A unifying connection in meeting needs

This world is driven by needs and wants, every move is to fulfill one or the other.

When our needs are easily and consistently met, we tend to forget the importance of our needs being met. We are then susceptible to losing our empathy for needy people.

This is how we can become focused on our own wants, and heedless of others’ needs.

Generally, I think people have forgotten about their needs here in the U.S. and are often directed solely by wants.

There’s nothing wrong with this necessarily, but most will lose touch with reality.

When I focus on my needs, I realize that I am an extremely rich man and capable of sharing. When I focus on my wants, I’m continually dissatisfied with my present and capable of hoarding.

my selfishness gets in the way at times

It seems to me, that what I really need out of life is food, water, shelter, comfortable clothing, fellowship with friends and family, and an assurance that those things will continue.

Sadly, I often take these blessings for granted. What if I could just focus on meeting my own needs, and then help others meet their needs with my surpluses?

I get caught up in thinking I “need” this, that, and the other, so I’ve gotta keep my excess for myself or I won’t get everything I want.

In Ecclesiastes 11, we’re told to cast our bread upon the waters and after many days it’ll return to us.

So the more I am unselfish, the more I will eventually have to be unselfish with. That sounds like a good life to me.

Perhaps the solution for global unrest?

I was thinking, if everybody took these lessons to heart, would there be a war on this earth? Would there be starvation, disease, loneliness, fear, or hatred? Maybe yes, but I’d say certainly not to today’s extent.

I think the world has in excess all the necessities for its human population. Due to selfish pride, the human population just doesn’t allow all the needs to be met.

Here’s what we can do.

The ones making a positive impact today are those who personally make the effort to meet the need. Share your love, food, shelter, clothing, fellowship, whatever you’ve got, with those who lack. Fill the gap, make the difference, offer a hand up.

I know this is the key to enjoying my own life, and it makes the world a better place to live besides.

What do you say, are you with me?

Turning the heat up, composting the life into soil (hopefully)

You know that horrible stench you smell when driving past feed lots full of cattle, shortly after some rains?

There’s folks that say “it’s the country, this is how things are done, if you don’t like it you’re free to leave.”

I find this to be very shortsighted and irresponsible philosophy.

Our senses are very important to us, but beyond that, they mostly know how to tell us what is good and what is bad.

When something smells bad, it probably is. Your nose is telling you, there’s pathogens in there, or toxic levels of something, you need to vacate the area.

Trust your senses when they tell you something is wrong.

 Elias helping Daddy clean out the brooding area.

Elias helping Daddy clean out the brooding area.

Stabilizing Animal By-Products

I took the picture above to illustrate just how safe and harmless animal manure can be. I’m completely happy to have Elias helping me clean the brooder.

There are very few offensive odors and the job is even pretty easy.

How come?

Carbon.

The carbon to nitrogen ratio is very easy to grasp. High carbon material is your more woody plant products, wood chips are a great example with 400 carbons to one nitrogen.

Low carbon material like green grass have a C:N ratio of about 30:1.

Manure, especially from poultry and hogs is very high in nitrogen. If manure isn’t mixed with high carbon material, the N will evaporate into the air causing those unhealthy smells.

As you can see in my picture, I keep my little birdies very well bedded with high carbon wood chips to stabilize and retain the nitrogen.

Biology, the key to breaking down manures healthily

Many people think that animal manure is the perfect thing to improve soil health in your garden, and in a way, they’re correct.

In our modern day soils however, there’s a missing link. We need healthy soil biology to break down manures so that they are useful and helpful in our soils.

Healthy soil biology is unbelievably diverse, balanced, and aerobic, meaning oxygenated.

Dr. Elaine Ingham is a great resource for learning about the bacterial and fungal components, and also the protozoa and nematodes that ought to be present.

With the correct soil biology, animal manures can be broken down and stored in soils as nutrients ready to be taken up by the growing plants.

The best part about this is there are no bad smells or hazardous issues to the environment if it’s done properly.

Composting, means to an end

So how do we get soil biology?

Composting.

I mix all the correct components, add the right amount of water, and monitor temperatures until I need to turn the pile and continue the process.

It’s more complex than I want to get into here, but bring it up sometime when you see me if you want to know more, or email me.

 My chicken manure compost pile that I’m hoping to kick-start next years garden with.

My chicken manure compost pile that I’m hoping to kick-start next years garden with.

How does one monitor for a balanced soil biology?

Check out my sweet little microscope below. With it, I can determine what soil life is present and how it ought to change in order to grow the best crops.

Of course, there’s a learning curve, and I’m just muddling along, making a bunch of mistakes, but learning lots.

Hopefully I’ll have a sufficient grasp on the ins and outs of this whole process within a couple years or less.

It’s very technical, let me tell you.

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The best part of all

I love my vegetables, but especially really flavorful ones.

Balancing your garden’s soil biology just for your plants is the best way to put world class veggies on your table.

We should be composting all the animal manure from confinement operations everywhere and applying it to all our crop soils. It’s the best way to capture nutrients from animal waste, and simultaneously the best way to grow nutrient rich crops.

In my mind, there’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

Refreshed, Refocused, Renewed

Allison, Elias, and I just returned from our annual church convention two weeks ago and they were such good days.

You know that special feeling when you’re in a room with a couple hundred other souls that are humbly desiring God to guide and direct their life? That’s what this was, and you could feel a tremendous energy there.

We sat in almost 20 hours of gospel meetings over the course of 4 days, and I can say for myself that I always leave these conventions with my life changed.

The Adventure

We took our new tent from Cabela’s with us and enjoyed some outdoor sleeping. Elias had never done that before, he thought it was fantastic.

Just before bed time every night, he would be scampering here, there, and all over that tent because it was so exciting.

The weather was ideal and we had the company of my brother, his family, and my sister in neighboring tents.

Our weekend was perfect in every way.

Here’s what I discovered for myself

Before the convention, God had been bringing a couple chapters from 1st Timothy to my attention.

In 3:1-7 I found a wonderful outline for my own life, I feel that God wants me to live up to these verses in their entirety. Some of the things mentioned there are really easy for me to do, others I realize I fall quite short.

6:6-12 These verses were both a warning and direction to me. I’m very ambitious and all too often I get caught up in desiring so many things that I don’t have.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” -If I can just remember this, I’ll be in good shape.

The take away

God laid on my heart a need to realize what He has blessed me with today, and to be a good and faithful servant in taking care of those blessings.

The devil is so good at deceiving me into thinking I’d be happy if I just had this, or I just had that.

Thankfully, taking time every day to be quiet, pray, meditate, and read a few verses really helps me stay grateful for what I have and content in my place.

When I take an honest look at things, I know that I have been given so much more than I deserve in all aspects of my life.

What are a couple of the greatest things God has given you?

The beginnings of a young farmer

Do you remember those days when you were young and trying to figure out what you wanted to be in life?

I was 20 years old when I attended a grazing school to learn more about livestock, pastures, and managing them profitably.

After that eye opening experience, I knew what I wanted to do. I set out to bring a farm together where I could raise animals in their natural environment.

 Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Success is rare with start up farms

The fact of the matter is, my career of choice is a difficult one to get into. However, I think I've discovered the solution. 

I believe that the more I enable you to find clean wholesome nutrition, the closer I'll be to making my dream a reality.

My goal is to develop a community of like-minded folks who love my little family, my little farm, my services, and everything that we're trying to accomplish.

From that community, I will find the support needed to make my wildest schemes a functioning part of the real world.

 

Success is inevitable

This is my mindset, and I believe in it with everything I've got.

I know that I can fill a spot in your life that's been missing.  A connection to real food raised by someone you trust.

You know that every time you cook a Poultry Guy chicken, it'll be delicious, safe from food borne illnesses, and the birds always enjoy a life outdoors.

These are hard to find qualities and they are becoming more and more popular by the day.

 

The ultimate goal

I want you to employ me, I am at your service.  I will raise your chickens, turkeys, and pigs for now, hopefully other animals later.  If you need something I don't have, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I want you to enable me to bring on other helpful people to serve you in ways that I don't have time to.  For example, a gardener who can supply you with fresh vegetables, a dairyman who milks a few cows and makes cheeses, an intern who takes on daily duties so I can focus on other important things, etc...

I want you to enjoy the farm as if it were your own. Visit the pigs wallowing in their slough, check on the chickens chasing crickets, watch the turkeys strut around and show off, or simply enjoy the regular on-line updates.

I want you to tell your friends about this wonderful experience that I have to offer so that they can join in with us too.

 

This Farm is a work in progress

As we go along, I'm certain that all those things listed above will be happening at some point. It's only a matter of time before the opportunities fall into place and we're off and running.

Probably the biggest obstacle to kicking this all off at this very moment is land accessibility. 

I've continually got my eye out for the right opportunity to lease 10-20 acres and get this farm plan of mine on the map.

If you're on my email list, you'll be among the first to know what's happening when.

Stay tuned!

 

When did you discover the job or activity that you're most passionate about?

Leave your reply below!

So thankful to be back

Friday night, I came home for the first time in almost 3 weeks.  Regular readers know that I was up in Rugby, North Dakota, the geographical center of North America, installing this gym floor at the Armory.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I've heard, and it certainly seems true.  It was just so good to be back with my little family and spending time together again.

 Elias getting ready to tear into some delicious grilled maple smoke chicken, and fresh tomatoes and zucchini from a neighbor that Allison sautéed.

Elias getting ready to tear into some delicious grilled maple smoke chicken, and fresh tomatoes and zucchini from a neighbor that Allison sautéed.

Isn't it crazy how fast you fall behind on things when you're not around for a while? I feel like it'll take me another 3 weeks to get everything in order again.

Which, by that time I'll be really close to processing my last batch of chickens for the year.

 These guys were tiny little yellow fluff balls when I left, they change so quickly.

These guys were tiny little yellow fluff balls when I left, they change so quickly.

Poor Allison was taking care of Elias, her store, her marketing position for the Farmer's Market, attending two Farmer's Market events a week, tending my baby chicks in the brooder, and rotating my pigs through their slough.

Thankfully her mother could help out a bunch with the store and Elias, but still, Allison was absolutely swamped.

I'm very proud of my wife for keeping the ball rolling while I was gone, no one else could have handled everything so helpfully for me.

I love my family and my animals, being with them is just the best place to be. Don't you agree?

It's never too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving

Most Thanksgiving day cooks wait until the last minute to pick up a frozen turkey from Wal-Mart for $1.40/lb, just in time for the big day.

These people are making a sad, uninformed, mistake if you ask me.

Why is this a mistake?  Because that turkey was never let outside to enjoy the sunshine, chase grasshoppers, eat all kinds of plants, and get lots of good healthy exercise.

That turkey from Wal-Mart had its beak clipped so it couldn't cannibalize its brethren(really high stress environment), had the ends of its toes whacked off so it wouldn't hurt the people handling them(they have really powerful legs), was raised wing to wing with thousands of others, fed a strict diet of high protein feed to make them gain weight as fast as possible, and then likely had a long uncomfortable highway ride, huddled in a cramped cage to their ultimate demise.

I'm giving you the very best case scenario. Reality was possibly far worse when we take into account the tendency for calculated animal abuse in these operations. Also, not to mention the vaccines and drugs used to keep them on their feet so they could be sold.

No one really knows what you're serving your family when you buy from Wal-Mart.

Everybody knows how my turkeys were treated, raised, kept, etc... I'm a compassionate, transparent, husbandman and I love my animals.  I'll be sending you pictures and everything.

I get them straight from the hatchery, only provide unmedicated feeds, administer no vaccinations, give them freedom to roam, slaughter them as quickly and pain free as possible right on the farm, and inject no "flavor enhancing solutions" to improve their taste(none needed when raised correctly), and they keep all their toes and beaks until the very end.

So there it is folks, order from me and you'll have a clear conscience when you give thanks on Thanksgiving day with your friends and family.

 

I am ordering babies on the 13th of this month, order your turkey before then to secure one.  I won't have many extras, if any.   

Please specify desired weight.

I am planning to process my birds the weekend before Thanksgiving so they're fresh and ready for your table. 

I also plan to have them weighing about 11-20 lbs.

My asking price will be $2.99/lb.

That's a total price of $33-$60 depending on size.

 

Email me here: lorenfisk@thepoultryguy.com to make your order and ask any questions you might come up with.

Finally, pictures and news of my little black hogs!

A bit over a month ago, my three sows gave birth to 21 baby pigs.  You should come out and see them sometime soon, they're the cutest little animals to ever scamper the earth.

Just to emphasis, come visit my little pigs, they're adorable and worth a trip. Send me a quick email to see when we're around, we're generally available in the evenings.

lorenfisk@thepoultryguy.com

Here's some pictures just in case you can't make it, but pictures never do justice to the real world.

 This was that bright new morning when I walked out to the pig pen and discovered their arrival.  It's  one of the most enjoyable surprises I can think of.

This was that bright new morning when I walked out to the pig pen and discovered their arrival.  It's one of the most enjoyable surprises I can think of.

  Fast forward about 5-6 weeks  and you can see how much they've grown compared to the picture above.

Fast forward about 5-6 weeks and you can see how much they've grown compared to the picture above.

 I call this my Hog Sled. I just invented it so I could easily move my piggies here and there.   I dump some feed on the floor, they all pile in, and I shut the gate behind them.  It's really easy to motivate a pig.

I call this my Hog Sled. I just invented it so I could easily move my piggies here and there.  I dump some feed on the floor, they all pile in, and I shut the gate behind them. It's really easy to motivate a pig.

 I just got them out into this area, I'm very excited about my new setup here.  They will reside in this little square for  up to a week before I rotate them to a fresh and clean area.

I just got them out into this area, I'm very excited about my new setup here.  They will reside in this little square for up to a week before I rotate them to a fresh and clean area.

 This one wire is all I need to keep them where I want them.  It's electrified and my little hogs regard it with great respect after they get zapped once or twice.

This one wire is all I need to keep them where I want them.  It's electrified and my little hogs regard it with great respect after they get zapped once or twice.

If you have kids or grandkids, bring them out and take a look.  They need to see these little piglets in real life.

Another one gone

Tomorrow morning, Allison, Elias and I are taking an unexpected trip to Wisconsin.

I got the text Sunday morning, it was the first thing I saw when I woke up.

"Your Uncle Daryl had a massive heart attack last night, he's gone."

So there it was, the 3rd death in my close family in under two years.  I'd like this trend to taper off here for a while.

However, much as I want to wish for things, we've definitely got to deal with reality and move forward.

All week I've been looking forward to finally arriving in Wisconsin to grieve with my family.  We're very tight knit, everybody will be there.

At this point, it's difficult for me to even believe, and I know my aunt and four cousins especially are dealing with some major shock right now. 

Thankfully, I know God has a perfect plan, and I trust in that.  I believe we will see some good things emerge from the chaos, in time.

I hope and pray that they seek the good Lord's guidance and comfort while they navigate such turbulence. 

If you would, I know they'd appreciate a few prayers sent their way.

Thanks, and best wishes.