For all concerned with human nutrition, flavor of food, land stewardship, best agricultural practices, clean air and water, and animal welfare: Here is a detailed description of how we raise our products. Feel free to email us with any additional questions. We aim to stand behind what we do, and to bless all who eat our food, live in our watershed, and breathe air in our community. We try very hard to be a farm that is transparent and open.
We occasionally breed young pigs. But typically we procure young, freshly weaned pigs (usually about six to ten weeks old) from local breeders with whom we have established relationships. Once on our farm the pigs move directly into our forest, where they get access to fresh forest floor paddocks at least once a week. The pigs begin with limited access to a non-GMO, unmedicated feed while they learn to forage, and then are allowed constant access to a ration later in life.
From the time our pigs are on the farm, they are raised behind electric wire. This enables us to move them frequently, efficiently, and in a way that can be adjusted to benefit animal and land welfare. Though it does cause temporary pain, it goes away quickly. Rest assured the farmer has experienced more shocks than any one pig on this farm (perhaps because they learn quicker than he does).
Our pigs spend about 90% of their lives in the woods, but do get access to some garden and pasture areas at strategic points in the year when it is beneficial for the land and pigs both. Throughout their lives the pigs on our farm will eat as many parts as they can of the following plant types: orchard grass, fescue, white clover, blackberry, honeysuckle, wild rose, buckwheat, sorghum, oat, barley, rye, pea, pumpkin, vetch, various annual weeds, oak trees (acorns), persimmons, hickory nuts, and more.
When butchering day comes, we attempt to load and unload pigs in a manner that is as un-stressful as possible. Patience and a good rapport with our animals go a long way in helping to make this happen.
We believe that placing pigs in rotating paddocks within their native ecosystem, with high quality rations, and a bounty of diverse forages is the best way to achieve a result that is not only great for human health and enjoyment, but also animal welfare and land stewardship.
Our chickens come in the mail as day old chicks. We raise two breeds of chicken on our farm: Freedom Ranger and Rolin S. We selected these breeds because they are bred for doing the things that chickens do best: run around, forage, scratch, hunt for bugs, and make meat. Though our chickens grow slower than the Cornish Cross that are most commonly found at grocery stores and farmers markets, they are still plenty tender and they have more time and skill to forage for more of the diverse diet that makes their meat more flavorful and full of nutrients. A typical chicken on our farm will spend the last half of its life in a rotating paddock with about 45 square feet per bird. We believe this is the key to our chicken being so full of flavor and nutrients.
We produce 100% grass fed lamb. Our sheep never get any antibiotics, GMO's, grain, or chemicals. They get a mineral supplement, forage, and water. We breed our own sheep on farm from our St. Croix cross breeding stock. Our lamb is tender, flavorful, and great for you!