• Animals,  Farms,  Supporting Small Farms,  Vegetables

    Friday Farm Photos: Can I Share Your Farm?

    If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that we once owned a farm where we raised pastured, soy-free, corn-free chickens, hens for eggs, a few dairy cows, pigs, geese, ducks, turkeys & a pretty big garden. We worked really hard, and made some stupid, newbie mistakes along the way. Jumping into farming, without previous experience or education, is quite a learning curve! We had a quick, on-farm education and then the realization that we weren’t going to make it at farming any longer and had to sell our farm. See the photo above? It is one of my favorite shots of the land that was…

  • Animals,  Farms

    The Cost of Raising Broilers without Soy, Corn or GMO’s.

    We just sent out our first e-mail, offering to raise chickens with soy and corn and even GMO’s, only because we are not finding many customers who are willing to pay the price point for our chicken. It feels like we’re going against our own standards–buying a conventional type of feed, with soy and corn, and whatever else they fill it with. We understand, though, that there’s IDEAL and then there’s REALITY when it comes to people’s ability to spend money on food. Many people look at our chalkboard at the farmer’s market like “Really?! $5.50 per pound for chicken?” Yes people, that’s the cost of our chicken. For those of you who are curious, I want…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Real Food

    The Cost of Producing Raw Milk

    I recently asked y’all  on Facebook how much you spend on raw milk. The prices ranged from $3 per gallon up to $20. The break down is like this: 43% pay $7 or less per gallon 45% pay between $8 and $13 per gallon 12% pay over $14 per gallon We have 2 dairy cows, but only one is in milk right now. Our other cow just got “serviced” last month and we hope that she is pregnant! I am going to break down our costs for you, to show you how much we spent in the month of May (2013) on our dairy cows, and how much we made…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Homemade Chicken Feed without Soy or Corn

    When we first bought our property, I wanted to create a chicken feed that would not include soy or corn. I was not able to find a ready-made feed that worked for us, so I researched (a lot!) and came up with this ration. It works great for layers, but it does not have enough protein for growing meat birds. A few years ago, we were able to find soy-free, corn-free feed through Magill Ranch. It is cheaper than this homemade feed, and easier (we get it delivered by the ton). If we had not found this feed, we would still be making our own, with this recipe. 🙂 Note…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Meet Buttercup!

    In lieu of sharing Farm Photos this week, I want to introduce our newest Jersey, who we have chosen to name BUTTERCUP! 🙂 I showed her photo on Facebook and she went VIRAL! You guys loved her! I got more comments than I have ever had on any post-1,255!!! So let me introduce you to Buttercup. She is a BEAUTIFUL cow! She is super friendly and loves to be scratched behind her ears. She’s not afraid of a big bear um..cow hug. She is 2 years old. She has not had a calf yet and is not in milk yet. We had a vet check her out, and the vet…

  • Animals,  Farms

    What to ask when you’re buying a dairy cow

    Buying a dairy cow for the first time is a big deal! We bought 2 cows from trusted friends (thankfully!). Had we purchased from any stranger off of Craigslist, we might have purchased a dud cow. There are so many things to know about a dairy cow and keep the milk safe! Keeping a dairy cow healthy has been a huge learning curve for us. This is what we have learned, and what we will ask the next time we purchase a cow. (By the way, the cow in the picture is Violet, who gives about 6 gallons per day. She’s a Jersey and a good cow!). Has she been…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Food & Diseases,  GAPS Diet & Nutrition

    Want Crohn’s? Buy milk and beef from the grocery store.

      We just purchased a second Jersey. My husband met the previous owner at the vet, where he had testing done, and where he was able to ask a lot of questions. One particularly big concern in buying a dairy cow is Johne’s Disease (pronounced Yo-nees). It’s a disease that is identical to the human disease Crohn’s. Just like a human with Crohn’s, a cow that has Johne’s Disease will have a lot of diarrhea and will not absorb minerals properly. Johne’s Disease comes from the bacteria Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, which is abbreviated as MAP. It is, according to our vet, tuberculosis in the gut. Johne’s Disease in a…

  • Animals,  Farms

    Choosing a Dairy Cow: Breeds

    So, you want to get a dairy cow, but you have no clue what kind to get. There are some things you need to think about when choosing a cow: do you plan to sell the milk? (Is it legal in your state?) If not, you probably don’t need a cow that produces large quantities of milk. Do you plan to make a lot of butter? Then you will need a cow that produces a lot of cream. Here is some basic information about each breed to help you determine the kind of cow that is right for you. Ayrshire   Coloring: red and white Average Weight: 1,200 lbs Average…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Politics

    5 Reasons I Don’t Buy Meat at the Grocery Store

    I am picky about where I buy my meat. Honestly, I do buy some meat at the grocery store, but only grass fed stuff from the local stores that I can trust. I never buy meat from the large chain stores. My ideal is to buy it from farms only. Or, even more ideally, someday, we’ll produce it all ourselves! That will be the day! 🙂 Why don’t I like buying meat from the grocery store? Let me share! 1. Because I believe that animals should be able to roam on grass and live in the sun. It’s how God created them. They are, after all, “the beasts of the field.” When God…

  • Animals,  Farms,  Politics

    Michigan: Hog Farmers to Lose their Property & Right to Raise Diverse Animals

    As a hog farmer (who appreciates heritage breeds and pigs who forage), I am concerned about this Michigan ruling. Here are some of the pigs we raised last summer. They are part-hertitage breed. We plan to eventually raise all heritage breed pigs (for natural foraging abilities, better quality meat, better bacon, better lard, etc.), and I hate to think that the state could step in and take away our hogs because they don’t like the typical, big-ag, commercially grown ones. We’re not in Michigan, thankfully, but I think what these farmers are having to deal with is terrible. In Michigan, if you own a pig that looks anything remotely like…