastic. It is really great to see the three tall vaulted ceiling rooms that make up that section. Today we mostly... Read more
Perfect Pour! Admin Walls & Ceilings, Reefer Cap, FCB
Today we did a big pour. Everything went perfectly and we were done before noon despite the large size of the pour. Amazingly fast. Wonderfully boring! Check out the blog... Read more
Several people have mentioned that they will be moving, have moved or might be on vacation at various times. Don't worry. We'll always check with you to make sure we... Read more
Almost Ready to Pour Admin
Today we got the last forms up in the hallway getting ready for the pour. We're working on bracing. Concrete soon. There is an amazing amount of buried conduit for... Read more
Progress Charts #1
This week we had a practice shipment of a half pig for someone who had ordered back prior to the Kickstarter project. She was further than our delivery route but... Read more
Mission Small Business: Vote for Sugar Mountain Farm!
“Chase and LivingSocial are awarding grants to small businesses across America to help them grow and thrive. They are giving out a dozen grants of $250,000 each. The program is... Read more
Seven Winners from Spread the Word Game
Back on Update #41 I made a challenge to spread the word in the final week. I just got the results out of my handy dandy Excel sheet with random... Read more
Sponsor's Page Up!
I have mounted the Sponsor's Page on our Sugar Mountain Farm web site. Note that it does not yet have everyone's name on it - I'm slowly sending out the... Read more
A Baker's Dozen Ready!
The Baker's Dozen of downloadable all natural art photos of our pigs on pastures is ready. You can see the low resolution version of the images with text descriptions on my... Read more
Butcher Shop Update 20120531
Changes are not highly visible but we're getting closer to pour time for the masonry ceiling. The rail sockets are now secured to the form work and welded to the... Read more
Thank you to everyone!
Thank you from all of us to all of you for making our Kickstarter project a success and helping to fund our dream of having our own on-farm nano-scale USDA... Read more
Last Hours, Cartoon & One more Shirt Winner!
Final Funding Hours Cartoon by Ben & Hope with cameo by Lio (zoom)
We are in the final hours. Our Kickstarter project closes at 10:01 PM this evening. Thank you... Read more
Of Quarter Pigs and T-shirts - Easy Shipping in 4 Part Harmony
Bing has won another T-shirt! Congratulations, Bing! This one is the Laughing Dog shirt featuring Kia and pigs.
As he noted on a comment, he's sharing his order with someone... Read more
Another Shirt Winner! $32K Level Reached!
Wow! We reached the $32,000 level! Lori pumped up her pledge, pushed us over the mark and gets a free T-shirt! Congratulations, Lori. How about we do one great T-shirt... Read more
Last 48 Hours... Upgrades and Adjustments
Ben & Hope's latest cartoon info-graphic tracking our progress (zoom)
The pastures are starting to green up and look wonderfully lush. The animals are loving it. Yesterday Hope and I... Read more
iKickstarted Sugar Mountain Farm Commemorative T-shirt & Patch
We've made our goal, thank you to everyone! We made our second goal too! Several people have suggested a special commemorative T-shirt, patch or pin that would be available just... Read more
Of Sausage and Law
Several people asked about the types of sausage we do now and what we plan to do in the future so I've written up a detailed article on my blog.... Read more
Admin Ceiling Forms
Will and Ben have been working hard on finishing up the form work that will let us do our first concrete pour of the year. This is a combination reinforced... Read more
Finals Week! Give aways of T-shirt, Mug & More...
We are now in our last week of our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop at Sugar Mountain Farm. We made our initial goal of $25,000 for the butcher shop equipment thanks... Read more
Abattoir Towering - $30K T-shirt - Onward & Upward
Ben & Hope's Cartoon Info-Graphic of Abattoir Tower Funded (zoom)
Wow! Thank you everyone! Not only is the butcher shop funded but we now have enough to pour the concrete for the... Read more
Rewards for Farmies & Foodies
Ben & Hope's new cartoon info-graphic (zoom)
It was pointed out to me that we don't have much in the way of rewards for Farmies. The rewards so far have... Read more
Bulk Value: Quarter Pig, Half Pig, Whole Pig
As requested I've added three more tiers of rewards to the many we already have. These are:
$437 Quarter Pig with Sausage & Bacon 1 box of 35 lbs
$696 Half Pig... Read more
What Cuts of Pork Are Available?
Several backers have asked, "What Cuts of Pork Are Available?"The simple answer is just about everything your heart desires. Check out the new article "What Good is a Pig:... Read more
I stumbled on this interesting KickTraq website that shows various statistics on Kickstarter projects. They predict that we'll break the $38,000 mark. That would be enough to pay for the... Read more
Oodles of Oddments Added
A couple of people asked about a special price on the odder cuts of the pig. We tend to price these at a discount compared with the more in demand... Read more
New Goals: The Abattoir
New info graphic cartoon from Ben & Hope showing our progress. (zoom)
Thanks to all of you we are now more than half way from our original goal $25,000 goal... Read more
Great Forbes Article on Our Project!
Check out the great article by Beth Hoffman of Forbes Magazine who pins the point that nano-scale meat processing could be the game changer for farming.
New Rewards: Roaster Party Packages
Several people have asked about getting suckling pigs, oven roasters and larger spit roastable pigs. The answer is yes, and the smaller sizes can ship and are even cookable in... Read more
To Infinity and Beyond...
Now that we have reached our 100% funded mark on Kickstarting the Butcher Shop the obvious question is, “What’s next?”
Before Kickstarter we had CSA Pre-Buys which reached local people and helped... Read more
Cartoon Update & What Next?!?
Ben and Hope have prepared another one of their colorful cartoon info-graphics to celebrate breaking through the $25,000 funding mark! Thank you, everyone!
Cartoon Info-Graphic (zoom)
Several people have asked, ... Read more
Big Pig Coffee Mug Winner!
But wait, there's more! Remember Update #10 Game #3 of "Guess the Funded Backer Count"? Well we have a winner, who got very close, and we have a very... Read more
100% Funding $25,000 Double Winners!
Whoa! How can that be?!? Two people pushed us over the $25,000 full funding point within seconds of each other!
Me thinks they were both trying to be the $25,000... Read more
$24,111 T-shirt Winner!
We have another T-shirt winner! Congratulations to Josh Dorf who hit the latest mystery number with his pledge. I'll be send Josh out an iKickstarter the Butcher ShopT-shirt with the... Read more
Whew! The game in Update #21 "What is the Difference Between a Chicken..."was a hard one to pick. Two people gave answers that were creatively different - such as... Read more
Bumps & Spikes of Progress - Cartoon Chart #5
We're almost to our funding goal! Ben and Hope have created a new cartoon info-graphic to illustrate our progress.
The livestock guardian herding dog (LGHD) sitting on the graph's name is... Read more
$22,501 T-shirt winner!
Wow! We're breaking funding levels all over the place. Austin just broke the Mystery Funding Number $22,501 to win a free Archimedes T-shirt. Congratulations Austin!
There is one more known number... Read more
$20,000 T-shirt Winner!
Chris Wolf broke through the $20,000 funding level to win a free Archimedes Boar Pork Cut Chart T-shirt. Archimedes was our main boar for almost eight years. As a professional... Read more
Another T-shirt Winner breaking $18,750!
Jim Challenger gets a free Sugar Mountain Farm Archimedes Pork Cut Chart T-shirt for being the backer who broke the mystery number $18,750. Congratulations Jim!
What are the Differences between a Chicken...
...a woof and a pig?
Ah, that is the question of the day. This morning I did a little clarification of the text of the description of our project to... Read more
Another T-shirt Winner!
We have another T-shirt winner! Ken Irwin broke the $17,777 mark and gets a free iKickstarter the Butcher Shop T-shirt featuring Archimedes the boar. Congratulations, Ken!
Quick Bacon Clarification
Just a quick clarification on the bacon update after some questions from backers.
#1: It is $10 to upgrade from the $59 level to the new $69 level that includes... Read more
With the bacon rewards going up yesterday I got a question about giving rewards as gifts. Specifically she wanted to know if she could buy a year of one of... Read more
Last day of Update #10 Game #2...
Now's the time to get friends online and pledged, bump up your pledge and otherwise get us to the 100% funded goal so everyone who has pledged by then gets... Read more
A bunch of people here on Kickstarter, on my blog and in person have asked about having bacon in the rewards. Everyone loves bacon. Salt, sugar, fat, protein and smoke!... Read more
Fencing and Planting
While we wait for the concrete to warm so we can cap the butcher shop we've been working on spring fencing and planting. Check out this blog post for details.
South... Read more
We have another Mystery Number (Update#10 Game) winner. Regina Pishion will be getting a free Sugar Mountain Farm Archimedes Pork Cut Chart T-shirt. Congratulations and Thank you!
Check out Update #10 to... Read more
Double T-shirt Winner!
Jon Meyer won not one but two, count them two, T-shirts in the Update #10, Game #1 Hit That Number! Congratulations, Jon, for hitting both $15,000 and mystery number $15,500... Read more
What's This? Cartoon Info-Graphic
The latest and greatest cartoon info-graphic showing our progress as presented by Ben & Hope:
(If you're seeing this in email and can't see the cartoon then head on over... Read more
Featured on HomeGrown.org
I just saw that our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project has been featured on HomeGrown.org! Mega-Cool!
Fun! Fun! Fun!
We're going to have a series of games! What fun! The first two are Hit the Mark sort of games and the third one is a Guess the Numbergame.... Read more
We're half way to our goal and it has only been 11 days! Wow! Lori Maxfield pushed us over the 50% mark and is the lucky winner of a surprise... Read more
Almost Half Way!
We're almost half way to our goal and it has been less than two weeks! Thank you everyone who has pledged and spread the word about our Kickstarter project. Ben... Read more
Kicking It Forward
You might have seen this on the bottom of our project page:
"We solemnly pledge 5% of the profits from the finished product back to the Kickstarter community and... Read more
Smoked Pork & T-shirt Update
Yesterday we broke the $10,000 mark and are now at 41% towards our funding goal of $25,000 in only seven days! Below is Ben's cartoon info-graphic to commemorate the soaring... Read more
$10,000 level broken!
Whit Carter has just pushed us up over the $10,000 funding level! That means we're 40% funded at the one week mark! Congrats to Whit who unknowingly won a T-shirt!... Read more
Getting the FAQs
I have added a bunch of FAQ entries (Frequently Asked Questions) to cover questions I've gotten (as well as some that you might have) to the bottom of our Kickstarter... Read more
Chart of Progress by Ben
Today we have a treat. Our son Ben, an aspiring cartoonist in addition to being a hard working farm boy, drew up an info-graphic chart of our Kickstarter project's progress.... Read more
WCAX-TV Interview Up on the Web & Poster
It is wonderful how people have been spreading the word about our project. We got some traditional media exposure too. WCAX news reporter Judy Simpson and her camera woman Robin... Read more
News & Ivory Tusks + Meat
Wow! Waking up this morning and seeing so many backers was an amazing way to start the day! A big thanks to everyone who has been tweeting, sharing on Facebook... Read more