In the house I grew up in, dinner was a main focus of our day. It didn’t matter how much traffic dad ran into on his way home from work or who was expected at what field for which sports practice, mom always managed to hit the perfect window when we could have all five forks on the dinner table.
This was a place for spirited debate, for checking in with one another, for hooting with excitement that the corn was finally ready from the farm stand. There was no room for dishonesty at the dinner table. Not in our conversation, and certainly not in our food. We had good, honest food with good, honest people, and were taught not to accept anything less. Those five forks, and the people that held them, led me to a building a life around growing and knowing my food.
...these are my animals!
My animals are raised out on pasture, with constant access to sunshine and fresh, varied forage. The rotation system is such that they forage an area, fertilize it with their manure, and aerate it through scratching/rooting, but move on before causing damage. These animals are kept in small groups which keeps their stress levels down. Throughout their lives they enjoy plenty of exercise and are encouraged to explore their natural tendencies and curiosities; at the end of their lives they are handled with care and respect.
Unlike conventional operations, Five Forks Farm does not administer vaccines, hormones, or appetite stimulants. Part of their diet includes plant based, homemade remedies to support healthy immune systems (big thanks to Constance at Night Raven Holistic Health). In the off chance that an animal develops a life threatening illness that causes them extreme pain, antibiotics may be employed as a life-saving measure. I try to avoid this, but at a certain point animal suffering is an animal welfare issue. Their diet would then be altered to naturally rebuild their gut health (yogurt, fermented food, etc).
This venture is small scale, regenerative, animal welfare minded agriculture. It was started on the belief that a better world is possible, and that better food is a good place to start.