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Changes & Updates

August 15th, 2009

Well, where has the summer gone?  The kids start back to school next Thursday!  As well as the kids going back to school, our store manager, Shanan, will also be returning to her “real job” as an E.D. teaching assistant.  Since Shanan hasn’t figured out how to be in two places at the same time, we are changing our store hours.  The retail store will now be closed on Thursdays and open on Friday evenings from 4:00-8:00 p.m.  The Saturday hours will remain the same, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  These hours will take effect next week.

Greg has been playing around with the idea of running a subscription meat CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for quite a few years now.  We finally have the people (and a delivery vehicle) in place to make this happen!  While we haven’t ironed out all of the particulars yet, we plan on offering a monthly delivery of a box of assorted pork and poultry cuts.  Anyone who would like to receive more information on this can e-mail us at info@gunthorpfarms.com.

OK, now I’m off to Menard’s to pick up insulation to go under the new steel roof that is being put on our chicken brooding barn.  This roof will eventually be used as a solar collector to heat the brooding barn and pre-heat the hot water for the meat processing plant.  Greg apparently doesn’t think that he currently has enough projects yet!  :o)   

Retail Meat Market Re-Opening!

June 24th, 2009

June 24, 2009

Well, it looks like we will be re-opening our retail meat market for another season!  Last summer when the county made us remove our sign from out along US-20, it pretty much killed our sales.  Seeing as how we are located kind of out in the middle of nowhere, people don’t just drive down our dirt road for kicks.  Without our signs along the highway, people forgot about us or just plain didn’t know about us at all!  Anyways, apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought the county sign ordinance was a little out of control, because several council meetings later, we now have a new sign ordinance in the works that is much more “business friendly”!  Thank you Lagrange County Commissioners!

So, back to the retail store…  My dear friend Shanan has taken this project under her wing and flown with it!  She will have the store open 3 days a week:  Thursday from 4 pm-8pm, and Friday & Saturday from 10 am-2 pm.  Please stop in and say “Hi!”  to Shanan! 

 

Got to love winter

January 14th, 2009

So, what does a pastured pork & poultry operation do during the winter?  Basically, we catch up on all of the things that we should have taken care of earlier in the year!

Thankfully, we butchered our last group of chickens out of the field about 3 weeks ago.  When the temperatures drop below freezing, it gets kind of hard to keep water running to the pasture pens.  We’ve been pretty fortunate in that, up until this week, we haven’t gotten any prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures.  The black plastic water pipe that we run across the ground is all hooked up so that Greg can unhook it at night before it freezes and it will drain and not break the pipe or the waterers.  During the day, the black pipe does a good job of absorbing some BTU’s from the sun and keeping the water flowing.

We still have ducks outside, but, aside from putting on a thick layer of down that is hard to pluck, they don’t have any problems dealing with the cold weather.  They still look for any opportunity they can get to find a puddle of water to splash around in (and when you put a couple hundred ducks on snow, you end up with quite a few puddles, no matter how cold it gets!)

The pigs don’t mind the cold weather at all.  Their water lines are all buried deep enough that they don’t freeze, and their waterers came from a company in Minnesota or somewhere that is used to dealing with cold temperatures.  Of course, they all have well bedded shelters to sleep in, but during the day they spend most of their time out playing in the snow.  They have a big self-feeder in each pen, so as long as Greg can get a tractor out there at least once a week to fill the feeders, they are good to go! 

Our biggest challenges now seem to be mechanical.  Our most used tractor won’t start with a key, and either has to roll down a hill or be pulled to start the engine.  When there is snow on the ground, on the lane, in the driveway, and down the road, it’s hard to find a place to pull the tractor where it can get enough traction to make the engine turn over.  It’s not fun!  To make it even more interesting, 2 days ago while pulling the aforementioned tractor, Greg took 1st gear out of our only 4-wheel drive vehicle.  Granted, it’s 14 years old and has over 150,000 miles on it, but still! 

Until next time…….Stay Warm!

~Lei 

Where did the summer go?

August 21st, 2008

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…….

I had planned on getting on here and updating this blog on a regular basis as new things happened at Gunthorp Farms.  Well, after the great article ran in Chicago Magazine about our farm, we have been swamped!  It has made us realize just how valuable of a resource time is! 

For anyone that’s interested in reading the above mentioned article, it is available on-line at  http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/June-2008/Hello-Beautiful/index.php?cp=1&si=0#artanc

And for some fun extras, check this out!  http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/Snap/June-2008/Day-of-Pigs/

I’m trying to figure out how to post some pictures on here, so keep checking back and hopefully within a few days you will be able to see our pigs, chickens & ducks in their “natural” setting here at our farm. 

Welcome to Gunthorp Farms

April 19th, 2008

If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you either got an e-mail from me telling you to check out our website, or you are looking for pork or poultry that’s raised right and tastes right.  Either way, Welcome!

In the coming months I hope to use this newsletter to keep everyone up-to-date on what’s happening here at the farm.  Right now, we are staying busy putting together new shelters for the chickens and ducks.  We currently have about 18,000 chickens on the farm, along with 4,000 ducks and 500 pigs!  We are butchering two days a week and processing 3.  Throw in the kids softball games 3 nights a week and you can understand why we aren’t always available to answer the phone! 

I feel like I have a star in my presense as Greg is featured in the June issue of Chicago Magazine!  Granted, he was a little upstaged by one of our pigs that got a full 2-page spread for it’s picture, while Greg’s picture only takes up 1/2 of a page!  The reporter who wrote the story spent 3 days here with Greg.  He even rode along to Chicago one Thursday to make deliveries!  (That was probably the easiest way for him to get Greg’s undivided attention for a few hours!)  Anyways, check out the magazine if you get a chance and you can see why I’m so proud of my pig farmer!

Well, keep checking back if you’re interested in hearing about things here on the farm.  I am off to go grocery shopping.

~Lei