Farm Update: Summer 2023

Changes are coming to Bethlehem Farm in the next month, and we want to let you, our loyal customers, know what’s ahead.

Many of you have been with us for several years and are familiar with our journey to slowly grow our small farm to be able to offer high quality eggs and meat cuts to our local area. In 2020, we made our biggest jump in scale and growth to prepare for the launch of our monthly meat subscription, online meat and eggs sales, and small farm store in 2021.

Our loyal customers have been amazing in their support and encouragement throughout all of it. In fact, some of our egg delivery customers have been faithfully buying eggs from us for over eight years!

We realized in the last year that we needed to make some changes to make our business (and our everyday lives!) more sustainable. One option would be to scale up in a major way, take on significant debt, and make our small farm much bigger. The labor to keep our operation going requires full-time hours, but the profit does not yet provide a full-time income. The modern farming industry is an economy of scale, so to make a profit, you need to raise more animals.

The other option is to scale back the farm to a much more part-time basis so that Andy can take on more regular work off-farm. Raise fewer animals and simplify operations significantly.

The second option is where we have landed. When considering the way we want to raise animals, and our desire to be able to travel and be involved in Christian mission work, a smaller farm makes the most sense.

So we’re going to focus primarily on sheep for now and continue raising other livestock for our own family but not at scale for direct sale.

For our meat and egg customers, here’s what this means practically:

  • Eggs August 17 is our last delivery date for eggs. We may occasionally have additional eggs for sale after this time but for farm pickup only.
  • Monthly meat bundles August is our last month for the meat CSA.
  • Meat cuts August 17 is our last delivery date for meat cuts. We will, however, still offer all the same meat cuts in our more simplified online store for a time (though we will eventually be phasing out of meat sales as well in the coming months). After August 17, meat sales will be for farm pickup only while supplies last.

This is very hard news for us to share with our faithful customer base, but we’re excited at the same time for the new opportunities and freedom this will open up for our family. We will still be farmers just at a smaller scale I will continue to write regularly about our adventures on the blog and post updates on social media about the daily happenings, big and small.

So we’d love for you to continue along with us on our journey! Thank you for supporting us and cheering us on, and we look forward to continuing to share our journey with you. Who knows what we’ll find on the road ahead.