Making a Few Changes

I’ve had a long-term struggle with this website and blog that I am finally ready to talk about.

There is a conflict between my efforts to sell yarn and my efforts to sell meat.  It seems like the folks who are here to see the sheep and the yarn aren’t always keen on meat, and the folks who want to know more about the meat might not have a whole lot of interest in the yarn.  I have two audiences and splitting the difference seems to be hurting my bottom line.  In order to make my farm viable, I have to market my lamb and yarn effectively.  To sell lamb, I have to talk about lamb and lamb recipes.  At the same time, I also want to talk about yarn and sheep for all of my friends who love sheep stories and fiber arts.

So I have come up with a compromise.  I know that most of my visitors read my blog posts when they show up on my farm Facebook page.   I now have a second Facebook Page, Cloverworks Farm Kitchen, where I will share blog posts that are about cooking, recipes and lamb.  Cloverworks Farm Kitchen is also available on Instagram.  So folks who like yarn and sheep can follow Cloverworks Farm, meat fans have Cloverworks Farm Kitchen, and if you love everything we do, follow both!  If you follow this blog using RSS, you’ll get all of the content to enjoy.

I would love to hear thoughts and feedback about this – it takes a lot of pressure off me to constrain my writing.  I have recently had a lot of thoughts about our current cooking culture, so I am eager to have both projects on hand.

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A sample of my recent “simple recipes” inspiration.

 

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. When we had the brick and mortar store “Wool and Feathers” in downtown Stowe we had 3 large freezers in the basement which allowed us to sell lamb (and whole chickens) year around. We had an entire yarn room and rarely was there a conflict between yarn and lamb until spring. In the spring Gisela would, now and again, have a bottle lamb in a box in the front room… our analog version of the Instagram lamb page 😉 and meat sales? Plummeted. Crashed and burned. You couldn’t give meat away as long as there was a cute lamb in the store. It got to be something of a joke. Along with the clear disconnect between a sheepskin and, you know, an actual sheep, as illustrated by the woman who brought a pelt to the counter and asked, as I was ringing it up “so.. how many times a year do you skin them?” (the answer is “once, any more than that makes them damn nervous..”). There shouldn’t be a disconnect between “meat” and “wool” sales… if you want lambswool, you must have lambs, and you only get one year of lambswool. Then you need more lambs. Since there aren’t spare lambs parked on every available foot of ground and in everyone’s garage, I think we must assume that, to quote Robert Frost “a crop is a crop, and who is to say when the harvest shall stop?” It is, in my opinion, intellectually dishonest to “split” the business into two parts. It is, however, necessary if you want to survive. Meat sales don’t flourish in the presence of a bottle lamb. And yarn sales don’t flourish in the presence of the realities of farming when part of what you’re selling is the romance of lambs dancing on green pasture, as if they never grow up. If you want a guest recipe, give me a wave, I do a mean Scotch Pie.

  2. Hmm. This may explain why I have such a time finding information on the fiber from farms that primarily market meat from wool sheep, and vice versa. I’m the third audience–the person who wants the fiber and the meat, and all the information about producing both

    I’m glad you’ve found a compromise that will hopefully allow you to write about all and anyof the things you want to write about. Your blog posts are interesting and informative, and I look forward to reading more.

    1. Absolutely! Most folks in the meat sheep business are wholesaling their wool or just composting it. Many in the wool business feel afraid to talk publically about the meat side for fear of causing upset. I’m glad my farm is what you wanted to find! That really heartens me, and I look forward to writing more.

  3. You have most likely have three different customer segments. One loves wool and fiber and may never think about the processing of the sheep and lambs. Most people but their food in a supermarket and it has no resemblance to the actual animal. They could also be a vegetarian. The second segment is the customer who only is interested in food and is not a fiber artist. The third is the customer who likes to knit, crochet, spin and weave but also will enjoy rack of lamb and have an interest in cooking as well. I am in this group. I like the idea of having a separate IG page for the recipes and food sales. It is important to have the Cloverworks Farm logo on each page as you do so people will be identify you. People have to actively click on the food section of your website to it. I have just found you and look forward to reading your blog and purchasing from you.

    1. I completely agree- I know for a fact that I have folks who don’t eat any meat but love wool, folks who love lamb and lamb recipes, and some who love it all. I want to do my best by each group without off-putting them or sending them irrelevant material. I do have my logo on each page. The challenge isn’t accidentally putting meat on the wool page and wool on the meat page! Thank you for following me – I look forward to hearing more from you!

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