Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
[ Member listing ]

Most Pork is Contaminated With Pathogens

Picture

Health information floating around on the internet and every other form of media can boggle your mind at times.

Heck you can have a conversation with a friend at the water cooler and end up wondering if we're all going to die of some horrid disease from eating wrong. It's all around us - This is bad for you, this is good for you. Eat this, don't eat that.

If you've ever looked at indoor air quality you can be afraid to take a breath inside your own home.  How do can you know what 's the truth?

Unfortunately I don't have a definitive answer for that!

What I can tell you is the rule I live by:

Have the sense of an old cow - Eat the hay and spit out the sticks.

Dr Mercola posted a blog today titled: Why I Do Not Recommend Eating Pork.

Those of you who follow my blog know I'm a big proponent of Dr Mercola. I still am.

However on this particular point,  I don't agree with some of his views or conclusions, particularly about pastured pork.

He has softened his stance some over time. At one time he did not recommend eating pork of any kind.

He now states in his most recent post: "Pork is an arguably "healthy" meat from a biochemical perspective, and if consumed from a humanely raised pastured hog like those on Joel Salatins' farm and prepared properly, there is likely minimal risk of infection. However, virtually all of the pork you're likely to consume do not fit these criteria."

However in the side bar of this post, he has the following: "If you choose to eat pork, I recommend seeking a naturally raised, pastured source, although this is no guarantee of safety. Pastured pigs are vulnerable to Trichinella spiralis infection—aka “pork worm”—due to their exposure to wild hosts. Trichinella is one of the most widespread parasites in the world, and can cause potentially serious health complications."

Perhaps Trichinella spiralis is one of the most widespread parasites in the world but according to the CDC:

Over the past 40 years, few cases of trichinellosis have been reported in the United States, and the risk of trichinellosis from commercially raised and properly prepared pork is very low. However, eating undercooked wild game, particularly bear meat, puts one at risk for acquiring this disease. [More here]


Picture

Cases Reported to the CDC
This is one of the favorite arguments  big-ag uses to make us think animals raised outside the way nature intended is actually risky to our health.

We must keep animals inside in an environmentally controlled  setting lest they get contaminated and harm us...Rubbish.


If we mimic nature, feed a proper diet, and let the animals have sufficient room, they will be healthier themselves and impart that health to us when consumed.

A historical research into trichinellosis in swine shows us that it was linked to feeding pigs swill or garbage. This practice today is banned in many states. Most that allow it require a license to feed it to pigs.

I've blogged about alternative feeds before and I personally would not eat pork that has lived on garbage.

Overall I think Dr Mercola did a good job of showing that pastured pork done right is your only option for pork. But when it comes to trumping up the dangers of trichinellosis in hogs that roam outside...this old cow is spitting out that stick.

Until next time...


 

 

 

Google
 
 

How to Boost Your Child's Immunity - Go to the Farm

Picture My children are almost never sick. They usually end up at the Doctor's office because they hurt themselves doing something they probably shouldn't have been doing.

My wife and I have taught them the value of cleanliness and good personal hygiene but we don't rush them to the house every time they get their hands dirty on the farm.

I have embraced the same philosophy on immunity with my family as I do the stock on the farm.

Work to keep your immune system strong and when it encounters something foreign it can "learn from it" and recognize it in the future.

Keeping your immune system healthy is a subject all in itself but here's my top three ways to accomplish such a lofty goal.

1) Reduce your sugar/fructose intake to less than 25 grams per day.

2) Eat off the farm - unprocessed pure foods - good bacteria.

3) Get enough sleep and manage stress levels.

If you work on these three alone you'll be surprised at how much better you feel and how much sickness you can avoid.

I read an article that talked about Amish kids being less likely to have allergies than mainstream kids. See the article here:

Amish farm kids remarkably immune to allergies: study

I can believe it and although the study they referred to said it needed more research to see just what was the cause I figure it's pretty easy if you look at it simplistically.

Amish kids are working on the farm at a young age. They are eating a lot of farm food and not nearly as much processed foods. Which could mean they are not eating as many GMO foods.  

Many of them are drinking raw milk as soon they are weaned from mom.

Contrast that with a child in front of T.V. or game system with no where to go but out in a yard with maybe a dog and it gets tough to test your immune system as thoroughly as someone on a farm introduced to all the little microbes (good and bad) that can be found there.

I kinda changed the old saying to...My kids are as healthy as hog!

Get your kids out and let them get dirty this summer. Take them to visit a farm, go camping, hiking, something. It'll do your immune system some good and your soul too!

Until next time....


 

 
 

Tamworth Pig or Funny Looking Chicken?

Picture

Tamworth Gilt
I promised I would update you on the Little Tamworth Gilt who thinks she is a chicken.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pig running through the yard. I watched as she zipped down past the house and disappeared. I was sure she belonged to our oldest sow Droopy. But how did she get out?



Over the next few days I noticed as soon as we were all in the house she would sneak out and head for the laying hens which were being fed outside. She would charge right up and take her place at the trough!

Since the troughs have a bar that runs through the middle it was hard for her to get feed so she began upsetting it and eating the feed off the ground.

This became her daily ritual. Watch us feed the chickens and then run over and start eating. As with any bad habit (or so I'm told) it kept getting worse. Pretty soon she was waiting with the chickens when we went to feed them.

The boys would chase her back to the pasture and she would squeal as loud as she could to let them know she was not happy.

A few days of that and I caught her sneaking out of the hen house! Turns out she wasn't laying eggs she was climbing into the bottom box and eating eggs.

I resolved to fix the fence the next day and put a stop to her antics. I got up the next morning and went to the garden to check things out to find little pig had beat me to it and rooted out a bunch of sweet potatoes for her breakfast.

My next stop was the barn for some fence wire and thus ended the pig who only wanted to be a chicken because they roam around and get all kinds of goodies.

Until next time...


 

 
 

Farmers - 3 Keys to Successful Marketing

I have identified three key elements that are critical to success if you plan to direct market your farm products. In talking to hundreds of farmers it became obvious to me that most of them do not have these three key elements in place to insure that they succeed.  [Read More]
Tags:
 
 

Learning to See Your Farm as Others See It

Probably one of the most important skills you can develop in your farm business and actually in life, is the ability to see things from other people’s perspective.

This is the key to obtaining new clients, keeping present customers happy, and helping others get what they want out of your farm business. All the interactions you have with customers, or potential customers, can be improved by striving to put yourself in their shoes... [More]

 


 

 

 


Small Farm Direct Marketing

Promote Your Page Too
 
 

Small Farm Direct Marketing Community

Picture

Tamworth Sow
Farmers, have you noticed there isn't much out there about marketing products directly from your farm? I see discussions about it sporadically in various forums and blogs I subscribe to, but over-all you can't get much "how-to" information.

I recently started a blog centered around this topic. I will be posting regularly on the things I have learned and implemented since we started marketing our pork, chicken, eggs and beef direct in 2004.

I also started a Facebook page that will feature even more two-way communication between small farmers for the purpose of learning and growing their farm or produce business.

I've been helping small farmers succeed through teaching them what I know, or bringing them on as co-operative producers to help us fill our customer orders for several years now.

So if it makes sense to you, and you operate a small, (non-industrial) livestock or vegetable farm. Come over and join in. Together we can make local, sustainable farming a force to be reckoned with!

Come over and join us!

 

 

 

Small Farm Direct Marketing

Promote Your Page Too

A New Call to the Farm

Picture"Back to the soil" was never a more attractive proposition and never so worthy of being heeded as during these opening years of the 20 century. It is true that social economists have often uttered this cry because they believed, and rightly, that the overcrowded condition of cities could be relieved, to the immense advantage of everybody concerned, if the congested population found in sections of these human hives could be induced to leave their crowded quarters and become tillers of the soil.

The advocates of the doctrine have had in mind a more decent and desirable condition for the objects of their solitude- a place where they could develop a physical, social and moral life superior to that which is possible to them in their present places places of abode. 

The cry with which this chapter opens, however, is not uttered especially to a crowded urban population. It is uttered to all men-to the inhabitants of every city, of whatever magnitude; to the dwellers in villages and hamlets, and to those who are already on the land, that they may be contented to remain there. It is uttered to the dissatisfied of every condition of life, or to those who ought to be dissatisfied. 

It is the cry, not of social economist only, not only of preachers, teachers, and statesmen, as distinguished from politicians, but of seers, of men who look into the future and see the good things that are there and the better things that are coming. - The New Agriculture 1906

It's hard to believe this was written over one hundred years ago. Back to the soil is the call of 2011.

You truly can develop a physical, social, and superior way of life in the country and on a farm. For the last few decades people have been trying to escape the countryside and head for the concrete.

But a new trend is beginning to surface. A group of society that longs to feel the soil in their hands, watch the animals graze, watch their children grow up with an appreciation for the things of the country.

The older I get the more I realize how much living in the country all my childhood effected me positively.

So I cordially invite you, come out to the countryside and grow something.

  • Grow your children
  • Grow your marriage
  • Grow a garden
  • Grow a flower
  • Grow a pig
  • Grow a cow

It does something for your soul to be connected with land, the community, the farm. Even if you can only come to visit, leave the city for a day and come see us farmers....you'll be glad you did.
 
 

More Evidence: On the Edge of a Food Shortage.

I recently posted I felt food and grain prices would remain high throughout 2011 and beyond.

Reading Lester Brown's book, WORLD ON THE EDGE he points out some interesting statistics about grain. You can read them in the document posted on my site.

While I'm not doing a book review here, I will say the book has some good points, however some of Brown's ideology about the world cooperating on some of these issues is looking through rose colored glasses.

When reading books or listening to others ideas I try to keep an open mind, at the same time, I try to use the sense of an old cow, eat the hay and spit out the sticks! 

The main point I want to bring out is Brown isn't necessarily against genetically modified seeds, but he doesn't seem to think they are the big magic bullet that many would want you to believe. As far as I can tell his reasons are fairly sound.

Which brings me to my next point. Ray Bowman was recently asked on Consumer Ag connection about the future of agriculture he said "Frightening" he then pointed to our young people as a possible source for answers although he pointed out that there isn't nearly as many young men and women interested in farming today as when he was young.

The segment ended with Pam Fretwell asking him if he thought they would "be allowed to do what was needed" to solve world hunger. Since this radio program focuses on mainstream agriculture I'm sure they are getting ready to talk about bio-tech answers for world hunger.

And so as the debate heats up, you can bet one of the answers coming from mainstream Ag is more and better genetically modified seeds, better chemicals, more bushels per acre etc. 

My thoughts are you better plant a garden this year and find a local small farmer so you can stock up.

Until next time...
 
 

The Story of Junior: The Kidnapped Pig

Picture
Junior cuddling his foster mom
I was digging through some photos today and came across Junior. Junior was orphaned in the winter of 2006. Actually my wife was outside and heard a piglet squealing as if in distress.

She went to investigate and discovered this little guy had somehow climbed out of the farrowing hut. He couldn't get back in to join all his brothers and sisters not to mention mama who had his food!

Of course the sow was distraught because he was screaming so the Mrs. was afraid to get in the pen and help the poor chap.

In the midst of all the commotion, the sow came tearing out and stepped on Junior's head as he was attempting to climb back in the hut.  The only thing that saved him was the ground was soft enough to cushion the weight of the sow.

Now we had two mom's worked up into a frenzy. The Mrs. weighs a buck ten soaking wet but you get her wound up like that and she is fearless. She sprang into action and attacked the mama sow and grabbed the pig, jumped out of the pen, and dashed for the house.

I wasn't here but it had to look like a UFC heavy weight verses light weight match.

So I guess that means Junior was kidnapped technically. Or would it be pignapped?

Anyway the rescuer, or pignapper however you see it, takes Junior inside to examine his wound.  The situation looked grave. He had a huge lump on the top of his head and was having trouble with his motor functions.

New mama finds a baby bottle and tries to feed him. She finally lays him in a box wrapped in a warm towel.

When I arrive home of course mom and both boys are trying to tell the story all at once. I look at the piglet and after careful study announce that he "wouldn't make it through the night."

We went to bed that night with the somber feeling of having to deal with a dead Junior in the morning.

I was up first the next morning and to my surprise not only was Junior alive he was attempting to climb out of the box!

The moment he realized I was there he started squealing. I grabbed a baby bottle as the rest of the family piled out of bed to see Junior.

Picture
Taking a nap
After a while with everyone of us trying to get him to take the bottle, mom got him settled in with at least a half full tummy. I was off to work and mom was in charge.

Over the next few days Junior became pretty lively and mom was making comments about how cute he was and how could we ever let him outside at that young of an age. This was coming from someone who lets no animals in her house PERIOD.

Junior seemed to figure out mom had a soft spot for him because he was doing his best to be her favorite child. He began following her around the house and begging her to sit down on the floor so he could climb into her lap.

He would lay on a stuffed animal and sleep by the wood stove til it was time to eat.

I reminded the Mrs. he could not stay in the house and she knew it was true so she began bracing herself for the inevitable.

Picture
Favorite stuffed animal

Lucky for her Junior was becoming a spoiled brat. He was demanding full time attention and rooting his feed pan from one corner of the back porch to the other. Of course this meant feed was getting everywhere and I admit I didn't do much to remedy the situation. 

My wife has booted humans from her house for failing to take their shoes off so I knew Junior was on thin ice!

Finally he was eating feed like mad and definitely well enough to head back out to the barn. I slipped him out when the Mrs. was gone for a few hours and even though she was sad she new it was for the best.

Junior never forgot his foster mother. Anytime she would get near the pasture he would come a running. He knew her voice the moment he heard it.

Junior had a destiny though and it wasn't to be in the pasture indefinitely.

So one fine day in June of that year Junior was the guest of honor at a hog roast. And so it is... the life of a pig and a farmer's wife.

Until next time...
 
 

Is Your Web Hosting Eco-Friendly?

Picture

Wind Power
Ever since Spring Hill Farms has been on the world wide web we have used Hypermart as our web hosting service. We have always been happy with their service and pricing. An added bonus is they are wind powered!

We feel this in keeping with our sustainable philosophy. By hosting with HyperMart, springhillfarms.us is helping Hypermart prevent the release of 2,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. As a result, our company's energy efficiency is equivalent to planting approximately 2,390 acres of trees, not driving 6.1 million miles, or removing 510 cars from the road.

 

 

 

Host your Web site with HyperMart!
 
 

Learning to Farm the Old Time Way

Ohiofarmgirl has done it again! She posted a link to a video series on youtube. It's two different shows from the BBC called Victorian Farming and one called Edwardian Farming. 

I started watching them and now I'm hooked...[more]

 

 

 

 


 
 

Full Spectrum Lighting for Goats, Pigs, and Chickens

Picture
Full Spectrum Bulb
I first heard of full spectrum lighting several years ago. Full spectrum lights are the closest light to natural sunlight available. It got me to thinking about how it would effect livestock during the long days of winter here in Ohio.

The main thing I was pondering was would it make a difference in piglets that are born in the early winter? I kept researching and came to the conclusion it would. Here is what one study indicated.




Scientists have discovered a new receptor in the eye that, among other things, monitors your biological clocks.

Apart from the other photoreceptors in your eye that allow you to see, this "third eye" responds differently to light by sending signals to your brain's hypothalamus, thus regulating your production of melatonin, which in turn controls your body's circadian rhythms.

Researchers experimented with lamps emitting different wavelengths of light on workers toiling in the high-stress environment on one floor of a health insurance call center. In comparison to co-workers on other floors, they felt more alert, and the quality of their work improved too. The Independent September 26, 2006

Picture
Tamworth Pigs in the Sun
Since I'm always striving to mimic nature, this new technology of full spectrum lighting seemed like a good fit for our farm. I first bought some bulbs from BlueMax Lighting(tm) and used them in my home.

I immediately noticed that after getting up in the morning and sitting under the full spectrum lighting I felt in a better mood. That was enough to convince my wife! Seriously, the only way I can describe it is I felt much like I do when I get up and go out on the deck and have a cup of coffee on a bright sunny morning. You start remarking how nice of a day it's going to be and get motivated to "get something done". Another reason my wife was convinced I should keep them!

They are a much whiter light than the yellow light bulbs we were using. Even though the evidence I experienced was anecdotal, I didn't need anymore convincing that there was something to this full spectrum lighting.

Some other benefits that are cited by proponents of full spectrum lighting is:

  • Improved mood

  • Enhanced mental awareness, concentration and productivity ...

  • Superior visual clarity and color perception ...

  • Better sleep ...

  • Super-charged immune system ...

  • More energy ...

  • Reduced eye strain and fatigue with a glare-free and comfortable reading environment ...

  • Greater learning ability and intelligence ...
Whether or not it actually has all these benefits, I'll leave up to you to decide.

My pigs haven't told me they're in a good mood or feel like they have less eye strain, but I can tell you this, it's another weapon in my arsenal to keep our new piglets healthy and growing when they are born in the dead of winter or when the days are getting short.

Full spectrum lighting is also a good way to keep milk production up with our goats. This is an area where you need to be careful. If you introduce full spectrum lighting too early in the Fall as days get shorter, you're goats may not breed. The shorter day for seasonal breeding goats is what triggers reproduction.

I wait until I'm sure they are bred and then use the lights.

Something else I've learned is full spectrum lighting in the hen house will definitely keep our laying hens going strong when they would typically stop laying eggs.

Years ago the farmer's wife would mix up hot mash to help keep the hens laying through the cold winter. We now know that it's more the deprivation of light that slows or even stops egg production. Chickens need between 14 and 16 hours of light. I set mine on a timer so they get light earlier in the morning and then later at night. Light also effects the molting period of chickens. It's a natural function of chickens to molt so we allow our chickens to molt and egg production ceases at that time to allow the hens to recuperate.

So if your hens are getting sluggish put some full spectrum bulbs in the hen house and watch what happens.

If you or your spouse are in the winter doldrums put some in the house too! (that won't help the egg layers by the way)

So to sum this one up, try some full spectrum lighting where you think you need it most and see what happens for yourself!

Until next time....
 
 
 

How to Make a Chicken Catcher

Picture
Buckeye Rooster
While catching chickens to be processed this last time my brother and I were having an ongoing discussion about who could make the best chicken catcher.

We laughed about how as kids we would make one and then snag every hen in the barnyard a couple times each. And if you caught the rooster it was a huge deal. (we had educated him after just a few times of catching him)

This was way before the internet, video games, and a million channels on TV.

It brought back the time a few years ago when the boys were getting old enough to help, which means they could walk a few steps without falling down, and I declared we needed to catch all the broilers in the next few days to butcher.

They ask "how we gonna ketch em'?"

I'll make a chicken catcher I exclaimed. Of course they were on point then! Especially my youngest as he wants to know how to make everything or at least "see how it works."

Picture

Home Made Chicken Catcher
So we went on the hunt for the materials which consist of a piece of number 9 wire and a pair of pliers. I explained how as kids we would rob a wire coat hanger from the closet (without mom seeing us of course) and use it to make the catcher. This sparked a whole new line of questions about how could you bend a hanger? So I explained how clothes hangers used to be metal wire not the plastic ones you see now.


That was almost as weird to them as making a chicken catcher.

So with both of them following along behind I grabbed a pair of pliers and cut a piece of #9 wire about three feet long or so.

I then bend a U shape in the end. I then send the boys after a stick about the size of a chickens leg or a bit bigger and place it inside the U making sure it is against the bottom of the U shape.

Taking the pliers I squeeze the U almost shut up against the stick which leaves a long tail.

I then make a few fine adjustments based on years of making chicken catchers and then promptly losing them after one day of use. (I should find three with the mower this Spring)

I flip the now finely tuned instrument around and bend a handle on the other end and say there we go!

The boys both look at the wire and then look at me and say, "how do you catch a chicken with that."

So off we go to demonstrate. I open the movable pen, reach in with the wire, and before they know what has happened I'm pulling a bird to me by the leg...and my youngest is screaming "let me try!"

And so it goes on the farm. I am always amazed at what I learned as a kid on the farm. Some things I have completely forgotten until one day I'm doing something and think,  "I know what I need! I need to make a.........."

Until next time!

 

 
 

A Story of Holiday Hams and Nice People

Holiday Hams 

 

A couple of days ago I was out delivering holiday hams to customers. Little did I know that someone was watching me [more]

 
 

Everything but the squeal

Everything but the squeal - Margie Wuebker

Copyright October 2010 Country Living Magazine

To read the article on their website click here 

The driveway at Dean and Marilyn Wyler's Coshocton  County farm fills with cars and pickup trucks as friends and relatives arrive for butchering day with visions of pork chops, sausage, ribs, roasts bacon, and ham dancing in their heads.

 The Saturday after Thanksgiving is butchering time in these parts, and ambitious workers are needed to process 11 hogs in assembly line fashion and then share the fruits - or rather the meat of their labor.

 The Wyler's, who live near [more] go to page 44

 
 

The Food Revolution

Dr Mercola once again encourages "eat local"

 

See it here

 
 

What's for dinner? - Something Quick

I was just talking to my wife about supper.She said I've got to get something planned for dinner. 

 

I replied as I always do..."something quick." I logged on to Andrews site and the post for today...

 

Something quick and pretty good for ya.

 

See his blog here.

 

 

BTW farmers here's something might be of interest to you.

 Selling your farm goods


Tags:
 
 
RSS feed for Spring Hill Farms blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader

Calendar


Search


Navigation


Topics


Feeds


BlogRoll