Here are four of my recent favorites. Second stretch of fence for the season, my supervisor taking a break from his hard work, things you find under a piece of wood and from today – the first orchard grass in head.
A short list of some of the priorities for 2016.
1. More Fencing – a few thousand more feet and the majority will be done.
2. Buildings – roofs, foundations, various repairs, replacements and modifications.
3. Cattle weighing program – this is going to be enlightening and worthwhile. Being able to set a baseline for my pasture management is something I’ve wanted to get done. Having a more detailed picture of the predictably and consistency of the genetics will help guide breeding decisions. It should also lend some numerical confidence in selecting ideal butchering dates for individual animals. More information should result in higher quality and more consistency in your kitchen.
4. More marketing, networking and “outreach”. This is an ongoing push. It is getting ratcheted up this year in several ways. Stay tuned for new efforts, events and offerings.
5. A time and effort shift from cash cropping to more value added forestry/wood related work than in the past. Several Custom Sawing and unique “individual” furniture items are booked and it’s an area that is a good fit with the farm.
6. Improvements around the house. Some things are in need of updating, repair and replacement. Everyone has been eagerly awaiting some projects and it will be great to have them off the to do list!
I finally got around to watching Cowspiracy last night. A lot of really good bits of info and I plan on looking into a few of the people he interviewed. It certainly reinforces my thoughts on the industrial corn soy animal system.
He curiously missed the step where 40% ish of the U.S. corn crop gets brewed into ethanol before the spent grain gets to the cattle but it’s only a small addition to the overall silliness.
His takes on grazing/Allan Savory/human population growth are not as thorough or accurate as they could be in my view. Curiously, the carbon sequestration in soils or a discussion on improving soil health didn’t get a significant mention. When one of the focuses of the documentary is sustainable food production- improving soil health should have had more attention in my view.
I did think that the dairy guys from California were refreshing. In my view their comments indicated that they had a better understanding of the situation than almost all the others interviewed.
Mr. Lyman seems to be well grounded in reality too. The biggest hurdle with the vegan approach in my view is the free choice and free market that a lot of the world operates in. People with money will eat how they wish and use their resources as they wish.
As always, Pollan’s comments are refreshingly sincere, unbiased and based in reality.
In Summary- well worth the watch. Some omissions and distortions but more credible than a lot of amateur “environmental” documentaries I’ve seen.
Delivery dates for the remainder of 2016 are tentatively set. Please check your inboxes/junk mail folders for the email. I’ve set the dates intending that they work well for holidays. There’s more than one route so its broken down for the different areas – you’ll only get the schedule that applies to you.
If you haven’t received the email, either it’s on its way or you’re not on a regular route. Please don’t let that deter you from ordering! Delivery/pickup can certainly be arranged.
Enjoy your food – stay warm – Tom
For anyone that’s interested, here is the complete report of testing done on a roast sent to Maxxam Analytics (food tester) for testing.
If anyone would like to compare this to any other results that they are aware of or make comments, it would be welcome.
Please look at the dates. I’ve just now hopefully figured out how to post pdfs on wordpress. Thank goodness for the slower winter time and the freedom to sit down at the computer for a bit.
Many of the tested items are of little meaning to me personally but do serve as a benchmark for our product. I hope to make the testing at least an annual event and in the future will attempt to submit some “Ontario corn fed Beef” of the same cut to see the difference (if any). In studies that I have seen, there seems to be a consistent difference between grain finished and grass finished beef.
A big factor in whether one type of raising beef is considered more “healthy” than another is the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. More grass and forage seems to lead to more omega 3 vs omega 6. More grains – the opposite. A fascinating topic well worth a google. CLA’s, Omega 3’s, animal welfare, e-coli levels – just the tip of the iceberg of topics that come up when comparing corn beef to grass beef.
As always, comments or emails are welcome!