Our chickens are pasture-raised and fed organic grain. We house the chickens in a movable hutch during the summer, so that we can bring them to a new patch of fresh green grass regularly. This gives them plenty of fresh green feed, resulting in eggs with radiant orange yolks, full of antioxidants. It also distributes their manure around the field as fertilizer, so that the soil is richer when rotated back to crops the next year.
During winter, the chickens live in a nice, warm greenhouse adding fertility for the tomato crop to follow.
Our cattle are 100% grass-fed, primarily on a pasture next-door to our main farm. We also take a quarter of our cropland out of production and put it into pasture every season. This practice sequesters carbon in the soil, where it helps to improve our soil tilth and increase crop production. Cows get a bad rap in the climate conversation, but most of the research focuses on the energy-intensive industrialized systems that are a world of difference from how we raise our animals
Our pigs live on pasture all summer, and stay in a warm, deeply-bedded house through the winter. They eat only certified organic grain. In the spring, they help us turn over our compost with their rooting power, and have a good time doing it.
We are currently on a break from raising pigs, but we hope to have them back on the Farm by fall 2019.
Employing the wisdom of generations of farmers, we use our livestock not only to provide quality meat and eggs from happy animals, but also to help fertilize the land. Each of our fields is grazed, then we wait through the current growing season and the following winter before planting it with crops in the next growing season. We are required by the organic standards to 90 or 120 days between applying manure and harvesting a crop (Conventional farms using manure are not held to these standards.) We generally wait much longer. The manure saved from winter housing is always composted for at least a year before application, and then applied in the fall so as to let it settle over the winter. Manure dropped during grazing enriches forage crops, and when we are ready to plant produce, these crops are plowed under to lend their nutrients to the vegetables and flowers.
We believe that food-borne illnesses result from unhealthy animals raised in industrial systems, and we seek to provide an alternative to supporting such unethical and unhealthy agriculture. Our animals and land are healthy, and our respect for natural cycles allows our soil to continue abundantly and sustainably producing nutritious food that you can feel good about eating.