I apologize if it feels like you haven’t had an update from us in a while. I didn’t want to send anything until we had some firmer plans in place. So, this is just a quick update on our farm move!
We had the house listed for about 6 weeks this winter and decided to take it off the market for March and part of April. It will be re-listed in mid-April. After 52 showings we were getting a little tired of keeping the house and farm spotless, in addition to the normal winter farm work. The winter wasn’t kind to us in terms of farm beauty, either – instead of blankets of the beautiful snow I imagined, we had mud, rain and fog. And little to no sun. It was pretty darn ugly, honestly.
We are officially moving mid-April to a new, larger farm! We will be located in Howard City, right where 131 North and M-46 meet. It’s a quick 35 minute drive into Grand Rapids and about 45 minutes from our current farm in Lowell.
It’s a bit of a long story, but the farm was never listed. Customers of ours had purchased the 35 acre parcel 2 years ago, kept some sheep, goats, chickens and horses there but decided it was better for them to step back from farming and rent the place out. Their current tenants are moving out at the end of March and we will be able to move in shortly afterwards.
We will be leasing that farm, then re-listing our house once we’ve moved out and cleaned everything up. Our hope is that clean barns, green pastures and an empty house will help someone envision their life here a little easier than with our livestock, manure piles and equipment everywhere. Not to mention, keeping the house in showable shape with two little ones, loads of farm animals, in my third trimester of pregnancy is an uphill battle.
The farm we are leasing to is pretty move-in ready. We’ll take about a week to build out a new milking facility but other than that, the fencing and pastures are already in, and the house is in great shape, as are the barns. It’s even on a paved road with a paved driveway! What an upgrade!
We’re incredible excited to be able to keep all our calves to build a grassfed beef herd, continue to expand our Berkshire pork, and be able to expand our pastured poultry enterprises in the future – chickens, eggs, and turkeys. The biggest change for us will be starting to make our own hay – the farm comes with 35 acres of pasture but also hay equipment and a lease on a 15 acre hay field immediately across the street. This alone will cut our feed bill and increase our profitability by over $10,000/year.
When we move (likely the week of the 17th) we will have to basically shut down the farm for that week.
We will obviously still be milking cows but will not have milk available for customers. This is primarily because we have to move the bulk tank, which involves letting all the ice in the tank melt and drain out, moving the tank, refilling it with water and letting the ice rebuild to cool and store the milk. This is a several day process between all the melting and re-freezing.
Once we are back up to operating the following week, a few things will change:
- The Wednesday evening Grand Rapids delivery will remain at the Fulton Street Farmers Market but the time will be extended from 4:30 – 6:30 pm to 4:00 – 7:00 pm. We hope this will help accommodate some of the customers switching from Saturday.
- All of our current on-farm pickup will be delivered to our Lowell farm store on Fridays. We will have the milk delivered around Noon every Friday and you will have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to pick up your milk from the fridge and return jars. We will plan to continue delivering milk to our Lowell store until the house actually sells and we close on it. At that point, we will switch to a different pickup location, but still in Lowell.
- Sunday – Howard City Farm Pickup
- Monday – Cannonsburg Delivery
- Wednesday – Grand Rapids Delivery 4-7pm
- Friday – Lowell Delivery
- Saturday – Howard City Pickup
After much discussion and planning, this is the schedule that best ensures everyone is receiving the freshest milk possible, while still maintaining convenience for you. Both are our highest priority.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We will keep you updated as we have more details and developments and are working to ensure the smoothest transition for our business.
Thank you for your continued support & business!
-the Two Sparrows Farm crew
P.S. While we are SOLD OUT of our spring harvest of grassfed beef we have a few piggies left that will be ready in April. Check out our Pastured Berkshire Pork page for more details.