Monday
Apr172017

Know your Farmer's Farmer


A mantra you may be used to hearing lately is how important it is to KNOW YOUR FARMER.  However, it is equally important to know your farmer's farmer. See, when you buy chicken or pork from us, you are also buying the feed the animals have been fed.  And although when you buy one chicken, that doesn't amount to much feed, when we take into consideration of all the feed we buy on the farm, it is tens of thousands of pounds a year.  That equals a big vote of what kind of food we want to be grown. We have always been committed to organic practices and buying organic feed, and have felt very fortunate that we have found so many other people who value that same thing.  

However, organic can mean a lot of different things so we are always working to make sure that we don't just rely on a government certification, but rather focus on actually knowing the farmer. We have developed that relationship now and are getting all our feed from a local farmer in Emporia, KS.  His name is Gail Fuller. He grows a wide variety of crops organically and of course all non-GMO.   In many ways, he goes way beyond organic as he is extremely committed to soil health.   We have worked with him and with feed nutritionists to develop healthy rations for our poultry and swine using the grains he grows.  These are NO SOY and NO CORN rations using grains such as mung beans, peas, milo, rye, sunflower seeds, and wheat.  We have been slowly transitioning to using his feed exclusively and the animals have been doing very well on it.   We are now using this feed for all our swine and poultry on the farm.

This is a perfect example of the choices you make about fixing your dinner go beyond just what you put on the plate.  The choices you make about your dinner change the world, in a very important way.  Imagine the world where there were millions of farms like Gail's, growing rich, diverse crops that fed millions of other farms growing rich and diverse livestock feeding millions of people, a rich and diverse diet.  This is the world you are helping to create when you buy from farms like ours.  

 

Friday
Apr142017

Sapphire the Cow goes to K-State

We also took one of our cows, Sapphire, to the vets at K-State. She has had an on-again and off-again problem with her back feet for a few years.  Our local vet had tried correcting it, but the problem persisted and was getting worse.  I was doing some research and found that K-State was doing a clinical trial on lameness in cattle and it turns out Sapphire qualified.  We took the long drive to Manhattan and were very impressed, not only with their facilities but also with their knowledge and care they utilized in her treatment.  They used a special table that turned Sapphire onto her side.  Incredibly, as soon as the table lifted her off the ground, she was completely calm.  The vet said it was very relaxing to the cow to be on its side supported by the table.   She definitely seemed relaxed.





They then examined her feet, took some x-rays and fluid samples.  What was discovered is that she had developed a sore on the bottom of her hoof that had healed, but with an abscess. This abscess caused her hoof wall to grow strangely which had caused a cascading set of problems ultimately leading to some very sore feet that would never heal on their own.  They were able to remedy the abscess, trim the hooves, and glue on temporary protective wooden hoof "shoes."  There did not appear to be any joint damage and it is expected she will fully recover.  She has a follow-up appointment at the end of the month.  She is already doing MUCH better.

Monday
Apr102017

March busyness continues with Cover Crops

We also planted a lot of cover crops on the land this week in areas that had been disturbed by the pigs as they rotated around the farm this winter.  This was also inspired from winter conferences as we learned how important diverse plants growing in the soil are to overall soil health  We planted hundreds of pounds over several acres of a seed mix that included oats, crimson clover, white clover, rape, turnip, radish, yellow mustard, flax, and buckwheat.  The rains should make these seeds really pop next week.  We are excited to see the results and the improvements to our land.  

Saturday
Apr082017

New Weston A Price Chapter in Kansas City


Have you ever wished there was a place where people who cared deeply about good food and healthy living could meet?  A place where you weren't the "weird" one just because you looked at food as the cure before a bottle of ibuprofen?   A place where a potluck didn't mean there wouldn't be anything for you to eat except for a few carrot sticks and maybe a fruit salad?

Well, we have found just such a group and they just started a new Kansas City Chapter.

 More info can be found on their website https://www.westonaprice.org/ or the local Chapter's facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1051980264907164/

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity founded in 1999 to disseminate the research of nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price.  Dr. Price made an interesting discovery as he studied aboriginal and ancient tribes of people. He discovered, that because of their diets, these peoples had exceptional health and physical characteristics that led to healthy and pain-free lives.  He set out to discover what was important in these people's diets that led to such exceptional health.  From that work, there is now an international group of people that continue this research and work on disseminating this information to more people.

If you would be interested in meeting once a month with a great group of people that think and believe like you do when it comes to healthy foods, then please look into joining us.  We meet the second Monday of every month to discuss important food related topics.  We alternate between educational meetings one month and pot-luck social meetings the next.

This next meeting Jeff will be speaking as he talks over the details of Labeling.  You are welcome to come -- he would love to see you there.  

The meeting will be April 10th at 7 pm. We will meet at the ANNEX building for Blue Valley Baptist Church at 151st and Antioch. The annex is on the NW corner of the intersection in that little office group, don't go to the main church!

If you plan to attend, let us know so we can make sure we have enough sitting and space for the audience coming.  

Jeff will be speaking on... 
-Why understanding labels is important.
-General Overview of labels on meat and laws and regulations -- 
big and small producers.
-Organic vs. Non-GMO vs. Small Producer.
-Facebook and Internet scare/truth and fiction.
-Labels specific to different cuts and the most important things to look for... Chicken/Poultry, Beef, Pork, Eggs.

As the farmer, he can also give you pointers on what to ask your producer to make sure you are getting what you think you are buying. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday
Apr042017


March has been a busy month on the farm.  As foretold to you last month, we have received our first batches of baby chicks on the farm.  It always takes quite a bit of planning to ensure that the hundreds and hundreds of birds that we raise all come at the right time to utilize our available brooder space, pasture rotations, and then processing dates.  In addition, we also have to ensure that our food deliveries match amounts we need for the birds at different stages of their lives.  



We are trying a few new things in our brooder and have had great results.  The primary difference is that we are using peat moss instead of wood chips. Information we gained from attending a few intensive poultry raising workshops this winter indicated there are several benefits to using peat moss.  We have found it to be a great bedding for the chicks while they are in the brooder.

 

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