Going back to the land is so exciting after years of city life. The view of the pond with trees swaying in the wind is so peaceful. The sounds of geese sqwaking over who knows what and roosters crowing for attention of his "girls" and turkeys gobbling at the chrome bumper on the pickup only add to the comfort of nature. No annoying toms allowed!
As part of sustainable agriculture, herbs and vegetables need fertile compost. Our choice of fertile compost-makers are heritage chickens, heritage turkeys, geese, St. Croix sheep and large black hogs. After years of struggling with predators, we now have large guard dogs to keep the varmits at bay. These are Akbash or Great Pyrenees/Anatolian mix dogs that will sit with the animals and protect them from anything that remotely might make it onto the property. We don't even lose precious vegetables to squirrels or baby chicks to hawks! (Ok, so they haven't figured out that snakes are a threat to baby chicks yet.)
Our large black hogs are wonderful heritage pigs. Great manure-makers. Grow well on pasture, and the best pork you will ever eat! Pigs are a HOOT, gentle, friendly and quite smart actually. Have you ever seen a piglet jump across a pasture like a little lamb would? Besides being the most gentle pigs you can find, Large Black Hogs make some of the best-eating fresh pork available.
Sheep are even less trouble than pigs to raise. And they keep the shrubbery down and the pastures mowed. And wow what a wholesome meat!
The dream is to grow medicinal herbs and ALL sorts of edibles. Herbs are beautiful plants in very many ways. Farming is so wonderfully unpredicatble, especially the weather.
We want to be better than organic. Just eliminating the pesticides isn't enough. You can follow the organic rules and still have mass-produced, malnourished food. We consider the organic rules are a minimum standard. We do much more for the sake of our animals as well as ourselves. Our farm is trying to form the sustainable circle of life, putting back into the soil more than we take out, so that what we grow is the best nutrition possible.
The mass-produced food supply has absolutely ruined the flavor and nutrition of our sustenance by always taking from the land and never putting anything back. In one generation, we have so many people with so many chronic health problems. I blame our mass-produced barely nutritious food as the cause of many of these problems such as "fibromyalgia," all kinds of chronic fatigue syndromes and rheumatic diseases, even cancer.
I also blame our mass-produced food consisting of mostly cheap-subsidized wheat and dairy on our family's Celiac Syndrome . We feed only gluten-free food to our animals mostly because yours truly gets sick handling the feed, but also just in case some of the gluten comes through to the meat. Feeling better is so worth it all!
We have been developing our pastures to feed our animals, inching toward the goal of growing everything ourselves that we need to feed them. The birds eat whatever they can find in their pasture, supplemented with our own blend of certified organic seed and supplements including extra flax seed for omega-3 goodness. The animals are treated like royalty and are not overfed, so they develop their true wonderful flavor. You'll never want to go back to store-bought chickens again!
To be able to grow medicinal herbs in the harsh, variable Texas climate, it first takes research as to what will grow and what won't, and under what conditions. Clicking on the Medicinal Herbs arrow on your left will take you to our Angelica Herbs database on how to grow medicinal herbs (it's a work in progress). Learning is life-long.
"Speaking of human beings, our progress has become in part an effort to complicate simplicity. Farmers and fisherman remain the only true nobility of modern society, working to feed us from the natural world we left behind. Without them, modern society with all its banks and shops and power lines and water pipes would collapse." --Thor Hyerdahl