May 2024 CSA Newsletter

Cole, Kassandra, Eathon, & John – laughing at a story we were relating to the photographers while she captured what is most likely, the most frank picture of us together in true life.



I forget that some of you are very new to our ranch (WELCOME!!) and haven’t heard our story or who is behind those boxes of meat that arrive at your door.

John & I are both from non-farm backgrounds. Southern PA for him and Albany area for me. Both of our families moved to this hidden & delightful St. Lawrence Valley area in the mid 90’s and began dairy farming. My first ‘real’ job was at a local farm store where he sometimes stopped in to shop. He sent a poem, attached to a bouquet of gorgeous flowers, and the rest of that story is very, very good and far too long for this post. Marriage and kids followed, along with a deep desire to work together and produce delicious & healthy food. That desire was what birthed 8’clock Ranch and continues it over the past 21 years by God’s grace. It certainly doesn’t feel like it has been that long, but the stories keep adding up along with wisdom learned from plenty of hard lessons.

Eathon ( 22) & Cole ( 21) are about as different as day and night; one is deeply introspective and loves to deep dive into practically any subject while the other is mechanically minded with a love of food. They are each taking the ranch in different directions, widening what is possible with their own abilities and goals. Almost every order & CSA Share is pulled by Eathon. Dressed in a long, military overcoat with gloves and hat he spends literally hours inside the deep freeze pulling everything for us to pack up. He is also the first to stay late and make sure animals are taken care of, or play with the dogs for a few minutes after a long day. Cole keeps those labels correct, boxes taped to HIS level of correctness and but also steps from welding a farm project and covered in grease to wash up and help me make lunch along with a good chat.

The transitions are wild. John & I have gone from packing a baby and toddler along while sorting sheep, moving animals to new pastures to walking along side grown men who talk about ideas and dreams while calling “piggy” to a herd being moved to new pasture. Which was this mornings project. John & Eathon are putting hay out to the beef herd who reluctantly accept the once loved hay while mournfully looking at the tender green grass across the way…


Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies from Nourish


SOURDOUGH – Place your order by Tuesday the 23rd so we can include in your share!  Check out the post here for varieties and the price is still $9.75 for each item.

Our Spring/Summer Shipping Schedule is below! Share invoices come out on the 21st of every month and I will post this newsletter on our blog shortly after. I will also email you the link so you don’t miss the news. If the first shipping date doesn’t work for you, just let us know and we can arrange a later ship day. Here is the upcoming schedule!

  • May Shares Shipping; April 30th 
  • June Shares Shipping; May 28th
  • July Shares Shipping; June 25th
  • August Shares Shipping; July 30th
  • September Shares Shipping; August 27th

We drive all of your shares/orders about 3 hours south which allows those precious boxes to arrive the following day at your home.  Less time in transit means the meat arrives cold and ready for your freezer. We can ship from the ranch on other weeks, however we do not offer coverage on losses or thawed meat. Please email or call if you would like to discuss a different schedule. Also, we are happy to double up on a month if you will be away the next delivery date.

Share options for this month ( below is an example share for a Small Beef, Pork & Chicken, your share may be different) are pretty flexible, let us know if you would like to switch out any cuts or need something for a special dinner. LAMB! Finally… if you love it and want a 5 lb. additional share ( $75) let us know or we are happy to add some to your current share.  We are totally out of chicken until July!

  • Pork Roast – Shoulder ( Butt) or Fresh Ham – boneless or bone-in
  • Ground Beef or Beef Patties ( 1/4# or 1/3#)
  • Pork Sausages ( Breakfast, Sweet or Hot Italian, Chorizo or Kielbasa) or Smoked Bacon or Fresh Side Pork
  • Beef Kabob or Stew
  • Sandwich ( Minute) Steak, Sirloin or Sirloin Tip Steak
  • NY Strip, T-bone, Ribeye or Porterhouse Steak
  • Berkshire Pork Chops – Bone-in or Boneless
  • Lamb! OR a request extra of something you want!

You can also add; Maple Syrup, Honey, Meat Sticks, Jerky, and Sausage to your share. Just email us with what you are looking to add and we do the rest!

Removing meat out of this freezer after the power outage.

In November our power surged, sputtered a few times and then went out. Not unusual, until I walked into our secondary walk-in freezer two days later and noticed it didn’t feel cold enough. With a sinking feeling we called Goodrich, our refrigeration guys. It had burned up our freezer compressor and the replacement would be just under $4000. Not something we had budgeted for. We moved all of the defrosting meat into our main freezer ( Thank you LORD that it all fit!) and then did some research. Cole found some YouTube videos showing people repairing the units and after talking with TJ. We just got the re-wound motor back, Cole cleaned it, welded it back in, TJ refilled the oil, they installed it, refilled the refrigerant and… IT WORKS!! (Not sure if you can tell how excited I am.., not just the savings of over $3K, but taking the time to think outside the box and fix something instead of just junking it)

Meat Chicks are 9 Days out… Brooder heater is being tested today, brooder walls are going up later this week. Grit, Kelp meal, and Raw Milk are on deck ready for them and the Organic, Soy & GMO free grain from LakeView is in the bin and ready to put in the feeders. The hatchery we go to ( New Fire Farms)  is near our drop off location for your boxes – so it will be a drop off and then pick up day for us!

Chicks living right, on grass!

We are enjoying the sunshine, a few minutes to play with the dogs, and the spring work. I’m itching to get into my garden, but last night temps dipped to 32F, so a few more days yet. Calving should begin by the next time I send out a newsletter and be prepared for pictures of the babies… they will melt your heart. Do you suffer from allergies? We have found that upping our dose of Vitamin C helps so much! We use ground Rose-hips.



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