Posted by Michael @ 02:07 PM EDT
Locally, Naturally[ Member listing ]
02 Aug · Mon 2010
Well, this is another new thing to learn about! That's OK, because that's my favorite thing about farming. Since we got going about a year and a half ago, learning something new has been an everyday deal. At this point, I think I've learned about 1% of what there is to know about farming (1/2 of which can be summed up with the phrase "Farming is Fixing")! On a good note, among the things we have learned is that simplicity is the key to growing great meat. Beef & lamb are ruminants. As such, they are set up to eat grass. So that's what we feed them. Pastured in the spring/summer/fall, hay & round bale silage in the winter. They don't finish as fast as they would if we'd stuck them in a feedlot with a steer stuffer full of grain, but they end up tasting like no other meat I've eaten, AND without GMO corn, antibiotics, and big piles of manure concentrated in one spot to deal with. Likewise our poultry. Yes, it's a pain keeping them in the electrified netting we use to keep bad guys out, and overall there are definitely easier ways to make money, but the end result is amazing. Chickens and turkeys walking around eating grass, bugs, etc. Scratching in the grass and doing what they were born to do makes all the difference. Maybe some could spin it into something more anthropomorphic by saying "happy animals make superior meat". I think it boils down to the simpler explanation: feed them what they're set up to eat & let them live as much as they would if they were born wild as possible, and they produce a superior product for you. Anyhow, that's my first blog entry. I'll try to learn to do better next time. That's what I'm here for!