Apr 2011

Volunteer Day was a Success!

Thanks to everyone who came out for the volunteer day on March 19th.  This was our very first volunteer day on the farm and despite being a bit short handed in terms of team leaders to head up work crews, things went well and we had beautiful weather!  We had about 25 people show up, including one family of 8!  Work began roughly around 10 am and we plowed through the area north of the dairy barn where materials from the old dairy had accumulated after the commercial dairy was lost nearly 20 years ago.  During most of that 20 year span, Doug was on the farm trying to just hold onto the last 50 acres. Needless to say, his days were filled with more lucrative tasks than organizing tin, wood, dairy equipment and cutting weeds!  Thanks to those of you who came down and blasted your way through numerous pick up loads of broken boards, tin, and weeds.  Next we’ll have the local church come with their scrap metal trailer to haul off and recycle all the steel and metal that we can no longer use.
All those who came down for the day were treated to a lunch of raw milk, grilled brats, and creamed corn all from the farm!
The next volunteer day will be May 21st and we will need help with transplanting pepper and tomato plants in the garden.  All of you with a strong back who like to dig in the dirt, come on down!
Please email boonewiley@aol.com if you'd like to spend a day at the farm with us.

Lunchtime!         Weeding!

*Mark your calendars for the next volunteer day coming up May 21st!*

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Pastured Pork

Some of you have been down to the farm and have seen our big and little oinkers out on the pasture or in the garden.  Well, they are pretty happy and healthy too.
While some farmers will farrow (birth) the piglets on pasture and finish them up in a pen, we raise them entirely on pasture.  Many of you have tasted the difference between CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) pork and ours, but did you know that raising them on pasture has many other benefits?  Pastured pork is higher in namely vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids due to a grass-based diet.  Pastured pork is also better for the environment, more humane, better for rural communities and farm workers, is generally safer to eat, and increases agricultural biodiversity.

Big D was the first sow Doug raised almost 14 years ago (she died last year at 13) and after continually chasing her down to put her back in her pen, it dawned on him that she needed to be out on pasture rooting and grazing.  Once he got the fencing secure, he let her out.  And as he tells the story, she came trotting back later that day and gave him a big pig hug (she was a great pig).  He had finally heard her cries of "let me out!"

For more information on pastured pork, visit:  http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Benefits-of-Pastured-Pork

Holistic Goal Setting

What is a holistic goal?  The following summary, from a Managing Wholes website article by Wilma Kepple, describes holistic goal setting as "a way of making decisions that are sound financially, socially, and environmentally...and is a long-term, over-all blue print for what you want to create."
It takes much more than just the know-how of raising a dairy herd and daily milking activities to create a sucessful and sustainable raw milk dairy operation that serves the livestock, customers, farm, and farming family well.  Over the next few newsletters, we'd like to share our holistic goal for Larga Vista Ranch with you.
          Holistic goals have 3 parts:  1) Quality of Life, 2) Production, and 3) Resource Base
          We'll outline the Quality of Life segment first:
  • Our home is comfortable and functional
  • We spend time together as a family working, playing, traveling
  • We nurture honest, loving, communicative, and respectful relationships
  • We live a healthy and spiritual lifestyle
  • We are steadily becoming more financially secure
  • Our Community is thriving with healthy farms and people
  • We live free of government interference
You'll notice that this goal and its different facets state what we want from life, but not how to get there.  This critical component of holistic goal setting, focusing on the "what" and not the "how," allows for fluidity and experimentation on methods and techniques to reach the goal.
If you would like to learn more about holistic goal setting, please visit the Managing Wholes site, or consult the book, Holistic Management: a New Framework for Decision Making, by Allan Savory.



Thank you for your continued support of Larga Vista Ranch!

     The Wiley Family