Beef Pickup is exhilarating, unpredictable, exhausting, and rewarding.
We arrive and unload the Lambs. They get tagged, completed cut sheets for the two families buying them are turned in, and say a quick “see you in a couple hours!” to the staff at the processor, and jump back into the truck/trailer to head back to Stumpy Hill Farm.
Jonathan and I have talked before about ranches/farms that have started small like us, gotten big, and have lost touch with the elements of this business…something we truly love and don’t want to give up. This is our livelihood, so it needs to grow and support our farm and family, but not at the cost of being hands-on.
We woke up at dark. Jon had loaded the sheep into the trailer with Jason, Tyler, and Micah, so we drove the dump truck to Stumpy Hill Farm (They have a special plug for the truck/trailer), swapped into the truck/trailer, and were on our way to the processor.
Lamb dropoff is almost always on a Thursday. But this Thursday was different. This Thursday we had received the call that our beef (that had been delayed due to staff shortages) was ready for pickup. Whew. Deep Breath!
For the past 2 years Hawkfield Manor Farm Store has been in one of the outbuildings at Stumpy Hill Farm. Those who have picked up know the white sign down by the road. All our freezers are there, the milk pickup fridge, and all our signs & prices. One of the amazing things about our new homestead, is the shop that is here with full power and enough room (and outlets) to house all of our freezers and fridges that the Farm Store requires. Back to the present……. All our freezers are there! We loaded up 6 freezers and our jumbo cooler, and set back on the road.
11AM – Arrive back at the processor. We pay, and then work with the staff in the back to SLOWLY bring out the racks of beef so we can get everyone’s orders into their correct freezer, make sure the cuts are as ordered on each cut sheet, and weigh the half that is going out that day. My friend’s husband arrived and Jon helped him get their half loaded while I continued to work with the 6 freezers and cooler.
I must say, WHAT a blessing my boys are. They are so incredibly helpful, each with their own gifts & strengths.
Micah keeps us smiling and cheerful; Tyler is quiet and listens to instructions incredibly well; Jason is organized…borderline OCD; All of them have become so strong in the past 2 years, and all of them insist on carrying the boxes for me when it comes time to load the van for the Farm Drops and local deliveries.
The rest of the day sees me driving to the Triangle area for Farm Drops, and Friday doing local deliveries. My stomach muscles hurt from bending into/out of the freezers, coolers, and boxes; then loading boxes onto/into peoples’ porches, homes, and cars.
In the end, it’s rewarding yet tiring…and a hot and creamy cup of coffee to warm my insides? It does my soul good.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a not-so-typical day on Hawfield Manor…when the beef gets done, life stops to make sure local families are supplied with grassfed, grass-finished beef from our farm.
~Peace & Hope