Monday, August 14, 2017

6 week nutrition course - sprouts presents

We are pleased to announce that Dave Salch of little sprouts farm has been asked by Siskiyou Vital Medicine to present one session during this upcoming course on nutrition. Dave will be presenting the session on "food quality", explaining the differences in food options and how to identify food that damages, sustains, or heals.

The 6 week course by Siskiyou Vital Medicine covers many aspects of nutrition at a deep and personal level, Bringing understanding to your own nutritional needs and your relationship to food itself. Expect to be challenged, motivated and enlightened!

From the Facebook page of the event:
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Details

Ron Veitel, BSc and Sonja Halsey, ND of Siskiyou Vital Medicine will be presenting My Nutrition Map, a personal guide to nutrition and wellness. This course is designed to help you transform your nutrition experience, taking you from Ugh to Ahh in six weeks! 

The My Nutrition Map 6-week course is FREE to SVM members and $125 for non-members. Space is limited so call to reserve your now, (541) 210-5687.
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We have personally had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Siskiyou Vital Medicine since they moved into our valley a few years ago. SVM has met a need in healthcare for the rogue valley in a unique way through the introduction of direct primary care plus a holistic and personalized approach to healthcare. We highly recommend SVM to anyone seeking to truly solve health issues at the core, not just cover them with pharmeticucals.

Sign up for the course now, space is limited! You can register on the Facebook page at :
https://www.facebook.com/siskiyouvitalmedicine/
posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is it real? How to buy real oils

The bottom line here is... Know your farmer. Know how your food is produced, because it's a dangerous world out there.

We previously talked here about the fake honey, with no pollen and no medicinal value. We covered the fake Olive oils that are invisibly cut with other cheaper oils to increase profits. We even talked about eggs, milk, meats, etc. But never have we seen such a difference in a product as this new one... Pumpkin seed oil.



On the left is a local pumpkin seed oil, it is rich and dark green, almost florescent. It tastes like.. well... Pumpkin.

On the right is a "organic non GMO pumpkin seed oil", grown in China, bought from a local health food store. It tastes like.. sesame oil with a hint of pumpkin. It is mostly clear, with a slight green tinge.

Now... Why does this matter? Because studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil is in fact a very effective treatment for prostate issues. But of course it must be real. Does the oil on the right have the same effect as the oil on the left? How can it?

Another thing to consider is those studies... Which product do they use? From where? Is it real? If the product is not true, how can a study be accurate? If a study says that a natural treatment is not effective, did they choose the oil on the right to test? How do you know?

Know your farmer. It matters. Labels are meaningless, even government certifications are meaningless. Remember the shipment of soy beans that left another country as conventional and arrived with certified organic paperwork on it? That was quite an ocean trip!

Know your farmer!

Our goal is to make sure that we offer to you only the things that we have verified ourself and know that it's real. That's our commitment to you.
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The brunt of the storm

Nature is not as predictable as we might like. Even things like weather will soften bring surprises. Today was a tragic surprise.

Mid afternoon the skies darkened. Thunderstorms were due in the evening, but without warning things went from dark to fury literally within minutes. A stem cell grew out of nowhere and moved almost directly over the farm! We only had maybe 15 minutes warming.

And a storm it was! Two episodes of high winds, drenching rain, and hail moved through. Each way only half an hour long, but they were intense. The weather monitor on farm clocked gusts of up to 50mph. Rain was so thick that we could not see the hills nearby. Miraculously the power stayed on, although the tree by the garage was bent over into the power wires.

There first wave passed with little damage, mostly just loose items thrown around. Nothing major. But the second wave...

As we stood in the kitchen watching the trees blown around and light stuff flying here and there... The greenhouse rolled by! Yes, the entire greenhouse. It had broken of the corner tie downs, jumped the fences, and went rolling across the garden. The path just barely missed the poor bees that were just rebuilding from their loss of comb to the twister a couple weeks ago.



As we watched, I realized that at the rate it was going, and holding mostly together, the entire structure was heading straight for our neighbors home. We had to somehow catch it! Hunter and I "suited up" in foul weather gear and headed into the storm.

While we were getting ready, the greenhouse stopped rolling in the middle of the zucchini patch. Why wasn't clear at first, but when we got out there it was obvious. The water hose had torn of the spigot when the structure lifted of the tie downs, and the house made a long tail speaking in the path. That tail somehow got caught in the third fence and hung tight. It hung in a good spot, next to a tpost near the bottom wrung of wire. That created an anchor that happened the rest of the structure from rolling. The impact was enough to bend the t post to about 45 degrees, but the water hose still held tight.

We decided to leave the hose connected and anchoring the broken structure, and simply broke down the tall lend pieces to make less of a sail. The lightening in close proximity made for quite the experience. The wind was calming by this time so we decided to leave it as is and see what else was damaged.



The new chicken resort suffered tarp damage, but otherwise nothing was serious.

There sad party of this story is that, after sitting unused for a couple years, we had just decided to raise heirloom starts in the greenhouse next year for our use and for sale. But... Alas, that's out now. It does not seem repairable . There might be some sections worth keeping for shelving or something, but it will never be a full greenhouse again.

Nature, the friend that demands respect.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Plant a garden for... Your pig? That's crazy!

One of the most interesting yet controversial aspects of our farming model is the approach of growing fresh produce to feed the animals that live here. Sure it seems odd for that to be questioned but many people do question the wisdom of growing for Animals instead of for humans. It is definitely different, and warrants an explanation.

It is true that are Gardens are planted and nurtured specifically to grow fresh produce for our animals and only extra Harvest is offered for sale for humans. Why do we do this? Well think about it. If the goal is to raise the healthiest animals to produce the healthiest animal food products for humans, how could we do anything else? Why is there an assumption that animals can be healthy on second grade food when we know that humans require top nutrition from first grade food to remain healthy? Why is there an assumption in the agriculture industry that animal nutrition is secondary to human nutrition? Why is there an assumption that you can create top quality animal products from second quality animal feed?

This Is Why We Do It . it's not so much that we value animals above humans. That misses the point. The foundation is that we value human health and understand that human health depends on the health of the animals and animal food products that humans consume. Think about if you were to grow a chicken to feed your child who suffers from a condition that is helped by top-quality chicken broth, would you not feed that chicken the very best feed that you could find? Of course you would any parent would.

So the question really becomes what is best for animals? What is the source of top-quality nutrition? We answer this by observing the animals in nature. By observing the animals that prosper in a natural environment and duplicating this on the farm, we achieve like results to a healthy animal living the way nature intended.



What this means for us is growing vegetables, produce, insects, some grains that match the balance that animals would have if they were living in the wild successfully. While most animal nutritionist attempt to find the the lowest level of nutrients that keeps the animal"healthy", we look at it from the other end and try to determine how much nutrition we can provide for the animals above and beyond the minimum. It really is the question of do you want to do as little as you can for health or do everything that you can for health?

So yes here at Little Sprouts we grow a lot of produce of various kinds. And yes at Little Sprouts we offer little of this produce for sale to the public. It seems on in today's modern agriculture world to do this. Yet we focus on producing the very best nutrition for our customers in animal products that we possibly can.

There is a reality that we launch this Farm on in that almost anyone can grow good healthy organic vegetables on their own land in their backyard. Yet relatively few people especially in town can actually raise animals of the same high-quality. It is also true that most large farm operations that Supply the grocery stores also cannot raise animals to the same high quality standards. Size of farm and quality of food are directly related the larger the farm the lower the quality.

So next time you come out to visit the farm and see the rows and rows of beautiful watermelons are zucchinis are pumpkins or greens or whatever, think about the source of your bacon that morning. What was that pig fed what was the nutritional principles that went into feeding the pig that produce the bacon that's on your child's plate? When you drop a chicken into a pot to make a healthy meat stock in an attempt to heal a child of digestive issues or even the common cold, what was that chicken fed all of its life what components have gone into the chicken meat that are going to come out in the broth and you're going to feed your child?

This is the questions we Ponder and this is why we do what we do.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Best watermelon of 2017

What is better on these hot summer days than a cold juicy vine ripened watermelon?
Our melon patch is doing really good this year, in fact it seems the healthiest part of the animal garden! If all goes well, those lucky pigs will be enjoying a steady diet of heirloom vine ripened melons soon!

But we had to try one!



Hunter picked it out himself, and he made a great choice! This melon was the sweetest, the juciest, the best tasting melon ever!



If there are extras, we will offer a few of these for sale soon through the normal home delivery ordering. Keep watching for it!

posted from Bloggeroid

Progress on the bug barn

Smoky skies can have benefit! Our skies are filled with the smoke from a fire up at crater lake. Seems this happens every couple years... A major fire just north of us in mid summer. As usual, the bright summer sun is blocked, dropping the daily high from the expected 110 to barely over 90. So we made use of the more manageable day to start on the bug barn project.

The project? Insulation! The bug barn itself is a shipping container, all metal skin. Great longevity and strength but wow is it hot! When that direct sun hits the outside, the walls get so hot you can't hold a hand against it inside. With an air temp of 11p, that makes the bug barn into an oven, quite literally!

We tried insulation on the inside, but that didn't work out. Didn't help much with the radiant heat, and attracted mice. So we are doing something new... Insulting paint!

Insulating paint is a new technology (apparently developed for NASA) that blocks radiant heat quite effectively. For situations such as this metal building, the paint reflects the radiant heat instead of absorbing it and transferring to the inside. Does nothing for conducted heat, only radiant, but that ok for the bugs. If it can just stop the heat gain from direct sun, the bugs will he happy!

There are several brands, all claiming to be the best, most seem to be scams or at least cheap knockoffs. We chose one that seemed most legit.. insuladd. This is an additive to be put into any exterier paint to create insulting paint.

Fortunately, by God's grace, we were given a free contractor grade ( but older) airless paint sprayer to apply this with! It needed some work, and a new tip, but I got it working enough to build pressure with only a small leakage around the old seals. Woohoo! As a test, I painted the top of the brooder a nice avacado green .

Yes, the pain itself was also donated ! We ended up with about 25 gallons of free exterior paint, various colors. Not sure which color the barn will end up, maybe a rainbow!



So back to today... I spent the afternoon pressure washing the outside to knock off as much of the old crumbly paint as possible. Took a while, but ended up nice! Now I just need one more day of moderate sun o apply the paint itself. (Just wait till you see my fancy homemade paint mixer!)

Stay tuned!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spicy sweet roasted pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are super nutritious! They are the basis of several herbal remedies and also a major component of our animal feed. But to be honest... Are they tasty?

Yes! With this recipe they are incredible! A bit like spicy sweet candy. Yum!

Tip: Start with heirloom pumpkins. They do taste different, better than hybrids. There seeds of an hybrid are just not the same somehow.

To make:

Preheat the oven to 400. Cover the bottom of a glass baking dish with organic extra virgin coconut oil. Remove the seeds from a pumpkin but do not wash them. In fact, do not even clean the fiberous center of the pumpkin of the seeds, just scoop them out. Place seeds on a mixing bowl and sprinkle with Redmond real salt and organic chili powder to taste. Toss gently then place in the baking dish in the oil.

Roast at 400 degrees until nicely Brown, almost but not quite burnt.



The fibers from the center of the pumpkin will carmelize into a sweet almost sugary coating, and the coconut oil brings out a nutty sweet flavor. Absolutely the best pumpkin seeds ever!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sweet girl rescues baby chick from water trough

Kaelyn found this super cute baby chick soaking wet and cold from having fallen in to the water trough.



She spent an hour carefully blow drying the tiny feathers and warming it gently. Then out into the dark searching for the mom to reunite the to for the night.

Farm life!

posted from Bloggeroid

New Chicken Resortland

Summer is here!
And with summer came... southern oregon heat
And with the southern oregon heat came... stressed chickens
And with stressed chickens you get... NO EGGS!

well, significantly lower production.

So we set about this weekend to design a new "resort" for the girls, a place where they can live comfortable in the shade and soft winds, safe from predators but not confined.

The idea is to create a single "complex" from the four coops, arranged into a square. The center area covered with a tarp tied to each of coops in the corners. This provides a huge open area that is sheltered from predators yet allows for free airflow and solid shade. One of the coops is dedicated to the "watering hole" which will eventually be a shallow "pond" that they can stand in to cool off. The nesting boxes sit at the edges of 3 sides to provide more shelter while giving a cool spot to lay those eggs.

 Here is the result!

South entrance, this is the largest opening, on the downwind side. 

West end. The coop on the left is the watering pond (right now just a waterer left to overflow with continuous slow water flow.)

North end, mostly blocked by a nesting box pointed inward.

Inside on the east end. the nesting box to the left is the one blocking the north entrance.  The long feeders sit in the middle of the shade. 

Inside, on the west end. In the very center is the "stand" which is an old sprinkler covered with a greenhouse bucket. This holds the tarp up in the center.

This will obviously not work once the rains start, but then by that time the need for shade diminishes greatly.


Easy turkey dinner

Turkey is definitely our favorite poultry, heritage turkey that is... Not the store bought commercial ones that taste like cardboard and look like a mishappen beast from outer space... A real turkey. It is delicious, has texture, aroma, and super healthy.

But isn't cooking a heritage turkey hard?

Nope!

Here is an example:



1 heritage little sprouts turkey
10 organic bay leaves
Tablespoon Redmond realsalt
Water

Just pop the frozen turkey into the roasting pan, fill the bottom 3/4 with cold water, float the bay leaves, sprinkle with salt. Set the oven to 300 and close the roasting pan.

Wait, about 8 hours.

If necessary, refill the water to keep it at least half full.

When done, you can (if you want) remove the top and roast at 400 to brown the top of the meat. To brown more just remove some of the delicious broth first. (But done let it get totally dry!)

For even more flavor, drop a few organic carrots and onions into the water with the frozen turkey.

It really is that easy. You get absolutely delicious turkey broth, and soft yet textured turkey meat.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 28, 2017

"What do you grow on your farm"?

We are often asked the question "what do you grow" when people learn for the first time that we have a small farm. Our answer has always been the traditional, a rundown of all the animals that we raise here.



But yesterday, while pulling weeds (goat feed) I had an inspiration. We do not raise chickens and goats and pigs and ...  , well we do, but that is not what we "raise".  What we raise is... healthy children! 

Let me explain.

Back in my "big business" days we followed a firm principle. To motivate people, never give them a "job", give them a "mission".  The gal that writes code on a computer is not "programming", she is solving a problem, or better yet, enabling a business to solve a person's long term problem. A janitor is not sweeping the floor, he is maintaining a work environment that allows the entire business to function. A receptionist is not "answering the phone", they are providing the face of the company to all newcomers, forming that ever important first impression that makes or breaks a company. 

Humans inherently desire, even need, to be part of something bigger than themselves. Making money is not even a good reason to go to work. Doing something that helps mankind, that changes peoples lives, THAT is what motivates people!

So back to the farm.. we do not raise animals. We do not run a farm. We raise children. We help the elderly regain their life. We restore families to the health they always dreamed of. That is our mission. As a farmer, you dont grow food, you feed people. If you specialize on "good food" then you dont even sell food, you sell health!

The majority of our customers are families and individuals that need food that heals broken bodies. Families that understand that food and nutrition is the foundation upon which all of health depends. Families that need to solve health problems, not hide symptoms. This is why we dont play the "price game"... our products are priced according to actual costs, not competition, not profit, but actual cost. Our profit margin is not built to afford vacations and fancy cars, not even retirement.. the profit margin we seek is simply enough to raise our own children and continue doing this year after year after year.. the ultimate in sustainability. 

So next time we are asked "so what do you grow?" my answer will be "healthy children!"

and that is why we get up every morning with the sun to milk the goats, why we fight the summer heat and winter mud to blister our hands and tire our backs. Not for money, not for the fun of farming, but to have the chance to help one more child or elderly person or family that needs good healthy food. 

The Great Bee Rescue

Tragedies happen, and on a farm they seem to happen more frequently than elsewhere!

We had a tragedy this week. While working outside we watched a good sized "twister" come through (the type that has cost us a couple of coops and a pool in the past). It was an awesome sight, kicking up dust and "things" as far as the eye can see into the sky as it drifted across the ground. Things get re-arranged quite a bit as the raw power of nature is unleashed on a small scale.

But then.. it drifted right by the bee hives! Sure enough, one hive lifted up and was dropped on it's side into the driveway. Bees, comb, wood all spilled out across the driveway.  Those bees were ANGRY to saw the least! We decided for everyone's safety it is best to allow them to calm down before acting out a rescue.  So we let them be for the rest of the day.

This is how the twister left the hive, surrounded by angry bees!

Upon inspection the next morning, half the bees had gathered up into a swarm on the inside edge of the original hive, still on it's side. The other half was bust raiding the honey from the spilled combs. We were able to get a closer look and made the educated guess that the queen was in the mound of bees inside the hive. So now was time to act.

In the closeup you can see the combs mashed into the ground upside down to the left, and a few bees gathered in the corner of the hive. 

We very carefully picked up the hive, bees and all, and placed it back on the legs, being very careful to avoid all bumps or jars that might upset them again. For the most part they accepted this and kept quiet. Then we pulled what top bars we could one by one and placed them back over the hive to cover the bees. They seemed to accept this also.

Then the tough part. The combs were actually upside down, a mound of wax and honey resting on top of the wooden top bars. Not Optimal at all! It was possible to pull a few out without disturbing the mound, but most actually had comb still attached. For these, we had to twist the bars to break off the comb and then slip them from under the comb. This usually left an half inch or so of dripping honey and damaged comb, which we cut off and placed into a bowl.  We were able to recover enough bars this way to cover 3/4 of the hive.

Last step was to replace the wooden hive roof to provide cover and shade. It was damaged but fit ok.  Then we placed the bowl of honey on top of the hive so the bees could continue cleaning up the mess and recover their food source.

Here is the almost finished scene. The box in the driveway was placed over the broken comb to provide shelter. 

To prevent the spilled comb from overheating in the direct summer sun, we placed a cardboard box or two with multiple holes over the pile of comb. There is a slim chance that the bees might be able to hatch some of the larva from this odd arrangement. time will tell!

video

If you come for a visit over the next few days, do NOT stop along the driveway in front of the fence. Keep your windows up.  Hopefully everything will be resolved in a week or so.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cold healthy snack on a hot afternoon

Here's a quick and easy, tasty and satisfying, super healthy snack for a hot afternoon... A bowl of dairy kefir made from raw extra creamy goat milk, with a swirl of raw honey



Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summertime chicken soup

This may be the world's best tasting chicken soup ever. Not to mention healthy!
It's a tad complex to make, but worth it!

Yum!


Chickens simmering in water


The veggies being sauteed


Ingredients:

2 heritage little sprouts farm chickens
2 TBS organic apple cider vinegar
2 TBS organic balsamic vinegar
1 tsp organic chili powder
1 TBS organic mushroom powder
1 inch organic Ginger root, chopped
2 organic onions, sliced
6 organic carrots, sliced
1 tsp organic oregano
1/2 stick pastured butter
1 can full fat organic coconut milk
1/2 head raw organic garlic, chopped
1/4 cup Organic olive oil
Redmond salt to taste

In a large stock pot, cover the chickens with water and simmer until done.

Meanwhile, place all other ingredients EXCEPT the garlic and olive oil onto a large skillet. Saute everything together until the onions and carrots are tender. Once done, remove from heat and stir in chopped garlic and olive oil.

Meanwhile, debone the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. (Be sure to keep the bones for bone broth later).

To serve: you now have 3 separate components... Chicken meat, chicken broth, and sauteed vegetables. Just combine the proportion desired of each into serving bowls. Salt if desired. For a spicy twist, add a few drops of organic jalapeno sauce.

Best served with a glass of ice cold raw goat milk.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 23, 2017

New product - golden milk (tumeric tea)

Exciting news!



We just added a new item under the herdshare... Golden Milk, sometimes known as tumeric tea.

This is not a mix, not a gritty powder, but ready to drink smooth milk drink... made from extra creamy raw goat milk!

Golden milk is a recipe of tumeric, black pepper, and coconut oil (all organic of course) prepared into raw goat milk. You can enjoy it cold or warm, either way this drink is super healthy!

Tumeric is one of the most valuable root spices available. It is anti inflammatory, and pretty much "anti everything bad"! Tumeric should be a part of our daily diet for optimum health. The problem with most tumeric is absorption. Combining this root with coconut oil in a base of high fat raw milk helps significantly with absorption. We add in a tiny amount of black pepper, not enough to taste, to also increase absorption.

This golden milk is prepared by actually warming the tumeric slightly in the coconut oil to soften and hydrate it, so that there is no gritty specs left once it is mixed into the milk. Never heated enough to alter the goodness, just enough to make it "melt" into the milk. The result is a yummy milk drink. You can even add some honey if you prefer it a little sweeter, but it's fine just as is!

Golden milk is now added to the list of things you can choose to turn your milk into under the herdshare. For a small fee you can convert milk into golden milk by the quart, on any delivery. This is just like yogurt and kefir. The only requirement is to have enough herdshare quantity to produce the products, as the milk used to produce yogurt, kefir, or golden milk is your herdshare milk and reduces the amount of fluid milk you will receive.

If you do not have a herdshare yet, hurray and but you're, the shares are selling out fast. Just contact us for the details.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bacon flavored salami and eggs

Here's a fairly quick lunch recipe using salami bacon grease eggs cauliflower and some spices.



One head organic cauliflower
Two dozen Little Sprouts Farm eggs
Four tablespoons bacon grease from Little Sprouts bacon
One tablespoon grass-fed butter
Two tablespoons organic mushroom powder
One teaspoon organic celery seed
One tablespoon organic onion powder
Two Little Sprouts Farm salami either spicy or regular
Redmond salt and organic Black pepper

Here how to make this:
Warm the bacon grease and butter in a large cast iron pan.
Chop the cauliflower as much as you like, and add to the grease once it's melted.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cut the salami into 1/8 inch slices, then cut slices in half
Once cauliflower is soft, add salami slices and sprinkle with mushroom powder
Cook over medium high heat until starting to brown.
Crack eggs into a large bowl, add celery seed, salt and pepper. Scramble with a fork.
Once salami is cooked through and Browning, add the eggs
Reduce heat and stir constantly as the eggs cook.
Remove from heat as soon as eggs are set.

Can be topped with grated grass fed cheese for an extra treat.


Serve with a side of ferment organic heirloom carrot sticks!

Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 20, 2017

More chicken and turkey parts in the store!

We spent the afternoon processing some more chickens and turkeys. The first batch is already just about sold out! But don't worry... If you missed ordering, there should be enough now to last the 2 weeks for the next order.

Customers in Medford, Jacksonville, Central point, eagle point areas can still order for delivery tomorrow!

What is available? Here is a quick rundown:

Heritage chickens and turkeys -these are not at all like the store bought chicken like products, and not even like the "meat chickens" raised by most farms. These are just plain ole chickens like Grandma's day. They are small ( average 3 to 4 lbs each) but the meat is so flavorful and nutritious, plus the bones make the best bone broth possible. This is especially true of the turkeys. Our favorite is to roast a turkey low and slow on a smoker or oven, pull off the meat, then cook the bones for the best turkey bone broth you ever tasted!

Heads and feet - primarily used for stocks. Just boil a head or two with a few feet, maybe add some onion and black pepper cons, a little salt... Strain and yum! It makes a very light but highly nutritious stock that you can't buy on the store. The flavor is amazingly smooth and subtle, but it packs a mighty punch of nutrition!

Gizzards and heart - organ meats..
Super nutrition! These are best simmered for several hours with a little onion and bay leaf, then strain the liquid for chicken stock and chop the meat up small. You can then add the nutrition of organ meats to almost any meat dish and no one knows it is there!

Necks-. These are the magical component of plain ole chicken stock. Just boil the necks in a little water for a few hours (don't boil dry!) And strain. Sometimes it is possible to pull some meat off, but either way this is drinkable chicken broth.

As usual, all of these products are :
Soy free
Heritage breed
Pasture raised
Organically and nongmo fed
Humanely treated and processed


Head into the online store now to reserve your selection!
https://csa.farmigo.com/store/littlesproutsfarm

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Heirloom fermented carrot sticks

Our own family recipe for carrot sticks. Kids love these!





Heirloom organic carrots - cut to sticks
8 garlic organic cloves
1 TBS organic Dill seed
1 TBS organic mustard seed


Brine 6TBS Redmond realsalt per half gallon water

Let sit a minimum of three days, best at 5 days.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tree minerals for the goats, natural style



The goats are enjoying the season of the tree trimming. Here is party of today's load.

Trees are bursting with minerals compared to grass and weeds, so we make sure they have a good variety of tree branches to nibble on. The eat the greens, twigs, and even bark. Then , when only dry sticks are left, we run then through the chipper to create poultry bedding.

Yum?!

posted from Bloggeroid

Bacon and cauliflower

A quick dinner... This is what we consider fast food.





3 lbs little sprouts uncured bacon
1 head organic cauliflower
4 tablespoons little sprouts lard with cracklings
Organic Black pepper
Redmond salt
1 Teaspoon Organic celery seeds
1 entire head of organic garlic

Defrost the bacon, cut in half and place all 3 lbs in a large deep cast iron skillet. Start with the skillet cold, add medium heat and stir frequently. As the bacon heats up the lard will render out and this become a not so deep fryer. Let the bacon fry, stirring frequently until almost but not quite crisp throughout. Sprinkle with black pepper.

In another deep skillet, place chopped cauliflower and the lard with cracklings. Medium heat until the cauliflower starts to soften, then add in the celery seed, salt and pepper to taste. Continue hearing and stirring occasionally until cook through, then remove from heat and add the peeled and chopped garlic.

Serve the bacon over a bed of cauliflower.

Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Lunch - hot zucchini dogs

Creative fast lunch...



One package of little sprouts pork hot dogs
4 medium heirloom zucchini
One bottle organic pasta sauce
One teaspoon organic dry mustard
One tablespoon organic oregano
One tablespoon Redmond salt
One teaspoon organic ground black pepper
One half teaspoon organic celery seed
Four tablespoons bacon lard from little sprouts bacon
One entire head of organic garlic


Easy to make!

Just wash and slice zucchini, cook till slightly soft in the lard. Cut the hot dogs and add. Add all the spices except the garlic. Keep on high heat until most of the liquid is boiled out. Then add the pasta sauce and heat to boiling. Remove from heat and add freshly chopped garlic.

Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, July 17, 2017

Heritage chicken in a pot



A crock pot that is.... Here is tonight dinner, two heritage chicken slow cooked all day with salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Simple and delicious.

And that broth... Mmmm!

posted from Bloggeroid

Milk Prices... Is this real?

Sometimes the math just doesnt add up, and that should always make us suspicious... The price of milk and dairy products is an example. Let me explain...



Milk in the grocery store can run form $2 to $4 per gallon.  Seem reasonable, right?  But... consider the price of yogurt  made from that milk. A tub of good quality yogurt made from that milk runs about $10 to $15 per quart, or $40 to $60 per gallon! a HUGE increase in price. But why? Yogurt is a simple process of adding a starter, letting the milk sit overnight, and packaging it for retail. That's it! Where producing that first gallon of milk is a long drawn out process of raising cows or goats, feeding, housing, milking, cooling, transporting the milk... not to mention health requirements for the cows and calfs and facilities for all of this. The workload, cost, and investment in producing milk is absolutely HUGE compared to the workload of changing that milk into yogurt.  Something is wrong with this math! How can yogurt sell for 10x the cost of milk it is made from, if the vast majority of production cost is to produce the milk itself?

One answer can be found in the gory details of "milk production". Producing milk is not "milking a bunch of cows"... no. Big dairies run according to thew "government process" that dictates the fat and solid content of the milk. To meet these requirements, the dairy processing plant must first dismantle the milk into raw components! Yes.. the fat is removed from the milk and sometimes the solids are also removed. Then the processing plant reassembles the milk to government standards. The resulting "whole milk" is nothing of the sort! Even "whole milk" is a creation in the plant by recombining parts of the original product in desired rations. None of this is "natural" by any definition.

Example of a milk processing disassembly - reassembly line


Interestingly, the amount of fat required by law for "whole milk" is below the actual fat content of "milk". So ... if they dont add all the fat back, where does the extra fat go? What about extra solids ?  I think that therein is part of the answer to the cost being so off. The "extras" are sold off as other products that cost way more than the original milk! In other words.... the milk is the "waste product" left over from extracting the valuable stuff that produces the profit.

Strong words.. but think about what is happening.. the milk is "torn apart" into raw components, some extracted and sold as other products, some reassembled and sold "at cost". The milk, is the leftovers!

At Little Sprouts, we have reversed this. We manage goats under a "hard share" arrangement where our farm members own the goats, we mange and milk them and provide the milk produced in raw form, just as nature intended. We do not break apart the beautiful liquid gold to recombining it according to some government established ratios. We let nature dictate the components and rations and nutritional qualities of the milk.   Then, we offer a service of converting the owner's milk into yogurt or kefir for them. The cost for managing the herd is by far the largest portion of this process, and the cost to the members reflect this. The milk "seems" much more expensive by comparison, perhaps prohibitively so. But then.. converting that milk into yogurt cost very little (becasue it is so easy by comparison) and the resulting price paid to acquire a quart of yogurt is BELOW the grocery store price!

yes.. consider this.. the milk costs 10x more than grocery store milk, but the yogurt and kefir ends up CHEAPER than grocery store yogurt or kefir.  We base our prices on actual costs to produce, and that's how the real math works out.

So  next time you are buying milk at the store.. check the yogurt prices.. convert it all to a per gallon price, and question how this can be. Raising animals and milking is much much much more involved than turning milk into yogurt. Something is wrong...

Milk is a golden product, a mainstay of a healthy diet, IF it is produced right and in it's raw form unchanged by man. Especially goat milk, which is much more nutritious and digestible as well as less problematic for humans. I encourage you to consider the milk sold in the stores, how it got there, what you paid for those "leftovers" and then find a local farm that raises "real milk".

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chickens and turkey available now!



We finally have both whole chicken and whole turkey in the online store ready for ordering just in time for this coming delivery. And not just whole chicken and turkey, but also all the extras like necks (for the best stock in the world) gizzards, liver, hearts, heads, and feet. Brose through the online store to pick out what you would like for this week.

What to use everything for?

Head and feet make very healthy stock... Just boil, maybe a few onions, garlic and peppercorns.

Gizzards and hearts are great for inclusion in any dish to add super healthy organ meats without overwhelming flavor. I like these in dressing!

Liver.... The most popular organ we offer. Chicken and turkey liver often disappears as fast as we can get it into the store.

The chickens are sold by the bird and weigh in about 2.5 to 3.5 lbs. Heritage chickens are slimmer, tastier, and healthier than conventional ( highly breed for profit) birds. The meat is an equal balance of white and dark and actually has texture like meat should. The bones make excellent bone broth.

The turkeys are sold by the nearest half pound. These weigh in between 6 and 9 lbs. Just like the chickens, equal light and dark meat, excellent flavor and texture. If you have not tried heritage turkey, you have a pleasant surprise waiting! These birds are a totally unique culinary experience.

And as always, all these products are fed organic, soy free, nongmo feeds, plus pasture raised, naturally bred, humanely treated, and heritage breed.

Products will be in the online store by Sunday night and stay listed until sold out. And as usual.. any subscriptions will he filled first.

Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fried devil's claw

We tried a new dishwasher tonight... Fried devil's claw!

Devil's claw pods are much like okra... And I love fried okra... So we decided to try some. We used a normal fried okra recipe and it cooked up nicely!

Unfortunately... Devil's claw is a bit bitter. That the medicinal components in it coming through the pods. It was ok, but would be more tasty if the bitterness was hidden behind some other flavor... Will try that next time.

We are raising devil's claw (and selling seeds) because this plant is highly beneficial to anyone with joint pain. In Europe, they use devil's claw root to treat RA and other arthritis pain. O have tried it myself, and it works for me! I seem to enheirented my mom's tendency for arthritis in the fingers, so I tried the European remedy. For me, a tea of devil's claw root mixed with nettle leaves bring some immediate relief and much long term relief if continued daily for a week or so.

We are very happy to have this amazing plant pop up wild in our garden area for the second year. We have enough seeds saved from last year to sell and next year we will be able to offer organically grown devil's claw pods and root directly!

I will say that for me... Our own fresh grown root is more beneficial than the preparations found in the store. Nothing like home grown!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Take your children to work day!



Penelope participated happily in "take your child to work day" by bringing her two young children to the milking stand with her today. They seemed fascinated by the whole process, studying it in depth and I think they even nibbled out of the treat bucket.

It's great to see parents involving their children in their professional lives!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rainey the Gardener!

Rainey, our llama, makes a great gardener!

I noticed him walking through the tomato patch, and was a bit worried that he might decide to eat some of the young plants. I got closer and watched to find that he was meticulously "weeding" the tomatoes! He was munching on the tiny weed sprouts at the base of the plants but avoiding the tomatoes themselves quite well!

video


Friday, June 23, 2017

Sheep find greener pastures.

This time of year our land has no grass and little way to grow grass through the summer months, which is a big problem for sheep! We have not yet found an appropriate vegetable that works for grazers like sheep. So each year we must resort to buying hay (which gets incredibly expensive) or moving the sheep to greener pastures.

Fortunately... This year divine Providence has once again provided for the farms basic needs. We "ran into" a property that is beautiful, available for use, at a good price, and offers more grass than we could possibly need.

So... Here we are at the hottest day of the year so far... First time hitting triple digits, and it's time to load sheep!

I wish we had videos... This is one of most fun activities... Sheep rodeo! You would laugh right along with us at the trial and error as we try new ways to entice sheepish sheep into a small stock trailer.

Highlights from this year:

Dad caught a sheep in the air, mid leap. Not a good idea. Turns out dad finished the leap with her... Ouch!

Hunter did a few rounds with a ram... Thinking he was in charge when the ram was seriously taking the young boy for a ride.

Everett learned how to he a fence post, holding a stretch of not activated electric rope and standing incredibly still as sheep try to figure out what that curious sight is.

Kaelyn and Levi try desperately to close the trailer door when at one point a literal sea of sheep try to load at once with Dad caught in the middle, not realizing it is sheep holding the door open.

Rainey (the llama) decides to take a break down the driveway at one point to reflect on the experience he just witnessed.. them returns to the yard to take a shower. Yes.. llama standing in a yard sprinkler cooling down, refusing to move away. That was a sight!

Dad playing rodeo inside the trailer with a couple dozen sheep that decided the back corner of the trailer is safer than the open door to a pen filled with tall green grass.


At the end of the day, after three trips between our farm and the property... We had all the ewes and youngsters moved. 57 girls and one boy. The 13 Rams stayed at the farm for now. We will figure that out later. The rama can't be with the girls until around August, to prevent having to deal with babies born in the cold muddy period.

All in all a good day!

Now on to soothe the rodeo soreness!








posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tonight's menu...

Here is a look at tonight's menu at the farm...

For starters we have a selection of fresh baby greens, a variety of green plants and weeds from the garden. Succulent, just picked with roots and all.

Then we move on to the main course... Our own mix of soaked, sprouted, and fermented grains. Not one grain... but multi grains. And when we say sprouted... We mean really sprouted with 1 inch tails!

Then to finish, a dessert of another batch of greens (weeds).

These guys eat well!


posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poultry Bedding, well almost!

Here is a quick pic of our poultry bedding... we make it ourself!



We collect brush as goat feed. This can be tree trimmings, landscaping projects, etc. As long as it is grown organically and good for goats to eat, we collect or accept donations and let them have at it! Great source of minerals and nutrition for the goats in milk.  

Once the goats consume all the leaves, small twigs, and bark.. the branches go into a pile to dry. Then through the chipper and into bird bedding!

Please remember to contact us when you are trimming trees, to see if it makes sense to collect it!


Tomatoes Everywhere - but what a day!

Yesterday was a very full day, but with a successful ending... Lots of tomatoes!

We were given almost a thousand tomato starts, needing to be in the ground ASAP. So what do we do? Drop everything and get those plants in the ground!

The "chicken transport" trailer was still together, so we were able to load all the flats of starts into the trailer, utilizing the second deck quite nicely. It was wall to wall plants on both levels!

Then yesterday, the fun started. The first step was to prepare a plot of ground becasue of course, there was none ready! We decided on the original pig pen. It should be decently fertilized, out of the way of other activity, close enough to water, and  "doable" this late in the season.

To till the hard dry clay dirt requires the tiller to be in top shape.. so that meant a couple hours rebuilding the tiller.  The back cover had fallen off while preparing the melon spot (sorry, missed the chance to blog that one), some of the tines were shot, and it was again covered in rogue baling twines. So this was the first order of business.. rebuild the tiller. Sorry again, no pics.. was racing the clock! But we managed to clean the tines, replace the worst ones with the old semi worn tines I had kept from last time, and reattach the cover. Took a couple hours of work.

The tilling went pretty good then... until the 4wd went out on the tractor! Yep, tractors ALWAYS break when you need them most. It's some type of law of nature! The thing is.. with a reverse tine tiller it is possible to turn a hard dry clay pasture into plant-able soil in a couple of passes IF in 4wd, but totally impossible without it! the rear wheels simply dont have the traction required to pull the tines through the hard dirt. There is a weak C-Clip in the driveshaft, which only gets weaker and keeps popping off, letting the splines separate. This happened in the middle of the second pass. So, off to repair the tractor! Unfortunately, I know this repair all too well! Took about an hour underneath and it was all back together.  That allowed just enough  working time to get it barely sufficiently deep for tomatoes before it happened again. Ok, fine.. good enough! Time to move on...

Then the transplanting started... this takes a while. 900 plants?  Takes a system! Fortunately the farmer who grew the starts let us borrow his "auto-transplanter" which is a really great invention.  A tool that cuts a hole just the right size and depth, open the hole, drop a plant in the top, and almost fully buries it.  Pretty nice! We set up an assembly line with the kids and it worked beautifully! The kids loved taking turns dropping the plants into the hopper to let them fall into the hole.  Farm Fun!

Then of course, water... we rushed to build some headers (were out already). Of course the glue got spilled onto the soil, so I was literally dipping the ends of pipes into the liquid glue puddle resting on the soil and successfully gluing the ends on. Quite a site!

We did manage to get the water lines in and "lit up" right at sundown... But didnt get time to fix all the leaks in the one year old lines. Instead, I just turned the water flow very low and let them drip slow all night.  In the morning, they look bright and tall!

The finished product. A patch of about 900 tomato plants getting their first real drink and sun in the "wild". As you notice.. planted VERY close with no stakes or trellis of any kind. We are going for a "natural" tomato patch where the vines "do their thing". Low maintenance!

Believe it or not.. THIS is what the patch looked like just 6 hours earlier! This is the beauty of a reverse tine tiller with 4wd trator. 

The slow watering all night seemed to be just enough to perk them up.

This is the nifty trans-planter tool that we borrowed. What a timesaver!

for the curious

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Chicken Transport!

What do you do when you need to haul over 300 chickens?  Build a chicken transport!

Thats what we did last weekend... we ran across a golden opportunity to acquire a set of over 300 laying hens that met our standards, so we purchased the entire set to jump start this year's egg harvest.  But getting them home on short notice was quite the challenge.

So....

I turned the stock trailer into a chicken transport with few 2x4s, some pallets, two pieces of vinyl house siding, 2 sections of vinyl lattice, and some bailing wire.  the whole process took about 2 hours and worked beautifully! There are now two floors in the trailer, upper and lower.  And all the wind and escape routes were blocked while providing just enough ventilation.

Here are some pics!

The drivers side finished. The grey is the vinyl siding to block wind and escape route. Right below the siding is the top of the pallets that form the second floor. 

Looking into the rear door. Yes, the door still opens! Across the back is the lattice for ventilation, and a 2x8 to fill the gap (scraps dont always match the perfect size!). Below that is the pallet of the second floor, seemingly hanging in mid air. 

You can see the 2x4s that stretch across from left to right and hold up the pallets. The 2x4s actually just go right through the center of the pallets to hold them. Then 1x1 strips screwed on the inside hold the 2x4s in place. 

View of bottom floor looking from the rear door. The 2x6s on the floor are for when we transport grain pallets, allowing them to slide across the wood floor without hurting it. 

Here is the roomy second floor! Three pallets make this floor an almost perfect fit. Look closely on the edges and you can see the 1x1 strips that hold the 2x4s in place. 

Here is the support setup. 2x4s slid through the window, then 1x1 screwed across them to hold them from sliding in either direction. This provides solid support with no holes in the trailer!

One little patch of lattice covers the leftover hole in the front beyond the siding,. Then.. the ultimate.. a chicken ladder from the bottom to the top made from 2 wire shelves. 
The whole odd setup performed extremely well! We were able to transport about 250 chickens safely and comfortably without any double stacking of passengers. They all made it home perfectly fine.

Sad to dismantle this crude work of art, but it's use is over. Perhaps I will store the pieces away for use in a couple years ?  Who knows!