We want to thank everyone who we’ve met so far after our first few farmers markets. It’s been so humbling and dare I say therapeutic, after the last year, to connect with so many people who appreciate our work and see the value in regenerative farming. So many feel good moments, thank you.
May 2021 marked one year of Good Life Farms. In Year 1 we sold products on our website, as well as Taste of Eden Market and to friends and family. We started our business while quarantined in spring 2020, and soon after we found out we were expecting baby #2, Niko. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy for Leslie and baby boy decided to arrive a month early. A lot has happened since the last newsletter!
Coming into 2021, we did zero of the 2021 planning we said we would do. Guess we forgot about the newborn workload. But also, we still weren’t sure what society would be like later in the year. Luckily, things have opened up. In April, we found out about Pearl Street Market, a couple towns over from us in McHenry. We had kind of given up on our search for a farmer’s market after getting turned down several times in 2020, and we decided to pull back production over the winter, basically due to Covid-related uncertainty.
Getting into the Pearl Street Market gave us reason to produce more in 2021, but we’ve had to play catch up because we didn’t have any piglets, chicks or turkey poults ordered. As I’ve told Leslie, we cannot order pigs, chickens and turkeys on Amazon Prime. You can, however, order chicks and poults online, but they aren’t delivered until weeks later in most cases. So immediately after getting the news that we were in the market, I was trying to order baby chicks ASAP because we were out of all chicken cuts. Later on in May, we were accepted into The Rustic Fox Farmer and Artisan Market in North Aurora.
It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. But we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, while managing so much change in our lives. Hundreds of people have consumed quality, healthy food that WE raised.
Our first batch of pasture-raised chickens for this year was processed last week, so we’ve restocked on breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings. We still have a ton of whole birds in the 2 to 2.5 pound range, so we’ve made them Buy 2, Get 1 Free until further notice! Snatch ‘em up. One of these size birds will usually feed two adults and a small child (aka, us). Simply add two 2 to 2.5 pound chickens to your shopping cart. After purchase, we will automatically give you a third chicken at delivery/pickup.
We brought our Idaho Pasture Pigs into the processor on June 21, so we hope to get restocked on most pastured pork cuts by the end of this week, just in time for Fourth of July! You may hear from us again about that, because we’ll FINALLY have our own brats for the first time. We’ll also have bone-in pork chops (available in 1” and 1.5” thick), spare ribs, shoulder roasts - anyone making pulled pork/carnitas?! - regular bacon, jowl bacon, cottage (shoulder) bacon, regular and cheddar brats, ground and linked breakfast sausage and ground and linked Italian sausage. We expect the meat quality to be amazing because IPPs are slow growing with exceptional fat marbling. If you want to get the most savings - about 25 percent - off of retail cut pricing, consider a half or whole hog. We have lots of availability for August and November processing dates!
We know it’s not even July yet, but we’re accepting deposits for our Woodland Raised Thanksgiving Turkeys. Last year, we raised turkeys on pasture grass (no trees, bushes or shrubs). This year we’re going to raise them in wooded areas, where wild turkeys are most comfortable.
We now have 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef in stock on our website store. This regeneratively raised beef is from Dietrich Ranch of Mt. Morris, Illinois, about two hours west of us. We’ve visited Dan in person, including a four-hour tour of his operation. Dietrich Ranch is a model of how we want to raise cattle in the future. They graze on more than 20 different varieties of grass and are moved to fresh pasture every 1-3 days. Walking through Dan’s fields there were tons of grasshoppers and other insects, and butterflies fluttering along the stream. Grass grew right up to the water. It’s all proof that Dan is raising beef regeneratively. Healthy soils means healthy animals, which means healthy people.
Here are some photos from that visit:
Pearl Street Market, McHenry, Every Thursday, 4 to 7:30 p.m.
The Rustic Fox in North Aurora on Saturday, July 3, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thanks again everyone for taking an interest in us, and stay healthy!
- Mike and Leslie