Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Staright Talk from a Young Farmer

Ever wonder what a 13 year old female farmer has to say about farming, food and finances?

Shelby Grenbec recently spoke out about her experience raising chickens, selling eggs, and gardening in an article in the Denver Post.


I loved the article! It is an honest assessment of where the sustainable farming movement is right now as well as the realities of marketing direct to the consumer.

She says things like:

"If you want sustainable, wholesome, pasture-raised organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free food, you have to support it. You can not get these things by talking about it and not paying for it."

If you read between the lines you see a girl who is wise beyond her years about people and money. I applaud her parents for teaching her these fundamental truths about life.

Shelby is getting a great head start in life by farming and earning money from the free market system we have here in the United States.

It reminds me of my boys. They have a good understanding that money doesn't just show up in the bank. It takes work. It means offering something of value to the market place and working to get the word out so folks will want to buy what you have.

I was disappointed to see she says she will not continue farming when she gets older. As Joel Salatin so eloquently pointed out one time, we have to have new, young farmers coming into the industry or the old ready to retire farmers can't leave. And when they do the big Ag model gets to fill in the gap if there isn't enough young farmers.

Perhaps Shelby will change her mind in the future but even if she doesn't, I wish her all the best and admire her honesty and hard work!

Read the entire article here: The Denver Post It's a great article.

Until next time...

Spring Hill Farms



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Alternative Forage for our Tamworth Pigs

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Tamworth Sows on Forage
When I was a kid growing up on a hog farm I'd never heard of Dwarf Essex Rape let alone knew hogs absolutely love it!

Dwarf Essex Rape is a cool season forage we use a good bit to run hogs on especially in the late fall, early winter and spring .


If not grazed down too much it will grow back for several rotations.  I have used it to reclaim old over-grown pastures by sowing a pasture mix with it.

Our sows have been on it for several weeks and have pretty much grazed it down to nothing. Time to move them soon! Besides the Rape they have been getting ear corn from our open pollinated corn. They have put on weight since being in this particular patch which is evidence that it is good forage.

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We also planted winter peas in with it. Since we broadcast them verses planting in rows they were way too thick and the rape quickly out grew them. I think next time we'll plant the peas much thinner and see how that goes.

I planted at the end of August which was about thirty days later than I wanted. However it was very dry and no rain forecast so I waited until we had rain coming.

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Dwarf Essex Rape
It ended up doing very well and has provided some really good forage for the pigs. I only wish I would have planted more!

The deer and turkeys love it too! They have devastated the end of the field near the woods. I reckon the first Monday after Thanksgiving I better break out the ol' rifle and see if I can get one of those rascals for the freezer seeing as how I'm feeding them!

Until next time...

 


 

 

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Holiday Hams - Spring Hill Farms

As the Holiday season draws near I start thinking about ham. Well actually I start getting calls and emails asking about ham so it starts me to thinking about ham!

  I began selling holiday hams in 2004 and it has grown into a big part of what we do at Spring Hill Farms.

  I knew our ham was good, but I think sometimes farmers get used to eating their own products and end up taking it for granted that everyone eats this way.

  A beautiful hickory smoked ham has been part of our dinner table for a long time not only at the holidays, but several other times through out the year when the mood strikes me.

  So...when we started offering them to the public I was surprised at how many people raved about them. I guess maybe I shouldn't have been but hey I try to be modest!

 
So what makes our hickory smoked ham so special? I wish I could take all the credit and say it's all about the pork. And a huge part of it is the product you start with and Spring Hill Farms pork is not to be taken lightly.

 

HOWEVER.....

 
You can have the best product in the world and if it isn't handled properly as in the case of curing and smoking hams, you can end up with a product that is horrible at the worst, and average to good on the other end of ham-o-meter.

You realize we have a ham-o-meter right? Yea it's a very sophisticated feed back system that some people would refer to as a customer.

  Easy....I'm not calling you a ham-o-meter!

The first time we officially took a reading from a ham-o-meter was in 2004 and it was off the chart!

It wasn't just "good" it was "the best ever."

 
"Our Ham was the most delicious ham we have ever eaten. A very fresh taste, full of flavor! Our family loves pork but do not really eat ham very often..." - Randolph and Teresa K Granville, Ohio

Rittberger Meats does all of our processing of pork and beef. The reason we use them....

They are the best of the best when it comes to processing and especially curing and smoking pork. There is something about knowing they have been doing this since 1910 in the same smokehouse that makes me realize we have something special, elite.

Do you know of any other butcher shop that has been in business, and family owned, for 100 years in central Ohio?

 

Here's an excerpt from the Rittberger Story.


"Carl Rittberger Sr., Grandpa was born in Lorch Germany in 1881. He went to meat trade school in Germany, before coming to the United States in the late 1800's.

From a small retail trade acquired at the Zanesville City Market, he expanded into the wholesale business at his farm on Lutz Lane, where he started September 22,1910.

In the early days, Grandpa rode on horseback throughout the county. He purchased livestock along the way and drove the livestock back to the plant on horseback.

As his business grew, he purchased some 800 acres and raised some of his own livestock to stay up with the demand. Today we still raise cattle on over 450 acres.

Quality was always Grandpa's number one goal even through tough times, and is still ours today! We are still family owned and ran by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations. We are even starting to get some input from the 5th generation."

 
The Rittberger family are experts when it comes to producing a ham that stands alone in taste, texture, and quality.

The Christmas ham was really wonderful- very tender, lean and full of flavor. I'm not much of a "ham person" generally, but I loved this. The left over bone helped make an outstanding bean and farro soup as well - Tim & Emily H. Columbus Ohio

 
I invite you to try a holiday ham from Spring Hill Farms complete with the Rittberger touch. You'll be glad you did when all the ham-o-meters start going off around your holiday dinner table... I guarantee it.

 
 David T. Fogle



 
Click Here to see our Holiday Hams.



 


 

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