Aug 2011

Raw Milk and Grass-Fed Beef:  Nutritionally Superior

Raw milk and grass-fed beef not only taste better, but are far healthier for you as well.  CLA, or Conjugated Linoleic Acid, is an important nutrient found in Larga Visa raw milk and grass-fed beef products. CLA is a cancer-fighting fat that has been known to help reduce the risk of cardivascular disease and helps fight inflamation.  According to Joe Robinson's Eat Wild site, "In animal studies, very small amounts of CLA have blocked all three stages of cancer: 1) initiation, 2) promotion, and 3) metastasis.  Most anti-cancer agents block only one of these stages.  What's more, CLA has slowed the growth of an unusally wide variety of tumors, including cancers of the skin, breast, prostate, and colon."  This is a significant health benefit that comes easily with each jar of raw milk you and your family consume.  Studies have shown that levels of CLA in grass-fed animal products are 3 to 5 times higher than in grain-fed animalsAnd other studies indicate that the form of CLA found in synthetic supplements is no substitute for the real thing, and has been known to reduce the amount of good cholesterol and increasing glucose levels (not good!)  Authentic, naturallly existing CLA from grass-fed animals has no known negative side effects.  The concentration of CLA is highest in full-fat dairy products, and there is almost no CLA in low and no-fat dairy products.  One more good reason to indulge in all that wonderful cream!

Ice Cream:  the perfect summertime solution for extra raw milk!

Have summer vacations left you with extra milk?  Are you unsatisfied with the grocery store ice cream options?  Want to increase your intake of CLA?  Try this recipe for delicious, homemade ice cream that is best when made with raw milk!

Larga Vista Ice Cream

4 eggs
1 cup pure maple syrup
4 cups cream
4 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Beat the eggs until thick, about 5 minutes.  Add maple syrup to the eggs while beating.  Add the cream, milk, salt, and vanilla, and mix well to thoroughly combine.  From here, follow the directions for your ice cream maker to produce 4 quarts of ice cream fit for a king! 

Raw Milk & Grass Fed Beef
Ice Cream!

Corn & Beets are Here!
Larga Vista's Holistic Goal:  Part 3
Rotational Grazing

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Corn & Beets are here, and Melons are on the way!                                     
Larga Vista beets and sweet corn have arrived at the markets, and Doug's famous watermelons will be arriving soon!  Grass fed beef is also available once more, so be sure to stock up before we run out again. 
The sweet corn varieties that we planted this year include:
  • Peaches 'n Cream:  A very sweet white and yellow corn variety
  • Silver Queen:  An old-time sweet corn with white kernels
  • Serendipity Sweet:  Tender bi-color kernels with a balance between sweet and traditional corn flavor
Unfortunately, corn season does not last forever, and a good way to enjoy this delicious summer treat is to freeze some and use it all winter long.  Corn must be blanched before it is placed in the freezer in order to preserve the texture and flavor.  To do this, simply bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Shuck the corn and remove the silks.  Submerge the ears in the boiling water and return to a boil.  Corn should remain in the pot for 4-6 minutes.  Immediately following, remove the corn from the boiling water and submerge in a large bowl of ice water.  This stops the cooking process.  Keep the corn in ice water for at 4-6 minutes, or until cooled.  You can then freeze whole cobs by placing in freezer bags (vacuum sealed or regular) removing as much air as possible.  You can also cut the corn from the cob before freezing.  This method does take up less room in the freezer.  Be sure to label your corn with the date, and keep in the freezer until you are ready to use it.  Avoid buying frozen corn this winter--stock up on Larga Vista sweet corn now and freeze for later!
This little guy cannot resist eating his corn raw right at the market!

Beets are one of the sweetest vegetables, and Larga Vista produces firm, large ones perfect for eating raw, canning, or cooking.  The varieties we are selling include:
  • Bull's Blood:  An heirloom seed from 1840 that produces large dark red beets perfect for canning, and tender, sweet deep red-burgandy foliage
  • Golden Beets: These won't stain your fingers like their red counterparts!  A sweet mild beet that is perfect for cooking or eaten raw

Larga Vista's Holistic Goal:  Part Three

For a quick review, our Holistic goal is comprised of three parts, the first two being Quality of Life and Production. We finish this three-part series on Larga Vista's Holistic Goal with a final segment on Resource Base:         
  • Our customers, shareholders, and our community will view us as land and animal stewards; procuring nutrient-dense food and a healthy, sustainable, and functional farm.  Our farm will be a part of a vibrant rural community that honors and supports its agricultural heritage.
  • Our family will be healthy; engaged in meaningful work, while our business will be financially sound, which includes a plan for a comfortable retirement.  We will also have a plan for passing the farm to our children.
  • Our farmland will have healthy and grass-covered soils, with functional water and mineral cycles.  It will have a sufficient supply of water for irrigation.
  • We will have the freedom to farm and produce food the way we choose!
We hope that by sharing this you have gained some insight into what principles guide and direct our actions on the farm.  Through outlining and committing to a holistic goal, we are able to live knowing what we want, and discovering how to get there is all part of the fun of life on the farm!

This is Holly, born to Lexi in July 2011.

Rotational Grazing
Rotational grazing plays a vital role in the health of Larga Vista Ranch and is a method to reach the third part (Resource Base) of our Holistic Goal.  By continuously moving the cows to fresh pasture we are able to grow better grass, raise healthier and happier animals, and farm in a way that is beneficial to the environment.  Rotational grazing, when done properly, has the following positive effects:
  • Improved soil health:  Animals return nutrients to the soil through manure, which decomposes into the soil.  Manure is given time to breakdown which increases soil fertility.
  • Improved grass production:  Healthy soil produces healthier plants.  Hoof trampling helps to imbed seeds into the soil and grasses continue to germinate.  Foraging further encourages plant growth.
  • Reduced soil erosion:  Because cattle are not on any one section of pasture for too long, permanent vegetative cover develops and becomes thicker, and less top soil is lost due to erosion.
  • Improved air conditions:  Native grasses in the pasture draw greenhouse gasses out of the air and store them in the soil where they fuel further plant growth. 
  • Improved rainfall penetration:  Vegetation in the pasture encourages rainfall to seep into the ground rather than errode soil as runoff.
  • Improved wildlife habitat:  An increase in lush vegetation creates a supurb environment for insects, earthworms, and other wildlife that increase the diversity of the farm and the health of the soil and land.
  • Carbon sequesteration:  Grasses store carbon in underground root masses, returning nutrients to the soil.
  • Improved animal health:  The animals are constantly on fresh grass, eliminating the need for grain in the diet.  Lush, fresh grasses mean greater forage consumption for the cows, and in the dairy herd this equals greater milk production.
  • Increased nutritional content of the animal products:  Healthy, happy, grass-fed animals produce milk and meat that contain many health benefits not found in grain-fed animal products.
Glory in the Sudax

We hope you have enjoyed this installment of our newsletter.  For further reading, please check out the Farm Beet, a collection of articles about the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers cooperative, of which Larga Vista plays a vital part.

Thank you for your continued support of Larga Vista Ranch!

Kim and Doug Wiley and sons