Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dairy Plans

Since we first posted on PrairieBloom and Local Harvest that we were considering starting a 'micro-dairy' we have finalized our plans, and Flower Field Farm will be home to a new dairy! We have decided to remodel our old garage as it is the perfect size, a central location on our farm, and it will give us a huge head start on our construction. We are still working on finalizing our plans that have to be approved by the dairy inspector before we begin construction, but we are almost there.
Our initial plan was to have a pasteurizer so that we could bottle milk to sell at the Scottsbluff and Cheyenne farmers market. We keep getting the same question over and over, "will you be selling any of the milk raw?" This question makes sense to us, because we do not pasteurize the milk that we drink from these cows - our family LOVES raw milk. The problem lies in the fact that we cannot sell raw milk anywhere but the farm, nor can we advertise that we have raw milk for sale. At first we thought that only being able to sell milk here at the farm would leave us with very few customers - but the more we think about it, we would love to have you come out and get your milk because then you know exactly where it is coming from. You can see the cows, how they are milked, and watch the baby pigs and lambs at play, or help gather the eggs - way more fun than a trip to WalMart, right?
We are also going to test the water with a CowShareAgreement, our version of a dairy CSA. This has never been done in Nebraska, and there is no legal precedent for it - we would be setting the standard more or less. Here's how it works: You purchase an undivided share in our milking herd at the begining of the year. There will only be 10 shares available in 2011, Flower Field Farm will retain the remaining 10 shares for milk sales and cheese making. You pay a one time cost of $50 and receive a stock certificate for one(1) share of Flower Field Farm's dairy cow herd. You then pay a weekly fee of $4 for us to feed and milk your share of the cows. One share in the herd entitles you to one(1) gallon of raw milk per week, in quart glass bottles. Since you own a share of the herd, we are not selling you raw milk, but charging you board and labor for the cow. The benefit to the CowShareAgreement is you are guaranteed to have your milk every week during the milking season - it won't be sold out when you get here because that 'share' of milk is reserved for you. You will occaisionally be given new dairy products to sample and critique for us, before they are released to the public for sale. An example would be butter, ice cream, or a new variety of cheese. The other benefit would be the possibility that we *may* be able to deliver your share of milk to you at a designated drop off point such as the farmers market because you are not buying the milk, but receiving milk from your cow. This will depend on the interpretations by the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dairies and Foods. If you are unsatisfied with the CowShareAgreement, you can sell your share back to the farm at the end of the milking season, or we may be able to help you sell to another customer.We will also begin making aged raw milk cheeses this summer. We hope to have a cheddar and a bleu cheese ready for market by the end of summer - but we will not sell any until we feel we have the recipes perfect!
For more information on Raw Milk, please visit http://www.realmilk.com/ Milk and cream will be for sale at the farm April - Nov in 2011. Raw, cream line milk will be $1.00/qt.     Heavy Cream  $1.00/pt. All milk and cream will be packaged in returnalble glass bottles for optimal taste. We will also have milk fed pork, lamb, honey, free range eggs, vegetables available here for sale.
Please e-mail us at flowerfieldfarms@gmail.com with any questions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


We started out the new year by printing 100 newsletters to let our friends know what is going on here at the farm. If you didn't receive one, here is a copy for you to read, and please contact us with your name and address so we can be sure to add you to our mailing list.

January 2011 Newsletter
Dear Friends,
We took the liberty of adding you to our mailing list, to keep everyone we know up to date as to what is happening and available here at the farm. There is also room for you to add your friends and family so they can begin recieving our newsletters as well. If there is something you are already purchasing locally, please continue to support that grower
We had a really great start to our direct marketing approach to farming last year that began at the Scottsbluff farmers market. We were a little unsure if there would be a market for our products in such a rural agricultural community. To our suprise people thanked us for taking the time to provide them with fresh local food. We were given hope that it might just work and we have decided to really go for it!
We will again raise a market garden again this year, although we will be shifting our focus mainly to perrennials. We will be planting more strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, and flowers. We want to have a diversified, sustainable farm where all the pieces work together, and nothing is wasted. An example of this is the whey fed pigs being pastured in the gardens during the winter to glean what is left, and add fertilizer as well. Chickens will not only lay eggs, but will be our main form of organic insect control around the gardens and dairy.
Our first hive of honeybee's are doing well, and we are very excited to be adding 30 more hives in April. We will harvest honey on Labor Day weekend with Ernie Griffiths. If you need honey, please call him. We are planning to use the honey we harvest this year to make a 2011 edition Plum Lavendar Wine with the help of the folks at Table Mountain Vineyards. We will have a limited amount of honey for sale in 2012.
Our heritage breed of hereford hogs arrived two days before Christmas and are doing great! We are super excited for our first litter of hereford piglets, which we expect sometime in April. We also accquired several Tunis ewes, which will start lambing in April as well. This will enable us to have spring lamb for sale starting late in the fall.
We will be adding pastured Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas Goose this year. It would help us tremendously if you would pre-order the poultry and pork on the order form so we can make sure to raise enough for everyone. We have added more laying hens this year as well.
We are planning a micro dairy here at the farm where we can milk 10 head of cows that have access to pasture each day. We will have quarts of grade A pasturized creamline milk for sale in returnable glass bottles. We will also offer cream, butter, and ice cream as well as cheddar and bleu cheese, all made here on the farm! We are working on the building now and hope to be sellin milk this year. If not, it may be 2012 before we are able to bottle the milk, due to the facilities and equipment requirements. Please let us know if you are interested in these items on the order form!
As we transition from 'conventional' farming to direct marketing we are trying to make the farm more visitor friendly so you can feel like you are going to grandpa's farm when you visit. We believe in raising our livestock the old fashioned way - our pigs play in the mud and chickens free range every day. All of the seeds we plant are heirloom, non genetically modified or treated in any way. We don't feed ANY antibiotics or hormones, or spray our gardens with ANY chemicals. We go BEYOND ORGANIC to ensure you have safe food!
"If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?" - Joel Salatin

Sincerely,The Folks at Flower Field Farms
Nathaniel & Rylee

Delaney, Eddie, Teagan, & Rayfe
Joy Huber

Noah & Kadan