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One Small Step for Family Farming, One Giant Step for Little Seed Farm

Sprout Creek Farm Cheese Curds - Photo by Sprout Creek's Georgie Blaeser
Since this post was written our plans have changed. Check out this post for an update.
 
Big news on the Little Seed Farm front! Sweetbreads recently accepted an apprenticeship role at Sprout Creek Farm near Poughkeepsie, NY. We’ll be packing up and moving out at the end of November and she’ll be working on the farm for approximately 6 months. As we posted about previously, Sprout Creek operates a highly diversified farm (dairy, meat chickens, eggs, pork, lamb, goat, turkeys, etc), but really specializes in cheese. 
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Are You An Owner of Monsanto?

Courtesy of Greenpeace.
 
When we saw the movie Food Inc. at a small, nearby theater a couple years ago it really had a profound impact on us. This was around the same time we started “going organic” in our produce choices and Food Inc. helped to push us over the edge when it came to meats, dairy products, etc. What struck me as totally missing from Food Inc. was any discussion on how these massive food conglomerates continue to finance their operations and what you can do to make sure you aren’t a part of it. All of this talk about boycotting the industrialized food system with no focus on what keeps the wheels turning: MONEY
 
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Give Your Friends an Eggucation!

the proof is in the yolk! Pastured Egg (above) Vs. Factory Egg - photo from thetastingbuds.com
Before Scrapple and I really started getting into food we thought we were doing a relatively good job with our supermarket choices. Hormone and antibiotic free meat when it was available at the store, organic produce when we could, and always free range eggs.  While our food was coming from the industrial system, we were convinced that it was superior to traditional industrial foods and that we were doing something positive not only for our bodies, but also with our dollars. Hopefully guiding the mysterious looming realm of the industrial into a new era of raising animals with respect and without scary hormones and antibiotics.  Oh how naive we were!  
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Farm Flows - Leveraging Your Fixed Costs

 
I think a lot about how we’ll manage the cash flows at Little Seed during the first few years of operation. It’s an extremely important topic because it can literally make or break your business... no matter how well you appear to be doing. Fast growing, seemingly profitable companies go under all the time and the culprit is typically poor cash flow management. One way to prepare for (and hopefully avoid) that unfortunate circumstance is to understand your fixed and variable costs. In this post I’ll cover what that means and how it can impact your business and in a later post I’ll expand into how it applies to various circumstances (debt load, working capital needs, etc).
 
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Farm Hopping: Milking and Cheesemaking at Sprout Creek Farm

In the latest installment of Farm Hopping, Scrapple and Sweetbreads go to Sprout Creek Farm! Twice!

Sprout Creek Farm - Photo by Sprout Creek's Georgie Blaeser Sprout Creek Farm is a highly diversified farm with farm enterprises including dairy cows, sheep, pigs, meat & laying chickens, turkeys, an on-farm retail market and more. The farm is structured as a non-profit and is operated by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Sprout is most well-known for its cheese and youth summer camp. The farm produces 15 varieties of cheese from approximately 400,000 pounds of milk from herds of ~40 cows and ~65 goats. As if Sprout’s excellent cheese wasn’t enough of a highlight, the farm also offers kids the opportunity to spend the summer on the farm participating in all aspects of farming. Gardening, milking, animal husbandry, you name it! The staff’s ability to teach 10 yrs olds about farming turned out to be perfect for getting us up to speed!
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