Archive for August, 2013

Violent behaviour a result of poor diet? | The Bovine

How severely has modern medicine missed the mark when it comes to mental health and behavior? When did we accept that chemical therapy was the acceptable manner of treatment when the root of the problem very well could be due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies? This article gives some insight into why there has been for a number of years a marked rise in violence among teens and adolescents.

WASHINGTON, DC, August 30, 2013– GlobeNewswire — Deficiencies of vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12 and folate, and of minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese can all contribute to mental instability and violent behavior, according to a report published in the Spring 2013 issue of Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The article, Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight by Sylvia Onusic, PhD, CNS, LDN, seeks reasons for the increase in violent behavior in America, especially among teenagers.

“We can blame violence on the media and on the breakdown of the home,” says Onusic, “but the fact is that a large number of Americans, living mostly on devitalized processed food, are suffering from malnutrition.  In many cases, this means their brains are starving.”

Read more at the link below.

Violent behaviour a result of poor diet? | The Bovine.

 

Order Your Chickens

After this week, the price on our chickens will increase to $5.50/lb. The current price for our pasture raised, non-GMO, soy free chicken is $5.40/lb. To get it at this price, we need to receive your order AND deposit of $10 per bird by this Saturday. Just fill out this form below and to be sure we get your deposit in time, you may pay via Paypal for +3%. Otherwise, you may want to swing by the farm to get it to us rather than depending on the postal service that has a history of taking their sweet time. Give us a call @ 678-223-3869 if you have any questions.

A New Direction, continued…

This year marks our second full year and we are facing very real struggles and obstacles to our very survival as a farm. Recently, I posted on our blog about a new direction for our farm, but I primarily spoke of our cows. If we are going to have any longevity, we are having to sit back and weigh some very significant choices, options and strategies. Many factors are at play, among which include: 1. The weather, 2. Feed cost, 3. The market, 4. Our family.

The weather this year has been absolutely unlike any year I recall in the past 20 years. Already, we have surpassed our yearly average for precipitation. This has hit us extra hard in regards to the garden and in some cases, our animals. After years of extreme summer heat with severe drought, finding a way to adjust with this year’s shift in weather pattern has been overwhelming. We can almost always add more water with irrigation, but there is nothing that can be done about excess water. We are chomping at the bit to start planting fall crops, but mud can’t be tilled nor can it be planted in. I am finally having to declare the vegetable production a complete bust for the remainder of the year. If by some miracle we can get something planted and if we see a promising result, we will gladly call all CSA customers in to get more shares. For now though I am having to say that I am not very optimistic, but I am hoping for the best. I am certain however, that there will not be a veggie CSA in 2014.

This year we made the decision to switch to soy-free organic feed. We mad this decision because we learned what a detriment Genetically Modified Organisms are to our health, the environment, and our entire food system.This brought about a very sharp increase to our feed bill and those of you who buy chicken from us since the beginning have seen this reflected in the price of the chicken. This has also presented a problem in managing our poultry production as well. When we first started, we were basically feeding the same stuff the commercial growers feed (minus the antibiotics). Growing chicken without soy is a whole new ball game and getting dialed in on balancing feeding volume and weather conditions has been extremely challenging. After losing a large number of birds at the beginning of the year and then having a batch that grew extremely poor in size, we made the decision to extend the growing period for the next batch of birds to guard against the risk of another under-sized chicken harvest. I believe we are going to some good sized birds on the 31st, we really need them to be to get ourselves out of the red.

We’ve also had to look at those areas of the farm that are not making us money or worse, are strictly costing us money. There is virtually no market for rabbit, they are a tremendous amount of work, and so we are completely shutting down our rabbit operation. Our laying hens consume more than any other animal on the farm, with exception to our broilers and the volume of eggs we sell is not sustainable enough to manage the flock we have. We’ve had to sell off our excess eggs at a wholesale cost to see some cash flow, which can leave us short at times to have eggs available to loyal customers. We bought two batches of baby turkeys this year, and all we did was lose money on them as they all committed suicide, so no more turkeys. I do see a viable future for raising pork, but not here. I am working to set up an area on land my grandmother owns near Rockmart to raise pigs on pasture and in the forest.

I at first was quite resistant to the idea of producing raw milk for sale, because I knew just how demanding it would be. So we started off with cows just for our own milk consumption. Now I see an increasing demand for it, yet there are no other farmers getting into it. I also see that producing milk will be the anchor that keeps this farm here, and so we are going to make raw milk our primary product. What this means is that we are going to have to sell off our Dexter cows. Though they are good little milk cows, their volume just isn’t enough to be sustainable. Plus we need the cash to purchase a top quality Jersey or two and to make some needed improvements. This has been one of my hardest decisions. These are the cows I learned to milk with and I have come to know each of them as individuals. I will always have a place in my heart for them, but those who are seeking raw milk are not willing to pay a premium simply because it came from a rare breed cow. We do have a Jersey cow who is lactating, and we have her heifer who will be a future milker so we are still accepting just a few more dairy customers. After we meet capacity, we will start a waiting list until we can increase production.

Choosing to farm has been a tremendous adjustment for our family and to be perfectly honest, it has been a strain. Our extended family thinks we’ve lost our minds, ok they think I’ve lost my mind. Our children put in as may hours per week as most do at a full time job, but they do not enjoy the compensation one would expect from their employer. They have worked very hard and accepted farm life as a matter of fact, but I’ve struggled with whether I’ve denied them some of the enjoyment one expects from childhood. Katie has been my number one supporter and has trusted me to make the right decisions for our family in this endeavor. Every third day, while I’m away at the fire station, she takes on the full weight of managing the farm, feeding/watering all livestock, gathering eggs, pulling weeds, milking cows, moving chickens. Then she has an OLD house to manage, kids to feed (they like to eat 3x’s a day), kids to teach, kids to bathe, and kids to discipline. She does all this without pulling out her hair or a bath tub to soak in. Yes that’s right, for two years she’s had to go to her parent’s house to take a hot bath rather than a shower. So, after the September 23 chicken day, we are going to take a very short but much needed family vacation. Some very good, supportive friends have offered to take care of the chores, and hold the farm together while we are gone.

I apologize for such a long narrative and thank you for taking the time to read this. I feel it’s important for me to be completely open, honest, and transparent not only about what we produce, but the toll it takes to do it and frankly, I’ve only touched a tip of the iceberg. I cannot express enough my thanks to all of you who’ve stood by us, support us, and believe in us. So many of you have celebrated our successes and without a moment’s hesitation, comforted us in our failures which are really tough lessons. From those lessons, we are learning to hone our skills as well as business acumen into what we hope translates into a long lasting success. From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you and bless you.

Making Dough: Is a Cottage Food Business Right for You? | The Homestead Atlanta

Grow a garden and save on your grocery bill. Install a rain barrel and responsibly mulch that garden and you’ve just doubled down on your return.  Pass go and receive both fresh garden veggies and a shrinking water bill.  Homesteading for the win! My question is this: What can you do on that slice of homestead heaven you’ve created to earn some money? Not “quit your day job” cash, but just a little extra.  In this blog series, we’ll explore different ways people are earning money off their land or by using their homesteading skills.  Think of earning and saving as the yin and yang of a self-supporting homestead.

Freshly_baked_bread_loavesThanks to a recently passed bill, creators of delicious artisan breads, flaky pies and old-fashioned confections can now start a business right out of their own kitchen, giving rise to a new opportunity for entrepreneurial homesteaders.

The Good: The cottage food legislation allows for home food production.  Hooray! Progress!

The Bad: It doesn’t require that all cities and counties follow suit within their own local jurisdiction.

The Ugly: Doing research for this blog post turned up a lot of confusion, long waits and unanticipated hurdles for the home bakers, confectioners and herbalists wanting to take advantage of this opportunity.

Read more:

Making Dough: Is a Cottage Food Business Right for You? | The Homestead Atlanta.

Organic Feed

Click Here >>>>Organic Feed

Are you wanting to ensure your animals receive the best possible nutrition? Have you discovered the dangers of GMOs and what they are potentially doing to us? The only way to be 100% positive you are keeping Genetically Engineered ingredients out of your livestock’s diet (and ultimately yours) is to feed Certified Organic Grain.

We have been feeding organic grain to our chickens to ensure that we produce the best poultry and eggs possible. Because the feed is considerably more expensive than the conventional feed which contains GMO soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola as well as slaughter house by-products such as blood and bone meal, we started up a small Co-op so that we can order feed at a bulk discount. We generally place an order once a month from Countryside Organics. 

If you would like to join us or would just like more information on how to acquire the very best feed possible, click on the link above to join our email list.  We send out an email notification about a week to two weeks prior we place the order. If you have specific questions, you may email us at eastwestfamilyfarm@gmail.com.

A New Direction

We are changing some direction here and in so doing, we are selling off some livestock. We have two Dexter cows who are currently lactating. Both cows can be milked by hand or machine and both can potentially provide 2 gallons a day. Kiera is 8 years old, registered, and came to us from Hope Refuge Farm in Manchester, Kentucky. She has been tested and gives A2/A2 milk. She is very docile and can be led with a halter. Asking $2000 for her. Carla is 4 years old and came to us from Foggy Bottom Farm in Estillfork, Alabama. She’s not registered but probably can be. She stands well in a stanchion, but she’s not halter trained. I’m asking $1600 for her. Both cows can be seen here on the farm.
We also have Carla’s 17 month old heifer for sale and she is for sale as well. She too is not registered. She has been halter broke and has been worked with in the milking stanchion. She has been dehorned. Asking $1400. Glory is presently residing at Talla Glen Farm near Rockmart.

We also have two bottle calves one bull (Cyrus) and one heifer (Leola). These two are Belfairs which is a Dexter-Jersey Cross. They were both sired by a registered Mini-Jersey Bull. They are both very accustomed to people since we’ve been bottle feeding them. The bull calf is $125 and the heifer is $175. Both calves are here at East West Farm.

I will consider a package discount. I will also offer up to 4 hours of consultation for those who are wholly new to cows. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 678-223-3869.

 

Also, we have a dog who unfortunately, has taken to killing chickens. We absolutely can’t keep her. She’s  1 year old, spayed, crate trained, house broken and very sweet (except to chickens). She is free, however we appreciate any donation.

We will still be milking our Jersey and we will be adding more Jerseys. We have just found that if we are going to be successful at what we are doing, raising Dexters is just not profitable enough for us. We really do love this breed and we do want to see them flourish. These cows are ideal for the small land-holder who would like to provide their own milk and raise a steer for beef.  Please forgive the poor quality pictures.

Carla

Carla

 

Glory

Glory

 

Kiera

Kiera

Cyrus

Cyrus

 

Leola

Leola

 

 

 

Final opportunity to order Pasture Raised Chicken

We’ve ordered one final batch of chicks from S&G Poultry to raise this year. They will be ready to consume November 23.  To order click HERE.

Broiler chickens on pasture.

Open spaces.

Whole pasture raised chicken on the grill.