Monday, December 29, 2014

Unexpected visitors

These guys just wandered onto our farm today.  2 toms and 2 hens.  Absolutely beautiful birds!   We are looking for the proper owners to return them to.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas lamb #3

Here she is...  The third Christmas lamb.  Born right before the start of new years week.  Very cute hanging out in the corner cover of the sheep pen.  

They look healthy,  but still have the winter snows to get through.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fun things coming!

We are exploring some fun things to help members remember little sprouts farm.   So far so good.

We have always done a family puzzle over the Christmas holiday.  A family tradition started with grandma that we continue in her memory.  This year instead of buying one,  we made one from the farm logo.   It was really cute and fun but....  Wow...  Lots of white!

We also ordered a couple of little sprouts mugs to test quality.  Great for hot drinks in the winter!

We will ge offering some of these and others free with paid memberships,  and individually for sale.  Details to come!

Another Christmas lamb!

Another lamb born this morning!  Wow what an early year this is! 

The first one is doing great,  and this one looks strong, we just have to get them through January now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas surprise

What a shock!  We found  a newborn lamb this morning!  Christmas eve morning!

Cute as it is...  What a surprise.  These guys usually show up in February or even March,  not December! 

It's actually a bit dangerous,  since we are not set up to winter lambs.  By Feb -  March the weather is improving already,  but for this little ram to be,  he is facing the coldest weather as a newborn.

To help him,  we moved the stock trailer to their pasture pen,  and filled it with fresh dry straw.  Then we hang a tarp shelter to keep him out of the rain.  Will the mom use it?  Time will tell but this afternoon he looked strong and healthy.  We will check on him in the morning and evaluate what to do with him next.

Surprisingly,  I noticed at least one more mom in milk today,  so there are more babies coming soon!

Never a dull moment around here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Newest Little Sprout has Arrived!

Friday evening at 5:47pm, the newest Little Sprout arrived into the world

Meet Theodore Abraham Salch

He was  6lbs  12oz and 21 inches.

We are happy to report that mom, the baby, and everyone else is doing fine!

Now that this life event is passed, we will be able to get more back into the routine of farming and delivery, so you will be able to meet Theodore soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Still Buying Pork and Ham from the Store?

If you are still buying regular pork and ham in the store, please watch this video.  What you see here is real, and current.  This is one of the fundamental reasons why we (Little Sprouts) are in business.... to combat this with a return to traditional healthy farming practices.

Warning, this video is disturbing, as is the source of pork / ham / bacon  found in your local grocery.

What is the solution?

Simple, find a local farm, visit, see, explore. NEVER buy meat from a label... buy from a farmer.

the video came from this source:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quality Grading of Food and Feed

Jackson County is not GMO free by law.   While there was much debate about the health pros  and cons of this move,  there is another mostly untold story. The story of economic win for higher quality. It is an american principle that quality brings higher prices. This is built into the forces of capitalism. And today it is very true that most people are willing to pay reasonable prices for quality (in the day of $3.50 coffee!)

One thing missing is a way of "thinking about" quality in agriculture. Sure there are country fairs with competitions for body shape, growth rate, etc. But are any of the judged qualities applicable in the real work of the market? NO!  Have you ever purchased pork, lamb, beef and seen the actual picture of the animal so you could choose the cut by body shape?  I strongly doubt it. No, we need a way that consumers can tell, all the way up and down the food / supply chain, how quality compares.

I propose this method below.  This is a set of classifications that can give a good feel for health value, taste, and overall quality of any agricultural product, meat, veggies, fruit, etc.

Agriculture value classifications

Quality rating/ health Benefit
Beyond Organic
Outstanding Quality - Medicinal Health Benefit
No chemical usage at all  plus sea minerals, probiotics, and yearly organic animal based fertilizer, usually with a reasonable amount of weeds
Good quality -
 health positive
Organic practices (organic fertilizer. limited use of approved chemical pesticides / herbicides)
Barely Acceptable  Quality - 
Health Neutral
Petroleum based chemical fertilizer but no poisonous herbicides / pesticides during growing period
Bad Quality - 
Negative health effects
Petroleum based chemical fertilizer plus poisonous herbicide / pesticide
Horrible Quality - Severe negative health effects
Petroleum based chemical fertilizer plus extra high levels of  poisonous herbicide / pesticide plus genetically modified genetics

With slight modifications this chart could apply to things like honey, processed foods, canned goods, etc. I am not saying that this is anything near complete, but rather a starting point, a way of thinking about things that makes sense from consumer to farm.

In general, the higher the quality, the higher the profitability.  This holds true for retailer, producer, even raw material supplier. For instance... 

  • Consumer demands and is willing to pay extra for organically produces raw milk, 
  • Goat Farmer agrees to purchase only organic feed to meet consumer demand and is willing to pay higher prices for feed
  • Alfalfa Farmer agree to produce organically and supply alfalfa at a higher cost per bale. 

All through the supply chain the prices are higher for better quality. Profit usually follow prices as long as efficiency remains constant. At the end of the day.. the consumer gets a higher quality product, the goat farmer has higher profitability, and the alfalfa farmer has higher profitability.  Everyone wins, including the environment!