Welcome spring! It’s a busy time around the farm. Seedlings have been started for awhile now, chicks are in the brooder, and the grass is freshening. It’s time to start thinking about your grass fed, humanely raised, and pasture raised meats.
What’s the difference between grass fed and pastured raised? Grass fed means the animal eats grass only. Ruminants can do this (cows, sheep, goats), non-ruminants can’t- in our case that would be pigs and poultry. Our pigs and chickens live on the pasture, eating some grass, clover, insects, mice, etc.- but mostly they eat feed. Corn, barley, oats, soy… The birds get non-GMO feed. Pasture raised also means no confinement animal houses, no antibiotics or growth hormones. The animals live outside enjoying the sun, wind, and rain like they always have.
Our cows eat grass year round, fresh off the pasture or as hay. They are treated humanely, and get sea salt and kelp free choice. That’s it. Our pasture gets no commercial fertilizer or herbicides. I call it non-certified organic. We’re probably not going to get organic certification, it’s expensive and there are lots of rules- which only makes things more expensive for you. Grass fed animals also have tremendous health benefits for humans. But that’s a subject for another time.
I’m not planning to raise pigs this summer for fall harvest. For us, raising pigs over the winter makes a lot more sense. In the summer we don’t want the pigs to do what they do best. Dig. In the winter we can encourage the pigs to dig. So why fight it? In the summer we irrigate, which means lots of wet soil- a prime pig playground. They would tear up our pasture. In the winter we can put the pigs in garden areas, or have them build new garden areas, and they can dig to their hearts content. Let’s put the pigs to work doing what they do best. Anyway, that’s the plan at least, we’ll see if I stick to it or not. Pigs tearing up pasture isn’t necessarily bad, it gives us an opportunity to increase variety out there with alfalfa, more clover, chicory, field peas, etc. But it takes a lot of special attention with irrigation to get these little plants started.
We are selling at the Montrose Farmer’s Market this summer, meats only is the plan at this point. It’s my first time selling at the market and of course there are lots of little details to prepare for ahead of time. One of the tricky parts is I have no idea what the demand will be. Another hard part is it’s every Saturday morning, and we like to camp and hike. We’ll see how it goes.
Please, everyone who receives this email feel free to make requests or preorder whatever you may like.
I know it’s hard, but I’d like you all to plan ahead if you’re interested in some grass fed and/or pasture raised meats later in the year. Here is what we’ll have available with approximate dates. As usual, if you want in on any of these please let me know.
- Pasture raised chicken, non-GMO fed. At this point we are planning 3 batches of chickens. Availability dates of May 30, June 27, and Aug 29.
- Grass fed beef. I will be selling beef by the pound at the Farmer’s Market beginning in late July. I have a lot available, but I need to sell by the pound to generate revenue- to buy more cattle. It’s a vicious cycle:)
- Grass fed lamb. These will be available by half, whole, or by the pound in late October. This is my first time raising lamb, they’ll be raised with the laying hens out on the pasture. That’s the plan at least. I don’t plan to sell this at the farmers market.
- Pastured Turkey. We’re trying it again. We haven’t had a lot of success with turkeys here, the fox are persistent and the turkeys aren’t that bright. We’ve even had mink get our turkeys! But we’ll try again, these will be ready in early November.
- Natural pork. Ready in May 2016.
- Pasture raised eggs, non-GMO fed. We have a limited quantity available now, our young chicks now will start laying more this fall. We have nothing but positive comments about the flavor of our eggs. Current cost is $4 per dozen, but this may change in the fall.
If you are interested in a whole or half beef, let me know. Cattle is a long term commitment and advanced planning is needed- especially for a small operator like me. Cattle prices are insane right now and I would need you to pay for your portion of the calf up front. We are a debt free farm, which means we don’t have a lot of liquid assets for major purchases. Availability of this beef would be summer 2016 and each summer thereafter.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me while I ramble. As always I appreciate your patronage and let me know if you are interested in any of our grass fed and pasture raised chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, or pork. Feel free to ask questions, and of course feel free to forward this email to whoever you think shares our values. This will be to only ‘marketing’ email you receive from us until the fall, get your orders in now before you forget:) Also, reply to this email to unsubscribe if you’d like.