Well, I guess the drought is over. Not exactly in the nick of time but welcome anyhow except, I suppose, in the areas that got flooded out in the Harrisburg/Lancaster area. I just read that H-burg got 9.52 inches in less than 48 hours. To state the absurdly obvious, that’s a lot of water.
As has happened from time to time over the course of history and in the events of man, I was in error last week. I believe I indicated that this would be our last day, it is not. Apparently our permit runs through the 20th which does make it possible and incredibly likely that we will be at Meyers for one more week…and then that’s it, no mas, finis, stick a fork in it. We did get some pretty positive response from last week’s missive regarding price lists, pre-ordering, and meat buying beyond the times we are at Meyers. In short, it is not yet worked out but it will be. Our mental and physical abilities have been to the wall this week.
On Tuesday we shipped out the first meat in our new venture with Alex Dimin and Dan Honig, the guys from Ranch to Table/Happy Valley Meat Company. This was a very exciting and very stressful event. In a way, it started the week before when we decided to shut down the plant for 2 days to give the floor guys time to come in and repair some damage to the epoxy on our ancient concrete…shut down as in 2 days of nothing getting done when we could have used 8 days of slammin’ production. So, we were pressed. Pay no mind though, Rich, Bill, Lorie, Chicken and Troy went right back into it and rarely complained, at least to our faces (if a complaint happens in the cutting room and the intended recipient isn’t in the room to hear it, did it ever really happen?). In all seriousness, we have a very good crew (I have a video of Chicken cutting the cheek meat out of a cow skull that with enough demand I might even post on FB, it will knock your socks off, but not everyone wants to see that sort of thing).
So, getting back to the events, we were pressed when the guys from R2T/HVMC rolled into town with their friend and colleague Nick Fantasma of Paradise Meat Lockers, Trimble, MO. Nick was there to work with, assess and advise our team (RSMC and HVMC how to best accomplish our shared goals). All in all, it was a great day. Everyone seemed to understand the task at hand and appreciated that hiccups would happen but we would solve and get past them. Amongst those hiccups was new Multivac C550 vacuum sealer that will vastly increase the rate at which we can pack and the size cut we can accommodate but, unfortunately, wouldn’t fit through the door jam by about 1.5 inches and needed a 50 amp line run from our three-phase panel but all things are solvable with a bit of money, a crow bar and a sledge. The meat was shipped almost on schedule (we had to drop one box directly to FedexKinkos in State College) and delivered on Thursday. We even have a link on the FB page to an Instagram posted by the people at one of the restaurants that received the meat. In that case, a beef raised by Wade Wolfe of Centre Hall was processed and shipped by us to R2T/HVMC’s customer 606R&D of Brooklyn, NY where Chef Eileen and Sous-Chef Jared served it as early as Thursday evening. Looking forward to feed back. We do have some logistical and communication links to be worked out between the NYC team and the guys back here in the valley but overall, we are on the way.
So, for a second week in a row, I am getting this out prior to the very last possible second. Today we will be at the Shop in Spring Mills and at Meyer Dairy from 10-4. We will have an array of meat, including fresh, grass fed Angus from Neal and Cheryl Salyards of Jubilee Hilltop Ranch of Osterburg, PA.
Make a good one and GO STATE!