Restock Dates: Please see our Farm Blog where we post our weekly newsletter for the latest updates

Farm Updates - Continued

A few weeks ago our farm newsletter was titled "What Is Too Big"? The basic theme is my belief that food security and farmer profitability, service, etc. is found in many, many small family-size farms than in a few mega farms. For the farmer and consumer, the cost of production is also less. To explain, let me use meat chickens as an example. White Oak Pastures for years have said they lose money on chickens. They have an on-farm USDA processing plant

Farm Updates

Many customers have asked how the animals are doing in this heat! Really, I think they do better than humans. After all, they are outside in the elements regardless what the conditions happen to be. We work in the heat, but live in the air conditioning.... makes a difference. That said, we certainly take the heat affects seriously. Some of the extra things we are doing include:

Come Spend A Few Minutes With Our Yearlings

Last week I updated our use of compost extract on our forages and the positive impact we are starting to see. Compost Extract improves soil health by balancing the biology (living organisms) in the soil that are responsible for nutrient transfer from the soil to plants - among many other things. Compost extract is used in place of chemical fertilizers. Healthy soil is responsible for healthy plants. That was last week's story!

Impact Compost Extract Has On Our Pastures

As you know, our cows, pigs, chickens, and hens all live on pasture where they receive nutrition from the plants, Vitamin D from sunshine, and plenty of fresh air. So, that being the case, it is critical that our pastures provide quality nutrition to grow healthy animals - that means NO chemicals. Regenerating soil is not an easy thing to do. There is always more to learn. For example, last Spring is when I learned about the importance of soil biology and the role they play in making minerals available in a form a plant can use. The learning came from a special soil test called PLFA that identifies the type of biology and overall percentage of each type in your soil. My soil showed heavy concentrations of bacteria and little fungi & protozoa. That means the biology was out of balance and was not able to make nutrients available to the plants.

Who Are Our Competitors?

Last week we shared thoughts on What Is To Big? Meaning, when does a farm become to big that it no longer integrates within the community where it resides. One of the indicators I consider is the number of full time employees. Once a farm (or any business) has more than five FTE employees it adds more government requirements to operate. Which shows up in prices charged to consumers. From a farm perspective, I think about how resilient is the farm. This was a major point in Joel Salatin's key note address at the American

What Is To Big?

In 2014 an investigative reporter by the name of Christopher Leonard published his book titled "The Meat Racket" The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business. Most of his book focuses on Tyson. However, they developed the model that all integrators (meat packers) use today. In Chapter 2 he tells the story of John Tyson as a young married man living with his parents in MO when the Great Depression hit and how his Dad basically told him he had to go out and make his own way as his farm would not support all of them. His Dad gifted him the farm truck and a bale of hay to use for gas money. John was headed to Fort Smith, AR where he heard there were jobs. He ran out of gas in Springdale, AR. In Springdale he started looking for ways to make money with the only asset he had - the farm truck.

Farm Updates

The most asked question is When will you have more chicken? Soon, I promise. the batch received two weeks ago is doing outstanding. These will go to pasture on Monday. And, we received another batch Friday morning about 6:15am and they are also doing very good.. There are two batches on pasture now. We have delayed the processing date for the next batch from July 11th to July 25th so they can grow a bit more. This is a good thing because I have had to purchase a new plucker (used processing equipment is hard to find these days). And, like a lot of things, there is not inventory sitting there waiting for an order like there once was. Fortunately, the new plucker will arrive well in advance of the new processing date of July 25th.

Why Chicken Has Been Out Of Stock!

This has been a tough year to raise chickens. As many of you know, we have been raising pastured chickens since 2012 following our visit to Polyface Farms to witness first hand how Joel Salatin writes about how to raise pastured chickens. And, we have raised a lot of chickens that matured into nice 5 & 6 pound dressed chickens.

Are You Troubled With Effects of Glyphosate?

It's been a busy week here on the farm! Tuesday through Thursday we worked on cutting, packing, and making ground beef & organ burger to restock our store Thursday evening. Friday, our soil consultant is on site working with us on building compost piles and learning how to evaluate our biology using the microscope. More to come later. Today, I want to share a documentary on glyphosate - the active ingredient in Roundup that is sprayed on corn and soybeans to kill weeds and onto wheat & oats prior to harvest to defoliate the plant just before harvesting. In case you don't know, the seed head is at the top of the plant and receives a full dose of this harmful chemical.

The Lunatic Farmer Musings!

Folks, I wanted to share Joel Salatin's (Polyface Farm) 5-minute testimony before Congress this week with hopes that you will read not only what Joel had to say but also comments from readers – (especially Ed and Elliott T.). Unfortunately, in Mississippi we still can only operate at the 1,000 limit vs. the federal limit of 20,000 on chicken like 40 other states operate BECAUSE of associations like poultry and Farm Bureau who through FEAR (not facts) taint peoples mind against farmers selling direct to consumers. Additionally, Farm Bureau, I suspect also lobbies to keep other insurers out of the Mississippi markets that are available in other states for farms that sell direct to consumer. I believe that Mississippi must

How We Ensure The SAFETY Of Our Products

Today, I want to let you know about some of the steps we take to ensure the safety of the products you buy from our farm. PREVENTION is the first step. A few of the practices include: No pasture foot ware inside the plant. So, folks have inside foot ware (typically rubber boots) they use inside the plant. This helps keep out contaminants Active pest management plan to take care of any problems outside so they don't come inside the plant. Animals attract flies so we have fly bait traps strategically placed to capture flies away from door openings, etc. The following are some examples from our HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) Plan.

Early High School Age Farm Memories

My family moved to what became Nature's Gourmet Farm the summer of 1970 - just before I started the 8th grade. Prior to that my exposure to farm "work" was bush hogging my stepmom's parents farm as well as spending a summer replacing a 5-strand barb wire fence along two forty's or 2,640 feet worth. Back then, all of the post were creosote wood only. Papa was a stickler for the details. Every post hole was hand dug (more than 220 of them). When setting the new post the top had to be the right height - that often meant taking the post in and out until the top was perfect. A level was used to make sure the post was perfectly straight. Then, you could put a small amount of dirt into the hole - making sure to get some all the way around so you could then "tamp" the dirt with