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Archive for October, 2010

Here is a short video of Steve moving the cows today. Nothing special about this—we move the cows every day to a fresh piece of pasture, sometimes twice a day. On the other hand, we just learned that the feedlot beef industry considers it acceptable to use electric cattle prods as long as you use them on 2% or fewer of the cattle you handle. I thought maybe folks should see how cattle behave in our management system. Needless to say we don’t own a cattle prod.

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We have just been down to Montgomery, New York to visit our friends, Steve and Gene Pirog at Bettinger Bluff Farm. We went to check out their operation, and as usual we were impressed with what we saw.

Advance orders have now reserved all of our own supply of beef for 2010—I did not even reserve a supply for myself! So for my benefit, and for the benefit of some of our customers who are in the same boat as me, we have arranged to buy a few market-ready steers from the Pirogs. We will bring the steers to New Hampshire in December and have them processed at our facility for pickup just before Christmas.

So if you are like me—interested in buying beef for this year and haven’t placed your order yet—we can still accommodate you. Please let us know as soon as possible.

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We have posted before about the controversy over the National Organic Standard strengthening its outdoor access requirement. But we just found this great video by the Cornucopia Institute that explains the issue superbly. Cornucopia has also published a full report on the matter, including a really useful list of how all the organic egg  brands measure up. Interestingly, the only national brand that gets top marks is Vital Farms (sold at Whole Foods). Last I checked, they were getting $5.99 a dozen. This report might jack that price even higher!

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What is Omar doing to that poor sheep? Actually, he is learning how to “tip” a sheep at a recent livestock field school run by the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project of Tufts University. Once tipped into this pose, sheep are very relaxed and happy to lie back and let the handler trim hooves, administer a vaccine, etc. without resistance. We have had a lot of inquiries about lamb recently. We probably won’t be adding lamb to the menu right away, mainly because our perimeter fence will need major reinforcement first. But it is clearly on our minds, and we’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll have to remind Omar not to try that on a cow.

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