A few weeks ago I had a chance to meet part of my Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I don’t want to offend the vegetarians, but this picture very well may include that bird. I snapped a shot of these birds at Falling Sky Farm, now of Chime, Arkansas. Mr. Homesteader was so impressed with the operations that for a week afterwards, no one could say chicken without him launching into an explanation of Falling Sky Farm’s operations and attributes. The things that make Falling Sky Farm stand out include the freshness of the graze, the complete lack of odor, and the cleanliness. Falling Sky Farm, naturally producing healthier food, stands in stark contrast to the factory farms that resulted in the recall of billions of eggs.
All of the animals at Falling Sky Farm graze on pasture. What is most remarkable is that they get moved to fresh pasture either once or twice a day, depending on the animal. Look at how rich this light grazing technique leaves the pasture, even after Arkansas’s extraordinarily hot summer and drought.
Frequent moving of the animals lets the manure composts easily on its own, in place, never leaving a strong smell like you find on factory farms. The lack of concentrated manure also means that flies aren’t attracted in large numbers. With this system, animals never rest in their own waste, reducing disease. Here you can see the chicken “tractors” in the distance and the rectangles indicating where they were in the past few days.
Pasture raising also eliminates bad bacteria from animals’ guts; the bacteria just don’t grow on pasture feed. Finally, pasture raising increases the good Omega-3 fatty acids, helping you balance out the cholesterol that can come with eating animal products. This hen promises she’ll produce better eggs!
As Congress debates a new food safety law, the Senate concluded that small farms with less than $500k in annual business that direct market within 275 miles of the farm should be exempt from tighter regulation unless they’re found guilty of distributing tainted food. I think the amendment exempting small farms makes sense both for supporting local, diverse food sources and for saving tax payers’ money. Well-run small farms are naturally healthier.
Have recent food recalls changed the food that you buy and how you shop and eat?
(edited Nov. 19, after the Senate included the exemption.)