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Author: Ben Simmons

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Beneficial Insects?

Good Morning and hello from your farmer, Most folks may think I have lost my mind! You really think insects are beneficial? Absolutely, in fact according to Dr. Jon Lundgren, founder of Blue Dasher Farm and the Ecodysis Foundation in South Dakota, stated that for every "bad" insect you target with pesticide you are actually killing hundreds or more of beneficial insects. And the unintended consequences of other life that depends on those insects for their food, etc. How would he know this? Well, at one time he worked for the USDA and in 2012 was recognized by the President as one of the top scientist in the world. However, he also recognized USDA policy

Fourth of July Chicken Sale

Everybody loves our nutritious and great tasting chicken! So, to celebrate our 4th of July we are offering 10% off on our whole chickens and chicken breast when you buy seven (7) or more packs. The offer is good beginning NOW through the July 16th delivery date - OR as long as supplies last. Whole chickens were $4.35#.

Happenings Around The Farm

Good Morning and hello from your farmer, I trust it has been a good week for you and maybe you have some fun things lined up for your weekend. Here on the farm it is HOT! Summer in South Mississippi is in full force. First, let me share a few updates from our plant. This week we have been in the plant each day since Tuesday. We processed chicken Tuesday & Wednesday and then cut & packed beef Thursday & Friday. Today (Saturday), Beth and I are grinding & packing ground beef.

Meet Our Replacement Heifers

Last weekend Beth gave an informative update on the status of our hens and egg production. Hope you were able to read it. Today, I want to show you a few pictures of our replacement heifers. Maybe I should start by telling you what a replacement heifer is. A replacement heifer is a young female yearling that is typically 15-24 months old that has not had a calf. The objective is to select the best of the best females from our herd and retain them to be future mama cows. Not just any female will do!

Update On Our Wonderful Eggs

Good Morning and hello from your farmer (BETH), We tend to have a lot of conversations about eggs around here. We also field a lot of questions about eggs from you, our customer. We have had several setbacks and delays in our egg production over the last several months. First, water problems with freezing nights that took out water lines, etc. Hens need a lot of water to produce eggs. Then we had light issues. Hens need 12-16 hours of light daily to produce eggs. Ben was finally able to fix the problem by replacing the Midnight Brats and all bulbs in both houses. In the midst of all of this,

The "Gold" Standard

The "Gold" Standard! So, what are you talking about Farmer Ben? First, a little background and then I will fill in the details..... Nature's Gourmet Farm has been raising and selling meat chickens since 2013. Beth & I thought meat chickens would be a great compliment to our beef offering and after reading Joel Salatin's book "Pastured Poultry Profits" decided the next step was to visit Polyface Farms in VA during their semi-annual gathering in 2012.

Food Safety Tips For Successful Grilling

This weekend many folks will be firing up the backyard grill or at their favorite vacation camping location. Memorial Day weekend is a great time for families and friends to get together for outdoor celebrations. USDA Food Safety Sandra Eskin “Summer is a time to relax and enjoy delicious meals with friends and family, but foodborne pathogens never rest. Following safe food handling practices during this and all other seasons can reduce the risk of you and your loved ones getting sick.”

A Marathon Week At The Farm!

This was an especially busy week at the farm! Even more so since Matthew's last day was Friday, May 13th. His elderly Dad has been diagnosed with cancer and Matthew wanted to spend more time with him as well as help his Mom out. While, we will (have) missed him we know he has made the right decision and will always be glad for the memories he'll cherish for the rest of his life. We bid him God's speed and are committed to pray for him & his family as they navigate the days ahead. Our other full time production help went to part time about 5 months ago when he fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming a fireman. Now, he only works at the farm 2 to 3 days per week. Fortunately, our plant processing team is hitting on "all cylinders".

How Is Your Food Security?

Today I want to share my thoughts regarding questions that customers have asked me about gardens as well as some links that you may find helpful. Most of the questions revolve around soil fertility for their garden plants...and can they get chicken manure from our farm for their gardens? My first response is fresh or non-composted chicken manure used in a vegetable garden can transfer harmful pathogens into the plants as well as attract damaging insects. The key to soil fertility without chemicals is cover crops! If you have been a subscriber/reader of our newsletter then you know how much we depend on cover crops. Remember, nature operates slow! You cannot get up tomorrow and say "I think today I will plant a garden." You must plan ahead and operate with nature.

See A Day In The Life Of A Chicken At NGF

At Nature's Gourmet Farm we have been providing our customers broilers for the past 10 years. Each year we improve our operations to better care for the chickens and provide our customers a product that is full of ALL NATURAL GOODNESS, nutritious, and free of chemicals (healthy).

The Perfect Patty!

May kicks off the busiest grilling and barbecuing season of the year. May is also National Hamburger Month where we celebrate this humble meat that became a worldwide sensation. Have you ever wondered about the origins of America's favorite sandwich? Recently on one of our weekly delivery trips Beth read the following article to me from the Meat & Poultry magazine - there was no name attached to the article so I will just type it out for you here.... "Sometimes it's the little things that make a big impact on history.

Updates From Around The Farm

Thursday & Friday our red meat processing team came together and cut & packed six beef! I could not believe how well marbled they were and how fresh the meat looked and smelled. And, there are FOUR families that will be picking up their half by Monday for their family to enjoy. Since early March our pastures have excelled. I'll share a few pictures plus a short video and narrative when I moved the yearlings last Sunday afternoon to fresh grass. So, when you regularly move the cows they get use to being moved when your out in the pasture. And, since the pasture they were leaving was also where the broiler chickens are means we were out in the pasture several times per day. Yes, they were ready to be moved and let me know about it.