The past two years we have battled pink eye and foot rot in our cow herd. While they are not life threatening to the animals, it is often the sign of a larger problem. Both illnesses cause the animals discomfort, something we work hard to minimize and cost us time, effort, and money to treat.
Making the switch to pastured chicken can seem like a cost prohibitive move at the surface, but a closer look can show that that simply isn’t the case.
Bubble baths and face masks are quite popular these days as self care, (I love a good hot bath myself!) but have you ever thought of the food you eat or how you eat it as a way to take care of your body?
Is there anything better than a potato? French fries, hash browns for breakfast, a baked potato with that steak you splurged on for dinner? Potatoes are not only tasty and versatile, they're incredibly easy to grow. So easy that we have an abundance of seed potatoes from last year's crop. We're offering seed potatoes in the shop for the first time this year so I'm writing a few pointers for planting for anyone who hasn't tried this for themselves yet.
We hear all the time that pastured eggs are better, but what exactly makes them better?
For starters, a big difference is how the hens that lay the eggs live, especially the conditions they are raised in.
Pastured hens spend their days outdoors foraging for bugs, seeds, worms and more. Hens are free to embrace their natural instincts to forage, scratch, take dust baths and more, leading to a happier bird.
Lambing, that magical time of year. Spring is on the way and barns are filled with snuggly newborns. One of my favorite things about farming is watching a newborn lamb take it’s first wobbly steps. For me it is magical every time.
So how do you give lambs the best start in life? The first moments to hours are the most critical.
If farming has taught me anything, it’s to be well prepared, well in advance. Preparing for lambing is certainly no different. At least two weeks before the first due day we gather all our supplies and have them set and ready in case of an early arrival.
Recently livestock have received the stigma that raising and consuming them is bad for the environment. But what this assumption does is paint all meat consumption with too broad a brush. It fails to take into account how the animal was raised. The differences between grass fed in a regenerative, multi species system and in a grain fed CAFO.
Baking can seem challenging on a good day, but take away gluten, eggs, and most dairy and it can seem like an overwhelming task. After acquiring multiple adverse reactions to gluten, eggs and all dairy except butter, I had to reinvent baking. Not everything you try at first will turn out, I still have not been brave enough to try gluten free pie crust after my first attempt turned out gooey. Still have no clue how I managed that one. Be patient, and keep trying and experimenting. Embrace the challenge and have chickens on hand to eat what goes really awry.
So you are thinking of buying from a local farm, fabulous! Most people enjoy buying from a local farmer and developing a relationship, versus the mass anonymity of the grocery store. Before you make that first trip to the farm, there are some things you should know, to make it a more enjoyable experience for you and the farmer.
Welcome to Willow Farm's blog! I'm Kyle, farm manager and all things marketing