November 21, 2012 Newsletter

Display Case


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be Thankful for here at River of Dreams, Inc.. On the farm this year we had a nice crop of calves, lambs, and pasture for all our livestock. The drought did slow our pasture growth down some in June and July and again in September and October, but we should have enough forage to get us through the winter. Needless to say, we're very Thankful to Jesus for every Blessing we received this year both on our farm and in our lives!! Tomorrow, it's going to be the last day of the 2012 November heat wave with the possibility that we'll break the previous record high for the day. I must admit the heat wave not only lowers the heating bill it also has been keeping our pasture in good shape for our sheep. Unfortunately, because of the early fall drought we had to pull the cattle off pasture and start feeding them baled hay back on November 1st, which was five weeks earlier then we usually do, but there was no more pasture for them so, as they say, “go with the flow.” The beef herd have acclimated to eating the baled hay once again which typically takes them about 3 to 7 days to accept the change, but here in Northeast Wisconsin sooner or later we feed them baled hay and/or haylage from late fall or early winter into spring. Conversely, tomorrow is the last day this year for fresh pasture for our Katahdin sheep, and soon they will be equally surprised in their choices. The first ten of our early spring lambs left yesterday and our grass-fed beefers and the balance of the grass-fed spring lambs ordered for this fall will be following them in the near future. The beefers have a nice finish on them which should make our customers/partners really happy. Our partners will be getting grass-finished beef and lamb which should be tasty, tender, and yet provide very healthy meals for their families and friends. Besides offering grass-finished beef and lamb we're marketing GMO free, organically raised, free range broilers and we know how Blessed we are with the opportunity to provide our partners with the best meat we're able to raise for them, not to fail to mention for ourselves, too. To attain GMO free organically raised broilers economically we didn't feed them any corn or soybeans and yet they gained very well on pasture and the grain mix which Joe Schuh, nutritionist for St. Nazianz Milling Inc., formulated for us. Tomorrow, we'll be enjoying a couple of our broilers for our Thanksgiving dinner on our farm. Judy wanted to try a couple of different recipes so this will work out really good for us, enjoying nutritious GMO free range chickens which we raised and two new recipes at the same time. Typically, we buy a turkey for Thanksgiving but the major problem with that is while I enjoy the drumstick, it's a lot of meat on a bigger bird so to keep some control of my waistline I forgo many of the other entries at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Or else, I take just a very small portion if I'm going to try a lot of the other delicious courses which Judy and our children prepare, so the smaller chickens will be nicer in that I'll be able to enjoy a drumstick and the rest of the dinner without worrying about the calories, too much! Yeah! Looking back over one shoulder, our summer sales went well for us with both continuing and new partners buying our grass-fed beef and lamb as well as our GMO free broilers and eggs at our farm and many others dropping by at the summer farmers' markets we were marketing at. We were at the “On Broadway Farmers' Market” in Green Bay on Wednesdays and the Oneida Farmers' Market on Thursdays, which both ran from June into October. Besides moving the cattle twice a day and the sheep daily which are both easy enough jobs in of and by themselves it requires a lot more prep when I leave the farm for two consecutive days to go to the markets. Judy and Dawn, our daughter, were always there to take care of the stock while I snuck away from the farm work to do the best I could at marketing. As you'd expect, we had great days and slow days, but the best part of the farmers' markets were when I'd have a surprising day. There were a few times when sales were almost nonexistent and a customer would walk up and place a really large order. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and of course, very Thankful! I know more then once it was more then coincidence that I'd be reading my Bible and then a big sale would fall our way. Judy and I have seen Divine intervention numerous times in our lives and each and every time it never fails to remind us that God is always in control. Looking forward over the other shoulder, we're a week and a half from the Winter Farmers' Market at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay on Saturday mornings from 8 AM till noon. We're really looking forward to the winter market primarily since Marv, a great friend, who helps us in oh so many ways, has built us a portable lighted insulated display case where market patrons can actually see some of our products through the whole day. We realized for years one drawback to selling our grass-fed beef and lamb as well as our broilers at the farmers' markets has been that usually our products are out of sight so unless someone happens by when we're in the process of making a sale all they get to see are our signage, coolers, and maybe a freezer. That drawback was reinforced at a summer farmers' market when a woman purchased a leg of lamb and also wanted two beef roasts. I knew where the two roasts she wanted were located, so I retrieved one from our freezer while Marv and my son, Christopher, were getting the second one out of a cooler which was primarily stocked with our free range chickens. As Christopher was digging deeper into the cooler, Marv was holding a chicken up and out of their way and she was pleasantly surprised to see we sold free range chickens too. I believe Marv and her conversation went something like this: First, the lady surprised, stated, “Oh, you sell chicken too.” Marv's lengthy reply was, ”Yes.” Then she said, “Great, I'll take four.” Pleasantly surprised, Marv looked at her and, he questioned, ”Four?” “Yes,” she answered. Once again, our lack of product display hit us square in the puzzler. After some discussion, Marv was sure he could construct us an aesthetically pleasing insulated portable display case, kept cold with ice in the bottom section and his finished product exceeded anything I could have imagined. So you can see why I'm really looking forward to the upcoming markets equipped with the means to display some of our products for marketeers to check out for the entirety of the market day. Last, although not by any means least, the next big news for us here at River of Dreams, Inc. is our website. We've been planning on getting it out there for a while and finally we have made some serious progress. My son, Christopher deserves a lot of credit for the work he's put into getting us up and running. While he has the skills necessary to organize and launch a great site, it's not where his passions lie, so while it's still in development and he'll keep us moving right up and into the e-commerce side of our business, I'm enjoying the editing of pages and content management of our internet presence. It'll take some time to bring it to completion, since Christopher has a full time job in IT and goes to college part time and also is dabbling in his passion of developing a computer game with some like minded friends. Not to mention, that I need to wear many other hats in our business beyond internet content editor, but, I must say, it's not hard work just time consuming at this point. I'm confident, that in the near future we'll have everything up and running, although I know we need it up complete NOW! It's a perfect opportunity for me to practice my self control. If you have a chance, visit us on the web at and proffer your feedback on things like ease of use, aesthetics (still needs work), links we should have, and anything else you want to bring to the table. Thank you for any time consumed by you in assisting us in having a useful internet presence. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving celebrating the day with friends and family. Our Lord Blesses us so much, factually, every moment of every day and I look forward to taking a moment and rejoicing in His blessings with our family. From everyone here at our farm at River of Dreams Inc., we hope and pray you have a great Thanksgiving and have been blessed with an awesome year. Thank you for your support through out this year and we look forward to doing everything we can to provide you with healthy delicious food in the future, Lord willing!


God Bless,


Dennis Drzewiecki President


River of Dreams Inc. 23927 W. Hillcrest Rd. Brillion, WI 54110


Email: Dennis Drzewiecki