Weekly Newsletter

April 2021 vol. 2

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The wait is finally over! Our freezer is fully stocked with beef and we expect to pick up chicken and have it available at the markets on the 14th. We appreciate your patience and are looking forward to bringing your favorite items to your local market. 

Farmer or Rancher?
A Cut Above
Farmer or Rancher? These monikers are supposed to denote a separation between growing produce or growing meat, but a good rancher is also a farmer – a grass farmer.  Instead of directly harvesting what we grow, we let the animals harvest the crop and the rancher then harvests the animal.  Good grass makes good meat, so any rancher worth his salt is a good farmer. 
In an effort to grow good meat, I spent the week mowing the pastures and weed-whacking the fence lines.  In late spring, winter grasses die off and summer perennials emerge. At this stage, the winter grasses do not add much value to our livestock's diets, and they may even be detrimental.  The well-established winter grasses block the light from the sprouting summer grasses, which are higher in nutrition and more palatable. Additionally, the winter grasses have put their last bit of energy into creating seed heads and are turning brown and those tall seed heads are a nuisance to the animals (especially the cows) as they irritate their noses and eyes. 
So in an effort to keep the cows in optimal form, we cut down the dying winter grasses to make way.  There is a trend among rotational grazers to force the cows to eat everything – even thistle.  I don’t subscribe to this philosophy.  You wouldn’t feed your Ferrari low octane fuel.  What they don’t eat or trample down, I mow.  It is grueling work as we have very rough pastures and you feel as if you’re riding a bucking bull.  I sure am glad I invested in a 12 foot mower last fall.  It’s significantly better than the 7 footer we previously had.
You may recall that in March we planted millet and Bermuda grass seed.  The millet is doing fantastic and the Bermuda that didn’t get washed away from the post tornado flooding is coming along too.  The chickens, especially, are loving the millet.  Though the seeds aren’t fully developed yet, I was rather surprised to see the broilers clean off all the leaves.  This is going to be a tasty batch of chickens!  Being a reseeding annual, I’m hoping much of the millet seed finds it’s way to coming back next year.

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Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly