Friday, March 31, 2017

New Product! Pork Stew Meat

Need a quick meat dish? Try our new pork stew meat. Nothing added, just our highest quality pork cut into tender stew chunks, waiting for your culinary genius.

You can use this in stir frys, one dish meals, eggs, soups, stews, pretty much anything! Flavor it any way you prefer, and enjoy!

New Product! Bulk English Banger Sausage, Gluten Free!

Now you can buy our popular English Banger Sausage, Gluten Free version, as BULK (no casings).

The same great flavor and quality as the dinner links, now in bulk. The recipe variety for this is limitless! Use it anywhere you need a lightly flavored meat. No overpowering herbs or spices, just quality great tasting pork.

New Product! Mild Italian Bulk Sausage!

MMMMM, If i must say so myself.. this is now my FAVORITE flavor of sausage!

Mild Italian sausage, in bulk (no casings)!

This sausage is not spicy at all, it is a pleasant mild italian flavor. Since it is bulk, you can use it an any dish quickly and easily. Think of it as pre-flavored meat ready to cook. Great for meatballs, spaghetti, stir fry's, eggs, etc.  The choices are limitless!

This is a MUST try!

New Package - GF English Bangers

The sausage recipes are going through a packaging change. One by one they get our new three color label!

The recipes have changed slightly, so if you have not tried themyet, please do!

New Product! HOT DOGS!

Exciting new product as just arrived! "UNCURED" All pork hot dogs!

These are VERY unique hot dogs, becasue they are made from Little Sprouts Pork! Which of course is everything you want in a healthy and humane pork:

Heritage Breed Hogs
Soy Free
Organically Fed
Raised on Pasture
Natural Breeding
No physical alterations
No vaccinations, hormones, chemicals, antibiotics

The flavor is delicious! It is sort of a cross between a beef hot dog and a pork bratwurst, perhaps a little reminiscent of a "little smokey".  These are available for immediate delivery, just hop over to the online store and add  a package to this month's order!

Ingredient are: Pork, Water, NonFat Dry Milk, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Paprika, Garlic, Celery Powder

--- No Added nitrates except those naturally occurring in celery powder---

NOTE: to make this a hot dog, and not a sausage, requires some ingredients that were not able to be sourced organic, so unlike our other products, this has a small amount of milk powder that is not organic.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chick Days at Little Sprouts!

It's HERE!     It's HERE! 

The chicks have hatched! Right on schedule. Well over half arrived by tonight, and the rest should be hatching tomorrow, at 21 days. So far, there are 109 chicks running around tonight in the indoor brooder, and another 24 drying in the bottom of the incubator.

A veritable sea of chicks!

This little guy seems to be somewhat in charge, keeping watch over his brothers and sisters and cousins.
 This hatching is the first of likely three hatchings this year. This is the start of our new approach to raising chickens for both meat and eggs.  More on that in a later blog post!

These will also serve as the winter egg layers! The eggs were collected in mid February from hens that needed no extra light to lay through the winter. In theory, they should be more consistent layers during short days in winter when they mature.  Next we will do a summer set of hatchings to get hens comfortable laying in the dry heat of summer.

I'll explain more in later posts.

Brooder Setup

We are trying a new "indoor brooder" setup this year. The weather is a bit wet and clammy to send these newborns right out into the night air, so they are going to stay inside for a week or so as they get strong. But by tomorrow night, there will be 200 chicks if all goes well. How do you keep that many little feathered friends warm and dry ?

We used to use the eco-glow heaters from Brinsea.  They are wonderful heaters! But as you may recall, most of ours burned up in the chicken coop fire a couple of years ago. They are quite pricey, so we opted not to replace them. Instead, we switched to homemade brooder heaters using ceramic screw in heater elements.  These elements come in  50 to 250 watt varieties, produce no light, and provide a decent even heat without much waste.

So the design is simple, a plywood base with 7 screw in light sockets mounted underneath. Each socket then gets a 50 watt heater. The base is 34" x 34" with 350 watts of heat. Then we put legs on the corners that are adjustable height.  It is a decent homemade version of the EcoGlow heater.

The sides are 8 inch tall plastic panels from an old bed frame. Underneath is a piece of greenhouse plastic to protect the floor, covered with a few layers of newspaper. Tomorrow we might add a few shavings.

For extra safety this first night, we added Styrofoam panels to hold in heat and insulate a bit. Probably not necessary, but don't want to take any chances!
This little guy looks like she is basking in the sun at the beach in mid summer! The black circle above him is the ceramic heater element.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Product! Healthy Hen Supplement!

This month we are releasing another new product, this time for chickens!

Here is a pic of the new mix. You can see the DE covering most of the grain and grubs giving this a frosty white appearance. 

Healthy Hen Supplement!
This supplement has everything in it that chickens need, but it often missing from their feed.... even the best feeds! Anyone can use this supplement to provide better health, but it is especially important for confined hens and hens fed inexpensive soy based feeds.

Turn "cheap feed" into a reasonably healthy diet by adding this supplement to the normal chicken feed once or twice a week. Watch the egg quality to see how often your hens need another boost. The difference should be evident in the eggs within a day or two of feeding!

A closeup to show the individual ingredients! 

Here is the list of ingredients:

  • 3 grain scratch
  • Organically fed Black Soldier Fly Larva
  • Healthy Chicken Herb Mix
  • Oyster Shell
  • Chicken Grit
  • Food Grade Diatamecous Earth

A Run Down of the Ingredients and Benefits

3 grain scratch Organic Wheat, Barley and Oats:
These organic non-gmo grains serve as a base to hold the DE and to create enough volume so that the first chickens do not consume all of the treats restricting the intake of others.

Organically fed Black Soldier Fly Larva:
The chicken's natural source of protein, bugs! These bugs are grown on organic food scraps in the pacific northwest and freeze dried. They make the best source of fat and protein we have ever found! Just a few of these in the chickens diet will improve health and make deeper colored, richer eggs!

Healthy Chicken Herb Mix:
this is a unique mix of organic dried herbs that provide a foundation of health for chickens.  The herbs in this mix are the ones used to treat problems, included at a level that is preventative of those same problems!

Oyster Shell:
Extra calcium is necessary for chickens to create good hard thick egg shells. Most layer feeds have just barely enough calcium for actively laying chickens. Adding a bit more usually improves the egg shells dramatically.

Chicken Grit:
Grit is tiny hard rocks that act as a chicken's teeth, grinding the food within their stomach for better digestion. Without grit, a chicken can not digest food properly at all. Chickens that are contained to a pen will often pick the ground clean in their pin early on, leaving them at a loss for grit as they age.

Food Grade Diatamecous Earth:
 DE is used to treat a variety of health conditions including parasites. Just a little DE every so often will provide a layer of protection and health to keep problems from developing.

You can order this feed supplement in the online store with your regular order.  It comes in 1.5 lb and 4.5 lb bag. The 1.5lb bag will feed about a dozen chickens once, 6 chickens twice. Adjust proportionally for the 4.5 lb bag. We recommend starting by adding this to their feed once a week, and see if you can tell a difference in the eggs. If the egg quality goes visibly up and down (color and consistency of yolk, whites, and thickness of shells), then feed more often. Every set of chickens and feed is slightly different, so explore and see what your chickens need.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Scented Laundry Products Shown To Produce Hazardous Emissions!

This study is a few years old, done in 2011, but very relevant! The University of Washington did testing on common laundry products to see what airborn emissions they created.  The results are astounding!

From the Article:

Analysis of the captured gases found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven hazardous air pollutants, coming out of the vents. Of those, two chemicals - acetaldehyde and benzene - are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, for which the agency has established no safe exposure level.
The source of the airborn compounds seem to come from the scents and chemicals used in the laundry soap itself, when exposed to the heat of a dryer! These were not off brands, but popular "best selling" brands (although they did not name the exact manufacturer).

And we aren't talking about just a tiny bit... The levels of these compounds in the air seems significant! Again from the article:

 The researchers estimate that in the Seattle area, where the study was conducted, acetaldehyde emissions from this brand of laundry detergent would be equivalent to 3 percent of the total acetaldehyde emissions coming from automobiles. Emissions from the top five brands, they estimate, would constitute about 6 percent of automobiles' acetaldehyde emissions.

That's simply incredible to consider!

THIS is why we stopped using common laundry detergents years ago. Not only do we not want to breathe the carcinogenic compounds with ever load of clothes, but the presence of airborn compounds must mean that some level is actually left INSIDE the clothing itself, which then sits on our family's skin all day.  THAT is a toxic load we prefer to do without!

So we switched to a brand that uses only pure soap, no detergent, no chemicals, and only essential oils for scents. There is nothing in this laundry soap that can cause the unwanted toxins to begin with.  And this is why we add laundry soap to our product list of "what we changed to become healthy". Our mission in 2017 is to offer to you and your family the exact items that we used to overcome our family's health issues. Laundry is a big part of it.

If you have not yet, please look in the online store for the laundry soap we resell. It is the brand we trust and use every day, and we make it available to you, delivered for free direct to your door with your order each month.

Full text of the article can be found here:

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Improved Coffee Soap available now

We have improved our recipe for  lard coffee soap.  the new recipe has more intense coffee effect (in killing odors) and improved coffee grinds. The original recipe had some coffee grounds that were a bit rough and could be irritating on sensitive skin, so for this year we modified our grinding method to make more consistent sizes, softer edges on the grains of coffee, and overall smaller size.

Closeup of the coffee soap. You can see the dark spots that are the coffee grounds. 
The purpose of the coffee within the soap is to stop odors. coffee has the unique ability to destroy most hand odors, including cooking odors (garlic and onion) as well as oil and grease odors. The purpose for the coffee grounds is grit to help clean off stuck on dirt, grease, etc. It leaves your hands soft (because it is 100% pure lard), smelling fresh and clean with no odor (becasue of the coffee), and clean of stuck on dirt and grease ( from the grit of the coffee grounds).

This is a truly unique soap, becasue there are NO chemicals, yet it cleans as if there were! Nothing unhealthy, the ingredients are simply Lard (converted to soap with pure lye), organic coffee, and organic fresh coffee grounds.  That's it! yet... it works with no side effects.

We made the first batch of the new recipe this week, and is ready for sale in next month's order.

Some bars sitting out after cutting. 
This is a must have in every kitchen, garage, workshop. Don't put harsh chemicals on your hands.. trust pure healthy lard soap to do the job without the heavy chemicals that might soak through your skin and into your bloodstream. Simple, effective, inexpensive.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter Chicken Flock in the incubators!

Today we put the new winter laying flock into the incubators. a total of 158 eggs!

The incubator on the  right is the one without a working door this year... If you recall, I left them out int eh summer 2 years ago and the front doors warped so they would not seal. We replaced 2 doors and mode those useable, but the third is not working yet.

Unfortunately we had a little mishap.. I washed the incubator egg trays in the dishwasher on the "sanitize" cycle. Nice and clean but.. yes.. warped! Now we can only fit 36 eggs per tray, like turkeys.  The rest we put on the bottom and will manually turn them until the first candling. 

The exciting part is.. this is a winter flock! These hens layed eggs without light. The means their offspring are much more likely to lay in the winter consistently, even without light.  We will have a steady supply of fresh eggs all next winter.  

When summer comes, we will hatch another flock in the middle of summer. The offspring from summer laying hens are much more likely to lay in the heat of summer. 

In theory, we will have a fairly steady supply of eggs year round!

Pure Lard Soap!

We just made our first new batch of the famous but "out of stock" Little Sprouts Pure Lard Soap!

This soap has exactly 4 ingredients, effective simplicity that is hard to match!
  • Pure Pasture raised, soy free, heritage breed, organically fed Lard, slow rendered in stainless steel pots over low heat
  • 100% pure Lye
  • Water
  • Essential oil
That is the makings of an effective, natural, pure soap with a mild scent. Today we chose Lavender as the scent.  We choose 6% excess fat in our soap, just enough to be soft yet effective, but not melt in the soap dish.

There will be many more variations coming, including our famous "coffee soap" for hard working hands. If there is a variety that you prefer, feel free to email us and let us know, we will make a batch for you if possible!

Unfortunately, it will be  a while until these are ready for sale. The PH starts very high in soapmaking, and slowly comes down as the soaponification process completes and the soap "cures". We will be monitoring each batch closely to offer them for sale as soon as practical. Usually 30 to 90 days depending on recipe and atmosphere for curing. If all goes well we will be making a batch every 3 days!

These soaps are another part of the "what we changed to get healthy" list. Commercial soap can have all sorts of unsavory chemicals and heavy scents, each suspect from a health perspective. The source of lard itself (or other oils) is always suspect also! These soaps are pure and natural from before raw ingredient to finished product.

Little Sprouts Deodorant "Scents"

We have The first "commercial" batch of our deodorant done today!

These are small 1 oz samples of two different scent families

Citrus - Orange / Lemon essential oils
Minty Flower - Spearmint / Lavender essential oils
The texture came out quite nice, not too stiff, not to oily, not too dry. It goes on smooth and disappears quickly and works quite well.

If you'd like to sample this important product.. please contact us! We have a few extra samples available now.

Finally - A deodorant that is a health positive instead of negative, and WORKS too!

Perhaps one of the most important things we changed to achieve health is.. the lowly deodorant!

Back in the days of working in small closed offices and living on the standard american diet (SAD), we naturally used the strongest anti-antiperspirant available. We never gave a thought to the health impact of this.. not then.

But consider this:

The primary component of antiperspirants is.. aluminum! The same aluminum that is implicated in a long list of health issues including Alzheimer's, autism, assorted neurological issues.  Why is it in there? because aluminum CLOGS the pores of your skin to block the ability of the body to sweat. No sweat, no unsightly underarm wet spots and stained clothes and body odor.  But there is a problem. Chemicals applied to the skin absorb into the body through the skin. This is now a method of administering many medicines becasue it is SO effective at putting chemicals into the bloodstream! So that aluminum is slowly absorbing into the bloodstream, right next to a lymph node, 24x7.  To add insult to injury, the action of sweating is a primary detox tool of the body, but that pathway has now been totally blocked by the aluminum itself! The only pathway left is into the blood, around the body, and out some other avenue, leaving devastating health problems along the way. 

The other products in antiperspirants as well as deodorants are no less concerning:

Parabens - used to kill bacteria in the product... yes, a poison to bacteria. Parabens have been found in tumors! They seem to have a weak estrogen like effect when absorbed through the skin. 
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) distearates - emulsifying agents found in many cosmetic products including antiperspirants. This antiperspirant ingredient makes it easier to wash off the product. Does that sound like something you want on your skin adsorbing into the body all day?
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) - a preservative! Only it does not preserve life not health... and has been implicated in many health concerns. 
Propylene glycol - made from petroleum! It softens and gives a sort of slick consistency
Phthalates - a whole class of chemicals used to aid blending of cosmetics. They have been implicated in health concerns especially for women and birth defects.
Triclosan - anti bacterial agent classified as a pesticide by the FDA.  Some countries are now banning triclosan from antibacterial soaps!
Go take a look at your favorite deodorant and see which chemicals it contains, then ask yourself.. do you really want that chemical as part of your bloodstream every day of your life? What could the long term implications be?

What to Do?

We searched for an answer for years... honestly we found that virtually all "natural" deodorants fell into 3 groups:

1. Actually had some of the above chemicals, but by different names so unsuspecting customers would not realize.

2. Were unpleasant to use from stickiness, difficulty to clean, left stains, etc

3. Just plain didn't work!

But over the years we found what DOES work! and it works amazingly well without any bad chemicals. In fact, this "recipe" is a pleasure to use, is a health positive instead of negative, and works so well it can be effective for 2 days from a single application! No really! We were very excited!

Our recipe contains the following simple ingredients:

Shea Butter (organic of course) - a natural plan butter similiar to cocoa butter
Bentonite Clay - Natural pure clay very good at detox, and wetness absorption
Baking Soda - A natural product (not man made) excellent at odor absorption
Essential Oils - Natural fragrance that have healing properties as well as anti microbial

That's it! Nothing else is necessary! And it WORKS!

But wait.. there's more!  Not only is the product itself amazing, but the application is unique and beneficial. You apply a small about of this "stiff lotion" with your fingertips, massaging into the area of the armpit. This action done right is a lymph node massage! Many experts point to lymph node massage as beneficial or even necessary for good health. 

For now, we are offering samples of this product while we decide on the fragrances that we want to produce. Just email or call and ask for a sample. Very soon this will show up in the online store available for purchase along with your monthly order!

New Products! Finally getting back on Track!

It's been a tough winter. By far the wettest muddiest winter since we came to Oregon, and I am told the wettest winter since the 1960's. On top of that, a new baby arrives in December last year. On top of that a fire in the farm kitchen takes out our work area.  Yes, it has been rough. One of the things that dropped off the list is the promised new products coming out monthly. It just was not possible... until NOW! Finally  we have been able to get back to working on new items, in our improvised work space.

The new products coming out are in line with our mission in 2017 to bring to you everything that we used to change our family from standard to healthy.  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, it is everything, literally EVERYTHING about life that we changed to accomplish what was accomplished in health.

Watch for blog posts on the individual announcements! We are very excited to share with you, what worked for us.