Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Worry - Shy away from conventionally raised pork

There is a constant string of discoveries that point to the need for locally produced pasture raised meats. This one in particular is especially concerning.

It appears that there has been a discovery of a very concerning gene on a medium sized pig farm. The farm has about 1500 sows, that they raise only on farm, no outside genetics or breeding. This particular gene has been found in multiple samples from different sources around the farm.

Why is this so concerning? becasue this gene has the ability to make a variety of bacteria into "superbugs" that are strongly antibiotic resistant. AND, the gene can apparently be transferred to humans where bacteria on the humans can acquire antibiotic resistance.  In other words.. someone could be carrying this gene without knowing it, get a cold or flu or other infection, and discover that the usually easy to deal with bacteria are resistant to all known antibiotics. Not a good situation!

Let me say that it is completely unknown where this "gene" came from or how it got onto the closed ecosystem of this farm. However, as you read through this article, towards the bottom, it makes a clear mention of this:

They made multiple visits last year to the farm, where the sows give birth in tight pens and the piglets are taken to separate pens of 25 each after they are weaned. They found samples of the bla IMP-27 gene in several different samples and in several different species of bacteria, including E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae.
So, this is NOT a pasture based operation where the pigs live outside in the sunshine and fresh air, it is NOT  an organically based operation since the use routine antibiotics on farm. We can "assume" that they are also not using heritage animals with strong immune systems, since those animals are usually raised within the first two criteria of pasture and organic. It is also a pretty safe assumption that these animals are fed commercial soy based "barely good enough" hog feed instead of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Dis any of these issues cause this gene to show up? Its hard to say, BUT we do know that consistent use of antibiotics (as they admit to doing here) causes antibiotic resistance.  I strongly suspect that the combination is what creates a sort of "negative synergy" that gives birth to this and lots of other problems.

The point here is, this is a medium sized operation. It is not technically a "factory farm" or CAFO. And still, the lack of adherence to nature gives rise to these very concerning problems.  It is the practices of conventional breeds, low quality feed, confined spaces that create the need for consistent antibiotic usage and thereby crate these "superbugs".

How do YOU, the consumer avoid this? As we always say.. KNOW YOUR FARMER! Know how he does things... the key points to look for are:

  • Heritage breeds for strong immune systems
  • Pasture living for fresh air and sunshine
  • No confinement births for a naturally cleaned environment
  • Good quality organic feed
  • At least some feed that is fresh, not from a bag with minimal nutrition
  • Completely free of antibiotics, hormones and vaccinations

These form a "minimal accepted standards" for the resulting meat and meat products.

The source of your family's meat is critical... a pretty label or a good flavor or a cheap price are NOT reasons to buy meat. Doing so puts your family into deep health risks, Buy meats only from farms that you KNOW and TRUST and follow at LEAST the above list of criteria.

The full article is here:


Friday, November 25, 2016

Ebooks Coming! - Volunteer Reviewers?

We are VERY pleased to announce that finally, at long last, I have committed to writing the Ebooks promised long ago. In fact, the first one is almost done! It should be finished by next week.

The Ebooks have three purposes:

  1. To spread the knowledge of our unique model so that others can make use of these innovate approaches to farming
  2. Augment our own income in this tight financial period
  3. Begin the longer term strategy of launching ten thousand small family farms across america.
We are laying out a series of Ebooks covering every unique aspect of our operation in a way that enables other farms to follow and reproduce what we have accomplished. Some books will be broader, covering principles (i.e. gardening for animal feed), while others will be specific (dehydrating zucchini for winter storage). That way, you can pick and choose the major and minor topics that apply and get right down to business. 

Why Ebooks and not regular printed books?

First, Ebooks are easier to keep up to date. This farming model is a evolving understanding and with Ebooks I can make changes virtually overnight and release updates.  Printed books mean a committed number of printings, at cost, before changes can be made.  That would stifle "up to date-ness" of these writings. 

Second, Ebooks are quicker and easier to distribute at no cost. You simply download the file, and view or print it at your leisure. It puts you in control of how you want it delivered and stored at your end.  An Ebook turns into a printed pamphlet by simply printing!

that said, we will be distributing printed pamphlets (paperback stapled "books") through certain channels for those that really do want only a printed copy. 

What Part can YOU play?

We invite you to volunteer to review and edit these books as they are released for this. The first one will be available sometime next week (last week of November).  Here is what is expected for both  volunteer positions:

Reviewer - Simply read the book, making notes about sections difficult to understand, redundant, incomplete, awkward, etc. This is more about reviewing content, not hard things like sentence structure or typos or layout.  This is more about WHAT is said than HOW it is said. Just look at the information and ask :
  1. is it easy to read?
  2. is it easy to understand?
  3. does it convey the information enough to be doable?
Editor - All of the above PLUS attention to sentence structure, typos, word choice, punctuation, layout, etc. The mechanics of writing and conveying information this way.  This is about both WHAT is said and HOW it is said. This would also require a basic understanding of the art/science of writing and communication.

Please feel free to volunteer for either of these positions by emailing to info@littlesproutsfarm.com at your earliest convenience.

FYI: Please remember that any suggestion may or may not be included in the books. Either way, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Every year is a new adventure in this life, and 2016 has been full of surprises beyond most others.

As many of you know, our life changed dramatically this year. We unexpectedly became reliant solely on the farm income, before we were ready. This has been quite the financial challenge. Yet, so far, God has provided in one way after another so that we are doing ok.  This is something to be thankful for! Things have worked out, sometimes at the last minute.

2016 also was a year of changed on the farm. The financial challenges have led us down a beneficial path of improving how things are done, making Little Sprouts significantly more self sufficient. This path has brought realities that previously were just a dream, or not even considered!  The end result is both higher profitability and lower prices.

2016 is coming to a close with the biggest expansion in Little Sprouts History. We have ventured down a path of providing everything we have used to improve our family health. Going way beyond food, into household items, personal care items, supplements, etc. We have worked to be able to share with you what worked for us. Our vision is to become a one stop place to grab not only knowledge but also the necessary products to truly transform your family health and life.

And 2016 brings the seventh child to the Sprouts clan. Due in just a couple weeks, with this child our family has grown beyond our wildest dreams. Each and Every sprout is special in their own way. We are reminded by the farm name, "Little Sprouts Farm" that this venture is not about me or Brenda, it is about the children, the sprouts themselves.

So today, we celebrate so many blessings while facing an uncertain future. Life has brought us to this point, and as we glance back in awe of all the steps that led us here by Divine Providence, we recognize that this is bigger than us. This is truly a life mission, to touch your family with the blessings we have enjoyed. We almost lost a child to lack of knowledge, to "following the standard american advice" in health and life. But we didnt! By Gods grace we are all here at the end of 2016. What more could we ever be thankful for. Not only are we all here, healthy and happy, but we have the privilege of sharing these truths with you.

God is Good, Life is awesome, and we are thankful to share what we can with you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Lower Prices !

We have finally received our first batch of products made through our new streamlined processing.  And you get tremendous savings!

Little Sprouts is now utilizing Mohawk Valley meats and Taylor Sausage to do the processing of all meat products. This has greatly streamlined the process ad lowered our cost for all processed products, which we pass along to you.

In addition, our  new approach (started in early 2016) of growing our own feed for animals has lowered our feed cost dramatically. the project is a success! that also lowers the finished product price to you while preserving a decent living income for the farm.

 For example, dinner sausages have dropped over 40%!

Please take a look at the new prices in the online store... you wont be disappointed.  Virtually all meat products have dropped in price significantly!

Exciting Changes in the Online Store

With all the new products we are offering starting with the December delivery, we have made a number of changes to the  online store. It is now easier to navigate and find things, easier to discover new items. There are many more categories, with fewer items in each category.

Please take a moment to browse through all the categories to see all that we now offer to bring your family the life you deserve.

You will also notice a new category: CLOSEOUTS! This is where we will put items that we are no longer selling, or that have changed and we need to move some stock to replace.  These products are often offered below costs for quick sale.