Sunday, April 7, 2013

The menagerie may be growing!

Today, Steve (the farm manager) and I are meeting my son at a farm near Warsaw, IN.  We are looking at Scottish Highland cattle.  Our intention is to buy a couple of pregnant cows (they must live here on my organic farm for at least three months prior to birth of their calves in order for the calves to be certified organic) as well as some Highland-Maine Anjou cross feeder cattle.  The restaurant will take beef from us that is not certified organic so long as they are finished here for three to six months, grass fed only.  Of course, they expect us to transition to all certified organic, which is our intention.

This foray into feeder cattle will put me in a position to have enough revenue from the farm to keep it.  While I am not wild about the work associated with the farm, even with Steve doing the bulk of the labor, there is a part of me that is very relieved about keeping the farm.

First, my dad always said, "God isn't making any more dirt."  Once you own a farm, you do everything you can to keep it.  Second, where will I get food I can trust if I am not raising it myself?  I confess, I am a foodie, more than a bit obsessed about eating right.  Here is what my farm offers.
  1. Chickens that are truly free to scratch for bugs, to eat sand for their grit instead of packaged oyster shell, eating feed from an organic mill that makes my feed to order, with no soy.
  2. Pigs that have been given nothing but organic pig feed (same mill) from the day of their birth, and a breed that has superior marbling to the meat.  Pork can be a challenge to cook without it being dry, but Berkshires are excellent, well marbled with fat - some call it the Kobe beef of the pork world.
  3. Certified organic greenhouse plants - organic potting soil, organic seeds, grown in a certified organic greenhouse.  Where will I get these if not from here?  They are just impossible to find!!
  4. Certified organic garden produce - everything from spring's tender lettuces, crisp radishes and sharp green onions to high summer's tomatoes (all heirloom, of course) and peppers, and then the final sighs from a garden that continues to yield hearty greens well into December most years.  And of course the garden beans - who can consider it a real summer without garden beans? and turnips? and beets? and rutabaga? and POTATOES?  We are growing 15 different kinds of potatoes this year.
Well, this dirt is going to stay in the family, and I am delighted that my son is considering becoming a part of it.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Winter squash

Russian Kale

Summer Squash run amok!
Chickens roosting

New calf means more milk!


  1. I am happy for you. It will be wonderful to have your son join you on such a fulfilling venture. I hope it works out.

  2. Well, it is not for sure yet. We have to sharpen our pencils and make sure it is worthwhile for all of us. His youngest son is interested in the operation as well. My son would be in it as an investor only, his son is willing to do some market research for us as his contribution to the whole operation. It is exciting.

  3. Blessings Susan, I am so happy that you are keeping the farm! Beautiful that this land can stay in your care! It is as it should have a Steward of Highest Honor for the Earth!