Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Last weekend I got the special treat of having a few hours to work in my garden kid-free.  (Those boys are good helpers, but sometimes a girl just likes to go at it alone!)  The day was warm and sunny and the strawberries desperately needed to be transplanted to their new raised bed, so I clipped on the ipod and went to work.

Now, for those of you who don't know me is a huge part of my life.  I find myself remembering and even defining certain seasons of life by the songs that went with them.  As I worked away in the strawberry patch I began to realize that I get the same feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment from creating a nice garden as I do from making or listening to great music.  And then it occurred to me that it's also the same to me as decorating my home, finding beautiful art, or watching healthy cows and chickens in the pasture.  Perhaps this sense of satisfaction comes from something very fundamental in us as creatures made in the image of God, as stated so plainly in the Westminster Shorter Catechism...

"The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

When we view our occupations as gifts from God; as means to bring Him glory and to give us enjoyment only He can give, our "work" takes on a fuller, richer, more satisfying quality.  Even mundane things like pulling weeds or sifting rocks out of garden soil can be a joyful experience (albeit a reminder that we are definitely not living in the garden of Eden anymore)!  Have I completely "arrived" with this attitude?  Absolutely not.  Just last night we were moving our first batch of chickens out to pasture.  The boys helped me load them up 12 to a crate.  As I was carrying a stack of three crates (which was surprisingly heavy) out to the pasture, I felt the warm drippiness of chick poop trickling down my pant leg.  Then on the next load the stuff landed right on my foot, which wouldn't be so bad except that I was wearing flip flops.  I was grossed out.  What began as a fun family work activity turned into a burden to me, not because of the circumstances, but because of my attitude.

We probably all need a constant reminder from 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

With that, here are a few little bits of music/art/poetry that inspire me (or at least makes me want to sing along!)  What inspires you?

Happy Thought by R. L. Stevenson
"The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

"Cutting the Weeds" by Daniel Ridgway Knight
And lastly, a few of the tunes that were keeping me singing (with headphones on!) during my afternoon of garden work...

Diamond in the Rough--Jennifer Knapp

Long Time Gone--Dixie Chicks  (yes, yes, I know...good conservative Christian Republicans aren't supposed to like them anymore since their little incident with GW Bush but seriously, this is one of THE best sing-along songs.  Ever.

War in My Blood--Fiction Family  From an album that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did...a collaboration of Jon Foreman from Switchfoot and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek.  Stellar combo.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why Pastured Poultry?

I'm sure you're all wondering why it's worth spending double the cost of supermarket chicken for our pastured poultry from The Family Farm.  We encourage you to do your own research, but I'll highlight a few of the biggest reasons for you here, just to get you going...

1.  Health.  Chicken from the supermarket is raised on a grain ration almost entirely made of corn, which is high in energy but low in vitamins and minerals.  According to poultry expert Joel Salatin, "When animals are fed a high energy, low vitamin/mineral diet, they tend to have more saturated fat (cholesterol) in their meat, milk, or eggs, just like people.  When these same animals consume a large percentage of green material, the saturated fat of their animal protein diminishes."

2.  Organic.  We debated whether to give all organic feed or not, since organic feed is nearly double the cost.  In the end we decided to go all the way, both from a health standpoint and to make a deliberate point of supporting local organic farmers.  We will be getting our feed from a local farmer who has been certified organic for over 20 years.  [For pricing reasons, we would consider doing a separate batch sometime in the future that is not organic, but still raised on pasture.  If you would be interested in that, please leave a comment!]

*as a side note, we are not Certified Organic, nor are we seeking certification at this time.  We encourage you to come visit us, see how we raise our animals and get to know us.  We would much rather have our customers trust their farmers, not a government label...but that's another whole story!

3.  Humane animal treatment.  I'm sure you've all heard the stories about how poultry is raised on "factory farms"; overcrowded, reeking of ammonia from their urine, no windows, etc.  Our chickens will be outside in the fresh air all day, every day.  They will have fresh green grass every day and be able to peck at all the bugs, grubs, and worms their little chicken hearts desire.

4.  Local.  You can have the peace of mind of knowing who, where, and how your food was raised, and the satisfaction of supporting a business in your own community.  Our chickens are raised right here in Columbiaville from baby chick to broiler.  They are processed nearby at a local meat processor.  (In the next year or so we hope to begin processing our own as well!)

5.  Taste.  Pastured chicken just tastes different...more "chickenish"!  It's delicious!

Now that brings us to the final it worth it?  For our family, the answer is yes.  We hope you'll give it a try...once you do, we're pretty sure you'll be hooked!

So, what's the main reason you want to try pastured poultry from The Family Farm?  It can be one of our reasons, or a reason of your own!  Leave a comment on this post and we'll randomly choose one winner to receive 10% off your first order!