| The T5R farm is the source of most of our raw products.
We raise our hogs on pasture and woodlots, using a bulk feeder to
provide supplemental grain and nutrients they might not be getting
enough of in their foraging.
Our chickens, turkeys, and ducks are also free ranged on pastures
and in the woods and like the hogs have access to bulk feeders for
any supplemental nutrition they might require.
Our gardens where we produce our fruits, vegetables and herbs
are well above organic standards, we do not use most of the
chemicals (Even though natural) that are allowed in organic certified
production. In fact all of our plants and animals are raised and
grown well above certified organic standards.
The livestock and poultry is largely left alone in the pastures and
woods to do what pigs and chickens do. I can think of no more
humane way to raise meat animals than by giving them the freedom
to do what they naturally do. The only times I interfere in their order
of things is during farrowing and hatching. It is far better to bring
farrowing sows to the nursery barn and pasture to give birth and
get the sows extra nutrition for milk production and get the piglets
off to the best start possible before joining the main herds on the
pastures. The same with newly hatched chicks, 3 weeks in the
brooder house makes a world of difference in the survival rate and
long term health of the birds.
While I don't interfere with the hogs and poultry living their lives
the way those critters do. I do spend time in the pastures and know
the animals and they know me. Every morning when the chain on
the gate clinks and I enter the pasture word spreads pretty fast that I
am making my rounds and visit. Before long I have every hog and
chicken on the property following me around inspecting fence and
making sure everyone is well and healthy. Some that are real suck
ups move in for the customary ear and butt scratches, but most
keep their distance of 2-3 feet. After I make the pasture circuit and
end my vist and step out the gate there is always a full half circle of
chickens, turkeys and pigs telling me good bye and we will see you
tomorrow. And then they all mill off in their own cliques and
directions to do what they do.
I am not going to even enter the debate of who is the most
humane. All I will say is my livestock and poultry is happy and
content and enjoy my daily visit. If that is not humane I sure don't
know what is.
The entire farm works as a Permaculture or a big circle with
thousands of little circles at work inside of the greater circle. The
microbes, worms and bugs feed the soils and make it rich and
fertile. The plants feed from the soil and what is not harvested goes
back into the soil, the hogs and chickens eat the pants and
processes the plants into nutrient rich food for the bugs, worms and
microbes and the plants and animals in turn feed us. Our off farm
soil inputs are minimal using this practice and our land, soils, plants
and animals are healthy and happy. Everything begins and ends
with the soil and then starts again.
What I sell is what I eat. I love great food and in order to have great
food I have to grow and raise good food. I also have to have the
knowledge and skill to prepare great food. Need I say more?