Kelly Smitherson wrote:I have a waiting list of people who are begging me to raise more pigs, I can not meet the demand, but out here, people beg for good food, I do not have to sell why organic non gmo pasture is better- they know and they want it- so I lucked out that way, we are close to bg urban areas, now.. my folks trying to sell organic pork in the ag belt in Wisconsin- that IS different marketing than I have to do out here in the shadow of Seattle, home of the foodies
no issues in finding the demand, it is more about sticking to my guns on how I want to raise my animals and not giving into greed and trying to actually meet that demand
finding a SMALL customer base of people who think the way I do, and support SMALL family farm - and not compromising my priorities to make a sale
when you actually start farming, you will be amazed at how many other farmes come out of the woodwork all around you, it may seem like no one else is out there, but once you start networking as a working farmer- they will appear. I thought NO ONE else was doing what I was doing in my county, once I put some skin in the game I suddenly saw I was one of many- how wonderful
That is great to hear that the demand is truly out there. Sometimes I seem to be lost in a sea of people who just don't really give two poops about where there food comes from. I will be basing my home/farm about 30-45 mins out of a major city (the other half is a bit of a city dweller in her heart of hearts so we cannot stray too far from the busy!) which will hopefully provide more of a market for our goods. It seems that this local area (Brisbane, Australia) has a strong Local Food and Organic network built up, so I'm hoping that when I come around to the time of raising pigs, there will also be a strong number of people who are after quality meats. Like you said - even though i'm just beginning, it does seem that the more involved I get with the networks of farmers/organics/permaculture/localfood, the bigger i realise these networks to be. And man, i'm glad
Thanks for sharing your experience Kelly, appreciate it so much.
Renate Haeckler wrote:Just wanted to throw out there - to find the first few customers try craigslist farm/garden section and also www.localharvest.org. After a bit you'll get return customers and word-of-mouth customers.
We just bought a pig off of someone on craigslist while waiting for ours to get big enough to eat.
There's also a new butcher shop in the area that specializes in locally raised, hormone/antibiotic free meats. I think the way the owner is working it is you can sell the animal directly to him then take it to one of three butchers he uses and he pays you for the animal and pays the butcher for their fees. It's just a storefront with a bunch of chest freezers but the guy is personable and I think he's doing quite well. Maybe you could look around to see if there's anyone like that in your area.
Thanks for the link to localharvest - i'll check out if that is up and running over here (Australia). I'm pretty sure there must be an alternative if it is not. Gumtree is the big classifieds around here, and it is actually really well used, so i'll be bound to give that a go when I start selling pigs.
That was one of my initial thoughts about raising and then selling the pig meat, finding a butcher who would be willing to sell the meat openly, as oppose to by per order. The other option would be selling it directly to the customer on an order basis - for example, I would make a sale for a whole pig, and I would then ask the customer for the money to pay the butcher too (by selling them meat price + butcher price). I would find a decent, kind, small scale family butcher who would be willing to kill and butcher the meat on my behalf for the customer, and as long as that butcher worked within the parameters that I found to be positive and acceptable.
It'd be great to be able to find a butcher from where I could sell them the whole pigs for them to then sell in their shop, and also somebody who would be willing to also butcher pigs on demand for my own order-based customers. I'll be scouting the area when I locate my homestead for someone who would be willing to work with me. Fingers crossed someone like that exists out there!