Started as a conventional farm many decades ago, our farm has transformed many times in order to survive as changes in the economy, regulation, and consumer demand transpired.
Caring for the Earth.
One realization we had is that conventional farming, before the introduction of sprays and fertilizers, looks almost exactly like USDA certified organic. We realized that migrating our fields to organic standards was really more about taking away the harmful elements that make “grow large” feasible economically, if not ecologically.
Farming in the US began more and more to move in two opposite directions: grow large and farm volume (selling at low subsidized prices) or stay small and market directly to the consumer. As our farm transitioned from one generation to the next, we realized we had to choose a path: Our business strategy moving forward would be to grow small and market to a strong network of direct-to-consumer, high quality, wholesome, products.
Toward this goal, two steps began simultaneously: 1) building our creamery; and 2) certifying all of our land with USDA and OEFFA* organic certifications. All crop land and pastures have been certified organic since 2018.
*Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Dairy farming, small grains, and vegetable farming (tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar beets, pumkins, etc.) have always been the lifeblood of our farm. We resolved to maintain that heritage—to build upon it, and to grow and explore on our ongoing journey as a family farm.
Foods for a Healthy Planet
In addition to wanting to bring great products to the market, we also wanted to do this in a manner that most closely mimics nature. This has brought us to begin incorporating regenerative agriculture practices.
Our cows and laying hens are pastured on shared lands. The cows are left out to graze a relatively small patch of grass. Once the cattle have properly grazed, the grass is allowed to rest for a few days. After a few days of rest, we move the chickens to the pasture. The rest period allows for the cow nutrients (manure) to grow the chickens’ favorite treats, high protein bugs. The bugs and beautiful pasture will make up the majority of the chickens’ diet for approximately 8 to 9 months of the year. This practice is what gives the eggs a bright orange yolk and strong egg white. The remainder of the year, the chickens will still have access to free ranging, but feed will need to be supplemented.