Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ranch Update

Here is the door to the chicken coop... one big sheet of ice!!
I forgot to post when we got power back but... we have power!! (Since the 12th of Feb) Sorry for those wondering and waiting. There are still some power poles down in places around the area and one of our water wells still doesn't have power, but that should change sometime soon.

Raw Milk Update:

Here is the email I sent out to my regular milk junkies. If you are interested in getting milk from us, this should fill you in on how to go about doing that.

March 1st marks the date the Phelan Ranch Company LLC will switch to selling share's of our dairy herd to insure you get milk every week instead of first come first serve. If you are currently getting milk from us on a regular basis, you get first dibs. I have 35 shares for sale (a.k.a. 35 gallons/week). If you are not familiar with our herd-share program, here is a little bit about how it works.

Herd Share Program

Lets say you want one gallon of milk per week. One gallon of milk is equivalent to one herd share. You must first purchase this share for $50, which is a one time cost that will be refunded if you ever want to stop getting milk for whatever reason... no small print, no tricks. If you want to terminate the contract, you can without any penalty. Now you own one share of the dairy cow herd that is taken care of by the Phelan Ranch Company. Since you own part of the herd you need to pay for the Phelan Ranch Company to care for your cow, milk her and prepare the milk for you to pick up. This costs $24 per month per share (which equals $5.54 per gallon of milk and includes sales tax). Then we pick a day of the week that is best for you and me to come pick up that milk every week. You are now guaranteed to receive one gallon of milk per week barring any unforeseen disaster that would compromise the current herd (like the sudden death of a cow).

Here it is again, but this time you want 5 gallons per week.
Cost of herd shares = $250 ($50 per share x 5 shares = $250) This payment can be spread out in installments.
Cost of care/month = $120 ($24 per month x 5 shares = $120) This payment is due in full on the first of every month.

Here it is again, but this time you only want a 1/2 gallon per week.
Cost of herd share = $25 ($50 per share x 1/2 share = $25) This payment can be spread out in installments.
Cost of care/month = $13 ($24 per month x 1/2 share = $12 plus $1 for extra jug and time) This payment is due in full on the first.

The reason for the herdshare program is because selling raw milk in OK is legal, but only if it is an incidental or minor sale. The government gets to decide what incidental means and I don't want the government coming in and stopping me from providing good, clean, healthy milk to you. So the herdshare program actually allows you own the cow and pay me to milk her for you. Hence, I'm really only providing a service, not a product.

From this day forward I will only set aside milk for those who are share owners. I currently have PLENTY of milk for purchase, but as I sell herd-shares, this extra milk will diminish. Any milk marked EXTRA is available for purchase by anyone at anytime, but any milked marked with share holders names is only for their use.

If you purchase milk this month, but decide to become a member, your monthly care fee will be pro-rated based on the amount of milk you've purchased thus far.

As I read over this email, it seems pretty harsh and I hate to express that feeling toward you, my wonderful customers. It is because of your support that I am able to regenerate the ecosystem and provide an income to my family to be. I want to express my greatest thanks to you and your support.

If you have ANY question about the program, the cost, the cows, or anything, PLEASE let me know. Those of you who have worked with me know that I am extremely flexible and want to serve you.

If you are ready to sign up, let me know so we can get together and sign the attached contracts. I would love it if you could come to the farm, but I am willing to met you where ever is good for you.

Your Grateful and Thankful Farmer,


I'm selling "Morris" the boar hampshire pig if anyone is interested. I decided I can buy weaned pigs cheaper than I can grow them. I hope to one day farrow my own pigs, but today is not that day.

The Garden of Eden... I mean Erin

This may sound like a lie but I'm really looking forward to Beets!! I love beets and haven't had any since I left Polyface in October. I tilled up this garden using an old ROTO-HOE Tiller with a 5 HP Tecumseh engine. I had to replace the pull cord starting system and flush the Carburetor, but after that she ran pretty well... except the gas leaking out of the Carburetor. Maybe I should replace it someday?

Anyway... I hope all is well out there. I'm getting Married on March 20th, so if I don't post much until April, please forgive me. Once I get Erin down here with me, I'll turn her loss with a camera and then I'll have more pics to talk about.


  1. That's a lot of ice! Congrats on the upcoming wedding.

  2. Well, I'd sign up if I lived that way. Doesn't sound harsh to me - just realistic. Good luck for your wedding day!

  3. Grady - I'm David Funkhouser's cousin, and spent a few quality years living out southwest of Hobart. I was excited to see your name on the Polyface website, and even more interested when you showed up on David and Janel's blog! I've always wondered about sustainable ag in that part of OK, and Polyface is such a great model (I've read most of Joel's books, and long for the day when I have something more than a suburban concrete patio to cultivate!), so I'll be following your blog with interest! Don't know when we'll be back in Hobart next (we live in Denver), but I'd love to look you up when we're in town and see how it's going.

    Congratulations on your impending wedding, and good luck this spring as things start picking up!
    Heidi Funkhouser Farr

  4. Congrats on your wedding. And... great looking cow there! Have you had her tested for A1/A2 casines?

  5. The wedding is tomorrow, remember it isn't three little words that are so important....its two....YES DEAR!!

    Congrats on all you are doing.


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