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?


Here is an example:

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

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!

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


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!


Chickens simmering in water

The veggies being sauteed


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!


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!

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!