Dec 28, 2016
2016 a look back!
I listen to several podcasts, and one in particular called The Permaculture Voices Podcast, who continues to ask for financial support. As a growing business I find it hard to put any two cents together to help his cause financial. I have purchased a few online products from him in the past but he also asks for donations for the free content he distributes. I have not considered this until in a recent episode Diego spoke the size and scope of his audience. To know how important every listener was to him struck a chord. I fully understand and appreciate how each and every purchase helps us reach our goals. This farm is absolutely in its infancy and I want to share with you briefly how far The G Farm has come.
This is my third fiscal year of farming, heading into my fourth. So how am I doing financially? Is the farm growing? My first year I actually didn’t put on paper, but I had a 90 dollars of income from making maple syrup. I used old Snapple bottles and cooked over an open fire. I had tapped 20 or so trees and only made a few gallons of syrup. At that time I would have never thought this is where I would be three years late. In my second year I had purchased the property and had attempted growing 75 pastured birds, at the end of the year between the syrup and chicken I had made about 900 dollar. Which I was very excited about. Now this year I have to preface, I am working with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservancy Service) to help grow the farm as they have programs that reward sustainable farming practices. I had received two payments in the year; one was payment to put together an official farm plan. And the other was for the conservation program the farm is in. The first funds were in the amount of 1000. This covered a large portion of the costs to build my conservation plan. These are required to participate in the conservation programs. The program I participated in this year is called Conservation stewardship program. My program included the planting of the fruit, nut and berries that were planted in the pasture. The conservation program was another 1,500 dollars. I applied for one grant with the Veterans Farmers’ coalition. I was surprised and excited that they awarded me 2000 dollars towards a walk in freezer which was just completed about 2 weeks ago. Along with this there were over 150 customers with on farm sales, deliveries, farmer’s market sales and farm stand sales. The farm produce grew from just chicken and syrup to include duck, turkey, beef, pork and vegetables. Several items stood out as far as profitability, and ease of production. Several factors played a roll in this and I hope to streamline these problems, as farm diversity is an important part of my holistic goal. With all of that said I am thrilled to have had over 11,500 dollars in farm sales this year. This does not take into account all of the costs of production but there is a clear pattern trending in a positive direction and I can’t ask for more than that. Thank you for your continued support in the growth of this farm at a critical time.
December 14, 2016
The Referral Program.
For the next few months I will be asking for You the customers Help, and I want to reward you for it. After your next purchase you will receive an email that gives you the opportunity to share your experience with your friends. When they use your link, as a first time purchaser, you will receive 10 dollars off of your next purchase. They do have to purchase more than 50 dollars of goods and need to be in the delivery area (found on the FAQ page of the website) or willing to stop out at the farm for their own pick up. I hope that this is great experience and please let me know what you think.
Off the Farm Work!
This summer was a blast, the amount of work that has been accomplished makes me proud. Since starting this business I have had the expectation that I would need 5 or so years to get to where I would be able to sustain an income from the farm. This summer had seen some fortune and careful planning to survive, and continued planning is required. My next opportunity brings my past tax preparation experience and my new found farm lifestyle together with a position working with a farm lending business. As I grow in this new position, I am sure you will hear more of how it goes and farmer who are befriended. By no means does this mean things are getting easier. My expectation is that I will be working doubly hard, earlier mornings, later nights, less down time and more sacrifices.
This does put one major dent in my current schedule. The Tuesday Delivery. So for now I will continue on Tuesdays, but I will be delivering after 5 PM. I hope this will work with each of your schedules.
December 7, 2016
It may be a little unusual, morbid, or distasteful that I choose to butcher chickens in the first place, but It is important to the ecological sustainability of the farm. Each time that a purchase is made, nutrients, vitamins, minerals of all kind are being exported from the farm. I do understand too, that there are imports as well, in the way of grain for the chicken, turkey and pigs. But each time a part of the farm leaves, that means there is that much less being replenished into the soil.
Because of this, I choose to butcher as much as I can here on the farm. There are a few reasons I do it up front. First, If anyone comes by to see me or the farm, I’m hard to miss. Second. It’s the cleanest place on the farm. I have water, concrete and the walk in freezer all right beside me. The storage area for all of the equipment is right there as well. There isn’t a more efficient clean place to perform the task.
The state of Wisconsin allows for 1,000 fowl to be processed on farm, after that there must be an inspector that watches at a facility. If I chose to sell at a store or restaurant they must also be inspected. All pigs and cows must be processed at the facility, unless its for my own consumption. When I pick up the finished animals from the processor, they do not give everything back, even if you ask them to. In my perfect world the skin, hooves, feet or other uneatable items would go into the compost pile and continue to feed the soil here on the farm.
A major reason this farm is being built is to keep the small family farm heritage and integrity intact. Children should not be under the impression that their food comes from a grocery store. It comes from a farm! Not all farms are as ascetically and aromatically pleasing as The G Farm, but most small farms are doing the right thing and I fully support their efforts as well. That being said, It is unconscionable to think of the farms out there that do not show the living conditions of the animals or the process that the animals are butchered. Eating protein is natural and we can do it in a way that is fair to the animals and to the earth.
November 30, 2016
Chicken Feet Broth to keep the cold away.
Just like all things purchased from the grocery store, a little more money goes along way. I suppose sometimes it is a lot more money. But that’s when you have to measure whats your time worth? What do you enjoy doing with your time? Many of my friends are surprised when they see my canned jellies, fruit, vegetables, vinegar, condiments and so much more stacked up in my pantry. I think it just tastes better. I can only imagine how much better it is for me. With cold season in front of us lets do our best to keep us along with our immune systems functioning at a high level. One of the most beneficial items on my shelf for the common cold is chicken broth. I make mine out of chicken feet. I know there are some people out there that add a spoon full to a warm drink each day. Some will use it in more conventional ways, making some soup. Here is a look at two drastically different chicken broth products and their nutritional information.
This product is called Swanson chicken broth. This is a standard broth that could be purchased at a store. It is higher in sodium than the broth listed below. Swanson’s broth lists its ingredients as follows
Chicken Stock, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Dehydrated Chicken Broth, Natural Flavoring, Dehydrated Onions, Yeast Extract, Chicken Fat, Carrots, Celery, Onions.
Although Swanson’s broth claims to be natural, by the USDA standards I’m sure it is, but i don’t feel very comfortable with the natural flavoring listed.
This product is called Bare Bones bone broth. There is a whooping 13 grams of protein along with a healthy dose of Vitamin A and Calcium. Bare Bone’s lists its ingredients as follows
Filtered Water, Chicken Bones And Chicken Feet (From Pasture-raised Chickens), Organic Onion, Organic Carrot, Organic Garlic, Organic Parsley, Organic Thyme, Organic Bay Leaf, Sea Salt, Rosemary Extract.
Clearly the Bare Bones has a superior product. But for 11.66 a cup the price is a little steep. Id encourage you to take a few minutes and make your own. The G Farm does sell 2 lb bags of chicken feet for 8 dollars. The process is simple. Just put half of those feet into a slow cooker, cover with water and salt. You can also add some carrots, celery and a few herbs if you would like to spice it up. Place on high until it starts to bubble, then turn it to low and leave set for 24 hours. When its done brewing you can put into jars. Either by canning or simply place it into the fridge.
November 23, 2016
A Thankful Farmer!
This week marks one year of the newsletter being sent out. Last year I began by telling you what I was thankful for. And with Thanksgiving this week it bares relevance once again. I have compiled a list of things I am thankful for, I imagine I am going to unknowingly leave things out as I have an overwhelming amount of support. My tribe has grown and I hope that you don’t mind me calling you out. I hope Everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.
Emily Heeg, You are so vital to the growth of the farm. I don’t even know how to begin to thank you. Your time spent in the garden, getting mulch, sharing in the abundance of fruit you’ve harvested elsewhere, the transplants and flowers you’ve brought all contribute to the appeal and functionality of farm, for using your knowledge in message therapy to take care of my sore arm. I appreciate your friendship and your hard work. You are my best friend. Thanks
Mom, Michelle and Amanda, you three are the most important ladies in my life. Thanks for all of your love and support, getting the word out and an extra hand when I need it most.
Dad and Kay for bailing hay with me and borrowing me your trailer tiller and so much other equipment.
Steve Trisha and Landon, Thank you for painting the barn with me, the picnic table and your support in my transition.
My neighbors, for helping me when my well was down and out, for putting up with my escaped cows and pigs as I learned valuable lessons in fencing, and the comrodery in late evenings with a beer in hand.
John B, for taking my cattle and having your bull breed my cows and to give my pastures a much needed break as my soils become more fertile.
Zach, for reaching out to me with you skills in welding and committing to help build out a no till drill.
Dylan for your help in butchering and installing the walk in cooler, your genuine interest in regenerative agriculture is going to bring you to a great place.
Fred, for being there and listening and giving me a great outside perspective on how to manage and guide myself thought the ups and downs. For helping me with work around the farm when I need it most. Thank You
Amanda W, for coming out to the farm and hosting a paint party, and painting the round bale pig, turkey sign and parts of the barn.
Hayley, for your help and dedication in my early transition out of my office job, and your endless knowledge shared about the plants on the farm.
Jim Collar, for writing up a fantastic article on the farm and for your help in making the front page of the Post Cresent it has certainly helped share my story with the fox valley
Kari Joas for writing up an article for the Winniconnie newspaper promoting out local farm stand.
Eddie the farm apprentice, for all of your work in and around the farm completing some of the daily chores, even in the heat and adverse weather, you were a great help.
Antlers Bar, thanks for allowing us to put our farm stand in the back of your lot.
Rachel and the Farmers Veteran Coalition. This year I had received a grant from their Fellowship fund, and just completed installing a walk in freezer. And an extended thanks to the doners to the organizations that support organizations
Kevin Evers, for taking the time to talk with me on your Podcast, you made me sound professional and transposed my story to audio seamlessly.
Jen G, for editing my weekly emails. The readers may not know but I may be able to speak English, but as soon as i put them onto paper, I’m not sure what language I using.
Merrie S, for your work at the NRCS dealing with me and the programs I’m a part of, along with the other folks with the departments necessary for me to operate legally. It’s hard to keep up with the regulation and how to transpose those rules onto a farm. There are exceptions that have to be made and I could not navigate these waters alone.
Nicole V, for being my technical support team, and taking care of my broken computer, and taking care of my phone to keep it safe.
Tanya Johnson and your class for coming out to tour the farm and helping plant out some 40 trees, you were so attentive and helpful.
All of my farm heroes, most of which will not see this, Joel Salitain, Darren Doherty, Mark Shepard, Peter Allen, Lindsay Rebhan, Paul Grieves, Jack Spirko, Diego Footer and so many more, you all inspire me to become a better person and give me aspirations to achieve success on the farm.
Anyone who has supported by purchasing product and or coming to an event, it’s not a sustainable farm if it’s not financially sustainable. And you are making it possible.
November 16, 2016
Preparing for the Feast
There is just about a week left until we sit down with loved ones and reflect on what we are thankful for while spending time with our families we don’t see often enough. More and more often someone in a family has a food allergy or is conscious of the methods used in raising the animals. Don’t let them sit out of this years feast; Come pick up a Happy Turkey!
Here is how to do it. Go to the web store and pre-order your bird. You can go to www.theg.farm/shop to see the rest of the products as well. Click on the Turkey and a window will pop up. There will be a short description of the item and you can then add it to your cart. (The total weight is between 13 and 19 pounds, the charge is 3.75 a pound so each bird is between 50 and 70 dollars) You can then check out with the items you have selected. I use Paypal; to accept credit; it is recognizable and secure. Paypal will share your information with me so I know who the purchase is for. You will get a confirmation email as well. To get the order into your hands I provide two options: pick up or delivery. I deliver the Fox valley each Tuesday. If this is a good option for you let me know and I will give you a reminder the day before and provide the total amount due to be paid upon delivery. You do not need to be home but will need to remember to put out a cooler on the porch. The turkey will be FRESH. If you would prefer to pick up the turkey, I have two times set aside for you. Monday the 21’st or Wednesday the 23’rd from 4PM until 8PM.
If you have any other questions please feel free to email them to me.
Cooking A Pasture-Raised Turkey
Most store bought turkeys are injected with vegetable oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, sodium phosphate, and artificial flavorings. Pasture raised free range turkey, on the other hand, has not been basted or injected. You may want to consider preparing your turkey in a brine like most chefs. Brine is a saltwater and seasoning solution that allows moisture to penetrate the meat.
Even a slightly overcooked turkey will be moist and juicy when prepared in brine. Brine also expedites cooking time, since water is a better conductor of heat than meat. Brine can be made from your favorite herbs and seasonings. Click here to link to the recipe.
November 9, 2016
Fun on the big screen!
This last week was a fun one for me; making it onto Fantasy and Friends on the NFL Network was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me. Here is how it happened: I listen to my phone when I’m working around the farm. Mostly on speaker phone because it’s irritating to have my ear buds ripped out getting caught on something. Usually you would catch me listening to one of three podcasts. The first one is ESPN’s Fantasy Focus Football podcast. It keeps me up to date on all of the do’s and don’t to keep me competitive with my friends in our fantasy football league. Last week Mathew Berry was promoting that Friday, November 4th was Jersey Friday. When I heard that, I immediately added it to my calendar to take a selfie and hashtag Jersey Friday to get some new followers on the social media sites. After the long day’s work, I headed inside to do some desk work and, much to my surprise, I was getting messages left and right that I was on National TV.
So other than this podcast, I also listen to more constructive content. Each has its own place in helping me learn about business, make farming decisions, give encouragement and so much more. By clicking below you can check out the content yourself.
November 2, 2016
Its almost time to Vote…
But first, if you have any pumpkins that you are looking to get rid of, feel free to bring them by the farm to toss to the pigs. I am usually around and would be happy to assist you. If I am not around, feel free to give me a call.
On to the political discussion. I am not going tell you to go and vote. I’m not even going to talk about candidates running for a seat in any election. No one is ever going to change someones mind on an issue by debating or arguing. You change it by leading, by showing how to lead your own life and others will follow. I personally would love if more people would grow there own food and eat locally. And I truly believe the world in my eyes would be a better place. Less fuel consumption, a stronger local economy, a stronger community, a heather food system, healthier soils, healthier water, less pollution, a larger middle class, less suing, less stealing, and more love. So with that if you are going to cast a ballet this November the 8th here are a few issues that I would like you to consider.
Raw milk is not something that we can legally sell here in Wisconsin. I would absolutely love to be producing raw milk to sell directly to you. The Dairy state is under to much pressure from large dairy organizations to allow for small farmers to sell directly to consumers. There are many benefits and I believe there is a demand. The State regulates many other areas of a farm operation, why would this one be any different.
There are to many large conglomerate agricultural businesses that put the pinch on farmers. Corn and bean farmers are pressured to use chemicals and less than ideal methods to maximize the output of the fields. Meat farmers like Tyson force chicken to be raised in a confinement house that is not allowed on camera. These businesses grease the wheels of politicians and use lobbyists who increase regulations on those small farmers making it more difficult to become a farmer.
October 26, 2016
CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. It’s essentially like a share program and is a great way for small, local agriculture to be supported in its fledgling stage. It’s hard to get any business off the ground, and especially hard to get a farm off the ground. This summer, Emily and I worked our tails off in the garden together. The small portions of vegetables we sold at a small farmers market is not going to cut it. It’s not sustainable to sell vegetables in these quantities. I’m not someone who loses, I either win or learn, so this one is going to get chalked up as a “learned A LOT” summer.
2017 is going to be another learning year and I’m counting on you for continued support. I am not going to be at a farmers market next year for a few reasons. One, I am too diverse and each market I apply for is willing to allow for a portion of the farm products, but not all of them. Another reason is because the time spent at a farmers market is not paying for the time spent. When I punch the time and costs to get to a market into my excel spreadsheets, this is the least productive time spent. And Excel doesn’t lie. Many beginning farmers go to a market to gain exposure. I’ve had great success in being found through newspapers, the internet presence, word of mouth, and well the massive highway that is right in front of the farm. I will continue to have the farm stand down by Antlers bar and Kwik trip.. I will also be adding an on farm area where customers can stop and pick up meat from the farm any time they choose. Like the farm stand this will be on the honor system. And I will still be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 9-1 to discuss and share the food production model that is in place.
I have found that folks that are going to pay for quality food consistently are more likely to be part of the food delivery system I have created than to find their way to a farmers market consistently. Next year, would you please be a part of this community’s support of agriculture on The G Farm? I’m not promising you ten vegetables. I’m promising you a share of the produce that is grown on this farm. We are going to have 12 vegetable shares available with 20 weeks’ of produce delivered to your doorstep. A full share will cost $600 with 50% down before March 31, 2017. The remaining half can be paid weekly or monthly through the season. A half share costs $400, and would be payed in the same structure. There is going to be a chicken program and an egg program available as well. You will hear about these programs in more detail as the calendar turns. I am just planting this seed now in hopes that it grows for tomorrow.
Thanks to all of you,
October 19, 2016
Cornish Cross vs Freedom Ranger
I have for the last two years raised several hundred pastured birds. I keep matriculates records as any business should to optimize my time, production and inputs. There are good reasons to raise each and you may find yourself preferring one over the other for reasons you had not thought of. But the choice is yours and for the time being I will be raising some of each. I am listen closely to your feedback and have many people who prefer one or the other, I don’t judge.
The Freedom Ranger, also called the Red Ranger by some hatchery’s is raised to about 4 pounds of freezer meat in about 14 weeks. You wont find one of these in the grocery store, most confinement operations use the Cornish cross. The Freedom Ranger is more suitable for pasture, They consume about 30 percent of their diets from the grass they move across in the chicken tractors. The grass consumption is a healthier choice for the chicken and passes omega 3 fatty acids to you when you eat them. This is super beneficial to your brains functionality. The meat is darker and the bird has smaller breasts. Don’t for one second think that because they are a darker meat that they don’t have fat on them, they do.
The Cornish Cross is a much faster grow on the farm. They take about 10 weeks to get to the same 4 pounds, but I do grow them out a little more for some larger bird options. They consume more feed that I bring in from a local farmer that mills their special mixture. The Cornish cross will forage about 10 percent of their diet from the grass. The meat is much more white and have large breasts. 60 years ago the same breed would take double what it takes me today. For context a confinement operation will reach the desired weight for their birds at about 7 weeks.
The chicken tractor. This is a Joel Salatin style pen that measures 10 feet by 12 feet. They are moved daily giving the poultry a new patch of earth to forage and fertilize. This is mutually beneficial. I choose to spend time moving the animals rather than to remove their waste and apply it to the fields myself. My first tractors were 8 by 8 and found that the birds would get run over in the back side of the pen when I moved them. I feel that the extra 4 feet of the larger pen makes a huge difference.
October 12, 2016
The work never ends!
While the days are getting shorter the farms list of tasks is not. I have been steadily working away at several large tasks though. Some of the accomplishments include painting the barn, fencing the whole property perimeter, planting out nearly 600 trees and bushes in the silvopasture and perimeter; covering approximately 5 acres. All of this while growing moving and managing all the farm animals, market garden, events, and customers. With the end of the season nearing, I will not be relaxing but finding some work to fill my time productively. I have been looking for a job off of the farm to keep the cash flowing. I will continue to work hard at growing the farm in every way I can. Thanks you for all of your support in sharing with your friends, helping on the farm and participating in the events. You make the hard work worth it!
Why am I planting so many trees?
I believe in a perennial system mimicking the oak savanna that use to dominate the region. These ancient forests had mastodons and mammoths roaming widely disturbing the earth leaving paths for new growth. This helped give the forests edges that sunlight needed to grow new grass. The silvopasture I am growing has rows of trees and bushes alternating between raspberry, apple, hazelnut, chestnut, oak, wild cherry and wild plum. I have them randomly distributed to reduce the spread of any diseases and pests. The rows are 60 feet apart giving me plenty of space to move machinery in between to either plant and harvest other crops or graze the animals. I have the plantings between 3 and 5 feet apart. This is rather dense but more production is preferable to sparsely plantings. I will be able to sell, move and allow for lower success rates on these plants. In the coming years these plants will feed the farm animals with their nuts apples berries and grasses. I expect to add grape vines, herbs and other plants in time to maximize the full potential of a forest edge in the pasture. Many other benefits will come. The soil quality will improve, mushrooms will become prevalent, wild life animals will take refuge.
October 5, 2016
On My journey into agriculture, I have learned from many unorthodox people. My methods are old fashion, and many times requiring more physical and time demands than the industrial farms of today. But my intentions are to make a land that is better off when I leave. Many farms are quite the opposite, removing timber, tilling soil and spraying undesirable weeds. They also use finite resources without an eye to the future. One of the Founding fathers of the Permaculture, a movement I am part of, had passed away a few weeks ago. I will be planting a tree in his name when I find the appropriate one. Thank you Bill for sharing your vast knowledge with the world
September 28, 2016
Come and Paint in the Barn!
Sunday October 9th at 12 noon, my dear friend Amanda a local artist will be hosting a painting class. We will painting a fall picture that you will get to take home. The cost is 30 dollar, which covers a tour, painting supplies as well as comprehensive instruction. Your admission can be purchased online at the online shop! There is limited seating so please be sure to secure your spot on the Facebook event page. This is usually done in a small group at a home, so this is a unique opportunity to come out with a friend or family member. Amanda runs and operates Moonlight Mirage and has years of teaching experience. She has painted the turkey above and the Sign below. Painting will begin at 1 pm and usually takes about 3 hours to complete. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, when you come to the farm dress appropriately. Dress for the weather and wear some good boots.
August, 24, 2016
How to Support Local!
How you can support The G Farm?
Visiting the Farm Shop is a good starting point but here are the rest of the options…
Each Tuesday the farm has a delivery option that you may take advantage of. There will be a 10 dollar fee if your order is less than 50 dollars. We deliver to the zip codes listed in the FAQ page. We will leave the farm around noon and deliver right to your door step. Start at the Farm Shop and put together a cart that meets your needs. When you check out, you have the options of paying online or at delivery.
Each Day the farm stand is filled and moved to the corner of II and Bison behind Antlers Bar and Grill. The Stand is sitting behind the Goats pen right next to the rear exit of the Kwik Trip. It is now left there and set up for the honor system and has garden produce produced on the farm.
Hortonville Farmers Market
Thursdays from 3:00 – 6:30 PM
This Market is set up in front of Donaldson Gourmets and Gifts. There are several vendors there with an array of artisan items.
On the Farm
Saturdays and Sundays from 9am – 1pm
This is a great time to stop by and see the animals. I set this time aside to share the management system that is used here on the Farm. On you way out I can take you to the Farm Store and help select the best goods for you and your family.
August 18, 2016
Sometimes I need to open my eyes.
I learn something new every day and sometimes I feel that I need to be beat over the head with the idea before I understand why. This last weekend I took my first day off. I was so fortunate to make my way down to my friends at Mastodon Valley Farm in southern Wisconsin. Emily and I had meet there just one year ago and had been invited back for an alumni dinner. We had a blast meeting this years attendees and wish them the best of luck going forward on their own journeys as my life has been effected positively from my time learning last year.
So back to the issue at hand, I have been having problems with two cows each for different reasons. One of the problems was pointed out by John. He has the cows at his farm right now, and he had shown me that one has worms. His solution is to give them dewormer. I have an issue doing that, but in the same breath I cant have a slow growing, bad tasting wormy cow. The other problem calf has a bacteria infection in her hoof called hoof rot. If I or someone in my family had an issue that was needing some medications to heal them, and there were not any alternatives to treat the ailment. I would surely take the antibiotics and live to see another day. So I did decide to treat the calf with an antibiotic to treat the hoof rot.
So to cure the worms… I had asked Peter while at the dinner, How would you handle that? His reply was to use some Basic H. Without much thought I jotted my note down and enjoyed the rest of my evening. Two days later while I was at Fleet Farm, I seeked out the Basic H and could not find it. I looked online on my phone and found a picture. At this point I realized I had some at home and that it was a product sold outside of stores through A vendor. Fortunately for me my Sister is one of those Shaklee vendors. Several weeks back she sent me a link that read Shaklee your farm. I missed out on the good info and found it this time. I am excited to treat my cows with the product giving no adverse side effects.
If anyone is looking for any Shaklee products. Feel free to email, call or text my sister Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-636-5182
This past week Kevin and I recorded a podcast where He asked me all kinds of questions about The Farmer and The Farm. Please if you have the time listen and share. We are both working in our local communities. Each in our own way. But keeping it local is important and part of the reason I am on the journey I am.
Anyone that knows me would say that I’m extroverted. But very few things make me more nervous than speaking in front of a group of people, and although I had only Kevin in front of me, I felt anxious in front of the microphone at the begging but made a strong finish.
To listen you can visit his website by clicking on the image, or you can search and download on your iPhone in the podcasts app.
You can subscribe and listen to other local business share there stories as he releases an episode each Thursday.
Thank You Kevin!
August 11, 2016
More Bang For Your Buck!
One of the most important parts of producing local products is making sure the quality is great while still affordable. Items in the online store will be available to be purchased the same way as they had in the past. However I encourage you to pay on delivery as the preferred choice. I will select a cut of meat or a chicken within the selected weight range that you put into your cart. When you check out, you have two choices, log into Pay pal or create an account with The G Farm. When you create your account you will then be able to select to pay on delivery. I will then put together a bill for you to pay the exact amount per the weight of the goods at pickup or delivery. You can pay by check or cash, but you can also pay by credit card with an added 2.7% processing fee.
August 3, 2016
You can Farm!
Do you know a someone looking for opportunity to be part of a farming operation. I run and operate several functions on my farm but see opportunity every where. I would be happy to work with and learn alongside of folks looking to be part of the diverse action on the G Farm. I see opportunity in a perch fish or trout pond. Adding to our garden, bees, rabbits, and so much more. I don’t hire employees. They don’t work as hard for someone else and have little respect for the growing process that farming entails. I work in a system of partnerships and agreements. For example. Lets say that you and I work out something to sell jam made from raspberries grown on the farm. Well I planted, purchased, and have the land that the berries are on, I also have a market that purchases items a website and a social outlet to share the added growth. Lets say You have the jars, added costs that include time in picking and canning the goods. So in this scenario if you would come to me with a percentage, of profit to share, or something that will share value to the farm, I want to hear what you want to add. Keep in mine my holistic approach at farming as a whole. So if you think this is your opportunity, Send me an email at email@example.com and see where that will lead.
July 20, 2016
I hear you, getting into a farmers market is a bit tricky. I have called and called and tried and tried to get into several markets that would work around Emily’s and My own schedule. The issue with getting into a more prominent farmers market is that they have vendors that have sometimes been there for years. When I am applying for a particular market, the market manager asks what products that will be sold at our stand. And that’s where the trouble starts. Produce vendors have established themselves in a market and will not let up their strong hold on their share go to some new farmer. Its the market managers responsibility to keep a balance between vendors and consumers. So in order for a new position for The G Farm to get into a market someone would need to leave a market and hope that I am able to get the spot, or the market needs to grow in customers. And when I get into that market, Who knows if I will be able to sell both produce and meat from the farm. My personal strategy is to create my own market. That’s why the farm is on a busy highway. That’s why I’m not living an hour or better out away from the city, That’s why I have a on farm store and a diverse line of products. So what I get out of this is that Markets will determine who wins and looses. So if you want more vendors at a market, Get more customers to go so the manager will deem it appropriate to let a new vendor in too.
If anyone knows a willing establishment that would accept a produce stand that sits on a reasonably busy road, please let know. I Feel that this may be a solution for the interim.
July 14, 2016
I sell whole chicken, But you don’t have to eat them whole.
I have friends that ask me what I do with a whole chicken. While that answer is simple, I grill it to perfection, its not the only way to cook it. And I would expect that many of you would like to prepare meals that include parts of the chicken. I encourage you to try cutting up a chicken yourself some time. You cant mess it up and there is no wrong way to do it. I may have a little more experience in processing meat, but even the deer I learned on got eaten all the same. One of the major benefits of getting a whole chicken is that you can get so much use out of the parts you wouldn’t otherwise see. Next week I will go over some cooking ideas after you cut up your chicken.
Clean and inspect the inside and outside of the chicken. Even though its cleaned here on the farm, you should still do your best to inspect your meat.
Pull each leg away from the center of the chicken while cutting down between the drum, thigh and the rest of the chicken. You will find yourself at a hip joint that needs to be cut through. It can easily be dislocated out of joint removing the leg and thigh quarter. You can cut the leg from the thigh or leave it together depending on your preference.
There is a similar joint as you pull and cut between the wing and the breast. You can then further cut down the wing into the drummette, wingette and wing tip.
Locate the long breast bone of the chicken, between the two breasts. Starting with one side, slice your knife along that bone, as close to it as possible, then use your hand to gently separate the breast meat from the carcass. Use your knife to cut through whatever meat isn’t easily pulled off by hand.
Freeze and or cook the bird. Each household will be different but if you break down and piece out the wings for a meal. the breasts into its own packaging for some other meals. I hope you get the picture.
Striving to move in a positive direction…
Hello, the farm grows so fast and I don’t even recognize it. The time and energy I have put into the farm is surely visible to someone who comes by once in a while, while I feel I could be doing so much better. So what can I do to improve? I have put together a little survey that will take just a few short minutes if you have them. Click Here to leave Farm Feedback, or you can copy and paste this in your browser.
Thank you in advance.
June 29, 2016
Knee high by the 4th of July…
I am not growing much corn, but my grass is getting long.
Thank you to all that made it to the Pot luck this past weekend. I feel fortunate that there are so many people that have the desire to be in touch with their food. This farm is a unique place at a unique time. Keep an eye out for the next event this fall. I expect it will be when the pumpkins are ripe for the carving.
Tomorrow Emily and I will be in Hortonville at the Farmers market from 3 till 6:30. Come early and stay dry, It looks like the rain may come in as we wind down our evening. This week we will have beets, a salad mix, some squash and zucchini, peas, radish basil and plenty of other items. Unfortunately I do not have a license to sell meat at the market at this point. However, if you purchase something online at the farm store. You would be able to pick it up at the farmers market. The same is for the eggs and other items listed online.
June 15, 2016
Important Farm Updates:
The days are long and that is good for this farmer. I am making lots of progress so here are a few changes happening on The G Farm.
Sundays are going to be a new day open for business. I will be open from 9 AM until 1 PM.
The G Farm Barn Store is now open for business. In the past I have had products here and there. I am moving them all to one central location for a convenient stop, pay and go store.
Tuesdays are going to be a delivery day each and every week. The Zip codes that I will deliver to no questions asked include but are not limited to include these zip codes. This is called The G Farm Foodshed.
54113 54911 54931 54956
54130 54913 54942 54961
54136 54914 54944 54961
54140 54915 54947 54985
54901 54927 54952 54986
Each Wednesday of the week I will be at the Hortonville Farmers Market. This is located on Highway M right by the hardware store.
Why Wednesdays? Why Hortonville?
My friend Emily and I have been working all spring on a garden. She is a message therapist and is busy working and is available to make the Wednesday market. She is also on the Lake district board in Hortonville and calls it home.
We hope to see you soon!
Have you ever grilled a whole chicken?
This weekend is the beginning of grilling season. Why not take this opportunity to come pick up a fresh whole chicken before they go into the freezer. I will be available this weekend on extended hours. Friday June 27th from noon until 6 and Saturday June 28th from 9 until 2.
I expect that the birds will be between 4 and 6 pounds so expected prices will be between 18.75 and 22.50.
I will be butchering each of the next few days so these will be fresh as they get.
The online store is the best place to order products or to see what is available. The quantity is always up to date and you are able to purchase online and secure your items for pick up. You do not need to pay online although you may. There will be a pay by cash option at the end of the checkout process.
Remember, by supporting our farm you’re doing so much more than eating healthy, delicious foods. You are healing the planet through regenerative agriculture, supporting local family farming, and ensuring the humane treatment of livestock will continue here in Wisconsin.
A Special Thank You to Emily, Justin, Tanya Dan and Jim for helping put together this past weekends Post Crescent article and video. Here is a link to The Post Crescent in case you missed it. I am overwhelmed with support.
May 19, 2016
The Big News…
The G Farm is going to be covered this Saturday in the Appleton Post Crescent. The content will cover some of the how I got here and what lead me to farm. If you do not receive the paper be sure to check online at . The photographer had filmed me doing some of the chores and had a full interview. There will be a two minute video that will be online.
About a month ago I purchased 30 ducks. Many of them are male and full grown. The reason I purchased these was for the egg production. If you like farm fresh chicken eggs, I would urge you to try duck eggs. So whats a farmer to do with the ducks that done lay eggs… And as far as the eggs go. I only have 10 ducks laying, so that means a limited quantity. If they do well and I enjoy them on the farm, I’m sure I will find some more.
Mark your calendars this coming June 25th will be a Summer solstice pot luck and bonfire. I will be planing this more in the next few weeks.
Thank you for your support!
April 20, 2016
A new addition to the farm… Amanda
This past Saturday night a calf was born. I am very happy to see that the calf from Shelly is a girl. She has potential to be a milking cow. Shelly is the most Holstein of my cows and looks like she could be the best milker. Unfortunately, Shelly is very timid, and will not allow me to to get close enough to touch her let alone milk her. My hope is that in the next few years Wisconsin will allow milk to be sold directly from the farm. There has recently been a bill that is at the state that has some support. I haven’t heard anything since January but am hopefully that it is a sign of whats to come. I would encourage you if you are interested to take a peek at the Wisconsin Raw Milk Association website for some details.
I am not always the individual that is at the farm during the store hours but I assure you that someone is around and watching for you to stop by. Please honk if you are looking for me. I will be here myself for this weekend if you would like to shop and take a picture of the calf. As always the online Farm Store is up to date on quantity and place your order before you stop if you would like me to hold it for you.
April 13, 2016
Earth Day 2016
Earth care is important to me as a human on this planet we share. On The G Farm, my goal is to restore the property to beautiful food forest of abundance. When highway 10/45 was built the previous farm owner had sold sand and resources from the farm land. The excavation created the pond that is now present and will be used to keep the cattle watered while adding diversity to the property. When the construction crews had left the farm, the dirt that remained was no longer the rich topsoil that had once been present. Over the next hand full of years I will plant a huge variety of trees that produce a yield. Apple, cheery, oak, plum, chestnut, hickory maple, black locus and many more will be planted on couture with lanes of grass in between for the farm animals to graze. One day I hope to have a farm looking somewhat like Mark Shepard’s New Forrest Farm in southern WI.
March 10, 2016
The system and the numbers
The next few months will be quite magical with the births of the first caves, delivery of the yellow chicks and the little piggies. Along with the animals, one of the hidden focuses I have for this property is to rebuild and give life back to the soil. I feel strongly that a healthy soil will improve the pasture quality and therefore improve the carrying capacity of the space.
I am going to be using a strategy called leader follower grazing system. The train will be led by the cows. They will rotate across the pasture being moved each day to a new fresh space. The herd will eat nearly half of the grasses that they range on. They will trample and stomp some grass back into the ground but will be moved before they eat the grasses to a height 6 inches. The remaining grass will allow for little earth worms to stay cool wet and protected, along with a heaping pile of food. Following the cows will be turkey. They are going to peck and scratch the piles of manure keeping the grass patch below from being suffocated.
Another major component will be the chicken tractors. These 10×12 pens will be moved daily across a field in an area that is not fenced and is separate from where the cows are. The pigs will also be in a separate area and will be moved at least once a week. They are going to be residing in an area that has the poorest quality soil. They will root up the ground to some degree and then I will broadcast seed (seed by hand) after they move to give some better forage quality to that field. I will have to change my system as the ecosystem evolves, But this is a starting point.
So to start the year there will be 7 piglets coming in the next two weeks. Shortly after that there will be 500 Cornish cross chicks showing up. Through the year I will be raising and processing 2000 birds for the freezer in 4 separate batches. There will also be 2 batches of 100 turkeys. The cow herd will nearly double, as long as the five ladies calves are healthy plus last year’s calf, Lucy, making 11.
So until then I am going to continue to make some maple syrup and await the madness that ensues.
March 2, 2016
The Moses Experience
I had decided that the Moses conference would be a good place to continue to learn ethical practices on my farm. When I decided to attend, I had reached out to some friends to see if they would like to join me. I was pleased to know that I would not be learning alone. My agenda included topics ranging from pasture improvement, over wintering, pastured poultry and composting. Although the presentations were more than helpful and the relationships and acquaintances I had made were worth the price of admission. Some of the farmers were organic farmers practicing right here in the Valley.
I am not attempting to be an organic farmer myself, well at least at this point. My personal philosophy is that the label not only adds cost to the consumer but does not live up to the hype. I believe in Local food and an understanding of the farmers practices themselves hold much more weight than an obscure label.
If you choose to hire me as your local farmer, I would be happy to answer any and all questions regarding animal husbandry and the foods that these animals enjoy.
Going to Moses was revealing in that there are so many farmers who are doing great work. I wish the greatest success to each of them. Leaving the farm would not be possible without the help from Sam and Kayla. Thank you both for your help.
I would also like to thank everyone who has purchased anything from me. Each and every sale is integral to the growth of this farm. I would appreciate any feed back that you have on the quality of the food you buy, the service I bring and the husbandry I practice. With your support I believe that we will make a dent in the status qua agricultural system. Thank you for your continued support and please share with your family and friends. I will need all of the visibility I can gain to continue to grow.