As we move forward into the new year, I want to start by saying thank you to all of our customers who have continued to support the farm, family, and store. Thank you for your interest in knowing and caring where your food and fiber come from, and for enjoying the atmosphere we continue to work to create; peacefulness, gratitude, and joy.
A few thougths for 2022
The organic dairy industry has some major challenges to face in the upcoming years with conglomerate competitors driving prices to an all-time low. Many New England farms have closed down with more anticipated before the end of the year. It is a crucial year in determining the continuation and or demise of this industry; small to midsize farms being affected the most.
At Nezinscot, we are making plans to expand into bottling and selling more milk through our farm store as well as to the small natural foods and gourmet shops we deliver to. This growth is dependent on whether or not we are able to secure grant funding to get started sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we plan to continue to grow our line of artisanal cheeses, both goat and cow’s milk, yogurts, dips, butter, and most recently a line of milk-based soaps.
For all of you interested in helping out, seek out either Stonyfield, Organic Valley, or local farms such as ours for your dairy needs. This action, along with spreading the word on supporting a regional and local food system can make a huge difference.
2021 farm store recap
The fiber studio, apothecary, and gift shop were big winners in sales growth this year. I attribute this to the lovely staff who continued to work creatively with ingredients and supplies grown and produced on the farm.
- For the fiber studio, our bulky yarn, 60% alpaca sock weight yarn, and our natural colored yarns were the big hits.
- For the apothecary, having a designated area for drying and processing our bulk herbs was crucial to our growth. The herb house was created to serve this need; located just across the yard in the little red house next to the goat pasture. Our specialty tea blends and apothecary specialty items are formulated and created with the help of my daughter Mackenzie as the leader. In the meantime, salves, tinctures, oils, soaps, and powders are all being made available in a newly designated area in the back corner of the store.
- The cafe, bakery, and frozen meats have also seen increased sales with anticipated increased growth in the upcoming new year. I am looking forward to creating new recipes, developing additional bread options, and increasing our value added items to help compliment the cafe, store and take home meals. I am hoping to bring back a line of fresh and smoked sausages and fresh pasta while developing a wood fired line of prepared foods for take home dinners.
Looking forward to 2022
I end with a thank you to all my staff who have stuck with us, believing in what we are doing, and are interested in continuing to grow with us. Thank you for all of your patience as we navigate all of the ins and outs that farming brings on a daily basis and remind everyone that everything is a learning experience; welcome the challenge.