Entries in Reviews (10)

Thursday
Jan162014

open & real

One of the core missions of our farm is to connect people to their food.  We are committed to being open and real with our customers during each step of us growing healthy and nutritious food for their families.  Open to questions.  Real with our answers.  Open to visits.  Real with the tours.  Open to sharing our daily life.  Real with the stories.  for better or worse, we take all our own pics :)

We hold the belief firmly that being open and real is the only way to run our farm. Did you know every single image we post about our farm is taken by us, on our land?  We want you to see the real environment, the real animals.  Not just some pretty or cute picture.  

Not long ago, we saw a local farm share a picture of a turkey in a lush pasture, yet we know from experience that the farm does not raise their turkeys on pasture and felt very misled.  Granted, the farmer did not state the turkey was his, but in sharing the image, the implication was there.  The problem we see with that is that buyers are not buying what they believe they are buying.  This can hurt all small farms because it can erode the trust consumers have in buying food directly from a farm.

We think it is critically important to know your farmer.  To know what is going on.  To know how the animals are being treated.  And we know you cannot be here every day, so we share with you on the blog and on facebook and by emails.  

We know that by being open and real with you, you are able to make informed decisions about the food you feed your family.  We consider ourselves to be "customer certified" rather than relying on USDA or other third party certifications.  

We encourage you to ask your farmer questions, visit your farmer on the farm, and be aware of their online communications.  It takes a little time, but we think it's essential to trusting your farmers and being connected with your food.

What are your thoughts?  Have you visited a farm?  Is it important to you to have open conversations with your farmer?

Friday
May172013

movie : : : Fresh

There are two movies by the title 'Fresh' available.  One features Samuel L. Jackson, the other Joel Salatin.  For today, I'll focus on the farm one.

Part of our responsibility as stewards of the Earth is to respect the design of Nature.

- Joel Salatin

'Fresh' begins with a quick look at some current farming practices and the effects it has on animals and the resulting food.  Then, the movie transitions to feature some small farms choosing to raise animals and produce food in a humane, earth-conscious way.  

There is no such thing as cheap food.  The real cost of the food is paid somewhere and if it isn't paid at the cash register, (...) it's charged to the environment, it's charged to the public purse in the form of subsidies and it's charged to your health.

- Michael Pollan

At just over an hour, 'Fresh' was a quick reminder as to why we are farming as we do.  Even our little farm makes a difference.  It makes a difference to our cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens as well as to our family and yours.  And that makes it worth it!  I wish I would have watched this movie years ago and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who eats. ;)

 

Monday
Apr082013

we are featured on a sustainable agriculture blog!


Seedstock, an online sustainable agriculture hub, featured us in a recent article.  Abbie Stutzer interviewed Jeff and wrote the article.  We think she presented many of the key points about our farm in her article and are humbled that Seedstock chose to feature Synergistic Acres.  Seedstock frequently profiles small farms and also shares research and ideas related to modern farming.
Check it out for yourself!  
Monday
Mar252013

book ::: The Compassionate Carnivore

OR, HOW TO KEEP ANIMALS HAPPY, SAVE OLD MACDONALD'S FARM, REDUCE YOUR HOOFPRINT, AND STILL EAT MEAT

Catherine Friend presents a look at her thought process behind eating meat as a consumer and as a farmer.  She took up farming a few years ago and has learned many lessons along the way.  She infuses a lot of humor into her stories and this book was a quick read.  Like Safran Foer in Eating Animals, Friend encourages consumers to seek out food that is produced in a manner with which they agree.  She reminds there are important considerations in not only how an animal lives, but also in how the animal dies.  

One scenario that really resonated with me was when she describes how difficult it is to butcher an animal you have cared for and tended for months.  Yet, she also delves into how grateful she is for the experience of raising the animals and then providing safe, nourishing food for others.  

In meeting many of our customers as they picked up their turkeys last fall, I remember several comments about the animals as we toured the farm.  Our customers had read about or seen videos or news pieces on industrial-raised animals.  They couldn't unlearn what they knew about how the animals were being raised in such ways and were seeking an alternative.  Here at Synergistic Acres, our customers saw how they wanted the animals that became their food to be raised.  They saw the animals were busy, curious and content.  They saw our animals engaging in traditional behaviors.  Friend recounts a similar experience in her book.  She was very affected by seeing a factory-raised pig at a fair.  

In Compassionate Carnivore, Friend not only shares her experience, but offers a few ideas of what you can do.  Her ideas are quite do-able and realistic.  I love her tips on what to do when you visit a farmer (especially the cookie part).  She lists some great questions to ask when you visit a farm in your quest for better food.  If you're inspired to visit a farm after reading this book, give us a call, we'd love to have you!

Wednesday
Jan232013

book ::: Eating Animals

From the title, you might not know if the slant of this book is for or against eating meat. Turns out, it is neither, but instead, a challenging look at what eating animals entails. Jonathan Safran Foer asks the reader to become more educated about what it means to eat meat and to decide what impact you are willing to incur. His style reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver in that he buffers research with anecdotal stories.

Being quite graphic in sharing his experiences, I found this book at times difficult to read. Yet, quite real and a good reminder of why our animals are raised in a much different environment than those generally portrayed in Eating Animals.  This book has bolstered my committment to purchasing meat and dairy products that are produced in line with my values.  It's not an easy task to do, but I believe it is important and worthwhile.

Thank you to our customer, Leon, for suggesting this book to us!

Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
Keep in touch with the farm
* indicates required