We love how our bees help the rest of our crops grow. It is estimated that bees pollinate between 30-60% of our crops. Without them, we’d lose quite a bit of our variety of fruits and vegetables. That’s one of the reasons we choose to follow organic principles on our farm. Besides not wanting to ingest chemicals ourselves, we don’t want to hurt our environment around us. As bees fly a couple of miles away from their hive, we cannot protect them totally, but we’ll try and keep their home environment safe
We choose to let our pigs be.…pigs. They like to root up soil with their noses looking for grubs and roots. They like to wallow in a nice mud bath. They even like to race around on cool summer evenings. All of these activities are what pigs like to do and helps to keep them content. Most commercially raised pigs are raised in confinement and are not allowed to act like a “pig”. Our pigs live a healthier life, which makes their meat healthier for us. See our pigs on pasture vs the attached picture of them in confinement. Which pig do you think is happier, healthier? They work well with our system of rotational grazing.
Cage-free hens are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests, vital natural behaviors denied to hens confined in cages. Most cage-free hens live in very large flocks that can consist of many thousands of hens who never go outside. Free-range and Organic standards are not much better. They have to have the “ability” to go outside. Which often means the same housing, but somewhere there will be a dog door and outdoor kennel where a few birds may actually go.
The conditions for commercially raised meat birds and turkeys are not much better. The above photo qualifies for Cage-free, perhaps Free-range as well as Organic.
This is where most of your store bought eggs come from. On average, each caged hen is afforded only 67 square inches of cage space, less than a sheet of letter sized paper on which to live her entire life. Because of their close quarters, the birds are stressed pulling out or losing feathers, most are fed antibiotics to keep them healthy.
We have chosen to follow *organic principles in stewardship of our land and animals. We have not become certified as it is cost prohibitive. We would prefer to spend our money on certified organic feed instead. This assures us that our animals are not being fed * GMO’s (genetically modified organisms/grains). Why would we want to avoid that, isn’t it just sped up hybrids that would eventually occur naturally? Far from it, these are combinations that can only occur in a lab as it consists of splicing genes from different species. Whether or not you feel that GMO’s pose a health risk; one of the main reasons for their development was to allow farmers to spray their crops for weeds. So Weed killer, which will kill anything your spray it on, will not kill the crops it’s repeatedly sprayed on. Instead it gets absorbed by the plant and later eaten by animals or you and your family. Because it is even in our groundwater, some organically raised crops have been found to contain residue. So we choose to pay for and feed certified organic feed and invite you out to our farm to see how your produce/animals are grown.
I was doing chores the other morning when I heard some commotion. I realized that a group of lambs were racing. They would start by their moms, tear up the fence line, gather at the gate for a short rest, and then race back to mom. They kept this up for a number of runs. It was entertaining to watch!
Garlic is a bulb that you plant in fall, overwinter and harvest the following summer. We harvest the scape’s (flowers) in early summer for pesto, and the bulbs in late summer. We hang them to dry, replant the smaller bulbs in fall and enjoy the rest of the bulbs throughout the winter. It’s not only delicious, but so good for you!
Beekeeper Steve capturing a swarm by the neighbors. This was a little harder as they settled in the crotch of the tree. The last one we caught looked like a basketball of bees hanging off of a branch. Please don’t spray if you have a swarm near you. Check for a local beekeepers club, they’ll have someone happy to come out and collect the swarm. Save the Bees!
Tabby was a first time mom, who I wasn’t even sure was bred. She had a set of twins on April 30, so tiny and so perfectly cute! This is a picture from when they were a week old already