Give the Gift of Local Goodness

From: chris@farmersmarket.com

There are so many compelling reasons why eating local makes sense:

1. Local foods are fresher (and taste better)

2. Local foods have less environmental impact (lowered carbon footprint due to lack of shipping)

3. Local foods preserve green space and farmland

4. Local foods promote food safety -- you know exactly where it came from and how it was raised/grown

5. Local foods support your local economy

6. Local foods create a sense of community through Farmer’s Markets and groups like Tyner Pond Farm's Food Clubs.

Thank YOU for your support of the local food movement!

Being an integral part of the local food movement is one of two important aspects of Tyner Pond Farm. The other is complete dedication to sustainable farming methods. Inspired by Joel Salatin and Holistic Management principles, Our approach to farming is natural and sustainable, for healthier land, livestock and customers.

We use environmentally sound practices -- like rotational grazing -- and innovative, highly effective yet simple equipment -- such as mobile poultry cages -- to produce all-natural beef, pork and chicken for your family.

Share the love for local goodness with a gift certificate!

Tyner Pond Farm  7408 E 200 S  Greenfield  IN 46140  (317) 345-3099

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Save 5% When You Order Ahead

From: chris@farmersmarket.com

Now you can save 5% when you place your order ahead of time for pick up at the 

Greenfield Farmers Market

on Saturdays!

All summer we will have a booth at the downtown Greenfield Farmers Market located at the corner of State and North from 9am to 1pm.

When you choose Greenfield Farmers Market as your food club at check out you get 5% off your total order.  This is what you will see at checkout:

Be sure to get your order in by:

 6pm on the Thursday before market day, 

so we have time to pack your order and load up the truck.

We'll see you there!

Tyner Pond Farm  7408 E 200 S  Greenfield  IN 46140  (317) 345-3099

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$1 off Whole Chicken Ends Soon

From: chris@farmersmarket.com

Get 'em NOW while they are $1 OFF!

WHOLE CHICKENS are $1 off now thru Friday*

 

Fresh, local and pasture-raised.

Taste the difference.

*$1 off whole chicken sale ends Friday, June 6, 2014.

Tyner Pond Farm  7408 E 200 S  Greenfield  IN 46140  (317) 345-3099

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$1 off Whole Chicken Ends Soon

From: chris@farmersmarket.com

Get 'em NOW while they are $1 OFF!

WHOLE CHICKENS are $1 off now thru Friday*

 

Fresh, local and pasture-raised.

Taste the difference.

*$1 off whole chicken sale ends Friday, June 6, 2014.

Tyner Pond Farm  7408 E 200 S  Greenfield  IN 46140  (317) 345-3099

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Wholly Chicken

Ever wonder what to do with that whole chicken?

Try roasting it in the oven with some fresh garden herbs!

Here's an easy recipe:

Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity with salt, pepper and stuff with half a lemon, crushed garlic, and fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary (or whatever favorite fresh herbs you happen to have on hand). Throw some carrots, potatoes, and onions in the bottom of the pan and set the chicken on top.  Season the outside of the chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, more herbs and slices of the other half of the lemon.

Roast for about an hour at 400 degrees.

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Are Nitrates The Biggest Evil in Cured Meats?

We get a lot of questions here at Tyner Pond Farm relating to our pasture raised meats.  One issue we run into a lot is countering the mis-information and irrelevant issues propagated by the food monopolies.  We use a variety of curing processes here at the farm & the question of nitrates comes up a lot.  The problem is, that's often the wrong question....
 
 
 
Pasture Raised Ham"Does 'sugar cured' mean the ham doesn't contain nitrates? Do you have one big enough to feed 11-12 people, or would we need two?"
 

Amy 

From: chris@farmersmarket.com
Hi Amy,
 
I'm so sorry for the delay!  With the holiday rush I'm afraid that your email got a little buried.  Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and you weren't looking for a ham this past weekend.
 
Our bone in hams are about 5-6 lbs.  so in theory one should do it.  The bone itself probably weighs less than 2lbs.   Of course it depends on how much they eat...which if it's one of our hams will be A LOT!
 
All cured meats contain nitrates, it's unavoidable.  I'm not exactly sure why you ask the question but there is a lot of misinformation out there.   Mostly the idea that nitrates in cured meat being harmful has been debunked.  
(http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/seasoningflavoring/a/nitrates.htm)  
 
The Factory Food System is making a lot of hay with lines they call 'uncured' or labeled 'no added nitrates' but it's all a smokescreen to hide the much greater evils of abused animals in Confinement Operations and of course the Antibiotics fed daily to animals.   In the big picture, our health is a lot more compromised by CAFO's (confined animal feeding operations) than the minimal nitrate amount found in cured meats.  
 
 
 
 
 
Tyner Pond pigs are raised outside on grass.   They never need nor receive any medications.  They are just like our kids...give them lots of room, make them play outside and keep them away from other sick kids and they will thrive.
 
 
pork local

And that is what you taste.  Our pigs are heritage Berkshire...the best pork on earth.  We grow them to over 300lbs so they are tender and well marbled with a fat that dissolves when cooked.  Not like the gristly fat you find in Factory Meat where the hogs only eat GMO grain, never get outside and are slaughtered after only growing to 220lbs or so.
 
LOL!  Ok that is probably more of an answer than you were looking for!  As you can can probably tell, we are pretty passionate about our products :-)
 
Best,
 
Chris Baggott
Tyner Pond Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beef in Beer (local food recipe)

This is a delicious cool weather meal that doesn’t take too long to prep.  It does need to be in the oven for awhile, however, so it was perfect for today when I had  cleaning to do to prepare for the arrival of weekend guests. 

  • 1 ½ -2 pounds grass fed beef chuck or cubed beef for stew-ask your local farmer what he suggests
  • 1 1/2 bottles of beer-choose what you like
  • 4 onions, quartered
  • Bay leaves, tarragon, garlic, flour

 

Ducth Oven RecipeA Dutch oven is perfect for this recipe.  If you do not have one, you can use a pot with a lid that can go into the oven.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Sear the meat in olive oil on the stove top a few pieces at a time to really brown all the edges.

Remove the meat and set aside.

Add onions and cook until almost soft.  Add about 3T flour and chopped 1T chopped garlic (more if you love it). Mix until the flour becomes slightly browned.

Add the meat back in along with the beer.

Toss in a few bay leaves, some fresh tarragon (about 3-4 springs worth of leaves) and salt & pepper.

Beer Beef Recipe

Put the Dutch oven in the oven and cook for about 2 ½ -3 hours, giving it a stir every once in awhile. 

 

While this cooks, make some yummy croutons.

Slice French bread.  Brush both sides with olive oil and line a cookie sheet with them. 

Brush the top side of the bread with Dijon mustard and cover with gruyere cheese.

Broil this until it begins to brown right before the stew finishes. 

 

Serve a couple of baguettes with a serving of stew.  I added a salad tonight on the side and it was a simple and delicious meal for when my company arrived.

 

Other options would be to serve it with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  The gravy is delicious.

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It's Hard To Express The Soul Crushing Aspect Of The Factory Food System (video)


What's so insidious about the current state of Agriculture and the Food system in this country is the fact that it's mostly out of site and the catastrophic results are so slow to recognize that they are really hard to see.  The rise in diabetes or obesity has taken nearly 20 years to be recognized.   We have forgotten how to cook and largely abandoned family meals in exchange for packaged and convince food very slowly.   It's only recently we have kind of looked up and asked:  "what's happend"

Couple that with the fact that the food monopolies are such amazing marketers and spin-masters (Monsanto A Sustainable Company)   When you own the universe you can afford to tell your story any way you like.

 

Which is why we all need to actively support organizations like Chipotle who are our only hope of overcoming the monopolistic spin and telling a different story well.   Check out this video please.....

We are not asking everyone to do the impossible and opt out of the factory system completely...just support clean and local whenever you can.   The more you as consumers demand local food, the more the food companies will have to provide it.....

 

 

 

 

 

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We CAN match the $1 Value Menu!

I get a few folks who think that locally produced food is too expensive to be a really viable solution to feeding normal people.   I say normal because there is a perception that local food is for 'foodies' and the rest of society can't afford the quality that comes from food being raised without chemicals or drugs by a farmer in your area.

 

To dispel this myth we thought that we would compare our hamburger to the $1 burger at McDonalds.   This is not any kind of judgement on the McDonald's burger...just a price comparison.    (confession: I ate a double cheeseburger in the airport the other day

 

A $1 McDonalds Hamburger consists of 1.8 oz of meat.  That's pretty much the same for Burger King and Wendy's Jr.


At that rate you get almost 9 burgers per pound.  We sell our regular ground beef for $5.25 a pound (with a 3lb minimum) That means you are able to make an equivalent sized burger for about $0.58.  Even if you chose our Kobe Ground Beef for $10 a pound you are still only paying $1.12 for the meat portion of your burger.

 

Add $0.25 for the bun and a slice of processed american cheese is about $0.12 and you are almost there.   (I'm assuming you can get a squirt of ketchup and mustard with a pickle for < $0.05)


Of course if someone came and bought out our entire inventory, I'm guessing that we might offer you some kind of bulk pricing too :-) Just like these big guys get.

 

Buy grass fed beef

 

 

 

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Some Random Photos From The Farm

I thought you might enjoy some random shots from the farm.   Hard to believe it's Labor Day already.   This first picture is of our grass around the pond.   We get a lot of skeptics about the concept of Management Intensive Grazing and the benefits it has on grass & stocking rates.  But if you come out to the farm you can see for yourself that our grass is amazing.  Even with the dry weather we have been having, these methods work. 
 
I see a lot of farmers who are already feeding hay.   
 
Speaking of skeptics, a lot of people don't understand the difference in our hog production here, so I thought I would share a few pictures of the pigs as well :-)
 
Happy Labor Day!
 
 
Management Intensive Grazing











 

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Three Reasons Oligopolies Should Be On Your Radar

 
What are  Oligopolies and why should they matter to you?   
 
Grass Fed Beef
 
 

An oligopoly is a situation where an industry is controlled by only a couple to a few competitors.  Generally it is a situation that is close to a Monopoly or a Cartel in that it stifles competition and damages suppliers & consumers by gaining total control over prices.
 

Three Top Reasons Oligopolies are bad for economies are:
 

  1. Ability to Set Price.   An Oligopoly has power over prices because by nature, if not by design, the smaller the number of competitors the more insight they have into each others business.   We see this with mobile phones right?  With only two real competitors we basically pay the same amount no matter who provides our service.  

     
  2. Barriers to Entry.   Oligopolies have the power to protect their markets and crush nascent competition.  This happens a couple of ways:


    The first is through pricing.  With complete control over pricing Oligopolies are able to use this leaver to prevent new competition by offering unsustainably higher prices to suppliers or unsustainably lower prices to buyers.   


    The second (and more prevalent in the food business) is to leverage their superior financial resources to push propaganda via mass media and government lobbying.  

     
  3. Negative motivation to Innovate:  Members of an Oligopoly have no motivation to innovate because they work in what they consider a perfect market.  As long as all members work together they have complete control.  Any deviation will be met with Item # 2 to bring them back into line.   In a world of Perfect Competition (the kind advocated by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations)  this doesn't happen.   The first rule of Capitalism is that free competition results in better prices, superior products.   Lower the competition and you lower quality & innovation.   
     


The Oligopoly prospers when only focused on price & power to the detriment of suppliers and consumers.


What's helpful is that normally the government will intervene to prevent Oligopolies from becoming too powerful.  A great example is the recent questions being raised about the merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways.   Historically the government has protected the consumer by breaking Oligopolies in the Auto Industry as well at the Television Industries.   

 

But when it comes to food, our Government seems ok with Food Oligopolies and near Monopolies.   Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to do my best to shine some light on these and explain why they are Anti-capitalist and bad for America.
 

We'll start with meat.   Did you know that after a decade of mergers & acquisitions 80% all meat process capacity is controlled by only four companies?   JBS, Tyson, Cargill and National Beef Packing.  For beef farmers who try to play the 'conventional' game they are getting crushed by both sides.   


The Oligopoly controls how much they are willing to pay.  This means that ranchers are at their mercy with regard to selling their beef.  
 

On the other side, there is an Oligopoly that controls most of the grain in the world.  They even have a cute name: The four “ABCD” firms, ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.  

 

So these companies control the prices for what the farmers & feedlot owners pay for the grain they feed their animals.   Interesting isn't it?  Two of these companies control both the price of the cattle that are bought but also the price of the feed that is fed?   Even with higher beef prices, the cost of inputs are also going up and of course the profits to the farmers & ranchers are shrinking.    

 

So we can clearly see how this system is bad for the farmer.  What about the consumer?   Well remember PInk Slime?  How about my post last week focusing on the massive beef recall?    When a few companies control all of the business the only thing they have to do is focus on profit growth.   The meat industry has been relatively flat over the past few years so the only way to grow profits is to cut costs.  Who pays?  You do with inferior and risky food.   

 

I'll finish with Adam Smith:   


Adam Smith"To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers…The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

 

You the consumer have a choice...and it's really the only competition we have against total domination.   Buy Local!  Any cut of meat you might desire is available right where you live.  From farmers who control their food source and their animals.  If you don't support them then the they have no choice but to sell to the Oligopolies....and that just increases their power.  

 

What do you think?  Do you think that Food Oligopolies are good for America?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Recent History of Farm Displacement

Secratary of Agriculture Earl ButzBack in the 70's fellow Hoosier Earl Butz became Secretary of Agriculture in the Nixon administration & had a goal to end big government.   The idea was to end new deal subsides left over from the depression while at the same time consolidating Conservative power by eliminating as many farmers as possible.  
 
Farmers after all were populists and during the New Deal era we made up about 25% of the population in the United States.

For those of you not familiar with the term, "Populism" is a political view that supports "The People" over the elites.
 
Back in the day...and I mean 1776 that transformational year of both the Declaration of Independence and the writing of the "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith.   
 
It should be noted that all of the founding fathers were farmers as well as Adam Smith.   The movement to "Capitalism" was a movement against the elites and blood-line aristocracy and towards openness and competition.  Most of we Americans believe that fair competition brings not only lower prices, but also increased innovation.   Nobody is going to argue that breaking up AT&T in the 80's gave us the incredible innovations we are enjoying today.  (I'm writing this post on wifi from 40,000 feet on an airplane)   
 
So here is the funny thing.   Earl wanted to destroy the family farm in order to make farming big business.   Why?   Well....Just like the British elites of the 1700's or the Robber Barons of the early 1900's, Big business wanted to run the country, and in the 60's and early 70"s Big Business needed workers and Nixon needed voters.   

This plan is genius.   Let's create a system that eliminates real family farm that grow food and turn the remaining farmers away from Populism.  It's perfect...they can lower quality of life and centralize control.   If all the workers are out on family farms feeding their local communities then who is going to work in the factories as cogs in our machine?  Let's turn them into "Consumers" of factory goods instead of producers of their own locally produced stuff.
 
Interesting that the centrally planned government in China is facing the same dilemma in 2013.   Their big government plan is to pull 250 million people off of local farms and move them to cities.   With exports slowing what they need to do is turn their population away from actually producing things on a massively small scale and towards becoming City and Suburb dwelling 'Consumers'.   (does this sound remotely familiar to anyone?)  

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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What is it going to take? 50,000 lbs of beef recalled this week

I'm going to apologize now if this sounds like a rant...but come on folks.   
 

This is a picture of our cows right here in Hancock County eating grass.  I took this picture last week.  These cows are clean, happy and healthy.   They have never had a drug, antibiotic or hormone.  Our farm is open and anyone is welcome to come anytime they like and see exactly what's going on here.

 

Our animals are processed locally too.  Right over in Knightstown, Dave Titus runs a beautiful little processing facility.  It's clean and low volume.   Anyone is welcome to go his plant as well.

 

Please will someone tell me why anyone would ever buy meat from a grocery store when we have such a safe and healthy food source right here at home.  Local food tastes better too.

 

I don't think I have to tell you about the 50,000 pounds of Ground Beef that was recalled on July 31st for E. coli O157:H7    This is meat from cows who have been pumped full of drugs to keep this from happening right?  

 

Do you know why this strain has such a big number?   That's because bacteria keep morphing to stay ahead of the heavy antibiotics that are pumped into these animals.   The bacteria will always win this battle btw...

 

 

And of course this isn't a one time thing.   It's happening all the time.   Just 4 weeks ago the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service announced  that 22,737 pounds of ground beef products are being recalled on fears that they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.  

 

 

And it's not just meat.  I'm sure you all saw the news on produce last week.  This is from ABC News:

 

"More than 370 people have contracted the stomach bug in 15 states, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The source of the infection in states other than Nebraska and Iowa remains unclear. Those states are Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Ohio."

 

We have produce at the Greenfield Farmers Market as well as most of the Farmers Markets in America.  It's produce season....why would people buy produce from a grocery store.   Did you know that 25% of the produce sold in the United States comes from another country?   So much for us feeding the world....apparently we can't even safetly feed ourselves.   

 

Or Can We?

 

Buy local.   Demand creates supply.  It's economics 101 and the basis of American Capitalism.   We have lots of farmers who are desperate to serve you and will gladly increase their production if they get the support.  

 

My only question is with the proven disaster that factory food is proving to be, why wouldn't you buy locally?

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Birds are coming back to Hancock County!

Cattle & Birds

 

I love this picture.  Joel Salatin always talks about how in nature you will always see large flocks of birds following herds of Herbivores. Birds provide a lot of benefits to the farm.  Their most important role in nature is eating up insects, especially flies.  

 

Because our fields and all of the fields that surround us were pretty devoid of life, there has been nothing for the birds and they have not been around.   This year is different.  Now there there is tall grass for nesting and lot's of bugs and we are seeing our bird population skyrocket.   This is huge for us as pasturalists for several reasons:

 

  1. Our Pastured Cattle are more comfortable.   Every fly eaten by a bird is a fly not 'bugging' a cow.   Our birds are eating millions of flies and it shows on our cows.   A lot of Cattle farmers resort to chemicals to repel flies.   Not at Tyner Pond Farm.    You can't have All Natural Grass Fed Beef if you are using poisons on them to repel flies.
     
  2. Another huge benefit is that these birds do a great job of cleaning up Cow Manure and speeding up the recycling of manure into the earth.   Because we rotate our cattle around the farm every day, a big part of our efficiency is getting a previous paddock cleaned up as fast as possible.  Cows won't eat where there is manure.  A cow pie can take up to two years to dissolve back into the earth.   With birds that timeline shrinks to a few days.   
     
  3. Birds relocate seeds.  By eating in one place and distributing in another, these birds add a lot to the variety of grass species.   The more of a poly culture we have the healthier our animals and our pastures become.

     
  4. Finally...birds poop.   All those birds add to the variety of manure (fertilizer) that increases the fertility of our pasture.  Obvious benefits here.



This is how nature has worked well for millions of years.   There is a magic that nature has worked out that can feed the world economically and sustainably (meaning it can go on this way forever)
 

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Why can't we get a local restaurant in Greenfield?

bar & Restaurant in Greenfield

 

I just read this article in the paper and it really made me sad that we don't have someplace like this in Greenfield.   There is not a single nice place to go have a drink and eat some decent locally produced food in an entire county of 70,000 people.   Who can step up and fill this gap?   The City of Greenfield has plenty of amazing buildings and lots of funding available for the right restaurant.

 

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When Can I Buy Pasture Raised Beef?

I love getting email from customers and potential customers who care about the health benefits of beef that's been humainly raised on pasture.  I figure if one person has a question then I'm pretty sure others might be thinking the same thing....
 
 
 
Grass fed beef
 
 
Hi Chris,
 
We are interested in 100% grass fed beef.  I noticed on the beef list that some of it may not be 100%.  Will you have anywhere from a quarter to possibly a full cow available soon or in the near future?
 
We are also interested in half a pig.
 
Thanks for your response.
Mike


Hi Mike,
 
Thanks for your note.  Grass feeding beef is a slow process...it takes at least two years.  As we have grown it's been by acquiring cows with good grass instincts which is not as easy as it sounds.
 
Most cattle in the United States have had their grass instincts bred out of them in favor of standing around in a feedlot.  It's a tough situation.

At any rate we have our herd and we have a few that we will be processing this year but our 100% Grass fed inventory is going to be lean this year.   That's why I'm partnering with my neighbor who does a Grass fed/Corn supplement diet.   It's by FAR not like a feedlot beef and there are no medicines.  Lesser of all evils I suppose.
 
So...long winded answer to a simple question.   We have dry aging right now one 100% grass fed steer that will all be hamburger and one of my neighbors steer that can be purchased by the quarter or half of cut.  
 
Now pigs on the other hand....we are flush!   These are Berkshires raised outdoors on pasture 
 
We allow them to grow to over 300 lbs so they are nicely marbled and taste amazing.
 
Orders can be placed online and we will be glad to deliver, or you are always welcome at the farm.

http://tyner-pond-farm.myshopify.com/collections/all


 
Best, 

Chris Baggott
Tyner Pond Farm
 


 

 

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Make Steak Like A Pro (infographic)

I wanted to share this great infographic on Steak.   We just dropped off two amazing steers yesterday and they are in the process of being Dry-aged as we speak.  

All of our steaks come from pasture aged steers.  Never ever put on feedlots, they live their entire lives on the same farm.  I once heard a quote that said something like:  "The average Cow travels more miles that the average American".

If you want the best, buy local from a farmer you know.

The last time we sold out of all the steaks in about 4 days.  This time we are accpeting pre-orders.  

 

Enjoy the infographic!

 

The Science of a Great Steak

 

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It's The Small Farmers Who Will Feed The World

It's the Small Farmers Who Will Feed The World

 

This is one of my favorite Farmers Quotes.  

 

"Innovations that are guided by smallholder farmers, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and environment will be necessary to ensure food security in the future."

 

It's a quote by Bill Gates who has traveled the world and seriously studied how to Feed The World.  What I love about this quote is the idea of Innovation.  Not Homogenized Chemical Farming but local innovation tailored to each circumstance.   

 

We discuss this a lot with our customers and our guests to Tyner Pond Farm.   This isn't grandpa's farm or some throwback to an earlier simpler time.   What we are doing is actually quite new and innovative.   Grandpa couldn't do this because he didn't have the advantages of technology.   Ranging from Polywire to manage our grass properly to the Internet to help us sell directly to the consumer.....none of this could have been done 50 years ago.....heck even 15 years ago.

I totally understand why Farmers abandoned the family farm and why young people wanted to get out in the 80's...but times have changed.  People are more inclined to want to know the source of their food.   There is greater awareness to the risks of a global food chain to both health and the environment....not to mention local economies.   

 

Ever wonder why small town storefronts are empty?   The Greenfield Downtown Farmers Market is a start.   Each week we are bringing hundreds of people to a downtown that would be all but empty.   That economic activity is now sparking even more activity.   Stores that were closed on Saturdays are now opening up.    

 

Do your part.  Support local food and local Farmers Markets.  

 

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One Of My Favorite Things About Our Farm

Farm Intern Program Pasture Raised Sustainable Chickens

 

This picture shows four things I love about Tyner Pond Farm.  In no particular order:

 

  • I love the grass.   When we got to this farm it was mostly in Corn & Soybeans.  What pasture that existed had mostly been used for hay that was sold off the farm.  After only a couple of years where we have been rotating out grass fed cattle and pasture raised chickens the difference is amazing.   Our grass is thick and deep.  There is a complete salad bar that creates just the right nutrition for our animals and very few weeds.   It needs to be seen to fully appreciate.  

    Earlier this week Mark and I visited Polyface Farm in Virginia.  Polyface is Joel Salatin's farm and sort of ground zero in the Pasture-based Sustainable Farm movement.   We wanted to benchmark how we were doing things against the best in the world.   And....we are doing pretty well :-)

  • I love our Intern program.   This season we have two lovely young women (Jenna & Maria) who work really hard and have an amazing love of the animals and our humane systems of producing local food.   They make me happy every day.

  • I love our pastured chickens.   Most of you know that we raise our chickens outdoors on pasture in open floored pens.   Each day we move the pens forward one space.  What's really cool is when we show up in the mornings, the chickens all move to the front of the pen.  They know what's going to happen and they want that fresh grass.   Given a choice of fresh grass or feed, they will choose the grass.  That diet of fresh greens is not only what not only keeps them healthy....it also makes them healthy and delicious.  
     

  • Ok  I also love this little truck :-)   We are total minimalists when it comes to equipment but this truck is really cool   It's branded as a Subaru but has a motorcycle engine in it.  It's so efficient that it seems like we only have to fill it a couple times a year.    

    It also has a right hand steering wheel which is super fun for the kids to learn how to drive a clutch on.   It's also our total self-contained chicken maintenance vehicle.   We can transport 125 gallons of water with a pump as well as any feed directly to wherever the chickens are on our pasture.   It's a fun and useful little vehicle. 

 

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Re: training pigs to wire in the woods questions

Pigs in the woods
 
 
I just wanted to share this note from someone seeking information about our pigs in the woods.   We are not the experts on a lot of Sustainable Farming Questions, but we are happy to share our experiences both good and bad.  
 
 
Hi Chris,

I just viewed your video on youtube having been searching about  raising pigs in the woods instead of on a grass pasture. I've been raising 2 -3 pigs per year for 7 years here in the Adirondacks of upstate NY and have pastured them on about a 1/8-1/4 acre plot which they pretty quickly decimate. Our undercover is heavy here but with thin soil and a short growing season it is easy to wipe out and very slow to grow back. I butcher in October and by the following May the pasture doesn't recover at all.

So I'd like to increase the pasture size but have had a few troubles with the containment of the pigs. They have tended to root at the perimeter of the wire quite a bit changing the elevation and I have to frequently change the height of the wire. Will a larger pasture help to alleviate this problem? Also being off grid I use a solar charger which has seemed to work ok as long as I'm vigilant about clearing anything at all that grows to touch the wire. It's probably time to replace my unit. Do you have a suggestion for a unit that performs better in a woods environment? I do have a substantial clearing that I hang the unit in for solar gain.

Do you have a suggestion for an optimal age to introduce them to the wire? I keep them on concrete while they're small and I may have waited too long a few years ago before I turned them out and the pigs ran through the wire several times until they figured it out. 

Most of the folks I know that raise pigs do so in a confined area and I hate to do that for a variety of reasons, and want to take advantage of my acreage to offer them a better quality of life and the opportunity to enhance their meat quality with what the woods can offer them.

Thanks for any advice you can offer, Daniel
 
 
From: chris@farmersmarket.com
 
Hi Daniel,
 
What you might lack in soil depth you more than make up for in scenery.  The Adirondack's are beautiful ...although I did here that Whiteface Mt. got 10 inches of snow the other day.   
 
A couple of things on the pigs and polywire.   We start them in a large area so that it usually takes them a while to even find the wire.   I think this helps keep them from dashing through on the first day.   We also introduce them to the wire in a paddock that is surrounded by a woven wire fence.   We put the polywire about 6 inches or less inside the polywire.
 
We also put the polywire about 6 inches off the ground so when they root around the edges they don't bury the wire.   Our experience has been that even if the wire is gone....they remember where it was.  One of our problems in the woods is rotation and getting them to move.   We solved this by moving their feeder ahead of them.  
 
Once they are trained we really have no trouble.   Even if one should get out (this has happend only once)  they don't want to go anywhere away from their buddies.
 
The first time we put them in the woods we make sure we put them in the middle of the paddock and next to their feeder..  away from the wire.   let them explore and run around before they discover the wire.  
 
As for a charger, we use a battery charger in the woods we keep one battery  on the charger at all times and just rotate them as needed.    We are now also using plastic posts instead of the rebar.   I'm a big fan of these 
 
 
Really easy to get in and wired and take down in the winter.   
 
Please let me know if you have any other questions.  I'd love to see some pictures of your farm etc...   I'll be glad to post to my blog and give you a link.
 
Best,
 
Chris Baggott
Tyner Pond Farm
 
 
 

 

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