We believe the old saying: “You are what you eat” and I don’t want to be a sprayed, injected, tortured, body in a faceless crowd standing in a sea of waste. I want to live in the sunshine, eat my favorite foods, be healthy beyond the need of medicine, vibrant, free to be me and be known. Come see our piglets playing tag or rolling in a mud puddle and watch chickens sunbathe, chase after a grasshopper, or nibble at grass, truly living their best lives.
The animals here are all unique and slow growing. The growth rate matters and here’s why: fast food is fast food. A commercial pig feeding operation can produce a pork chop in 4 months. It takes us between 12-18 months. The meat is redder, richer, and deeply nourishing. Growing on what nature provides means you get a full spectrum of minerals and vitamins. Our homemade bone broth is so rich it gels to a solid state upon cooling. You just can’t get that in something that gained 250lbs in 4 months. And did you know that land animals produce omega-3s (and the lesser known arachidonic acid), when they are able to mature naturally on pasture.
You’ll immediately see a difference when you open a package of our chicken or crack one of our eggs. Then taste it, the bland stuff you’ve eaten off of styrofoam trays in the past can’t hold a candle to this. You will never buy chicken bullion again (because you won’t need it).
RE-ESTABLISHING ENDANGERED BREEDS
With the mega-farming that has overtaken all aspects of agriculture there was a need for standardization. All of the animals needed to grow to slaughter size at the same rate (and the faster the better!) in this process many of the old breeds are being lost. Animals that do well on pasture and forage are on the verge of extinction because it is cheaper and faster to grow them with GMO corn and soy. We abhor this for so many reasons. Those crops are heavily fossil fuel dependent not to mention damaging to to the environment and result in the total loss of topsoil. We want to contribute to the availability of animals that can thrive without heavy fossil fuel inputs. Biodiversity means food security. So we breed them and raise them for dinner! Our Meishan Pigs are considered “Critically Endangered” by The Livestock Conservancy a group with a mission “to protect endangered livestock and poultry breeds from extinction.” Find out more at livestockconservancy.com
Our heritage breed Meishan pigs are a main part of our farm because they are slow growing, they develop a high quality red meat, and they are super friendly. Because they do not get big as fast as most commercial breeds, they are better equipped to process pasture, and have a lovely disposition.
Meishans aren’t aggressive, so they are respectful of our low-voltage solar powered mobile electric fencing, and we can let our children be near them. Our nearly 400lb Boar (named Butter) has razor sharp tusks, but will gingerly and slowly nibble raisins out of our 4 year old’s hands, careful not to bite even the tiniest of fingers. Meishans have been kept by humans for an estimated 2000 years. Now a critically endangered breed they journeyed to the USA when she was only a cluster of colonies.
Meishans have large litters of around 16 piglets. We keep a closed heard for biosecurity and organically feed with soaked grains and seeds. Our Registered Meishan Sows Farrow 2-3x per year. If you are interested in buying registered breeding stock we offer a few of the choicest piglets from each farrowing. Email us about our current stock.
Like many farmsteads, we started with laying hens. They are primarily for our family consumption. We may occasionally sell eggs if we have abundance, but more often offer them to the pigs and other egg loving animals around here. We do plan to sell our pastured eggs in the future (so keep checking back).
We try to run our heritage breed layers behind our goats and pigs to better distribute the fertility, but often you will find them escaped and wondering the farm eating any bug or seed they can find. In addition to providing the farm with eggs, they are put to work spreading mulch and manure.
We also raise chickens for meat, we keep these in small groups, that move daily and sometimes twice per day. We supplement them with organic grains and seeds soaked in fresh water and apple cider vinegar. Our goal is to remove anti nutrients and increase the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals.
Currently we are utilizing a “freedom ranger” breed, they are a blend of heritage breed chickens and are slower growing than the big white meat birds, but provide a high quality of meat. The parent-flock is kept on non-GMO feed by the Mennonite family we buy our chicks from.
We are also testing out the Delaware breed, and will be breeding our own small batches of these to test for meat quality. The Delawares are a heritage dual-purpose breed and our insurance should there ever be a disturbance in the chick supply chain.
We currently have a closed heard of registered Nubian and American LaMancha Goats. They help us with grass and brush control, and are developing our forest into a silvopasture. They are grain free with the exception of their organic milk-stand treats. We have seen the many benefits of keeping ruminants off of corn and soy that are in common goat feed-mixes. We prefer to give them sunflower seeds if they need more fats, but mostly they thrive on grasses and legumes, blackberry brambles, pasture and woodland wild forage, small “junk” trees and cuttings from our orchard. We have also planted many nitrogen fixing forage trees around the farm for their “tree hay” as they eat themselves out of a job in our woods.
We breed twice a year, once in the early-winter for spring births, and again early-summer for autumn births. We typically keep one kid on each mom, so we often have goats for sale around 6-8 weeks after kidding.
Our dairy goats are rotated through the pasture and woods every 2-3 days, they work to keep the brush down, so we can more easily move the chickens, and then pigs behind them. We love our dairy goats because, they are able to provide our family and friends with healthy fresh real raw milk. But also we are able to supplement the feed of our other animals with it. Pigs like nothing more than grains soaked in fresh milk.
We don’t currently sell milk because Emary hand milks each goat and the cost of production for raw organic goat milk is upwards of $13/ half gallon jar. That said, if have true need send us an email.