Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Illegal genetically altered wheat found in oregon, 10 years AFTER testing

This news story seems significant in a number of ways. 

My summary: a farmer discovered rogue plants of wheat in his field that didnt die when sprayed with roundup. Subsequent testing by the USDA confirmed that it is a strain of wheat engineered by Monsanto and tested between 1998 and 2005. For some undisclosed reason, the testing ended and Monsanto never actually received a permit to produce the wheat.  Nevertheless this wheat is growing wild, in Oregon, almost 10 years AFTER testing ended. 

One of the arguments of proponents of genetic engineering is the claim that the genes can be contained. If this is true, it seems to totally invalidate that claim.  This was controlled government testing, almost 10 years ago. No further release of the genes, and yet today it is growing wild in a farmers field. 

There seems only 2 explanations:

1. Monsanto broke the law and kept producing and selling GMO wheat without government approval.

2. This is a verified by the government case of GMO wheat "escaping" government controlled testing and remaining in the wild for almost 10 years.

Either way... seems significant. 

And then there is the attitude of our illustrious government officials at the USDA:

USDA officials confirmed they have received no other reports of discoveries of genetically modified wheat. Firko and Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse said they have already been in touch with international trading partners to try and assuage any concerns.
"Hopefully our trading partners will be understanding that this is not a food or feed safety issue," Scuse said.

That last line... is quite disturbing. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blended families

Blended families happen all over... even in the animal world. Here is. Hen that hatched both a chick and a duck. She happily mothers both as if they were her own.
Love and motherly responsibility know no bounds.

Wild ducks hatch

We allowed some of the birds to do their own hatching this year... and so far its working well. These little ducks joined the world with two moms!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Todays homemade bacon recipe

Here is today's bacon experiment...

On the top is thick sliced sprinkled with chili powder, paprika, and a little cumin. On the bottom is plain thin sliced home cured with a little extra black pepper.

Gotta love the bacon tester job!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Turkey eggs and poults available now

We are pleased to announce that Little Sprouts Farm is now reselling our own third and fourth generation Narragansett turkey as poults or eggs for hatching.  We have often been asked to provide these, and finally have enough production where it makes sense.

The eggs are fertilized and fresh, and should present a 70 to 90 percent hatch rate.

The poults are within a week old (we will schedule the timing if none are available).

Our birds were originally purchased from a reputable hatchery 4 years ago, and we have raised one generation per year without repurchasing. the benefit to this is that our birds are genetically predisposed to be hardy in the southern oregon weather conditions. Each generation has shown  deeper hardiness than the one before.  these birds have been raised through generations of open pasture, foraging  supplemented with soy free and certified non-gmo feed.

Narragansett are the largest of the heritage breeds, and we think the tastiest. They are great natural foragers and have a very calm disposition. You can expect them to take 6 to 9 months to reach market weight, and then provide a very flavorful and healthy heritage meat with equal balance of light and dark meat.

If you wish to raise your own turkeys for Thanksgiving or Christmas  or just for year round fun ... we encourage you to try our birds.  We can provide advice on housing, raising, and processing also.

You can find details in our online store:

Information about the breed:

Excelerite Minerals Available Now

We are pleased to announce that Little Sprouts is now a re-seller of  Excelerite Rare Earth Minerals.  We will be using these minerals ourselves as well as stocking them in smaller packages for resell  through farm pickup or home deliveries.

Excelerite is the brand of rare earth minerals from US RareEarth Minerals. It is produced from an ancient evaporated lake bed in Panaca Nevada. Many scientists consider this lake bed to be the world's richest source of micro, macro, and nano nutrients.

Excelerite is provided in two forms, agriculture  and livestock. the only difference is that the AG type is filtered to remove some unneeded silica and has a slightly higher price.  the mineral content otherwise is the same.

You can read more about his amazing product at their website:

Why minerals? Minerals, especially ancient sea and lake minerals, contain the building blocks that make life work. Everything improves in the presence of abundant minerals in the proper balance, both pant and animal. In fact, life is not truly possible without minerals! Unfortunately much of the worlds soil and therefore foods are depleted of minerals through years of abuse and use. Remineralizing with excelerite restore the soil to its healthy natural state, providing benefits to the ecology (life) of the soil itself and any plants grown in it.

For livestock (poultry, hogs, sheep, etc) these minerals in livestock form are added to their feed to give them the boost that is not contained in their feed and world.  This gives an immediate benefit to all livestock in a number of ways.

We encourage you to try this amazing product and see for yourself how ancient minerals can boost health, vitality, fertility, and production.

you can find Excelerite in our online store:

Bacon experiment continues

We are finally arriving at a truly no nitrate bacon that is delicious. This is our third round testing recipes and process (both are equally important in bacon) and we now have homemade heritage naturally cured bacon that disappears with everyone looking for more!

I will post details as we settle on our recipes. The basics are:
Cure for a week in salt and some sugar or honey
Soak for an hour in water
Dry for one to two days in the fridge
Smoke for 6 to 9 hours
Slice thin
Sprimkle with extra flavor

This tray today is half mustard and cinnamon, half extra black pepper.
Bacon, the way it was meant to be... healthy enough to eat all you want without worry, and tasty enough to make you want to!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Online Payments are ALMOST here!

We are in the process of finally adding online payment options to the online store. this will allow you to purchase items and pay online with check or paypal. No more need to leave payment out for pickup, no writing and mailing checks! You can even set up recurring payments to automatically cover your subscriptions and herdshare fees automatically!

The target date for this is next week. The online store itself is getting a facelift and simplification along with the addition of online payment options.

Stay tuned! good things happening!

Closeup of a Real Bee Swarm

Today, the bees got angry with me.  If you recall from the post yesterday... one of our hives swarmed and we caught it to keep it in a new hive.  Well, while I had the bee suit on, I figured it was a good time to check on the last swarm we caught.

It was too late. They had already created comb  and started filling it with precious honey... BUT I had never removed the branch they swarmed on. (I like ot catch them by cutting off the branch they are resting on and placing the whole thing in the new hive. Less trauma and injury to the bees). The comb they created was an interesting piece of artwork around and in between the branch forks.  Not at all a situation that allows for collection of honey later.  So.. I removed the branch and in the process destroyed their honeycomb.

Well, today they decided enough was enough and.. they tried to leave! Hunter found then landing on the same shrub that the swarm yesterday used.  So we collected them back up and this time put them in the hive without the branch.

Here is a nice closeup of the swarm and a video also.

What an incredible sight....

Be sure to turn up the sound for the full effect!
Unfortunately the video quality after uploading leaves a lot to be desired... 

The 8 year old VS Dr Oz ? Where does wisdom lie?

This article is just too good to pass up. This young bundle of wisdom and common sense, Coral B, at 8 years old, is on a mission. To confront the popular Dr Oz for positions and statements he recently made concerning our food supply and health in general. If this were an adult, it would be filled with merit, but the fact that a little 8 year old girl is heart warming.

The only point I;d like to add to the article is this... this is important. Dr Oz is highly respected by a good part of our population. I personally know of people who follow Dr Oz just as "religiously" as other would follow Dr Mercola or Sally Fallon. If Dr Oz says it.. it must be true! For him to make these statements, which ARE in fact discrediting to the entire local, sustainable, humane and organic food movements, is a crushing blow to the validity of all we hold dear about nutrition and humanity within food production.

I anxiously await a new story coming soon where Dr Oz is forced to answer Coral's challenges.

Read the article here:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bees Everywhere! Its a Swarm!

This is a good year for bees! Today we had yet another swarm take off. Fortunately we were able to follow and catch it.  They settled on a high branch, one I was barely able to reach with the tallest step ladder. Hunter was right there at my side the whole time, in his bee suit also!

Here are some pics and videos of the process:

Can you see the swarm as it starts to collect in the branches? Look closely and you will see quite a few buzzing around.

Here is a closeup ... 

now you can see it better... almost all have landed

The collection bucket on top of the ladder. The branch was too thick to cut easily so i knocked the bees off into the bucket instead. On the second try the queen was in!
 And... we took some videos!

Now this is a swarm! Bees everywhere! You can even hear the buzzing of a thousand wings in the video

By here about half had settled on the branch. 

By now almost all have settled, about time to collect these guys up to go into their new home. 

Here they are looking for the queen, who is now in the bucket. It didn't take long for the rest to settle in the bucket to be with her.

At the end of today we now have 4 healthy populated hives running. only 2 more to fill to replace all the bees that left last year.  Amazing that we haven't had to go out to catch a wild swarm yet! (but we are ready if you see one!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Time to Waddle Home!

We caught the ducks returning to the orchard pen this evening. How cute these little ladies are, waddling back 2 by 2 all in a straight line. This is where the expression came from "All your ducks in a row"... because this is how ducks travel.. in a row!

Turkeys - Not The Brightest Bulb in the Box

I love turkeys, really I do. They are fascinating creatures and exhibit a good amount of intelligence for foraging, hunting, raising young, nesting, all the essentials of life. There is just one area that turkeys don't seem to understand at all... Fences.  Generation after generation of turkeys shows this same blind spot of intelligence.  Take a Look at this picture:

You will notice, this is NOT a complete pen. the back side is totally wide open.  Even so, the front edge of the fence panels shows that these girls have spent all night and all day walking slowly back and forth, attempting to find an opening. Not to mention that the fencing is only 2 feet tall, and they could at any moment hop right over.  

But no, turkeys don't understand fences at all. not over, not around, nothing except an apparent desire to blast their way through the largest opening they can find.. even if they don't find it for DAYS.  It is entirely possible that these girls could, without help, starve to death or die of thirst, only feet away from food and water, because they don't realize they could go around nor hop over.

Here's a short video of the girls pacing back and forth, patiently waiting for a hole to appear in the fence they have walked past hundreds of times.

Do not worry, after the video, we showed them how to escape the fence :)

Bees Returning?

Just as in the days of Noah, when God brought all the animals to be saved to the ark two by two, we are experiencing an odd phenomena. You may recall that last fall all 6 of our bee hives left. Just up and left. No dead bees, no sign of any reason, they just disappeared.  We have since learned that a neighbor had the exact same experience last fall.

Well, they are coming back! Yep... so far this year we have had 2 hives repopulated. One came back mid winter and moved right into the hive. It has since grown so large that is already swarmed once this year and Hunter caught the swarm. So now that hive is two healthy hives. Last week, we were blessed with another wild swarm that actually showed up, parked just above another hive.  IT was not a swarm from the two we had! So of course we caught that one and they are now happily building comb in a new box.

That makes 3 active and productive hives so far, that have come to us with little to no effort on our part!

Will there be more? are these the same bees that left last year? Who knows.  Bees are amazing little creatures.  For now, we are just thankful for these little guys who will be producing honey very soon!

Ready to pick out a turkey?

Here is today's hatching of thanksgiving turkeys.... care to pick out yours early?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

How many eggs do you eat per day?

When we say in conversation with farm visitors that we eat a lot of eggs, everyone interprets "a lot" differently. What is a lot to the salch family? Well, truth be told... we consume from 2 to 4 dozen eggs per day, every day.  That's 14 to 28 dozen per week. And no, we do not bake (wheat free). Thats for 2 adults and 4 children ages 10 to 2.

Some examples for an average day:

  • Soft fried or scrambled eggs for breakfast, often double yolks (an extra yolk for every egg)
  • Raw egg yolk in broth at every meal
  • Raw egg yolk in salad dressings
  • Raw egg yolk in raw milk for eggnog
  • raw egg yolk in smoothies
  • Sometimes eggs for dinner

It quickly adds up! The health benefits are enormous. The egg yolk from properly raised, bred, and fed chickens and ducks is just about a perfect food, a powerhouse of nutrition. There is more benefit in a raw egg yolk than most other foods. Do some googling and you will be amazed at what all is in natures little nutrition packages inside that shell.

As you can see we definitely concentrate on yolks, and raw . That is where nutrition is. Egg whites are fine, but mostly just good protein. Raw yolks are full of most everything our bodies need to grow, heal, and maintain. Once cooked stiff, yolks loose a lot of their magical power.

This is one reason we prefer small eggs. The yolk on eggs does not change much with exterior size, just the amount of white. Since we toss the whites about half the time, it just makes more sense to use small eggs. Same nutrition, less waste. (Actually on a far there is NO waste.. everything gets eaten by someone!)
So... there you have it. We eat close to a dozen eggs per day per adult, every day. And.... we have never been healthier!

Disclaimer.... do NOT consume eggs from the store in these quantities... it can be deadly. Because of how store eggs are produced, they are a health negative potentially producing allergies, and all sorts of health problems including cancer and heart disease. ONLY consume eggs that are soy free, truly pastured, heritage breed chickens.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Little Sprouts Work Day Becomes a Huge Success

Yesterday was the first Little Sprouts Invitational Work Day. We got a lot done and everyone seemed to enjoy the day and the time together. Even though we limited participation to only 6 individuals yesterday, the small team actually accomplish just about everything that was on the agenda before day end!

We wish to express special thanks to the team:


The projects accomplished include:

Install fencing to divide the buck goat stalls
Install fencing to contain the ducks inside the orchard area
Gather, test, repair all the irrigation water hoses
Weed the emerging beet / sauerkraut garden
Install / repair the watering systems for the fruit trees and blueberries
Install a watering system in the main produce garden
Divide the pig pasture with electric fencing to allow plating of the pig garden
Install a automatic watering system in the baby bird brooder
Install additional lighting in the baby bird brooder
Clean the uninhabited bee hives and harvest propolis
Install gate fence post between the pastures
Cut down the grass growing under the electric pasture fence
Move the goats into new stalls for breeding

What a long list! but believe it or not, that is what we got done yesterday!

Here are some pics of our hard working team (pics courtesy of our photo man - hunter)

Daniel and Chris testing and repairing water hoses

Apple tirelessly weeding around the new sprouts

Cat attack?

Kimbra helping to work out he watering in the orchard

Lots of driving around!

Even Oliver had a good time!

The brooder was quite a challenge

Tom and Jeff working out how to build the watering system

Looking good!

Daniel installing sprinklers in the main garden

Chris getting the water hooked up

Daniel and Chris doing some fencing

Finishing the brooder

Even Kaelyn helping out