My client recently left NYC, took her kids and moved to the country. A single mother with two amazing kids, left the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and set up an organic sustainable farm in upstate New York. They grow most of their own food. They compost, reuse pretty much everything, waste nothing and use animals for pest control. It looks like ‘the simple life’, but truthfully it is hard work that makes you strong and is thoroughly rewarding. The animals are heritage breeds (endangered species), which means they need to be farmed properly or they go extinct. Got that vegans?
This particular weekend I went upstate to the farm to help prepare for Hurricane Irene. I took all these beautiful photos with my Blackberry. There’s also a short video where my little buddy (who I have been coaching since he was 10 yrs old) takes us on a guided tour of their sustainable, small family farm.
Clouds rolling in… As Hurricane Irene approached, we had to harvest all the produce as fast as possible…
Unlike commercial tomatoes which taste like water, these babies are super delicious.
Canning/jarring is no joke; it took a lot of time. Since the kids are inspired (they have no desire to watch TV or play video games), they don’t need to be asked to help out. There is no attitude, no bribery and no corporal punishment has ever been necessary. In fact, these kids can school 90% of the fitness industry and will embarrass any chubby dietitian with their knowledge of real food nutrition. I love these kids and brag about them like they are mine…but seriously, they are awesome. The whole family works together like umm, a family. And now there is food to last for months.
The produce is organically grown (without chemicals) and most are heirloom varieties. They are big, juicy, delicious and nutrient dense.
We get raw cow’s dairy from a farm down the road and grass fed beef, venison & wild game from another farm close by. The people are friendly and supportive of each other like a community is supposed to.
And just in case you still have some doubts about organic farming, before you see more awesome photos, here are a few facts for ya…
Organic farming can’t feed the world…
When people who worship GMO at the church of Biotech regurgitate this thought killing cliche, the first thing to do is ask them what they themselves are doing to feed the world. What’s that? That’s what I thought. Secondly, The world is not experiencing a global food shortage; overall food production continues to exceed demand. The problem with starvation and malnutrition is politics & economics.
Rodale Institute’s thirty year trial:
The hallmark of a truly sustainable system is its ability to regenerate itself. When it comes to farming, the key to sustainable agriculture is healthy soil, since this is the foundation for present and future growth.
Organic farming is far superior to conventional systems when it comes to building, maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil. For soil health alone, organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional. When one also considers yields, economic viability, energy usage, and human health, it’s clear that organic farming is sustainable, while current conventional practices are not.
After thirty years of a rigorous side-by-side comparison, the Rodale Institute confidently concludes organic methods are improving the quality of our food, improving the health of our soils and water, and improving our nation’s rural areas. Organic agriculture is creating more jobs, providing a livable income for farmers, and restoring America’s confidence in our farming community and food system.
- Organic yields match conventional yields.
- Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.
- Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.
- Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient.
- Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases.
- Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.
Think you can’t afford organic food? My friends got you covered:
How cute are these little guys?!
The Nigerian Dwarf Goat is a miniature dairy goat from West Africa. Their milk has a sweeter taste; is higher in butterfat (6-10%) and higher in protein than milk from most breeds They can produce 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day! They don’t require as much space or feed as regular goats and are adorable. They are gentle, friendly and wait…look at the little one!
USDA poster from 1918, before it was illegal to grow or sell your own food.
Brahma Buff Chickens
Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. From the beginning Brahmas have been recognized not only for their unusual appearance and size, but also for their practical qualities. First and foremost Brahmas are found to be extremely hardy chickens. They are also good egg-layers for their size. Considered a superior winter-layer, they produce the bulk of their eggs from October to May. As a family fowl they were unequaled, and a large Brahma could feed a moderate-sized family.
Eggs from hens raised on pasture, as compared to commercially raised factory farm eggs:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D
- 50 % more folic acid
- 70 % more vitamin B12
Ducks, Guinea Fowl, Turkey & Geese
Mobile hen house (left) fertilizes the land without chemicals. Word to the bird!
Guinea Fowl. Deer Ticks Beware!
Guinea Fowl will consume large amounts of insects and seldom bother your garden or flowers. They are easy and inexpensive to raise. Once started, they fend for themselves, living on insects, seeds, and grasses. They control deer ticks, wood ticks, grasshoppers, box elder bugs, flies crickets, and all other insects. They will kill snakes, and will alert you to anything unusual. They will discourage rodents with their call and will kill and eat mice and small rats. http://www.guineafarm.com/guineas.html
The Cayuga, to this day, is recognized as one of the hardiest of the domestic ducks and are easily tamed if hand-raised. They tolerate harsh winters of the northeast and can produce many offspring. The Cayuga averages 7-8 lbs. and has the ability to obtain much of its diet from foraging, when given appropriate areas to explore for food. http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/waterfowl/cayuga.html
Chocolate Turkeys and African Gray Geese.
Yeah, they’re pretty, but don’t mess with geese. No, seriously, don’t mess around. You saw what they did to US Airways in ’09. They recently received a new shipment of ‘regular’ turkeys (shipping mistake made by the breeder) and they are noticeably weaker and slower than the heritage breed turkeys.
Meet Zeus. The world’s most handsome horse.
Friesians descend from the “Great Horses” native to northern Europe. The Friesian is a historic driving and riding horse breed from the province of Friesland in The Netherlands. Once seen, the boldness and elegance of the Friesian is unforgettable. http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/friesian.html
Guinea Hogs – an amazing animal for small family farms.
The Guinea Hog is a small, black breed of swine that is unique to the United States. Also known as the Pineywoods Guinea, Guinea Forest Hog, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pig, the breed was once the most numerous pig breed found on homesteads in the Southeast. Today there are fewer than 200.
Guinea Hogs are, however, appropriate for use in diversified, sustainable agriculture. They would be an excellent choice where there is need for the services of hogs (such as grazing, rooting, tilling compost and garden soil, and pest control) and also the desire for a small breed. Under such husbandry, Guinea Hogs would thrive, as they always have.
Bacon Facts for Haters
I find it incredibly annoying how ignorant and bigoted people are towards hogs. I encourage everyone to read ‘Good To Eat’ by Marvin Harris. In fact, anything by Marvin Harris is worth your time. It explains the origins of food taboos and why certain cultures hate and/or worship animals.The sooner people can shed their outdated superstitions, fears & bigotry, the healthier they would be and the more support they can give to animals and small family farms.
For the bacon fearing orthorexics, or anyone who wants to know more FACTS and less OPINION, please read this article: Bacon: Health Food or Devil in Delicious Disguise.
True Blood: For those who want to know how pork raised and prepared differently affects your physiology differently, check this out:
Workshops: Next spring we will be offering educational workshops and weekend retreats on sustainable farming, traditional foods, nutrition for fertility/pregnancy, children’s health & fitness and parenting secrets for raising inspired kids that kick ass!
Tour of Freedom Farms
The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race by Jared Diamond, Prof. UCLA School of Medicine
Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.
On the Benefits of Small Farms
What’s Happening to Our Farmland?