Monday
Feb132017

Apostle becomes Royalty



When we went searching for a bull, we had one major criterion in mind.  We wanted a bull that ultimately produced fantastic grass fed beef.  Our decision to choose Apostle as our herd sire had some rather exciting confirmation this Week.  Judy Decker, the previous owner of Apostle, let us know that his daughter Calamity Jane (pictured above) was awarded the 2017 National Championship in carcass quality.  This means that when the best of the best Galloway in the entire nation got together to decide which cattle would make the best beef, Apostle's daughter was determined to be the Grand Champion.  
It is interesting how this is determined.  They use a very sophisticated ultrasound system to be able to measure ribeye sections, backfat and even intramuscular fat while the animal is still alive and then make a judgment on the quality of the beef.   

We were very proud to hear that the progeny of our new Herd Sire had such great results and wait anxiously (about three years from now!) to taste the results of adding him to our herd.  

Sunday
Feb052017

If you had to just buy half a pig...which side would you buy?


 
 
It's like having a meat counter at your house every day!

We will be having a set of our very special organic fed and Pasture Raised Heritage hogs going to the Butcher this month.  It has been a  couple months since we have offered any of our pork in bulk and I know there are several people excited to get their orders in.  If you want to buy our pork in the most CONVENIENT and VALUED way, this is your chance!

When you buy pork by the half, you get important perks unavailable when you buy it by the cut.
 
  • The first is price - at $6/# hanging weight, this is the most economical way to buy our amazing pork.  You make one purchase at great savings over individual cuts.
  • Perhaps the most important reason to buy our pork in bulk is CONVENIENCE.  When you buy an entire half of pork you have essentially done a large part of your meat shopping for several months -- with one purchase.  Now, whenever you want to serve your family a very special meal of heritage pork -- all you have to is walk a couple steps to your freezer and pick out the packages that sound the best to you for dinner that night.  
  • Another key perk is cut CHOICE.  Do you want thick or thin bacon?  Do you like your sausage hot or mild?  How many chops per package are convenient for you?  What about the thickness of your chops?  It's your choice!  Laura or Jeff will call you and easily walk through the steps to ensure you get exactly what you need for a multitude of meals at your fingertips.

To see what buying half a pork would be like -- Visit this blog post on our site that details exactly what buying 1/2  pig looks like --- 

The cost is $6/# hanging weight and the typical 1/2 a hog weighs 80-100 pounds.  All processing fees are included in the price.  
 

Buying Pork by the side from Synergistic Acres


We are anticipating the weight of our pigs to be 300 pounds on the hoof.  The price you pay for the pigs is not based on this weight, however, it is based on hanging weight.

When you buy half a pig, your price would be based on half of that hanging weight.  In this example, that would be 108 pounds.  

(24) Porterhouse pork chops 14.51#
(2) Jowl bacon 2.04#
(2) Bacon ends 1.5#
(7) Bacon 7.2#
(6) Ground Pork 6#
(5) Shoulder Roasts 19.97#
(2) Ossobucco 4.3#
(1) Pork season (stew meat) 2.13#
(1) Country style ribs 2.15#
(1) Spare ribs 5.14#
(2) Lard 4.19#
(1) Ears 0.5#
(1) Tail 0.25#
(2) Trotters 3.55#
(2) Cured hams 23.42#

The cost of the pork is $6/# based on the hanging weight of the animal.  For our typical pig with a hanging weight of 215 pounds, a half would cost $6*(215/2) =$648. 
 
Therefore, your final cost on a typical pig would be $6/# of hanging weight = $648 + $30 curing fee = $678.  Your actual cost will depend on the weight of the side you order.  This will provide most families with a year of pork. 

We are excited to be able to offer this naturally-raised, woodlot, heritage pork to you & appreciate your support as we have worked to grow this unique product for you.
 
We must have our orders by Sunday, FEBRUARY 12
.  

Simply send us an email letting us know you are interested We will get back with you and find out how you want it cut, how to send in the deposit and arrange for delivery.  Your pork will be ready for delivery early-March.
Thursday
Feb022017

Season of Learning

One of the things that farmers end up doing a lot of in the winter is focusing on their learning.  Many types of farming are less intensively demanding during the winter.  Raising pasture raised livestock tends to not give as much relief in the winter, as say, a carrot farmer.  However, it is a different type of work and does give more time to focus on learning.  Not by chance, this is also when a lot of conferences are held.  This year I (Jeff) went to a great farming conference in Iowa put on by the Practical Farmers of Iowa. They are an incredible organization of a few thousand conservation and forward thinking farmers,  They are diverse in their methods and specifics -- but together in their beliefs that farming can be a regenerative and restorative practice rather than one that simply takes from the land.  

I attended an in-depth two day class on scaling up pastured poultry production and then attended several shorter sessions ranging from good financial record keeping on the farm, raising cover crops for grazing animals, and how to build relationships with landowners for leasing land.   All of these sessions provided me with nuggets of information, that will ultimately lead to our farm running more sustainably and profitably in the future.

One of my favorite aspects of the conference was a very strange phenomenon that happened.  I was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of other crazy people.  Every single one of us at the conference was used to being the weird guy in the county that farms strangely.  Suddenly, all these weird farmers were in the same building together and it was a great feeling.  It made for many conversations that happened in-between sessions.  These in-between personal conversations were often as informative as listening to the experts that were the official speakers.

I sure wish Kansas had a similar organization to the Practical Farmers of Iowa.  All of our farming organizations, even small and beginning farmer organizations are very big-ag centric and have very little relation to our burgeoning, but small in scale farm.  

 

Sunday
Jan222017

Meet Apostle



As we shared with you last month the sudden & unexpected loss of our herd Sire, Winchester, left a sudden job opening at the farm.  This job opening had very specific qualifications.  We ask a lot of a Bull working on our farm.  First, he must have GREAT grass-fed Galloway genetics. In addition, since our farm has hundreds of visitors every year, he must have a trusted, gentle disposition.   Plus, he must be ruggedly handsome!  These qualifications are difficult to meet when working with a rare heritage breed.  Our search had us looking all over the continent.  Luckily, an ideal situation opened up.  A nationally recognized Galloway breeder, Judy Decker of Renaissance Farms, who happens to be based in Kansas, decided to rotate her 3-year-old Sire out of their herd.  It was perfect timing and a perfect fit.  We were able to get this AMAZING bull who fit all our criteria and he was just a couple hours away from us.

Apostle is now living at Synergistic Acres.  He was in a separate pasture for a couple weeks as he went through a  quarantine and adjustment period.  During the quarantine, he spent a lot of time eyeing the herd when he can see them up on the hill, itching to do his job once he is introduced to the herd.

Once introduced, he quickly greeted everyone and made himself at home as they all got to know each other. We shared several short videos on our facebook page of the introduction.   There was some initial tossing amongst the boys.  However, Apostle is quite a bit larger than any of the other male cattle.  Dominance was quickly established without any real fighting.  

We can't wait to see next Fall what kind of calves we end up welcoming with our new Bull, Apostle.

Monday
Jan162017

Surviving the Icepocolypse



Winter on the Farm in Kansas brings with it a myriad of challenges doled out by Mother Nature.  By far...the hardest weather for the animals and the farmers are cold winter rains.  Add into that the fun of ice -- and it seems as though we were destined to have a fun weekend.  Luckily we dodged the main bullet.


We had minor damage to some trees and some temporary fencing was dragged down by the weight of the ice, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with just a small amount of effort.  And melting.  

The real challenge is not the ice, but the resulting wetness.  When the animals are dry, they can easily manage temperature down into the teens with little to no stress.  However, when they get soaked by a good rain, temps even in the 40's can be stressful.  We have to make sure they have dry places to shelter that are protected from the wind.  

The pigs have it the hardest since they tend to make any paddock they are in into a mud pit.  This is when our constant rotations ensure they quickly get moved to fresh grass where they can once again stay warm and safe!

Although winter may have thrown us a curve ball this weekend, we are sure thankful it is being followed up by an entire week of above freezing weather!  Ahh -- the little things!

 

 

Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
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