Our Philosophy

It has been 16 years now since we started our farming and boy, has it changed. We started with mostly vegetables, raising about 60 varieties of produce from carrots to winter squash…it was a lot of labor hours and when there are just 2 of us, finding others to help (which requires payment and lots of interest) became a challenge. We did do a few beef and some chickens and sold them from the farm.

So here we are now…we did a full circle…now we raise animals only…beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal and lamb which we sell direct through our farmers’ markets, restaurants in Madison, and grocery stores. We have created a partnership with another farmer (see Partnership) and have finally found a few people that have the same passion, interest and character it takes to make a farm sustainable.

We partnered with another farmer, Matthew Walter, from the Darlington area and it has been a very positive addition. We share production labor, land, and knowledge which results in higher quality and consistent meats. Although we are not certified organic (for a few reasons, the basic one being that the system is a pass/fail program since the government has gotten involved – and that feed costs would be so high that our products would only be available to those with greater amounts of income), we farm that way – no pesticides or herbicides on our pastures, no unnecessary antibiotics or animal feed by-products or growth hormones…just quality pastures which results in quality meats.

This year we will be raising 8000 kosher king meat chickens, 500 turkeys, 60 beeves, 100 lambs, a few veal and 325 hogs. We are still as busy as ever but we enjoy raising animals much better than raising produce and have fine tuned our end product which has resulted in very high quality meats. We 100% grass feed our lamb and beef – NO GRAIN FINISHING AT ALL. This year we had a tremendous lamb crop and are very exciting about the fall when we can harvest them and supply our customers with this wonderful tasting meat.

Hogs. Our hogs are raised on pasture and deep bedded hoop houses so they can root around naturally and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. Although we did raise them on pasture soley, we are raising them year round so and need the hoop house buildings to do so. We allow them to mature into larger animals than commercial hogs as we believe that is where the added flavor comes along with the great genetics including 2 old English breeds, Yorkshire and Duroc,  that Matt has worked on for so many years.

Chicken. This is our 5th year using a different broiler chicken which we get when they are a day old from Massachusetts. They are a stronger breed with a richer tasting and better textured meat. We don’t have the health issues like we did when using the Cornish rock cross and these birds do a lot more harvesting for themselves and don’t just hang out at the feeders but enjoy lots of bugs and grasses.

Turkeys. This year will continue raising the white broadbreasted turkeys because the heritage birds were very time consuming, especially when they are pastured raised. They can fly…and can never seem to find they way back to their shelter without us corralling them many times per day. Too much time and patience is spent which became very frustrating. We know that some other farmers cut their wings and/or net their pens so they are not allowed to move to different paddocks, therefore are they truly pastured? Anyway, the flavor is outstanding and these birds never disappoint our customers – each year, we are told by lots how much they enjoy them.  We are trying to raise enough so that we can have them year round and offer ground turkey, but they seem to sell faster than we imagine!

Veal. Rose veal is what the French and Italians refer to it as the calves are left with their mothers to nurse when they like and are on pasture getting the grasses/legumes with high Omegas, Vitamin D, fresh air and sunshine. We have continued to raise our jersey bull calves for veal and have had wonderful feedback. It is truly a taste that you won’t forget. Although some people have an issue with the concept, we can’t keep all of the animals, especially jersey bull calves, and have to realize that this is a business as well. We are hoping to be able to offer veal throughout the year starting from May depending on each calving season.

Raw milk cheeses. We are excited to be part of a cheese project with Fayette Creamery and Joe Burns – he is making specialty cheeses out of our 100% jersey, grass based milk. We milk seasonally (April through Dec) and once a day – so very outside of the box but it works for us, for the cheesemaker and for our cows!  We are hoping to expand into ghee, butter and compound butters this coming year and offer at markets and stores.

So although we have changed from our starting goals, we have achieved new ones and found our niche while benefiting two farms and making them sustainable. We look forward to 2015 and providing our customers with humanely raised meats!

Thank you to all who have supported us in the past and continue to do so…obviously, we could not be doing what we do without your presence.