Featuring certified organic, premium quality meats and eggs from the happy animals that graze, wallow and peck on our pastures.
are used -EVER- on our farm or in processing our products.
While Pike Valley Farm is certified as "organic" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and must comply with strict regulations, we go "beyond organic" by choosing to follow sustainable farming methods. This type of agriculture is not a new idea, but as more and more of the nation's prime farm land becomes depleted by chemical fertilizers or covered with blacktop, it is imperative to nurture that which remains. This can be achieved by using the updated traditional methods, now known as "sustainable," that rely in large part on the wisdom of a bygone era.
Our animals freely choose their own diet. They like a variety of grasses and prefer new shoots, which have the highest levels of nutrients. To provide them with fresh forage, we move them continually. Cows and chickens are moved to fresh growth pasture every day. Pigs and laying hens are moved every two to three days. None of our animals have to wander through their own droppings.
This process, offering animals as much fresh, green material as their own genetic potential will allow, translates into more nutritious meats, poultry, and eggs. Studies in Europe and the U.S. have shown that meat from livestock raised according to this model are higher in Omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), but less saturated fat.
While pasture rotation is more labor intensive than other methods of raising livestock, this practice prevents over-grazing and allows soil to rebuild naturally. Pastures are a healthy green without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that migrate into streams, rivers, and lakes. Some believe sustainable methods are unnecessary or unprofitable, but as a society, we cannot afford to continue to use agricultural chemicals that deplete the soil and contaminate water sources, as described in this article in Time magazine.
Sustainable farming practices help maintain healthy eco-systems, protecting land, water, and wildlife for future generations. As more food is produced using these methods, the entire planet will benefit. The wisdom and economic viability of these methods have become widely known through the efforts of Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, whose methods and philosophy have been the subject of articles in USA Today and the Washington Post, plus Mother Jones and Mother Earth News magazines. If you want to learn more, our friend Joel is a regular columnist in Acres USA, American Agriculturalist, and Stockman Grass Farmer.
We hope you'll support the efforts of all farmers in your area who use sustainable farming methods.