We’re going to start writing a regular blog/newsletter—and this is the first! For those of you willing to slog through my ramblings, the aim is to give you a real-time, on-the-ground perspective of our business (local, vertically integrated agriculture), so you can get to know us a little better. We’ll give you updates on the businesses and share stories of life on the farm.
A Day in the Life of Home Place: Stories From the Farm
Last Tuesday, after a very long day, I turned my pickup north for the 45 minute drive from the farm to my home in Memphis. About 10 minutes into the drive I got a call from Sam, our COO, who was broken down at a gas station. Coincidentally, he also had 6 deliveries in his truck he’d promised to make to customers whose shipments had been delivered late or not at all by FedEx the week before.
So, I headed over to the Shell station, scooped up Sam, some pork rinds, and the meat deliveries, and we continued on our mission. As we were heading toward our first delivery, I got a call from a contractor who was working on the new store back at the farm. While digging the footing for the foundation, he “discovered” a water line, which was on the opposite side of the site from where I told him the line would be. It’s about 7pm at this point, and I have Sam and 6 peoples’ meat orders in my truck. For a minute, I considered letting the water run (and flood the entire footing and construction site) until I could drop Sam off and head back to the farm later that night.
Instead, I called our contractor back and began walking him through the incredibly complex water system on the farm (multiple wells tied together through half buried shut-off valves, several hundred yards apart, heading in all directions—thanks Dad!). Thanks to our (very patient) contractor, we got the water shut off after about 30 minutes, which allowed Sam and me to make our deliveries and head home.
The next morning, we fixed the line and got the water back on. Just as I was celebrating that victory, I realized I had locked the keys in our delivery truck with the refrigeration unit running and six pallets of meat that needed to be unloaded. After confirming that no amount of swearing could fix the problem, I had a couple more cups of coffee and set about to tackle this new problem (which, per usual, I had not predicted or accounted for when mapping out my schedule and priorities for the day).
That’s about how it goes around here. Water lines, fence lines, livestock, vehicles, processing equipment, personnel, internet connections, my own helpless absent mindedness—most days at least one of these things creates a new and uniquely infuriating obstacle. Layer all that on top of some fresh baked COVID-19, and you’ve got yourself a true sh*t sandwich, served daily, a la carte.
It’s no secret that small business is hard, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s because we are committed—to our livestock, our community, our customers and our land. So, we are learning to spend less time dwelling on the problems of today, and more time thinking about moving forward … and of course keeping some spare keys on hand.
Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for keeping the Home Place going!
We would love to hear from you—if there are topics you’re interested in learning more about, if you have questions about the business or our products, or if you just want to share a great recipe—please don’t hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.