I sent the letter below to my customer list yesterday morning. I don't have email addresses for everyone who purchases from Odyssey Farm, so I'm posting it here as well:
Sitting at my desk this morning, I found myself shifting focus between three spreadsheets on my computer and watching an orange-pink sunrise across a snow-dusted pasture. I'm often mentally flickering between the objectivity of numbers and the subjective reasons why I farm the way I do. It’s especially poignant at the end of the year when I can look at the total income, the expenses, and start thinking about next year while glancing out the window at cornstalks and cover crops.
Thank you so much for choosing to buy Odyssey Farm pork to feed your family, and a special thanks to returning customers. Except for some pork chops, a few pounds of braunschweiger, and a couple loin roasts, we are sold out of all the pork we raised for 2017. I’ve had more demand than I could fill this season.
Your support allows me to keep doing this—Odyssey Farm as a business and a way of life.
The farm is both laboratory and sanctuary. It is where I test my convictions though practical (or impractical) application (It is possible to farm 15 acres with a walk-behind machine, but it’s not easy). While the farm takes a tremendous amount of energy, it also gives back when I’m receptive: marveling at the cathedral of oaks in the woods, staring at the stars in a private slice of night sky, discovering a whole soil-building microcosm of fungi beneath thick swards of red clover, watching the kids learn to work calmly with pigs and chickens, eating meals made from several foods that we raised.
Raising food in a way that’s good for the environment, good for the animals, and good for the eater isn’t just a tag line, it’s the core of how I believe I need to interact with the ecosystem and our community. Moving the animals often, giving them the time and space to minimize their stress, and using only organic or transitional organic feeds all require either more labor or more costs than just producing something we could call “pastured pork.” I also think they result in a better product. My standards are admittedly strict, and I’m grateful for discerning customers who appreciate our pork and the values behind it. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you who have visited the farm to see the animals and land first hand.
I plan on raising pigs again next year, refining my system so I can keep producing high quality pork in a way that’s both environmentally sustainable and financially viable. I’d like to raise more animals if demand continues. If you enjoy the pork, please tell your friends about us.
Thank you for a good year and I hope to see you again in 2018.
Former Marine Infantry Officer. Iraq Vet. Interested in Regenerative Agriculture at any scale.
Odyssey Farm, LLC.
The Odyssey Farm Journal
Odyssey Farm, LLC
Dane County Climate Champion
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