News and blog
I hope this finds everyone doing well. Things are going pretty well around the farm, all things considered. We have been working very hard this year once again, in our relentless pursuit of providing the highest quality meats known to mankind. We have been up to a few new things around the farm this year and I have included some of the things that are noteworthy.
Our cattle will be getting a couple new items in their diet a little later this year. This Spring we harvested our very first crop of triticale. It is a hybrid cross between wheat and rye. It is high in protein and also has the bonus of a high sugar content. We mowed and baled it right before it started to produce seed in order to capture the highest amount of nutrients the plant would produce. We baled it at approximately 60% moisture and wrapped it in a thin layer of plastic so that it would be sealed in an oxygen free environment. Without oxygen, the bales will ferment to produce a highly digestible and naturally preserved feed. It is essentially the same process we use for our corn silage, but we can feed it one bale at a time to the cows. We will start to feed the triticale later in the year.
Besides providing excellent feed, the triticale is planted in the fall and will hold the ground in place over the winter to reduce erosion. It will also scavenge any excess fertilizer that the previous corn crop may not have utililzed. It keeps beneficial bacteria in the soil working during a period when most fields are bare and the bacteria die off due to lack of food. We think this may become a staple in our crop rotation.
We also took the opportunity to follow the triticale with a crop called sudangrass. It is a fine bladed annual grass that is also high in sugar content and palatability. It grows very quickly and doesn't have the water requirements that corn does. So far this month it hasn't mattered, but traditionally we are dry throughout the summer. We chose this crop to hedge our bet to produce the feed our cattle will need to carry them through the winter if it happened to get dry and our corn crop would suffer. We plan on chopping the sudangrass and putting it in the silo, or making it into hay if the weather permits.
Our chickens will be getting the luxury of new crates to take them to the butcher. Previously we loaded them into our stock trailer and took them to the butcher. From there we would catch them a second time and put them into crates at the butcher. After many backaches we finally made the significant investment in the crates. The result will be less stress on the birds from only being handled once and a cooler ride to the butcher. The cool ride comes from the ability to be loaded on an open sided trailer to catch a breeze on the ride.
We are through the initial testing phase on an offering of naturally raised pork for your home freezer. Initial feedback has been that the pork is much cleaner tasting and that it has a unique flavor you can't get in the grocery. My sister Megan and her boyfriend Neil have taken on the project to fill a much needed void in our product offering. The pigs are being raised on Neil's farm near Ashland, OH. They are raised in deep straw bedding and have access to the outdoors 24/7. The pigs aren't raised in confinement barns which means they don't live over a pit which holds their manure all of their lives. Our pigs get fresh air all the time which translates into cleaner meat. We are still finalizing logistics so please stay tuned for info to reserve your pork in our first I.P.O. (initial pig offering).
One last noteworthy experiment around the farm is our first group of egg laying hens. We purchased 20 egg laying birds to put out on pasture for extremely healthy eggs. They are an assortment of rare breeds. We chose these hens because they lay eggs and they all have a unique look to them. I will post pictures to the website as they mature. The plan is to build a portable chicken coop and to move it around the farm for the birds to eat fresh greens, bugs and worms. We will let you know when they start to produce eggs.
We have up to one whole freezer beef available right now. The cattle went to the butcher yesterday so the beef will be processed in approximately two weeks. If you would like a portion of this beef, or the whole thing please let me know, first come, first served. I need to know by the end of next week in order to reserve it. We will have more freezer beef available at the beginning of August. Supply will be getting tighter after August so less freezer beef will be available after that.
The first group of pasture raised chickens will be available on July 10th. In the near future I will send an ordering guide to fill out and return. The next group after that will be the second week in August.
Thank you for your continued support of Reserve Run Family Farm. We work extremely hard to produce the highest quality, responsibly raised natural meats. We appreciate your business and the references you provide to your friends and family. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please let us know.
All the best,