Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Feed is the problem with Sustainability...

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My family and I are now considered farmers (Kinda. Really, Farmers?). I know it's not on our actual farm land yet, but I'm finding out how hard it actually is to do the right thing when it comes to the chickens.

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The right thing to do is to pay the extra price for non-GMO, non-antibiotic laden feed, which we do. Well, I can tell you, the cost is double if not a little more for good, organic quality feed. The problem in part, besides the extra expense is, it is not sustainable. In order for it to be, I would need to grow the grain(corn/wheat) and protein source(soy/lentils/etc..), harvest it and mill it along with other minerals in the process.

I can see how easy it would be to just hop down to the local feed store and buy what ever it is they have and call it a day. Doing the right thing takes work, integrity, and a belief that what you are doing will somehow make a difference to the people who buy products from you. Also, hoping your customers understand why it cost more for a quality, highly nutritional, non-antibiotic feed, non-fecal breathing, no guilty conscience for feeding this to my kids, healthy chicken.

This expense definitely eats into the bottom line. I have been looking extremely hard for a local source that is producing grain that would be somewhat feasible, that grows organically and grows enough to be a reliable source. It's hard but I'm keeping a positive attitude that its out there and I just haven't found it yet.


"A farm includes the passion of the farmer's heart, the interest of the farm's customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm -- it's everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism. The tragedy of our time is that cultural philosophies and market realities are squeezing life's vitality out of most farms."
Joel Salatin

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