Freezer and stinky things.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Thunder5Ranch, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Every couple of days I write things and post them on the FB page and Website sometimes one the other or both. When I don't my FB followers get grumpy and demand that I tell more stories. On occasion I share them here on SM. Mostly what I write about is stuff on the farm, the farm business or all of the things than can and often do go wrong. Most of the FB followers are my customers and have always expressed that they enjoy reading my rants and being a part of the T5R in some small way. I don't get paid for writing neither do I want to, I just talk about what I live and experience and hope someone finds some humor in it or learns something along the way. And for whatever reason today's writing seemed like a good fit for The Monkey :)

    There are a lot of good reasons to check and log freezer temps at least once per day when you are in the business of meat or other frozen products!

    A while back I posted about being able to compare those logs for individual freezers and over time see when a freezer is about to give up. They all gradually start warming a .5 to 1 degree here and there as they age. Ideally I run mine at -20 to -25 the two older ones however are running at -10 and -11 on average now after 11 years of constant use LOL and abuse. So they get the things that rotate in and out the fastest and the newer freezers running -18 to -25 get the things that are in the freezer longer.

    Right now I am running eight 28CU foot freezers full of Pork and Poultry for the upcoming 2019 Market season roughly 14,700 pounds in those.

    When I ran the electric lines in the Frozen Warehouse I ran 4 circuits with 2 outlets on each circuit with 12/2 wire on 20 amp breakers and 3 outlet boxes on each circuit. A bit of over kill as I could run all 8 freezers on 12/2 and all on one circuit. I am weird like that though and figure if a breaker goes bad or blows that only knocks out 2 freezers, which I can plug in to any of the other 3 circuits if need be. I also put a light on each circuit that stays on 24/7/365 so I can tell at a glance that all circuits are powered.

    SO this morning I walk over to the Frozen/Dry Storage warehouse building that I jacked a corner of to start plants. The first thing I notice is that a light is out on one of the circuits. Do the ritual of changing the bulb and still no light, Check the breaker..... all is good, wiggle the wire that goes into the first outlet box and everything comes on briefly on that circuit. This is a odd one because when I connect a wire to a outlet I crank those little screws down TIGHT. SO I flip the breaker and take the box apart and the wire is just barely touching the plate on the side of the outlet. So I stick the wire in the hole and crank it down tight and give it a tug and the wire seems to be secure. Cramming the outlet back into the box the same wire pops out. SO I take it apart again and get into the outlet itself and find the threads in the female part are just not there. The male threads though would catch good enough to hold and give the illusion that the wire was tight and secure, but as soon as the wire moved side to side it let the male parts threads slip and the wire pop out. LOL a simple manufacturing defect! So I take a wet cold walk down to the West barn and dig out a older style outlet and replace the newer one with it and all is good.

    Freezers have more than enough thermal mass and insulation to stay below Zero for a couple of days without electric. This one had only been out around 1 minute to 8 hours since I last logged temps and reading -14 so no big deal and no harm done.

    LOL Like most people, before I started keeping thousands of pounds of meats in stock.... I might check the deep freeze once a Month or so. Then I opened it one days and got blasted with the most awful stench of rotting beef, pork, poultry, fish and vegetables all combining to give quite the nasal workout [​IMG]:) That was like 25 years ago and my personal freezer. I figure given the condition of what was in it that it had been dead for at least 2 weeks LOL, the compressor had gone out at some point. After that I checked the big storage freezer every other day like clockwork [​IMG]:)

    When I decided to start raising a lot more hogs and chickens and selling to the public. I made rule that the freezers shall be checked twice per day and the temps logged. Occasionally I will miss one check here and there but just make a habit of checking and logging temps every 12 hours. The Inspectors tell me "Why do you do that, you don't have to keep those kind of detailed logs and schedule." Nope I don't but it is a good habit and over the last 18 years of doing this has caught a lot of problems before they became major problems. I still remember clearly what a couple hundred pounds of stuff smelled like 25 years ago..... Don't ever want to experience what a couple TONS of stuff smells like in that condition [​IMG]:) Besides that is a good chunk of money that represents how I earn my living in those freezers [​IMG];) It is in my best interest to be overly cautious!
  2. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [applaud] [applaud]
  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    LOL I like how SM Doubles the Smiley faces on the copy and paste to here :)
  4. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    they get doubled because facebook includes their smiley pics in the copy paste and the smiley, so ya end up with 2 here.

    [ IMG ][/ IMG ] :)
    :) :) (y) (y)
    oldman11 likes this.
  5. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Several folks told me I should write a book.............. I thus far over the last year have got the cover art completed :)

    Book Cover.
  6. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Since stinky freezers were mentioned: A very long time ago, I worked in a grocery store. In those days, groc shoppes were closed on Sundays and holidays. So come along Tuesday morning after the 4th of July weekend, I got called in the morning, was scheduled for the afternoon. Went to the store, ALL the doors were open, fans in position to push air around, and downtown had an odd smell floating around. The compressor on the ice cream freezer (chest freezers, back then) had quit, probably just after closing on Saturday. Not only that, but the store was not air conditioned, few were in those days. We did have a mess, no idea how warm it got, but if you've ever smelled a quart of spoiled milk, you have an idea of what that chest had in it.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    As a construction electrician, residential and commercial, but mostly residential, now retired, I can not stress enough this about devices (switches and receptacles) .... #1 they are usually easy even for a homeowner to change out. However, if you open a electrical box up and there is 4 to 6 cables coming into one box and more colors of wires than white, black, and bare or green, and some of them are color to color but others not connected color to color ..... you might want to call an electrician before breaking any connections except those directly connected at the device (no wire nut connections). #2 working on circuits live is not a good idea for a novice. You should have a meter or a circuit tester and know how to use it. Just because the device connections indicate those wires are dead/off, doesn't mean there is no live voltage in the box!
    #3 If you get your fingers in this electrical box and change the device, and then put the power back on and you immediately pop a breaker or the device doesn't work, it probably is not the device. Even worse, if at this point, you disconnect the device and have more than 1 or 2 cables coming into this box, and you start breaking wire nut connections, you might get shocked by another live circuit passing thru this box, or screw things up to the point you can not put things back the way things were before you started out working in this box, plus if now you contact an electrician to bail you out to fix it, what might have been a service call fee and a 5 - 15 minute fix turns into a possible larger fee, because the electrician has to identify what every cable is coming into the box and leaving the box so that EVERYTHING works before he leaves.
    #4 Labor ain't cheap. One hour is usually included under a service call when the electrician walks in the door.
    Devices are much much cheaper than Labor. New construction except in medical facilities and commercial are usually the cheapest available, and break or wear out in under 5 years. Commercial/medical grade devices cost well under $5 each, cheaper as in under $3 purchased in construction/builder packs of 10 or 20 each per pack. They last practically forever, and when doing demolition of schools, medical facilities, or other commercial buildings I have quickly salvaged 100s of these devices for personal use. They are worth buying if you have to replace one yourself or are having some work done. Demand them if you are remodelling or building. #5 when in doubt, get a professional .... LOL, do not call me, I am retired, and no I probably can not explain it over the phone. Best of luck in your repairs! Sincerely!
  8. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    I am a simple guy that runs straight 120 circuits with no multiple switches and junction boxes that look like a birds nest. Same with the 240 but only one outlet or direct wired thing on each circuit. The 3 phase and anything over 240 I have a good friend that is a retired electrician that really likes pulled pork and beer :)

    I keep it real simple and as neat and organized as I can.

  9. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    My dad ran a "meat Market" in the 1950's and custom butchered and processed as well as having a retail business. He was closed on Sunday's but always went down after church and checked all the coolers as well as going down at noon on holidays. It wasn't unusual to sell as much in an hour when he wasn't "open" as he did all day Wed which was the slowest day. Restaurant people would have a good night Sat and would want, chicken, hamburger, and steaks, people would have company and would want steaks, hamburger, etc, kids would be visiting their parents and want some sausage or home cured ham, etc. If you run a small business, you don't tell a good customer who wants to buy 2 or 3 hundred of meat to come back tomorrow when I am open. Another habit he had was giving paring knives and good carbon steel butcher knives for wedding presents with the store name and phone numbers burnt into them. I have been there when women would come in and ask for the knives as their daughter was getting married and had been using them all her life and wanted her own. Good advertising when one ad lasts 20 to 30 years. When Dad died in the 1970's my brother closed the store, with the rules getting tougher on butchering, hireing help, less and less people raising their own animals, competition from the chain stores, etc, the building was worth more than the business. Great grand father started it when he came back from the civil war, 3 generations made a good living out of it, then the world changed, small business, family farms, small factories, most local food production, all gone.
  10. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Why the topic is on this, two weeks ago we had a once in a century snow storm, took out power to some for weeks.
    Generators were flying off shelves.
    My son is a Butcher at a slaughter house ( thats what we used to call them ). That have around 15 employees at the
    two places. One they sell as a business the other is the processing and slaughter. Well that snow storm took out the power to
    the slaughter house and a 2000sqft freezer had no power and they do not have a genny big enough. They lost about 100K in loss they tried selling off what they could locally at a loss but lost all of it, the deductible was 10K to cover so they lost about 25K being out 5 days. ( by the way they also have 5 other freezers of processed that they lost some as well )
    His place is the only USDA in the county so they bounced right back.
    tacmotusn, SB21, Motomom34 and 4 others like this.
  11. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Then the world changed back :) I started direct marketing the Pork, Poultry and Eggs back in 1998 as my full time job. Back then raising hogs on pasture and woodlots was a lost art and the term "Pasture Pork or Poultry" was not even in the vocabulary of most people. I couldn't finish hogs or chickens fast enough and at one point had a 18 month waiting list for whole butcher hogs. The regulations, fees, and licensing were/are a PITA but I have made a damn good living being a 40 acre owned 160 leased small farm for the last now close to 21 years.

    A lot has changed in that 20 years though everyone and their pet chinchilla seems to at some point try to get into the pasture pork and it gets stupid at times. 4 years ago had a bunch get into it raised and finished several hundred butcher hogs and did not bother to build their market and at one point were advertising free feeders and .35 cent finished hogs on craigslist and area swap sites, because about 30 folks all hopped into it at the same time and were going to make a killing. Not a single one of them is still in business today. The 5 of us that have been around doing this for a long time are all still here doing just fine. I am fortunate to have a State inspected packing plant that does great work 15 minutes from the farm. Cheaper and a lot less headaches to load 15-20 hogs up and take them to them for the kill and bulk processing and bring back whole loins, shoulders, hams, etc and finish the processing and packaging in my inspected kitchen (Butcher shop). Makes no sense to spend $300,000 to build a inspected slaughter house when I can get the kill, hang and big cuts done under inspection at their plant for around $85 per head and then do the cutting and packaging under the retail exempt rules in my facility.

    Now where I get really pissed off is the Snowflake small farms that learn something from one of us real farmers and a year later they have written and received a $30,000-$100,000 federal grant to "Explore" their new innovative idea........ that we have been doing for generations........ The snowflakes call it "New and Innovative" LOL had one a couple of years ago get a $65,000 grant to "Explore" If Okra could be grown and marketed profitably in this region. That is yer tax dollars hard at work. Oh yeah that was to grow 1/16th of an acre of okra. Then there is dumb ass me that has never taken a loan, never gotten a grant and does things the old ways and somehow manages to scratch out a good living and have enough saved over time to invest improvements and better ways to markets like the Chuck Wagon, while still reinvesting in the base farm to keep production running.

    I get asked a lot how I managed to become successful. It is a pretty simple recipe...... ZERO DEBT, START SMALL and GROW WITH YER MARKET, Focus on return customers and word of mouth, not one time buyers that you will never see again. Have 3 coffee cans one for reinvesting to keep things maintained and running, one to pay yerself and expenses out of, and one to invest in new things and ideas. And plan on working 120 hour weeks for at least 5 years as you build the farm, the customer base and try to stay in the black. Yeah I am little with only 600 regular repeating customers and another 300-350 semi regular customers.

    My biggest problem is 80% of my Customers are 45 years old to 80 years old 15% in the 35-45 range and 5% in the 35 and under group. Gotten to where I lose 5-6 good customers every year to death or nursing homes. Bigger problem I have Zero interest in marketing to or selling my products to the vast majority of the two younger generations.

    When I have a young family standing in the middle of the farm and ask me "So do you really raise what you sell?" I have a barely controllable urge to grab the guy by his man bun and smear is face around in a fresh green hog turd. Then the family that visited from the city, the young mother ask "So can you show us the salsa plants?" So I show her, the I guess hubby and the 2 kids the peppers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic.............. She ask again "So when can we see the salsa plants?" She honest to god believed there was one plant that got ground up to make Salsa......... By the time they left, I felt like I had a pineapple size tumor growing in my head! More so because they had just been approved for a first time farm buyer loan and had received a $42,000 start up grant to become Small Farmers. I never followed up but I am sure that worked out well fer them.

    Anyway Local food is doing quite well and has been for 21 years that I know of. Just those of us actually earning a living from it and keeping local food going are not the media darlings that make the news or get the articles in the newspapers. They reserve that honor for the Young and Innovative that 98% of which will be out of business within 24 Months of starting up. Since in 2013 I started opening new Farmers Markets and buying out a couple of struggling Markets, I get to meet a lot of these folks and for every 10 new small farm vendors that enter the scene 8 are gone within the first year, at the end of 3 years there is around 1 out of 25 left and at the end of 5 years there are about 2 out of 100 left standing. Funny thing there is the most dependable vendors and back bone of the markets are the 45-75 year old vendors/farmers, sadly we are losing them to death more and more each year, or like myself get knocked out for a while due to serious health issues......... but that does not stop of us short of dying from it or getting so incapacitated that we can't function at anything. LOL I was literally dying last summer and fall and still managed to attend 13 out of 31 market weeks, Not great but I managed it. Just glad I have a dependable and very good second in command to run things when I couln't. Then there is our oldest Farmer Vendor who at 91 years young just called me today to let me know things are looking good for him to be at market toward the end of May this year............... And get the full run down on his prostrate and how big of a PITA taking a leak is now days LOL.

    LOL apologies, it is getting late and I tend to ramble when relaxing with a good bottle of spiced rum :)
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    We have about 90 or so dairy operations left in the state of NH. Some of the "rural agricultural loans" I know of in the last few years were to a lawyer for free greenhouses to encourage veggie production, he made just enough sales to meet the specs and then sold the greenhouses, for a new movie theater that could also be used for plays etc, for a conversion of a old Grand Army of the Republic hall built in the 1870's to a micro brewery, for hobby farms with a few goats, horses used for equine therapy, for maple operations that run 3 weeks a year, etc. Meanwhile the man, 81, died who started and ran the first organic egg operation in the state, had a market that employed 20 people selling local and Amish grown veggies and apples as well as commercial bulk goods, was a market for pasture meats etc. His son and daughter in law took over a thriving business and between bad management and all kinds of new age BS lost it all in 10 years. Built a $40,000 greenhouse to be used as a place to sit while you ate your organic food from the restaurant at $10 a sandwich with greens and sprouts. Most people either could not afford it or wanted some more substantial food. A few people loved it, would buy a sandwich and sit and talk with their friends for hours. I totally agree, the new generation seems to want to buy a healthy food on the internet that is delivered ready to eat. The micro brewery is doing fine, the 21 to 35 year old crop of customers love it, pay big bucks for not bad beer and organic meals from the Imperial Valley of California. Went there once, had a cup of coffee and left, don't plan on going back. We are seeing a few greenhouses and pasture pork, grass fed beef, free range chickens, etc, operations that do well with the 50 + age group and some of the more conservative Christians, but 95 % of the agriculture in the state is gone and it isn't coming back. Last numbers I saw were that we imported about 97 % of the food we eat into the state.

    Wish I knew what the long term answer was, this new trend of buying productive farm and wood lands and saving the land by making it into wild life preserves and nature areas and going to court every time a neighbor want to cut a tree, put manure on his fields, or his rooster crows, and outlawing "chemical agriculture" and the humane society not wanting your livestock processed, has just about destroyed agriculture in southern New Hampshire.

    "Rant off" but the subject really grates on the few nerves I still have left, almost as bad as AOC. :(
  13. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Free range wild hogs? We have plenty here!

  14. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    I remember around 20+ years ago. I had a chest freezer on the back porch. Had deer, squirrel, pork, fish, and garden veggies in it. I walked out the door one day just standing on the porch , looking out into the woods , just happened to look down , and that little drain tube on the bottom of those freezers , well , there was a little puddle of a pinkish ooze just outside that little hole. I looked around and found the plug had been pulled loose somehow , I figured my dog got it. So I plugged it back in , and duct taped the lid shut. Never opened it up. I let it freeze back up , figured the smell wouldn't be as bad if the lid had opened. Come Saturday morning , I loaded up that freezer , and hauled it off to the recycle drop site. They wouldn't take recyclable materials at the local dump. I got that thing off the truck , and hauled butt outta there. I kinda feel sorry for whoever opened that thing. One of the main things I missed from that freezer was a Crappie , biggest danged crappie I ever saw , or caught. I had planned to get it mounted. Anyway , a month or so later , I made another run to that drop site , and there was a sign up that said , " All refrigerators or freezers must have doors removed "
  15. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    LOL they do get funky :)
    sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  16. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    They say we don't have any here yet, I am starting to disagree as I find rooted up spots here and there and hog tracks that don't belong to my hogs around the fence perimeter. Getting way to many people that use a single strand of electric and call it a perm hog fence. Then wonder where their 2-3 hogs disappeared to. And then the ones that decide this business ain't fer them and just let the hogs they can't sell go before the bank takes final possession of their half acre farm and house. Maybe not many here (Yet) but more than enough people who are not responsible to change that.
    Ganado, oldman11, sec_monkey and 2 others like this.
  17. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    A organization that competes with me ran a farmers market from 2010 through 2016 they took in I believe 3.5 million dollars over that time in Federal Grants for a market with 25-30 shoppers on a good week and 5-7 vendors.

    The high tunnel grant is probably the most abused as in 2017 they removed all reporting requirements. You basically have to keep it covered and grow something in it over 3 years and then it is yours free and clear. At that 3 year point most of the grant hounds sell it $6,000-$8,000 and sign up for a new one repeat.......... But WAiT tHERE IS MORE! You can have yer wife sign up for one and each kid and have 2-3-4-5 all at the same time and really put the screws to the tax payer if you game the system right.

    I have bitched about the FMPP, SAR, and High Tunnel Grants and the blatant abuse in them to Shimkus and Bost for years and more so when a new farm bill is on the floor as that is where all the funding for those programs comes from. I have and will keep proposing that those grants be replaced with low or even no interest loans backed by a equal amount of collateral. Making these fly by night farms and markets put some skin in the game would kill 90% of the outright fraud. Course 75% of the farmers markets across the Country would shut down to as they rely on the FMPP and AMS Grant schemes to pay themselves with.

    Then there are us dumb ass market owners that have never and never will take a grant and manage to run good markets on a couple grand per year from our own investment and whatever the vendor fees amount to. Which is not a lot since I only charge $5 per day for a stand space and we run 12-15 vendors per market day. It covers the advertising and annual market insurance policy with some to spare now and then. Most of the other markets burn vendors for $15-$30 per day and others want $20 per day plus 10%-20% of your gross sales. I dumped those % markets real fast when they took that route. LOL they are pulling a couple hundred K per year in grants and charging crazy vendor fees. I probably should participate in the Grant Fraud since there seems to only be benefit with no consequence in playing that game.
  18. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    As far as that Grant Fraud . A while back somewhere , I found where someone posted a list of all the .Gov grants that were issued in some I don't remeber what year. The amount was astronomical per year , and some of the things the grants were given for was just total BULL SHIT ,,, and I didn't even get thru the A's in the alphabetical list.
    oldman11, sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  19. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    As a professional grant writer I can attest that: the majority of the grants are reviewed for compliance and failure to comply could have some major repercussions... including repayment of the total amount of the grant, los of property and loss of liberty....

    Currently in excess of $60,000.000.00 in successful Government grans and $7,000,000.00 of state and corporate grants... :)
    Ganado, oldman11, sec_monkey and 2 others like this.
  20. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Where is the best place to get correct grant info , requirements. , or .gov backed loans for business ??
    Zimmy, sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
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