Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Thank you for all your support over the last growing season!  It is a pleasure for us to provide you with healthy, quality local grown food products for your family.  We enjoy getting to know each of our customers better, many of them become like our extended family.  We look forward to serving you in the coming 2014 season.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to serve you better.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Healthy Eggs: What we knew in 1932


In the 1930s, scientists and food producers were creating the first plans to take poultry off family farms and raise them in confinement. To enact their plans, they needed to create “feed rations” that would keep the birds alive and productive even though they were denied their natural diet of greens, seeds, and insects. It was a time of trial and error.

In a 1932 experiment conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, breeding hens were taken off pasture and fed a wide variety of feed ingredients. When the birds were fed a diet that was exclusively soy or corn or wheat or cottonseed meal, the chickens didn’t lay eggs or the chicks that developed from the eggs had a high rate of mortality and disease.

But when birds were fed these same inadequate diets and put back on pasture, their eggs were perfectly normal. The pasture grasses and the bugs made up for whatever was missing in each of the highly restrictive diets.

“The effect of diet on egg composition.” Journal of Nutrition 6(3) 225-242. 1933.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today I was thinking about the perimeter boundaries on a piece of property that we keep livestock on.  It is fenced on the southern half of the land, and sometime in the future, will be fenced on the northern half.  When we started building fences, we looked at the land survey, found the corner post, talked to the neighbors, and decided what fencing type would best work for us.  We did all this work for the benefit of owning livestock, for the animals good and for the good of those around them, mainly our neighbors.  If you could ask our cows, they would tell you that they don't need boundaries, nor do they want them, for they are smart enough to make their own choices of grazing and roaming areas.  Now, we all know that livestock left to themselves will make irate neighbors by eating flowers, dirtying sidewalks or drives with cow pies, and putting large hoof prints in manicured lawns.  So, we went to the work to set boundaries in place that allow our cows to enjoy their prescribed areas.  They are free to live life to its fullest, running, eating, relating to other animals, soaking the sunshine, gazing at the stars on clear nights and doing all the other fun things that happy cows do.  As long as they stay within the preset boundaries that their loving caretaker outlined, they will thrive, and our neighbors will be happy. 

As I thought more about this subject, I couldn't think of any area of life that this same principle doesn't apply to us as humans.  The laws of nature, society, and God all serve as boundaries in our lives.  If we live within the preset boundaries, we will thrive. But, if I decide that today I am going to walk on air, stepping off the end of the haymow, I will suddenly be reminded that gravity is one of those boundaries that cannot be crossed without experiencing some kind of consequence.  It is the same with the boundaries that our loving heavenly Father has put into place for our good.  If I choose to ignore his predetermined boundaries for mankind and steal, lie, adulterate or any of His other boundaries, I will hurt those around me.  I will cause myself and others to suffer the consequences of my behavior. 

Our fence boundaries keep our cows in the area that is best for their well-being.  Likewise, when we choose to stay living within God's boundaries for mankind, we also will experience the best pasture for us to roam. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Apples, applesauce, and cider!!

One of the best things about fall is all the apples that God provides us!  Our family lived on a property in Oregon that had its own small orchard consisting of 10-12 apple trees and 4-5 pear trees.  We loved our little orchard!  Every fall we would work as a family to gather the bounty and bring it into the storehouse to be enjoyed when the cold winds blew. 

Last year the frost got most of the apple and pear tree blooms so we didnt get much crop, but this year made up for the loss.  The crop was soooo good, it made me wonder about God's call for letting the land rest every few years, and what the bounty may look like.  Anyway, this year we were able to visit some friends and family that had trees and fill numerous containers with bright colored fruit.  Monica canned and froze over 40 quarts of applesauce for the winter months.  As I type this, apples are cooking in our basement to process for apple butter, one of our favorite toppings for bread!  We are planning on making our own cider this coming week (look for upcoming pictures).  Monica will also can it so we can have tasty cider when the cold winds blow this winter.

MONEY SAVING TIP FOR YOUR FAMILY:  The crop was so good this year around the Midwest that many apples are laying on the ground going to waste.  I suggest you go to your neighbors or friends and ask them for the apples if you clean them up.  Contact us if you need help on how to preserve your apples in the form of canning, freezing, or cider.  We would love to help!!  Enjoy God's rich bounty this coming winter season for little or no cost.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Small farm money saving tip!

Ok, I don't know how many of our visitors are small farmers like us, but I will assume some of you are.  Here is a money saving tip for your farm.  Don't buy parts at your local name brand equipment dealer unless you just have to.  I have noticed a steady increase in parts cost at our local John Deere & New Holland dealer.  I have also run into several times of the parts dept. not being willing to return parts or will with an extreme return fee. 

You have to understand that our family has been involved in farming for several generations, and have never seen such a price increase in such a short time and a decrease in customer service.  I am very disappointed in these dealerships that we have used for several years.

So what do you do for parts?  Here are some ideas that we have used.  Try finding used farm equipment parts sites on the internet, also Ebay, ytmag.com and various others.  We have also been using a welding shop to weld broken parts or even make some.  Often the welding fab shop can do this work for less money than just replacing the part new.  Items like sickles, sections, and other mower/conditioner parts can be found at stores like Coastal, Rural King, Farm and Fleet, or Big R.  We are also finding that we can buy oil, filters, and grease at these stores also for a fraction of the dealership's cost.  Tires are another item that we have seen really go up in cost.  I now look on craigslist, ebay, farm equipment salvage yards or ask my neighbors for a specific farm tire and often they have one tucked in the corner of some old barn. 

While I am on the subject, I would be very slow to buy new tractors at a dealer also.  These new tractors are just like our cars.  They require a registered dealer to work on them.  That means $85.00-$100.00/hour service shop rates.  These tractors/combines etc. can be very expensive to repair, due to the "new and better" electronics and computers.  Gone are the days of the farmer fixing any of his own equipment.  I guess I will just keep running my older equipment.

Small farming can be very rewarding but if you want to be profitable doing it you must use wisdom in how you manage your resources, otherwise you will be paying to farm.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lamb ready!

We have grass finished lamb ready for harvest now.  These lambs are around 90-100lbs. live weight and could be taken to the processor anytime.  Our customers have given us great feedback on how good our pasture raised lamb taste.  Try one for yourselves!  Call us at 1-765-414-9352

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We enjoyed reading this article, what do you think?

Grass-Fed Basics

by Jo Robinson

Back to Pasture. Since the late 1990s, a growing number of ranchers have stopped sending their animals to the feedlots to be fattened on grain, soy and other supplements. Instead, they are keeping their animals home on the range where they forage on pasture, their native diet. These new-age ranchers do not treat their livestock with hormones or feed them growth-promoting additives. As a result, the animals grow at a natural pace. For these reasons and more, grass-fed animals live low-stress lives and are so healthy there is no reason to treat them with antibiotics or other drugs.

More Nutritious. A major benefit of raising animals on pasture is that their products are healthier for you. For example, compared with feedlot meat, meat from grass-fed beef, bison, lamb and goats has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. It also has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid,” or CLA. Read more about the nutritional benefits of raising animals on pasture.

The Art and Science of Grassfarming. Raising animals on pasture requires more knowledge and skill than sending them to a feedlot. For example, in order for grass-fed beef to be succulent and tender, the cattle need to forage on high-quality grasses and legumes, especially in the months prior to slaughter. Providing this nutritious and natural diet requires healthy soil and careful pasture management so that the plants are maintained at an optimal stage of growth. Because high-quality pasture is the key to high-quality animal products, many pasture-based ranchers refer to themselves as "grassfarmers" rather than “ranchers.” They raise great grass; the animals do all the rest.

Factory Farming. Raising animals on pasture is dramatically different from the status quo. Virtually all the meat, eggs, and dairy products that you find in the supermarket come from animals raised in confinement in large facilities called CAFOs or “Confined Animal Feeding Operations.” These highly mechanized operations provide a year-round supply of food at a reasonable price. Although the food is cheap and convenient, there is growing recognition that factory farming creates a host of problems, including:
• Animal stress and abuse
• Air, land, and water pollution
• The unnecessary use of hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs
• Low-paid, stressful farm work
• The loss of small family farms
• Food with less nutritional value.

Unnatural Diets. Animals raised in factory farms are given diets designed to boost their productivity and lower costs. The main ingredients are genetically modified grain and soy that are kept at artificially low prices by government subsidies. To further cut costs, the feed may also contain “by-product feedstuff” such as municipal garbage, stale pastry, chicken feathers, and candy. Until 1997, U.S. cattle were also being fed meat that had been trimmed from other cattle, in effect turning herbivores into carnivores. This unnatural practice is believed to be the underlying cause of BSE or “mad cow disease.”

Animal Stress. A high-grain diet can cause physical problems for ruminants—cud-chewing animals such as cattle, dairy cows, goats, bison, and sheep. Ruminants are designed to eat fibrous grasses, plants, and shrubs—not starchy, low-fiber grain. When they are switched from pasture to grain, they can become afflicted with a number of disorders, including a common but painful condition called “subacute acidosis.” Cattle with subacute acidosis kick at their bellies, go off their feed, and eat dirt. To prevent more serious and sometimes fatal reactions, the animals are given chemical additives along with a constant, low-level dose of antibiotics. Some of these antibiotics are the same ones used in human medicine. When medications are overused in the feedlots, bacteria become resistant to them. When people become infected with these new, disease-resistant bacteria, there are fewer medications available to treat them.

Caged Pigs, Chickens, Ducks and Geese. Most of the nation’s chickens, turkeys, and pigs are also being raised in confinement. Typically, they suffer an even worse fate than the grazing animals. Tightly packed into cages, sheds, or pens, they cannot practice their normal behaviors, such as rooting, grazing, and roosting. Laying hens are crowded into cages that are so small that there is not enough room for all of the birds to sit down at one time. An added insult is that they cannot escape the stench of their own manure. Meat and eggs from these animals are lower in a number of key vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Environmental Degradation. When animals are raised in feedlots or cages, they deposit large amounts of manure in a small amount of space. The manure must be collected and transported away from the area, an expensive proposition. To cut costs, it is dumped as close to the feedlot as possible. As a result, the surrounding soil is overloaded with nutrients, which can cause ground and water pollution. When animals are raised outdoors on pasture, their manure is spread over a wide area of land, making it a welcome source of organic fertilizer, not a “waste management problem.” Read more about the environmental differences between factory farming and grass-based production.

The Healthiest Choice. When you choose to eat meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals raised on pasture, you are improving the welfare of the animals, helping to put an end to environmental degradation, helping small-scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land, helping to sustain rural communities, and giving your family the healthiest possible food. It’s a win-win-win-win situation.

© 2010 by Jo Robinson


Thursday, August 8, 2013

A few things happening!

How the days and weeks fly by when you are busy!  We try to make weekly post to our blog, but when things get to busy we don't always get that done.  Thank you for your patience with us!  We have been baling straw for winter bedding, making and storing winter feed (haylage & dry hay), keeping the animals moved from pasture to pasture and squeezing in a little time to take a trip for vacation.  We enjoy our busy summers working in the beauty of creation, but also look forward to the slower winter months of rest.  We hope that you are also enjoying summer with your families, and look forward to serving you with local, healthy farm products in the future.  Blessings!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer brings with it being very busy!

We are so thankful for the summer growing season, but with it comes lots of activities around a farm.  Making hay is one of the chores that happen during the warm growing season.  Making a hay crop include cutting the grass, raking, baling it into round or small square bales, and finally storing away in the barn.  This feed will them be used to feed the animals during the cold winter days ahead.

My dad loves to get out and operate his 1952 John Deere A, it is one just like his dad had when he was a boy!  Thanks dad for all you do for us, you are a great blessing and father!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meet our newest addition to the farm family!

For some time we have been wanting to add a milk cow to our family farm.  When we livcd in Oregon, we had a milk goat, and loved having fresh raw milk available all the time.  Well, through various circumstances we were able to find a Jersey milk cow.  We are enjoying having fresh milk again around our house!

And, yes, we have already been asked if we are going to offer cow shares for others who may want to have their own cow and enjoy the blessings of fresh raw milk.  Fresh raw milk may not be for your family so we encourage you to do your own research on it and decide for yourself.  If you are interested in owning a share in a milk cow, contact us at monica@pastureplace.com or 765-414-9352.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Farmers Market schedule for 2013

We regret to inform all of our faithful farmer's market customers that we are not planning on being in any markets during the 2013 season.  We have been very blessed with many faithful customers and friends at the market.  Due to added family responsibilities with our new little boy, we do not feel we can add another event.  But, we still make deliveries in Lafayette regularly, and you are always welcome to join the other faithful customers that come out to our home and pick-up our products.  Do not hesitate to call 765-414-9352 or email your order to monica@pastureplace.com and we will make arrangements to get your product to you.  Thank you for your understanding and continual support!

Friday, April 19, 2013

New baby calves at the farm!

Spring is calving time at our farm, we have had a few and are still expecting more any day now.  It is so fun to get out each day and see what new little baby might have arrived during the night.  Here is a few pictures of our new additions to the herd.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dr. Mercola Interviews Joel Salatin

This is a very informative interview about consumers taking control of their choices in agriculture and how it affects our environment and the food that we eat every day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What is your food being fed?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York’s 25th Congressional District, last week introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). The legislation is designed to stop what some call overuse of antibiotics on the farm, a practice opponents say is accelerating the growth of antibiotic-resistant diseases.
PAMTA would preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics by phasing out the use of these drugs in healthy food-producing animals, while allowing their use for treatment of sick animals. Slaughter has introduced PAMTA four times since 2007. This year, she said, the legislation is updated to reflect the severity of the growing crisis.
“We are wasting antibiotics on healthy farm animals,” she said. “The overuse of antibiotics in agriculture has been conclusively shown to harm human health. More than 500 scientific articles have concluded that many lines of evidence link antimicrobial resistant human infections to foodborne pathogens of animal origin.
“And back in 1977, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged the threat of antibiotic-resistant disease and called for a reduction in the use of antibiotics in agriculture.”
Despite nearly 40 years of evidence, there has not been any substantive action to stop the abuse of antibiotics, she said. The current PAMTA would phase out the use of the eight classes of medically important antibiotics that are currently approved for non-therapeutic use in animal agriculture.
The bill clearly defines the term “non-therapeutic use” to ensure sick animals may be appropriately treated, but that any use of medically important antibiotics outside treatment of a sick animal would not be permitted.
“We’ve waited a long time for meaningful action to protect the public, but instead, we’ve gotten delays,” Slaughter said. “Even common illnesses like strep throat could soon prove fatal.”
Currently, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are intended for agricultural use. Most often these antibiotics are distributed at sub-therapeutic levels to healthy animals as a way to compensate for crowded and unsanitary conditions or to promote growth, she said.
“Antibiotic resistance is a major public health crisis,” Slaughter said. “Every year two million Americans acquire bacterial infections during a stay in a hospital or long-term care facility. In the past, these infections were cleared by antibiotics.
“But nowadays, as many as 100,000 people will die each year from these infections because 70 percent of them are resistant to one or more of the drugs commonly used to treat them.”
In addition, multi-drug-resistant bacteria, called CRE, have been found in 1 in 20 American hospitals and 1 in 6 long-term care facilities. Fifty percent of those patients, Slaughter said, will die.
“In a time when our most important medicines should be preserved and protected, they are routinely used in massive and indiscriminant quantities in agriculture, with little oversight,” she opined.
“According to the FDA, 13.5 million kilograms of antibiotics were sold for use in livestock and poultry in 2010, compared to 3.3 million kilograms sold for use in humans. It’s unacceptable that 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are used in agriculture on otherwise healthy animals, rather than being preserved for the treatment of critical human illnesses.”
Slaughter said PAMTA has support. This act is backed by 450 groups, including public health organizations, scientists, the World Health Organization, American Medical Assoc., National Academy of Sciences and small farmers across the United States.
“To stop the spread of ‘superbugs,’ we need Congress to pass this bill to curb the overuse of antibiotics in food-producing animals,” said Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports.
“The declining effectiveness of antibiotics has become a national health crisis. In a national survey we took last year, 86 percent of consumers said meat raised without antibiotics should be available in their local supermarkets. Our organization urges Congress to pass this bill without delay.”
“I’m opposed to antibiotics, though I would say they have their place,” said Butch Schappacher, of Schappacher Farms in Mason, Ohio. He has raised an assortment of animals over the years.
“I raise turkeys each year and use antibiotics during the chicks’ first few weeks of their life to make sure they reach a healthy stage, but after the first weeks I stop using them. I know some farmers who are firm believers in antibiotics; I only use them in the early stages of our turkeys’ lives.”
According to Slaughter, small farms realize the importance of calling themselves antibiotic-free. Mega farms may not be heeding this call, she said.
“When our limited supply of antibiotics is used indiscriminately and without care, there are public health consequences,” she said. “It is time to put a stop to big agribusinesses doling out pharmaceuticals to health animals just because it is better for their bottom line.”
Not everybody agrees. “Antibiotics make our food supply safer and people healthier,” said Karen Meister, Congressional Affairs specialist with the FDA. “Antibiotics are a critical tool to prevent, control and treat disease in animals. In doing so, they also reduce the chance of bacterial transmission from animals to humans.
“Because antibiotic resistance has become a huge public health concern, the Food and Drug Administration has protection in place to ensure that animal antibiotics don’t affect public health,” Meister stated.
Earlier this year Slaughter sent letters to 60 fast food companies, producers, processors and grocery store chains, asking them to disclose their policies on antibiotics use in meat and poultry production.
“Very simply put, the consumer has a right to know what is in their food,” Slaughter said.

By: Doug Graves

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It seems like not very long ago I wrote about having baby lambs.  Well....it's lambing time again.  Over the past couple of weeks we have had six babies.

Last Sunday Mark took the older children in the afternoon to go do chores.  I was at home with the little ones so they could take their naps & to get ready for evening worship.  The phone rang and our oldest son said, "We have an issue.  There is a ewe lambing and she is having trouble." 

This ewe is a good mother who has given us triplets a couple years ago.  Last time she had twins.  Now, she had successfully delivered one baby.  She was trying to deliver baby #2, but baby #3 was also trying to come at the same time. 

Long story short, we had to pull the two babies.  One of them lived and one died.  We are so thankful to have two healthy babies and a healthy momma!  We could have lost three instead of one.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

It's butchering time again.  We have two beef going in for processing on March 14.  If you would like to reserve a side, call now. 

Just a portion of a testimonial from a recent customer:

"We recently purchased a quarter of a beef from your farm.  As you know I am not a big fan of beef but I was pleasantly surprised at how tender & delicious the very first roast was that I had prepared!  According to my family the second one was even better but... I cannot attest to that because they had devoured ALL of it before I got a  bite!"

Ethan and Amber

Contact info:
Phone 765-414-9352

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Dead" but new "Life" begins!

In the middle of what would be considered a time that most of nature is "dead" from the effects of winter, our farm shows new "life".  What a blessing to see how our creator God graces us with little things that remind us that He has not forsaken His great love for us and His creation.  As I write this I can see the sun rising once again in the east to welcome us to another day that will be filled with opportunities to look for God's goodness in the midst of a very dying and decaying world.  Exchanging "death" for "life" is what God offers us daily in His son Jesus!  Even with the world around us appearing literally "frozen" from the effects of sin, we can personally experience "warmth and sunshine" in our own souls everyday by looking to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  Soon God will bring us spring and remind us that there is new hope and life as the earth sings forth God's glory in the warmth and sunshine of His love. 

Oh, by the way!  The new "life" at the farm is our new baby LAMBS!!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Individual Mini Pizzas

If you are like our family, we really like pizza!  Mark's sister made these pizzas for us after our baby was born.  This is a creative meal that is fun to fix with friends and children.  Line up your ingredients for an assembly line in the kitchen, and let each person design his own.

Ingredient Suggestions:

flour tortillas
pizza sauce, tomato sauce & Italian seasoning, bar-b-que sauce, ranch dressing
browned sausage, bacon, pepperoni, chicken, ham
grated cheese
sliced olives
chopped regular or green onion
diced peppers
crushed tortilla chips
chopped tomatoes

Lay the tortillas on a baking sheet.  It may take several depending on your family size.  Spread the sauce of your choice on the tortilla.  If I use tomato sauce, I sprinkle Italian seasoning on top of that.  Add the ingredients that you choose.  Bake for 15 min. at 350*. 

We enjoy this for a quick lunch.  By quick, that means my boys help by browning the meat and chopping our toppings. :)  One tortilla is more filling than it looks.  If you have more topping suggestions, we'd love to have you comment below!


Monday, January 28, 2013


Have you tried our smoked bacon?  It is cured with a natural cure in celery powder.  There are no artificial nitrates or nitrites in the meat.  The flavor is superb! 

The bacon is packaged in approximately 1 lb. packages.  Combined with our farm fresh eggs, the pair makes a delicious breakfast to start your day off right.  Fixed and served with love, your family is prepared to meet the day.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fresh Pork

It is a beautiful winter day!  Most of the snow has disappeared on the grassy areas around our house.  The younger children get so excited when they see snow coming down.  They head outside to get some sledding in though the ground may not even be covered. 

The boys are keeping busy with wood sales.  The colder weather sure contributes to firewood needs.

We just brought home some pork freshly processed.  It is available for purchase by the piece.  If you would rather have a half or whole pork, contact us and we will schedule one for butchering.  We stocked one in our personal freezer for our use.  With 6 children, two of them being young adults, we need larger portions for meals.  It is a blessing to have plenty of meat in the freezer!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Overstock chicken and turkey on SALE!

We have some carry-over stock (turkey and chicken) from last season.  This is good inventory; we just need to clean out for new season stock coming in.  The meat is in limited quantity so act quickly to get what you want.  The turkeys are 15-20 lbs in size and are $2.00/lb.  The chickens are whole birds that are 3.5-5lbs each for $3.00/lb.  Call us with your order at 756-414-9352.