Sioux Falls

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?

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.

Chicken pickin' time of year

My chickens are growing fast and we're already gearing up to put them all in the freezer by the weekend.

For those of you who have made your orders, you can pick them up Saturday, the 26th, after 4 in the afternoon or arrange to grab them sometime Sunday afternoon.

If neither works for you, send me an email and we'll make something work.

 

I've been taking some pictures so everybody can enjoy just how beautiful the grass and chickens are.  I love this fresh time of year.

I just had 8 piglets born 2 days ago, make sure to have me show them to you when you come get your chickens!  I'll have some pictures up on my next blog post.

Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

Where else can you find such happy chickens?

Where else can you find such happy chickens?

Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

I will have chicken legs, thighs, wings, breast and such available, I'll post prices and options on the Farm Store page once I figure out what kind of effort it takes to process them so.

Looking forward to seeing you!

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.

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!

Soil health, the basis of all health and well being.

In my experience reading health tips and tricks, only in the "radical/alternative" health world have I found consistent emphasis on the importance of meat and vegetables raised in/on healthy soil.

I believe soil condition is one of the most overlooked factors in determining where healthy food comes from.

First, before anything else, we need to know what healthy soil is.

A balanced and complete soil has more individual life forms in a teaspoon's worth, than the human population on earth.  

Unfortunately, soil that is tilled often, chemically bombarded, and compacted by heavy machinery is continually set back in developing the complexity needed for health and wellness.

Alternatively, healthy soil should only be lightly ruffled, periodically massaged by animal feet, fertilized with fresh manure, and left to rest until plant growth has fully recovered.

If you are concerned with the quality of your food, you should be aware of how your farmer treats his/her soil.  Herein is the importance of shopping local, food literacy is the first step towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Major health tip: Just because it's labeled organic doesn't mean it's healthy and nutritious.  Often times, organic methods are just as, or more, destructive than non-organic.

Stay healthy my friends :)