I sent the update shown at the end of this blog entry to all of our farm share owners.
Our deliveries will be a little unpredictable for the next couple weeks, but you can count on receiving a text when the goods are at your drop point. We will try to provide more advanced notice so you can arrange pickup, since we will be making adjustments during the week based on milk production and vehicle availability.
Nora died last week and I described that in the update below. Nora was a special cow to me, raised from a calf here on the farm, and was the topic of a previous blog entry titled Nora's First Calf. We will miss her presence in the herd.
Anna is also mentioned in the update, and here's a picture of Anna. She is healthy and nursing four of the calves from the herd today.
Enjoy the update. If you're a farm share owner already, you received this by email too...
Helios Farms Farm Share Owners:
Thank you for being part of our farm share owner community. Our daughter, Sonja, and her fiancé, Ben are getting married this week in the orchard on the farm. They are living here as part of our farm team, handling the daily operations that bring the good food from your animals to you. The mission for Helios Farms is to create a network of profitable small local farms like ours, run by skilled young families, that are convenient centers providing farm share owners with raw milk, meats, eggs, and other foods in their purest form. Ben and Sonja have joined this mission and are instrumental in seeing this multigenerational vision unfold.
We are somehow shoehorning in the preparations for their wedding this week. If you have visited your farm over these years, you know that we are good shoehorners and have made great progress that takes full advantage of “flow prosperity”. By attracting our community of farm share owners and investors, producing and delivering foods in the form that God intended, and sharing the information we learn about health, nutrients, microbiome, and more, we create a trusted inflow and outflow of abundance, the breath that fuels growth toward our vision. Each time you visit, you can see the progress: more buildings, more infrastructure, more animals living idyllic lives, better processes for getting foods on your table. Every day we are a step closer to the full vision. We are honored that Ben and Sonja chose this life, this mission, and that they chose this place to celebrate their marriage.
This week, we are also dealing with some unknowns. Our delivery truck blew a head gasket after I spent weeks rebuilding its fuel system and restored its power, so a complete engine rebuild or new truck is now in order. We have another small truck that needs a more minor repair that will fill in on deliveries once it's running. John's truck is working but needs some work on Tuesday, and his truck has been filling in for the broken delivery truck. This all means that our delivery schedule will be particularly dynamic this week and next. You will receive delivery texts when you have food that is on the way or that is ready to pick up at your drop point. If you feel like getting involved, this week is a good time to offer to run a delivery for us or come to the farm to participate in the activities.
Our cash flow is way too tight right now, and this hampers our shoehorning speed, so making a farm share payment or two or three right now will be particularly helpful in driving your farm forward on its mission and making more reliable deliveries. More inflow. If you have an open balance, I'll send you a separate email reminder so you can easily pay through QuickBooks or PayPal. Buying additional shares is also helpful right now, as our capacity for food production is growing fast. For example, on Friday, we harvested two steers and a hog, the most we have put in the new butchery cooler in one day, and it is clear that we have a skilled team now that can do even more. The beef we have been producing is very special, with our 21-day dry aging. We also have a whole batch of unclaimed hogs that will be harvested in September/October, so it's a good time to buy a hog share or two. Also talk with your neighbors and friends about becoming Helios Farms farm share owners.
On a sad note, last week Nora was found in the field shortly after she bloated and died. She was one of our best and favorite milk cows, raised here on the farm, was very respectful to everyone, and produced the best milk (according to us), so her loss was unexpected and traumatic. Fortunately, with an on-farm butchery, finding Nora shortly after she died, we were able to process her carcass quickly and get the meat into the cooler in a short time. She quickly and unexpectedly transitioned from valuable milk cow to valuable beef cow demonstrating the kind of resilience that we are building into Helios Farms.
Yesterday, in the evening while working in the tool shed, I heard a cow in distress again and ran out there to find Anna bloated in a life-threatening position. I was able to get her upright and burped quickly. Anna is a nurse cow, mostly eating dry hay at the moment, lots of it, and that is known to be the remedy for bloat issues, not the cause. Today, we adjusted the cow feeding frequency to see if that will prevent future issues in the herd.
Nora's loss impacts our milk production at the moment. This week, we will see if we can bring Blossom into the milking line again to compensate. She has been a nurse cow, but is only nursing her own calf at the time and her calf is a candidate for weaning or can get some nursing in on the other nurse cows.
Thank you for being part of our farm share owner community. We are always honored to meet farm share owners here at the farm, at farmers markets, or when we're making deliveries. Make sure to arrange a time to come visit the farm and spend some time with your animals. There is so much wonder in this beautiful Garden we are regenerating together.
Theo, Kira and Family