Local Food Business Booming - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Local Food Business Booming

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One farm's passion for local foods is unmatched.
What started as growing vegetables has turned into much more.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you to the booming business.
(Annie Carlson / Morning Joy Farm) "That's how we got into most of this stuff. our customers asked for it and we are able to provide it." 
John and Annie CarslCarlsonthe owners of Morning Joy Farm north of Mercer.
What started as growing and selling vegetables at local markets has become a livestock operation.
(Annie Carlson / Morning Joy Farm) "It's really exciting to be able to offer this meat on a retail before our customers had to buy it halves and wholes. If someone doesn't have a chest freezer they were kinda outta luck. How can I get just a few cuts? So the retails aspect that we started now is really exciting for our farm." 
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "The hogs aren't the only piece of the operation. The main animal on this farm..are the chickens."
(Annie Carlson / Morning Joy Farm) "We started with 112 broilers the first year and they were sold in five minutes. And then we doubled our production to 250 then doubled to 500. And we went to about 700 and now we do 900 broilers a year. And we sold out of broilers in about 5 days." 
The Carlson's now offer pasture raised lamb, turkeys, chickens and pork.
Annie says it's selling faster than they ever imagined.
"We have doubled and tripled our chicken sales, not because we have doubled and tripled our customer base, but because our customers the first year ordered 10 chickens, the next year ordered 25 then the next year they ordered 50."
No doubt it's a lot of work, but Annie says it's all about the food.
(Annie Carlson / Morning Joy Farm) "I love good food. I love to make good food. I love people to love food. That's why I include recipes with our meat. I have customers who call me and say Annie, I defrosted lamb chops and and I am not sure what to do with them? I say do you have a cast iron skillet? Lets sear them on the stove top preheat our oven to 425 and then shove them in the oven for 10 minutes. I just love helping people cook good food. "
While most all of the chickens and pork are sold through orders, retail cuts of pork, eggs and baked goods are available at the BisMarket every Saturday. 
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