MUD, MUD, AND MORE MUD. Late winter/early spring farm update

This past year as well as the beginning of this year has been such a whirlwind here on the farm! We have checked a lot of things off our to-do list but at the same time its never ending. This winter it has rained more in our area than it has in almost 100 years…as you can imagine, this has made spring prep nearly impossible. But even though our farm is nearly ready to float away, we have been growing and reaching new people more than ever and that just flat out excites us! Here is a quick little farm update for you.

Like we said, the farm is about to float away, record amounts of rainfall have made our lives extra hard, as well as given our pastures and fields a beating! Some areas of our farm can’t even be accessed by vehicle anymore due to mud being nearly a foot deep. We are hoping this will mean a green spring in NC but right now its just a brown winter. We are definitely praying for sunshine and warmer temperatures though because boy oh boy are we behind! This has made feeding our cows hay especially difficult, we feed round bales which require a tractor and they make a mess in the mud. At least the cows don’t seem to mind too much, plus we are pretty lucky at times like these that we do have very hilly pastures so there is always higher ground for the cows to get to.

We have passed both of our inspections, Barrier Farms Meats and Barrier Mills. These inspections make sure we are abiding by all the guide lines for safe handling of our products as well as following state guidelines for packaging, labeling, and overall cleanliness. These leaves only one inspection left for the year which is our certification for being GMO free which comes later in the year. Even though we know we follow all guidelines and go above and beyond what is required for a clean and safe farm, it is always nice to have the stamp of approval to back it up!

We have already started raising our pastured meat birds and currently have 2 batches growing on the farm, with the first batch being processed at the end of this month! We are also trying out processing our birds at one of our grain customers farm that operates under the NC poultry exemption to process for other local farms. We are really excited about this as it will help us keep costs as low as possible while at the same time supporting yet another local farm! We also hope this will help us get closer to on farm processing which is our ultimate goal in order to keep our costs down and to insure that we get to be involved with each part of our animal operation from start to finish. We will also be adding some more laying hens to our flock so there will be more farm fresh eggs in stock for our customers!

Calving season is getting started which means lots of calves will be popping out in no time at all, its literally our favorite time of the year! Its also a really busy time of the year and means extra daily trips out to the pastures to check for new calves, but thats a chore we really don’t mind!

We’ve made big strides over at Barrier Farms Meat, we can’t even believe the amount of support our community has given us! Going out of your way to buy locally isn’t always the easiest but it sure does make us smile to see all the folks willing to go the extra step to support our farm. The feedback has been overwhelmingly awesome and we can’t tell you how much it makes us smile to see y’all enjoying all of our hard work! Its easy to be biased in what you do, so when we get people coming back to agree with us it gives us a lot of validation which we so very much appreciate! We hope to continue adding to this part of the farm so we can bring you even more of our awesome pasture raised meats!

We’ve added some new pets to the farm as well! As many people know our resident farm cat possum often has a litter of kittens and we try to keep one or two around at all times at the grain mill, cats are very useful there! All of the other kittens normally get then by customers who can’t resist their cuteness as well as the added benefit of them being super friendly due to being around people all day. Teeny and Tiny are some of the newest members to the mill house staff and we are hoping they don’t get picked up by anyone because they are the sweetest girls! Lets hope as they get older they get better at catching mice because right now the only thing they’re really good at is napping on top of feed bags. We also have a new resident farm dog onsite, a sweet black lab mix named Bella. You’ll definitely see her on your nest Farm Box day as its here job to alert us when someone puts up…though she is also not too good at her job yet and can be more often found chasing nuts and barking at absolutely nothing.

We also added a new section to the website this past month! This has been a highly requested thing for us to do, a recipe page with all our family favorites using our farm cuts of meat. This has turned into such a fun project for us to do, and we are really enjoying sharing our favorites and hearing how you like them! This will page will continue to be updated weekly for the next couple of months, and quite possibly the rest of the year as we dig deep into our store of family recipes to share with everyone. Make sure to let us know if you tried any out!

Here is to hoping next months update features a little more sunshine, a little less mud, and a lot more good news to share! From our farm to yours, thanks for following along on this journey, your support and loyalty is what allows us to do what we love everyday!

Landon Barrier