My 2 year old girl would scream as I walked through the door in the evening from a day at the office.
She would run up and give me a great big hug. I couldn’t believe how fast she was growing and I was missing it.
Business trips and days at the office were getting in the way.
Some days I’d leave before she was up and come home after she was in bed. I wanted to be there for her more than that.
I wanted to raise her and teach her and my current situation wasn’t cutting it.
I gave up my desk job and moved My Wife (Kristi), I and our two children to my family’s farm to adopt a lifestyle where my children could work beside me every day.
After a couple years on the farm I went to a workshop where I learned a new concept called soil health.
Turns out that nutrition filled food comes from soil that is full of life (fungus, bacteria, nematodes, etc.)
I had never considered that I could and needed to farm in a way that would build top soil and make the farm more fertile every year.
I just thought I was meant to till, plant monocrops, water, spread chemical fertilizer, spray weeds and bugs with pesticides and harvest.
Now I was learning that for healthy soil, I needed to stop tilling, stop using chemical fertilizers and stop applying pesticides.
No big deal, right?
It was like saying, if you stop gassing up your car it will run better. Haha. Well as it turns out it’s true, not the gassing up your car thing, unfortunately.
I needed to change, but how?
Well, while at a homeschooling conference I ran into Jared Sorenson of Ruby Mountain Nourishing foods and he gave me the book, The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs, by Joel Salatin.
That’s when I began to learn that there was a different way to farm, a way that
grows nutritious plants and
healthy animals. Also food grown in this way is more nutrient dense, safer and nourishing.
My first step was to end the monocrops.
I started planting extra crops in with the our corn, like rye, clover and beats. Then grasses, turnips, radishes and kale in with our alfalfa.
Then we brought cows and chickens onto the land and started to let them graze and fertilize the land.
This wasn't normal grazing though.
Each day we moved them onto a fresh spot of pasture. This way they had fresh feed and their fertilizer was left behind to feed the soil.
The chickens than are more than happy to follow behind the cows and clean up the pasture. It's taking a lot of learning and were making progress.
Benefits to my own health
Why does my stomach hate me?
A question I asked myself too often growing up and into my adult life, it was normal for me to have an upset stomach and diarrhea.
I thought I just pulled the short straw in the digestion department.
Well, it turned out it was more like the law of the harvest.
The foods I was eating were the problem.
I’ve now learned that for me it’s important to eat healthy whole foods. Especially lots of greens and not so much grains.
I've changed my daily sandwich for a daily salad and cut out most processed foods and sugar. Doing so gives me more energy and makes me feel great.
Part of the education I want my children to have, is that healthy whole foods will help them feel good and be healthy.
It’s so much fun to not only take the education beyond the dinner table and into the field.
The kids help with the cows and we have discussions on how the soil affects the cows and how they fit into the soil food web.
Our oldest daughter (Samantha) when she turned 8 joined in by getting chickens and pasturing them a couple days behind the cows.
I celebrate each step taken towards feeding my family healthier food.
I’m grateful we can also offer some of our foods to your family.
We look forward to adding even more diversity to the farm in the future and we hope to have you join us on this journey of health, healing and discovery.
I'm happy to have my sister return to the farm and join us. Her love and care of animals is a real benefit. Here is her story.
David and I were married in 2016, and we have a lot of fun together whether it's sitting in our living room watching a movie, working out together, or eating at a local restaurant. David is from New Hampshire and I'm from Utah. We met while I was serving a church mission in the New England states and his aunt somehow new that we were meant for each other.
I grew up on a farm, but health, was something I did not understand. My parents did what they could by teaching me not to eat too many sweets or to overeat on food in general, but I was not healthy. Fruits and veggies were the bottom of my food list with carbs, sweets and meat at the top. By the time I entered college I had a type of acne around my mouth that was extremely painful and wouldn’t go away. I’ve never been enthusiastic to take pharmaceutical drugs, so I just lived with my condition for a few years.
My life changed while I was serving my mission and was introduced to healthy eating. A wonderful woman, who is now my aunt in-law, taught me about why vegetables and fruit were so important in my diet and I even grew to enjoy the taste of them. I started eating fewer complex carbs, sweets, and meat and to my surprise the painful acne started to clear up. With the help of an allergist and cleaning up my diet, I was feeling great but still had a lot of questions. As I continued my health education, which I think many will agree can be pretty confusing, I came to two conclusions that I thought were absolute. My conclusions were that both sugar and meat were very bad for my health and I should avoid them as much as possible. This led into a nearly two-year period where I only ate meat if I was eating at someone's house meat was part of the meal.
David and I lived in Cedar City, UT for three years after we were married and had good jobs, but they came with a lot of stress. The older I get the more I learn how hard stress can be on the body and mind. Then Stan started to mention about me coming back to work on the farm with him. This was not part of my life plan; I did not want to live in the town I grew up with for the rest of my life. But Stan does his research and has fantastic ideas and can create a future in your mind that you want to help create. He introduced me to books and people that blew my mind and taught me that not all farming or meat is equal. There is a better way and I wanted to be part of that.
Did you know that grass fed/pastured meat can help heal your teeth, heart, and body? Neither did I, and no one talks about this, as least not enough people. Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals never told me any of this and I don't think they even know it. Both David and I were amazed about what we learned, but it makes complete sense. Of course, animals raised in a low stress, natural, and no chemical input are going to have healthier lives and be healthier to eat. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Now when I eat our pastured meat, I don't feel gross like I had eating CAFO (Concentrated animal feeding operations) meat. I'm not saying pastured meat is a miracle food...but it kind of is. The more you learn about it the more you learn that properly managed animals will heal the body as well as the earth.