We're No. 1

Edible Houston Magazine sponsored a contest asking Houston metro area residents which is their favorite farm serving Houston. And the winner is…Jolie Vue! We are overwhelmed by that news and thank all of you for your support. Makes all of our attention to the details of growing healthy, humanely-raised and sustainably-grown complete proteins worth all of the effort expended over the last 12 years worth it. And, I should mention, improving our regional environment’s air, water and soil while doing so.

I want to give posthumous thanks to my father for starting us on the right track. Dad was a lifelong restauranteur and he always taught that getting the food right came before profit because only if you did that would the sustainable business follow. Thanks, Dad. We miss you but are ever thankful for your wisdom.

2018 Pricing

This year our only significant adjustment will be in the All Beef category (with or without chicken). Why? We introduced the All Beef because we wanted to accommodate folks who had religious issues with pork in the Traditional package. It has been more popular than we anticipated while pricing is unfair to Traditional and All Pork members. Remember that it takes 2 1/2 years to finish a steer while a porker takes only a year and a chicken from Jolly takes 3 months. That long beef finishing period accounts for a huge relative cost in terms of raising a steer, so All Beef should be priced higher.

So here goes with the prices that will first be charged for deliveries in February. Prices remain the same for this month - we always want to give advance warning of price changes so as to not surprise. Below are the changes: prices will be the same whether the order is with or without chicken.

All Beef: $294 instead of $269 (the new price keeps us below grass-fed beef grocer prices + ours is locally grown + delivered to your door).

All Pork: Stays at $269. This price reduction puts a $25 difference between all-pork and all-beef. Seems about right.

Traditional: $274 instead of $269 for our most popular package. This 1.8% adjustment just covers our increasing costs while narrowing our profit margin slightly. We’re OK with that. Hope you are.

We think these prices can stick into 2020. They keep us below grocer prices, it’s locally and sustainably grown in your food shed, and we deliver to your door. 
 

The Longer-Term Plan

We have not gone “hard” on this yet, but are seriously considering taking a month off each year with December being the most likely candidate. Our thinking is that a one month rest will be good for all creatures on the farm. The rest in December will probably make our November deliveries boom, especially since we expect to be offering Christmas lamb in the November deliveries. So that would be an appropriate end to the calendar year deliveries.
We will let you know our final decision in the next newsletter.

Skipping Notices

Every month, we have one or more deliveries scheduled that “fail”. In other words, we did not get a timely notice that the customer wishes to skip that month. Sometimes we learn that on Thursday evening, Friday or even Saturday. Several times we have learned that while standing at the door with a cooler full of food and eggs, only to be told that the customer “intended” to skip.
Recall that we send notices of delivery weekend on the Monday preceding the delivery weekend so that you have 3 and 1⁄2 days to notify of your desire to skip that delivery. Please understand that we commit to costs promptly at noon on Thursday preceding your weekend delivery. This is the latest that we can notify Jolly Farms and Coyote Creek of our chicken and eggs order. As an example, we almost always have $150-200 in direct, incurred costs as a result of skip notices that come in too late.

Thursday is also the day we plan the delivery route, trying to make the drive from the farm to all of the homes as short as possible. We hope you can understand the difficulty of planning the most efficient route of making 50 or so home deliveries each day only to learn after doing so that 2, 3, or 4 customers have given us a late notice to take them off the route. So late notices of desire to skip have many costs and planning consequences to us.

We urge you to advise us as early as you can if it is your intention to skip the month’s delivery, but not later than noon on Thursday preceding the weekend of delivery. Any notices that arrive later than noon on Thursdays will incur a charge of $25 and if it comes in at a time when we have already packed your cooler, be that Saturday or Sunday morning, we will charge you the full cost of the delivery plus $25. However, in that last described situation, there will be no charge for your next delivery.

Fair enough? We hope so because we have always strived to be as easy and as flexible with our valued customers as is possible.

Sustainable

Sustainable is a term used frequently to describe farming techniques implemented to assure that farming will enhance or at least not damage the immediate as well as the larger environment, be that soil, air or water. But as we plumb more deeply into sustainability, we find it has application to many techniques utilized by the modern food system that dominates our dietary lives.

Let's jump to chicken and how we eat it today, contrasting that with the presentation less than 60 years ago. I am old enough to remember grocery shopping with my mother and seeing nothing but whole chickens, with the giblets stuffed in the cavity, as the only way to buy chicken. Mom was expert at dissembling the chicken into pieces if she was going to fry it, or leaving it whole if she would roast it. The giblets would make a wonderful gravy using the neck, gizzard and heart, and the liver would be eaten either fried or as a pate' on bread. The only part of the chicken not consumed, I suppose, were the feet and head. My supposition is that those parts were sent to the pet food factory. Feathers? Who knows? Pillows and mattresses perhaps. My recollection of price was in the neighborhood of 29 cents a pound. So a three pound fryer cost less than a dollar. And nothing was wasted. The sustenance gained by eating that whole chicken was far superior to today's most popular choice, the skinless, boneless breast. You all know what kind of price that cut commands - because the producer has to sell the rest of the chicken at a discounted price somewhere else in an effort to recoup his costs of production. Legs, thighs, wings, neck, skin, liver, gizzard, heart. In other words, the bulk of the remaining chicken.

So where does it go? I understand that much of it goes to the Asian countries and other cultures that understand that the superior sustenance in a chicken is found in those lesser parts. We should refer to that as the sustainable sustenance of a chicken. So we Americans spend ship or jet fuel in huge quantities trying to get rid of the parts that Americans won't eat based on the misguided belief that the chicken breast will sustain us.

Does that strike you as sustainable sustenance?

NEW! All-Beef Delivery Option

Jolie Vue now offers, for the first time in its history, a choice of home-delivered coolers full of beef all at the same price as the other and all providing the same number of servings. And, of course, all of our natural meats come from humanely-raised, antibiotic and growth hormone-free meats from native, unpoisoned, organic-certifiable pastures and all achieve the Paleo guidelines if that is your dietary choice.

Your choices are:

  • Our Traditional selection, which is "farmer's choice" and includes a mixed variety of beef, pork and chicken. This is the selection that has sustained the farm for its first twelve years in farm-to-home eating. Meats from beef, pork and chicken are not the same nutritionally so we like the balance in nutrients and tastes that "traditional" provides, and so do most of our customers.
  • The All Beef choice: some of our customers and inquirers choose to follow Judeo/Christian (Leviticus) or Halal (Al-Qur'an 5:3) dietary practices which teaches abstention from pork. So whether it is for faith reasons or simply your personal preference, you can now choose "all beef", which of course remains 100% grass-fed and finished.

In either case, you may choose to include one free range chicken in your cooler or not.

Eggs remain an option at a separate price of $5.95 per dozen (the same organic/free range egg that you pay $7 or more for at your grocery store). Order as many cartons as you wish of this superior egg.