Canadian pig farmer keeps his distance by tossing hams to customers
TORONTO -- A Prince Edward Island pig farmer has found a unique way to deliver his pork products in a time of physical distancing, by tossing his hams to drive-thru customers from his back porch.
Ranald MacFarlane, who runs the Precious Pork farm, said it wasn’t inspiration but desperation that brought about the new sales technique. His regular farmers market was closed after a province-wide public health emergency was declared last week.
“I got caught with a freezer full of pork, unopened and perfectly saleable, so I just put a box of frozen hams at the back door,” MacFarlane told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
“Customers throw me some money and I throw it (pork) into their open car.”
MacFarlane, who also takes e-transfers, said customers call ahead, text or message him. He makes up the order and keeps it in an upright freezer near the back door.
“They throw money at me wrapped in toilet paper, we take toilet paper as currency,” he joked.
“I’ve got a coffee cup tied to a hockey stick in case we have to exchange a cheque.”
He added that Canada’s plastic currency is also robust enough to disinfect.
While MacFarlane’s nearest neighbours self isolate, he leaves ham in their post box and they return the favour with quarantine cookies.
Customers are “fairly irregular” MacFarlane told CTVNews.ca, with two or three a day visiting his backyard for pork or eggs. They also keep some hens.
Describing himself as a “small scale free range farmer,” MacFarlane started his business 20 years ago and has 100 pigs on his land.
While he says isolation is “great for now” he wouldn’t want to be under “farm-arrest” for too much longer.
“I love it. I’m just being myself and getting a lot done on the farm,” MacFarlane said.