In our years of farming, we’ve learned a lesson recently: it’s very hard for one place to do all things well.
In fact, most farms do one thing really well, and a number of other things fairly well. In the evolving small farm economy, it seems to us that the better part of wisdom is cooperation. We can each focus on our main thing and work together to offer consumers a variety of really good food things.
To that end, we are now working cooperatively with a dairy farm in Standish, Michigan to provide milk to dairy herd share owners. Joe and Brenda Golimbieski are experts in cow dairying, and we look forward to carrying their milk and milk products, beef burger, and their neighbors’ eggs and lamb to our customers, while they share our chicken and pork with their customers.
Hill High Dairy, home of BJ’s Cowboarding is a certified organic dairy in Standish, MI. Joe and Brenda Golimbieski have milked cows for a living for most of their lives. They have been certified organic for several years now. Their cows enjoy pasture in season, hay from their farm in the winter, and snack on GMO free corn or small grains that Joe grows for them at milking time. The herd is comprised of Jerseys, Belted Dutch, Shorthorns, Holsteins, and one Brown Swiss cow. Joe has sought out A2 bulls so that the milk is nearly 100% A2 beta-casein protein. (You can read more about that here if it’s a new issue to you.) He milks approximately 80 cows twice a day and supplies milk to several folks, including Horizon and Jenny Samuelson’s herd share Co-op in southern Michigan. The milking system is modern and Grade A. The milk is piped from the cow into the bulk milk tank, where it is quickly cooled and held at 40 degrees.
Joe and Brenda have experience working with herd shares and are excited to co-op with Baker’s Green Acres. Because they specialize in dairy, they bring opportunities and products that we didn’t have the resources to offer. We look forward to offering cream and butter “services” down the road. They also offer beef burger and work with other local producers to offer eggs and lamb. We are excited to be able to add more services and items to the chicken and pork we already specialize in.
The concept of “ideas” has been teasing around in my head the last couple of days. It occurs to me that often times we have ideas about something: what it is, who it is, what we should do. These ideas guide our lives, for better or evil. These ideas need to be carefully thought through and then held onto tightly. We must carefully consider the Ideas we hold and the consequences of them.
There was a facebook conversation–if it could be called that–surrounding “feral” pigs that a fellow was considering purchasing for meat for his family. There were a lot of quotes from V for Vendetta that came to mind.
“Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
-Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
“Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. ”
-Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
I saw all of this in the “conversation:” from “pigs that look ‘feral’ can carry up to 30 different diseases” (but CAFO pigs can’t??) to “just to be safe, ask your DNR.” Because of fear of something: war, terror, disease, jail, financial difficulty, we do nothing, say nothing when told we can’t have a certain breed of pig that is the perfect pig for our purposes, or that we can’t feed our children milk the way it was created, and that cream or butter from said milk would most assuredly stunt our growth. We have an idea that if we cooperate with authority our lives will be good. We learned as children not to question those over us. And look where we are. Outlawed farm pigs. Armed raids on peaceful farmers (check out the movie Farmageddon). People jailed for growing food for their children. How about laws in one state that you can’t feed food scraps to your pigs (I learned that in the “conversation.”) We won’t bring up Ferguson, Missioui and other political/social firestorms.
Ideas. Freedom. Self reliance (as opposed to government welfare). Free speech. Self defense. Freedom to exercise our personal religious convictions. Freedom from government intrusion and oversight in our homes (that’s the 3rd Ammendment). These are the ideas that some fellas had over 200 years ago.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”Declaration of Independence
We have an idea on our farm that when we eat food prepared as close to the way it was made as possible, it will help us to be more of what we are possible of. We are not the Creator, we are stewards of the creation and as such need to respect how it is supposed to work. We are not Dictators to Nature. Our right to raise animals and vegetables in their natural way and to eat their produce and share it with others is not a right given us by the government. With rights come responsibilities and so we have a responsibility to keep things wholesome and safe for our animals, ourselves, and our customers. Again, this responsibility is not heightened by government oversight as it is a natural thing. This is our Idea. It’s a powerful Idea.
Food Freedom: Join us in the Quest. It’s an idea…”and ideas are bulletproof.”
We are proud to host Dan Kitteredge and the High Bionutrient Crop Production course through our Anyone Can Farm program. The two day intensive course is on February 21 & 22. There is an introductory lecture and potluck on Sunday, December 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 (or so) at the Anyone Can Farm Bunkhouse. The address for that is 1719 Brinks Rd. Marion, 49665.
You can read more about the course at AnyoneCanFarm.com and at Bionutrient.org. You can sign up for the course through the Bionutrient Food Association website (see the end of the page). Please RSVP to Baker’s Green Acres or Anyone Can Farm for the December 7 evening. If you are wanting to take the class but can’t make it to the Introductory evening, please contact us to make arrangements.
If you haven’t had Baker Brothers’ Bird on your Thanksgiving table, you haven’t had a turkey to be thankful for! Joe and Keith have raised some fine birds again this year. We can vouch for them because we already tried one. It’s a perk of having the business holders under our roof. The meat was flavorful–even the white meat–and had a nice texture.
Here is what makes these birds fantastic:
- They have been raised on pasture, soaking in the sun and eating grass and bugs the way turkeys should. The nutrition they gain this way gives them the extra flavor and texture that sets them apart.
- They have been fed GMO free feed.
- They are hand processed on the farm for a stress free, chemical free harvest.
- They are never injected with a saline brine, they are 100% turkey.
- They are reasonably priced at a fair trade rate of $3.50/lb.
- They are fresh, not frozen, when you receive them.
To reserve your turkey, click “order now” and order to reserve your bird. The balance will be due at pick-up.
There are a few ways to acquire your turkey:
- Pick it up at the farm on Tuesday the 25th or Wednesday the 26th.
- Joe delivers in Cadillac on Tuesday evening for a $10 delivery charge.
- Rose delivers to the Kingsley area on Tuesday evenings for a 15% delivery charge.
- Mark delivers to Traverse City on Friday the 21st for a 15% delivery charge. If you want a Traverse City delivery, we need to know by Thursday the 20th to have it ready to go on Friday.
Here’s a couple videos of fun on the farm. Note that no little boys or pigs were hurt in the making of these movies. The boys got a bit cleaner, but no harm was done otherwise.
Have a great day!