Monday, November 26, 2018


I know, it's a few days late for a Thanksgiving message. What can I say? The holiday season always gets in my feels (I think that's what the kids say) as I reflect on life and the people that surround us. Thanks to all of you that support Carlton Farms on a weekly basis, we are able to do a job that we feel like we were put on this earth to do. The hours are long and the work is often hard, but because of you it is not thankless. Seeing each of you come in or show up on the order list each week reminds me that you support what we are doing. Oftentimes I even get words of encouragement from customers, "Thank you for doing this." or "We appreciate what y'all do at Carlton Farms.". Those things keep me going and wanting to do better each year.
I want you to know that the thankfulness is a two-way street. We as a family are so thankful and humbled by the opportunity to be your farmer. This is a big job with a lot of moving parts. Keeping everything in order and productive doesn't always go perfectly. Sometimes we even run short on milk and eggs, our foundational products. But because you put your trust in us, we will work tirelessly into the future as your farmer. 
As we push through to the end of 2018, our centennial year is upon us. Yes, our farm will be turning 100 next year. We plan to celebrate all year. Several announcements are forthcoming. But I also plan to do a lot of looking back. Id like to pay tribute to those that came before us. In many ways, they had harder work and tougher challenges. I'd also like to tell the story of how you, our current customers, saved our farm and made this centennial celebration possible. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Preparing for WInter

Preparing may be the wrong word. By now we had better be prepared. The turkeys are mostly harvested, although we did hold some back to have processed in a few weeks. Our idea with those is to have a ground turkey and cut-up parts. More on those new products later. I do still have a little corn to harvest hopefully, it's dry enough later this week to do that. When those projects are done, the farm will take a giant collective sigh. We will then go into winter mode. There is still plenty to do, but the pace does slow down a bit. It's not only a time for physical rejuvenation, but also a time to read, strategize, and get rid of some of the mental angst that clutters our minds in a busy production season. I hope you all are able to recharge and reset this winter season. As we do, I will be sharing our ideas and plans for the farm right here.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Talking Turkey: Part 2

The birds did great this year, enjoying the lush pastures and growing out to a nice size. They traveled to the processor this past Friday and we will be picking them up early next week to deliver them to you. Almost all have been spoken for. There were only a few online earlier when checked. I've told you many times what a joy it is to raise these birds. They bring such life and personality to the farm. I think another part of what makes it special is you the customer. We know that this is no regular meal. This is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table. That you would entrust us to grow these magnificent birds that you will enjoy with family and friends on a very special day makes us.... well... Thankful. Enjoy. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Working Boy

Let me set the stage. On Saturdays, our regular farm help has the day off (Ricky deserves a day off after working hard all week). We have a Local teenage homeschooled neighbor, Jonathon, that fills in on Saturdays. Jonathon is a wonderful, joy-filled kid that loves agriculture. He feeds all the animals, collects eggs, and keeps the farm in order on Fridays and Saturdays. It's nice to have a responsible young man to help out, but it's even better to have a young man that can be a positive example for my boy. I think we all need multiple examples of how to live positively. On Saturday, Atticus asked, Can I Help Jonathon today? Knowing Jonathon would be a good example, Julie and I said of course. They worked together for a few hours picking up eggs and delivering feed. Atticus walked in later in his work clothes a little dusty and dirty, and with a big smile. I realize it was the first time he had worked on the farm without being my sidekick. I hope he always remembers that you can walk in after a hard days work with a smile.

I'm so thankful my kids get to challenge themselves with age-appropriate jobs on the farm the way I did as a child. I'm just as thankful that we are able to have good folks working with us on the farm that create our village.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Talking Turkey

Once again, the turkeys of 2018 have been such a pleasure to raise. We always enjoy the sights and sounds that they bring to the farm. They have grown really well this year with help from lots of early rain keeping the pastures lush. We pulled a few last week and weighed them, just to see where we were with the grow out. Wow, they were ahead of schedule. We will need to start processing in a week or so. We will process the turkeys over the next few weeks and store them in the freezer. Delivery will be the week before thanksgiving, unless you request otherwise. If you have not placed your pre-order for one of these birds for you thanksgiving table, you probably want to go ahead and do that now. We have a limited availability. I assure you, this will be the centerpiece of a special meal that your family will remember for a long time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

An Impromptu Remodel

I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but there is always something more pressing. This past week it rained and we finally had time for a shop project. You may have noticed over the summer that the mobile market trailer that I spend a lot of time in is very hot. Not to mention I've been using it for almost 6 years without a "refresh". My goal is to insulate the walls and refresh the interior look. As you can see from the pic, the insulation is in. Walls are going in this morning when I get finished writing this email. Hopefully it will be "mostly" done by the time I need to leave on Wednesday morning. I have a lot of ideas for this project and cant wait to see what we can pull together. Come out this week and take a look at the progress.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Getting off of the Farm

Normally, I'm perfectly content to spend most of my time here on the farm. Things that require me to leave the premises are usually considered a hindrance to whatever "progress" I was trying to make. Sometimes there is actual progress, sometimes it is me telling myself that. Either way, it winds up being frustrating. I would almost always like to be driving a tractor when I am actually driving my truck.
However, sometimes an opportunity presents itself that I'm glad to leave the farm for. I recently had the privilege of taking Jersey and her cousin Ty kayaking. We all had some limited experience, but we are not experts by any stretch. We paddled an easy 3 hour stretch of the Etowah River near Rome, even stopping to have lunch on the bank of the river. Jersey and Ty learned to stand in their boats and even spent a lot of time swimming. As for me, I enjoyed watching them and I don't think I thought about driving a tractor once. It was a really good day.