It’s resolution time– a chance to reshape or reform some area of our l
It’s hot. It’s dry. And it’s getting really, really dry.
What does this mean for the farm?
Overall, our farm is doing really well. Our pastures look great considering the little rainfall we’ve had this year. The cows are still happily grazing in the pasture even though they have less green grass and are not producing record quantities of milk.
Our nurse cows, calves, and sheep grazing our dry-land pasture.
The animals most affected by the drought and extreme temperatures are the pigs and chickens. The animals themselves are doing pretty well, but we’re having a harder time sourcing their food supply.
We have always purchased organically grown grains from local farmers to feed the pigs and chickens. Unfortunately, the organic field pea crop in Kansas this year yielded very little grain. This is also a very unique crop for this region, but it gives us an alternative to soybeans.
I tried sourcing it from other Kansas farmers. Then I called farmers in Nebraska. I kept hearing the same story of drought. Eventually, I made my way all the way to North Dakota where I found regeneratively and organically grown field peas from a friend of a friend.
This is where I need your help.
We’re trying to haul a semi load of peas from Minot, North Dakota to our farm, but we cannot find a trucking company that will do this specific haul. Do you know anyone with the capabilities of hauling bulk grain long distance? Please reply to this email if you have any leads!
I do not say this to produce fear about food supply. I know we will find a way to feed our pigs and chickens. Our back up plan would be to purchase organic soybeans.
I’m sharing this because it’s the reality of raising niche food and also the reality of the really extreme weather conditions. I know of only one other farmer who sells pork that is both pasture raised AND organically fed. Sourcing quality organically grown grain is hard.
We still have plenty of food at the farm, but we want you to understand that the extreme weather patterns do affect things around here. Is it sustainable to haul in grain from that far away? Should we be raising animals that require so many added inputs? Should we find poultry that does a better job foraging? We’re asking these questions all the time.
This week our son Luke received seven Muscovy ducks. They are excellent foragers and good mothers. We’re partially raising them to see if duck would be a good meat to sell in the store. I’d love to hear – how do you feel about duck?
We’re constantly having discussions about what is best for the earth, the farmers, the consumers, the community, and the world as a whole. As farmers, we know that in some years we have abundance, other years we have just enough, and sometimes there is scarcity.
A huge attribute of Jako Farm is that we’re diversified. We do not produce only dairy or only beef. We have multiple protein sources. We’ve also had a farm store for 17 years, so we have planned and lived through several droughts.
What can you do?
You can pray for rain. You can also continue to support our farm or other local farms. And if you have any leads on how we can get that grain here, we’d sure love that, too!
Here’s to the beauty of the direct connection between farmers and consumers and the ability to help each other out!