New enterprise: The Tree Guy

Today, I brought home my very first wood chipper.  I'm pretty excited about this new piece of equipment and what I will be offering you very soon.

I've also got a chainsaw ordered and will pick it up next week hopefully.

Within two weeks, I'll have everything I need to show up at your place and clean up all the dead limbs, trees, brush, you name it. 

You won't have to touch a single stick.

If a windy storm blows through and knocks a tree over, or you have a windbreak that could use tidying up, contact me, I'll come take a look and give you a bid!

My contact Info is all on this page over here!

 

If you know somebody that would want me to do some clean up for them, please recommend me!

Just another April snow day!

 I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

 See? Warm and comfy!

See? Warm and comfy!

 Looking for more handouts :D

Looking for more handouts :D

 At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

 Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

 Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

 Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

 "Enjoying" the snow!

"Enjoying" the snow!

What is Pastured Poultry??

Let me answer your question! :-D

I raise my chickens out on pasture, hence Pastured Poultry. 

I can only raise them through the warmer months of the year because it gets too harsh and nasty out there in the winter.

The seasonal nature of my operation makes it tough for me to offer you my birds year 'round.  If you want chickens from me in the winter, I need you to buy a quantity for your freezer in the fall so you're stocked until spring.

I get my little chicks when they are days old and I keep them in a warm brooder with fresh wood shavings for 2-3 weeks depending on the weather.

On a nice sunshiny day, I move them to their outside pens.  It takes them a day or two to get used to their new situation, but they learn to pick through the plants and chase bugs before long.

My outdoor pens are called Chicken Tractors.  I move them to a fresh piece of ground every day to keep the birds clean and give them a new salad bar to pick through.

After 4-5 weeks on pasture, I harvest, package, and freeze them right here on my farm for you to take home and enjoy.

So far, I feed GMO corn and soybeans to my birds as it keeps my prices more affordable and it's easy to find a source.

If you want non-GMO fed poultry let me know, I would be happy to change things up if there are enough people asking for it.  Please be advised however, changes often increase expenses and therefore my prices.

My chickens keep very healthy when they're raised this way, I never have to use medications, hormones, or vaccinations ever.

My chickens are the cleanest, happiest, best cared for, and best tasting in South Dakota.  Try them out, you'll soon know what I'm talking about!

 

P.S.   If you want to be sure you'll get as many chickens as you want, contact me as early as possible. I order my first batch in early April, and my last batch by end of August. That's your yearly window to get chickens from me.

Where your meat comes from is good to know

I want to continue with my last story line and tell you a little about today's slaughter plants and how they operate.

I won't tell you everything I read in Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, because I think it may be too much for some of my readers.  For those of you interested in learning more, I suggest reading the book.

Typically, people working in these facilities are low income groups living is poor neighborhoods and are on the losing end of our society.  This is the system we support when we buy cheap meat.

These same people are given repetitive jobs that are often harmful to their physical and mental health.  For instance, people on the kill floor who are killing animals day in and day out become completely numb to any kind of feeling for the animals they slaughter.  

Animals on kill floors are regularly abused by people who've lost their compassion.

I believe it's necessary to respect an animal for the sacrifice it makes for us humans to continue living. I hesitate to kill animals and it's a hard thing for me to do, but I understand the necessity.

When mechanical slaughterers are used, they sometimes malfunction and don't get the job done.  However, the line doesn't stop and chickens are sent down the line to be scalded alive. 

This is unacceptable to me, but it's an area almost completely overlooked by regulation.  There are inspectors on the job, but they are spread too thin and cannot keep up with the fast moving lines.

Mechanical eviscerators are exclusively used for gutting chickens, but are very crude.  Often they rupture intestines and douse the carcass in fecal matter.  I guess they think that's okay because it all gets washed off... Yeah, right.

These are just a few grievances, you can read about more in Eating Animals if you like.  Any one of those things above should be enough to make us think twice about buying cheaply produced meat. 

The system is rotten through and through.

Eating animals, is there a difference?

I read a book recently that I found to be rather repulsive, disgusting, and quite eye opening.

Eating Animals was the title, written by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Jonathan reminded me of the importance of choosing to eat ethically raised animals verses animals that have been consistently abused.  He described in gory detail the issues surrounding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the slaughtering plants that ultimately process animals for our consumption.

Perhaps a question that should be answered is how do I define animal abuse?

In my mind, I appreciate animals as God's creation, and as such, they play a very special role on this planet.  Does a pig perform his God given duty while residing on concrete slats hanging over a manure pit where air quality is horrible at best?  Do chickens get to obey their instincts in a barn that never allows sunlight, and they wallow in their own manure coated wood chips?

Animals denied fulfillment of their own specific nature are all you can find in Wal-mart, and there are only a few good options at Cobourns.  

In the name of "cheap" meat, we have, as a society, allowed CAFOs to exist and they're expanding even today.

Unfortunately, though this meat may be cheap on the store shelf, there are many hidden costs in the production of these animal products.

The environment suffers, employees suffer, and ultimately consumers suffer too.  CAFO meat is unhealthy on every level of production and consumption, this is becoming very well documented.

So please, take the time to find out how your meat reached your plate.  Every bite you take is influencing the world we live in, and that can be a good thing.

Next time, I'll share what I learned about slaughter plants from this book, Eating Animals. I'll tell you this: it's disturbing.

Already a year of changed plans

Back in December, Allison and I were certain that we'd be moving from Cavour to Carpenter as the next step up the ladder.  And, we thought we'd be there by the end of February.

Reality hit us as time passed faster than we got things accomplished, and we figured out that we'd be lucky to move by April.

Then suddenly, my father in-law Vaughn came up with a pile of work here on the family farm and needs help.  So for now it looks like we're staying at least one more year, perhaps longer depending on how things go.

So much for our grand scheme that we were so sure of just two months ago.  I've heard that life is full of changed plans, so I guess I'd better get used to it.

 

Continuing Education

Meanwhile, I received about 22 hours of Dr. Elaine Ingham recordings and have been listening to them as fast as I can.  I've nearly made it all the way through.

Elaine is a Soil Micro-Biologist and has discovered a multitude of really helpful information for farmers.  She says that putting biology (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes) back in the soil (because it was mostly lost in the 1930's dust bowl) typically increases crop yields by 50-300%.

Not only is there higher production, but the nutritional quality is better too.

Since I'm a young man who needs a competitive edge in the agricultural world, learning her methods would be a major influence in putting my farm together.

I've determined that I need to take her courses and maybe even become a certified Soil Food Web consultant.  I've got to learn how to balance soils and make them healthy again by using nature's tools.

If I can get signed up by the 28th of February, I can save $2488 in tuition.  Their price for the four classes right now is $2500, and I need to find some financing.

If you would like to pitch in and help me out, give me a call and I'll gladly answer any questions you come up with.  (605) 350-5659

This is the website with the courses if you want to take a look for yourself: environmentcelebration.com

Thank you very much!

Have you noticed this too?

Lately, I've been struck by the numerous billboards, and TV/radio commercials featuring promotional soda pop schemes.

They're absolutely everywhere and I can't help but think of the expense of their campaign for publicity.  I did a quick web search and discovered that in 2014, Coca-Cola spent $3.499 billion on advertising.

Wow...

Here's the part that's disgusting to me.  I discovered that kids are often the most targeted group for this ginormous marketing plan.  Kids.

I'm beginning to understand my role as an educator to my children regarding the realities of things they might find attractive.

My theory regarding the multitude of soft drink ads, was that these companies are losing business and are trying to insure their future.

I found an encouraging article in the NY Times that said between '03 and '14, children drinking a pop on any given day dropped by 20%, and fell 11% in adults.

Another site said that bottled water sales surpassed soft drink sales for the first time in 2016.  They also mentioned that we simultaneously hit a 31 year low in soft drink consumption.

How's that for some uplifting news?  It seems to me that we're moving in the right direction as a society in this area anyhow.

Awesome Turkey Soup Recipe, and it's Super Easy!

I've come to the conclusion that very few people want a whole turkey at any time other than Thanksgiving.

Now that that's established, my question for you is: how do you want your turkey?

I can de-bone the breasts, make fillets, dice it, or just leave it whole.

I can offer turkey legs and thighs separate if you prefer dark meat.

I can package backs, necks, and other bones together for a dynamite turkey stock combination too!

Quick, tell me how you like your turkey so I can get started! lorenfisk@thepoultryguy.com

Turkey Stock Recipe:

  1. Place bones in a pot
  2. Cover with water
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce to a simmer
  5. Cook for 24 hours or until the bones easily smash between your fingers
  6. Strain out the bones and use the stock for soup!
  7. Freeze any extra stock for later use

Top Notch Turkey Soup Recipe:

  1. De-bone breast and dice into 3/4 inch squares (or order this service from me)
  2. Lightly cook in skillet, just so it turns white on the outside
  3. Place meat in Turkey Stock with your choice of veggies
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Simmer until veggies are tender!

Now you have the exact way Allison and I love making turkey soup.  No nasty junk from who knows where, just awesome food! Enjoy!