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July 14, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Hope you are well and enjoying some summer vacation time with family and friends as well as weekend grilling time. We are basically complete with our on-farm poultry processing plant. Just a few items left. It looks really good. Next week I'll try to have a video tour for you in our newsletter. You Shouldn't Have To Wonder If Your Food Is Safe! Are you frustrated by confusing & misleading food labels? Tired of supporting a food system that puts profits ahead of animal welfare and your health? Unsure about where to turn for a food source you can truly trust? I just read an article this morning titled "What's In A Name? The Pastured Poultry Label Is Getting Controversial And Consumers Are Paying The Price."
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July 6, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
June 17th I delivered 4-beef to Homestead Packing for processing. About a week later I was in the area and stopped to see how the beef looked. The beef you see hanging on the rail to my right are our beef. The steer you see in the picture to my right dressed 885 pounds! That means his live weight was about 1425# at 27 months old. Look at all the fat down his side, shoulders, and rump. There was plenty of body cavity fat as well. This is what we are shooting for! It is not just about age (most slaughter way to young) or weight. It is about "is he finished"? And he is not finished until there is a good fat profile - which takes time and good nutrition. Stages of growth tell the story. Regardless of age, the first requirement from grazing is to satisfy their daily maintenance needs. Nutrition left after maintenance needs are meet go to build structure or frame. When the frame is complete then extra nutrition (after maintenance) goes to adding muscle to the frame. Finally, once muscle fills the frame then any extra nutrition goes to fat and marbling. The amount of marbling helps determine the "grade" of steak. Now, contrast our beef with the beef hanging over my left shoulder
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June 29, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
At Nature's Gourmet Farm we really appreciate your business! Faithful customers who order monthly really help sustain our operations in many ways. This makes you a valuable part of our team as we regenerate our soils & landscapes, grow healthy forages to feed our animals without the chemical inputs, respect & care for the life the animal lives and provide a great tasting and nutritious "Real Farm Food" for families. If you are not currently spending your food dollars here, what are you waiting for? Customers tell us our ground beef is like eating steak! And, you can see from the 5-Star Google Reviews from more then 40 customers who have had a lot of good comments about our products. if you have a question or issue please contact me and lets see how we can help. Some time back I introduced you to Carey Gillam and her book titled Whitewash. For those who may not know
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June 22, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Hey, Ben here. Thursday about 7 PM we completed enough of the construction on the poultry processing plant to process chicken on Friday. The best way to describe processing day is "clumsy". Lots of new to get use to. On top of that, the regulator for the propane that works the scalder would not let enough gas through to adequately fuel the burner. So, we were trying to process with water that was about 10 degrees to cold. After trying many fixes I confirmed the regulator was the problem and thankfully the regulator and hose connectors for our grill fit the scalder. I have the very best in-laws! Beth's parents have always
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June 16, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Hey, Ben here. Just a few quick updates from the farm today! As you know, we are in the process of building a USDA small on-farm poultry processing facility. This is mostly a self-help project where I have hired a contractor for his skill and expertise and am his helper. Some of the areas we are taking care of ourselves. One of the task required us to extend the metal quinset hut 12'. The steel arrived last Saturday and since the contractor was tied up elsewhere on Wednesday, Beth, her dad and I installed 5 of the 6 arches that span 40' wide and 16' high. We have been working very hard to get our facility to the point we can process chickens by Friday. This has consumed our time over the past 3 weeks
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June 8, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
e have some really big news to share with you about chicken, but first let me give you a brief history of our efforts to improve our ability to provide our customers our really good chicken. May 2012 we produced our first pastured chicken. We thought we would be doing great to sell 500 and we actually sold our limit of 1000. February 2016 Daniel Doyle invited us to attend the Farmer's Drive-in at the State Capital where we meet key Senate & House members including Senator Hudson, Chairman of the Senate Ag. Committee. He committed to visit our farm in May which he did. He introduced me to Senator Hill and together we worked on a bill to change MS law to match the Federal Exemption of 20,000 per farm/year. January 2017 I made a presentation before the Senate Ag. Committee
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June 2, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Research by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Cell Metabolism, indicates that people consumed significantly more calories & gained more weight when they ate diets high in ultra-processed foods compared to when they ate minimally processed and whole foods. Research participates eating highly processed foods consumed an extra 500 calories per day. They gained an average of 2-pounds per day when eating foods such as breakfast cereals, muffins, white bread, sugary yogurts, low-fat potato chips, canned foods, processed meats, fruit juices and diet beverages. Almost all the extra calories came from carbohydrates and fat. Researchers said these foods caused a rise in hunger hormones compared to a diet that contained minimally processed foods such as
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May 25, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
The saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words"! The Spring of 2013 John Wood who owns US Wellness Meats visited our farm. During the visit he introduced me to the GrassFed Exchange and the annual conference. He said if I would attend he would use his points to buy my ticket. Did I mention the conference would be in Bismark and feature a tour of Brown's Ranch? I have been very pleased with how my pastures have responded this Spring. While looking back at my notes from the 2013 conference and farm tour a couple of things stuck out. First, don't expect to see much improvement until after 5 years. And, if you continue to follow the principles the improvement accelerates - meaning it keeps getting better. That is exciting! Secondly, I reviewed the Rainfall Simulator demonstration at Gabe's Ranch. Let me que this up for you.
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May 18, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Since February, our pastures have really excelled. Currently, the Persian Clover is in bloom. It produces a purple flower with a very sweet lavender smell. Every aspect of this clover supports its reputation for excellent forage quality. Mature stems are soft, hollow and have thin structural plant cell walls, leading it to be more digestible than red clover or alfalfa. Some common forage tests boast CP 16-21%. Not to mention, studies have shown persian clover to be more palatable than rape, alfalfa, fescue or perennial ryegrass. High productivity during March- April, provides excellent regrowth potential into early June following grazing. Given the right circumstances, one could expect Persian clover to naturally reseed and be redistributed by wind/water via its very mobile, light weight, seed pods. Spring flowers are known to also attract flower flies, which larva are a leading predator of aphids. Our pastures have supported an amazing weight gain on our steers this Spring.
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May 11, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Today I want to share updates about our chickens. Many customers when they visit our farm are surprised to learn that our chicks are shipped to us by the USPO. They typically are shipped the same day they hatch (usually on Tuesday) and arrive on Thursday's. We receive a phone call about 6:30 AM from the Petal Post Office that our chicks have arrived and please come get them. The top left picture is one of two crates of baby chicks. The first thing we do when unpacking is make sure they take a drink of water. We also hold food back until they have been here about 3-hours - again, to make sure they drink. The picture to the right is from our third batch taken in our new brooder trailer that I built in April. This is our first batch in the new
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May 4, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Good Morning from the farm! Praise Lord for He is faithful. What an amazing week! What's so amazing? Well, NGF Customers are "The Best". The number of website orders were 73% higher than our previous high month. Plus, nine customers picked up chicken frozen on the delivery route. I'll be honest. I was really concerned about keeping on schedule. Even though Beth & I had planned and worked to make sure everything was accounted for, all I could think about was
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April 27, 2019 • 0 comment(s)
Hey, Ben here -this week I want to share a story written by another farmer. We've shared other farmer stories from time to time as our belief is as "real food" farmers we should be collaborative and not competitive! Besides, I certainly do not have all the knowledge, ideas, etc. We learn from each other. The farmer who wrote this piece is none other than the renowned Joel Salatin himself, the farmer/writer/philosopher of Polyface Farm. Some folks call Joel the most famous farmer in the world, or the most eclectic thinker from Virginia since Thomas Jefferson. Joel calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. I call him my most influential pasture mentor as well as one of my favorite writers. After reading several of his books Beth & I visited his farm July 2011 along with 1,998 other interested folks.
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