Saturday, January 1, 2011

Shiloh Knoll Farm Newsletter

Shiloh Knoll Farm
Winter 2011 Newsletter

Hello Friends,

I'm grateful to God for allowing my family to live in this beautiful part of the country, and for giving us the means to provide a little real food for folks like you who take responsibility for your family's health and choose a better option than conventional fare. I applaud you, this country needs your wisdom and encouragement to do better.

Spring saw the arrival of our first batch of broilers. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed processing the birds! Well, that and tasting the final product... I couldn't believe the flavor and how my body reacted positively to meat that was free of hormones, antibiotics, unnatural feed, and raised on green clover rather than in confinement houses. It's not all roses, though. We faced a lot of trials this year, with weather and varmints causing the most trouble, yet through all of my mistakes I gained experience. Because of that, I am confident and excited about raising chickens again, and hopefully will have pasture-raised and home processed chicken and turkey for you next year. In a few months I will send out an e-mail where you can place an order!

Summer brought three new calves to our farm, who are now happily bouncing around the field and growing into big cows as I write this! This is definitely one of the perks of farm life. Our Jersey cows, Mattie and Jani, went on another journey with me this year, as I learned about and started implementing managed-intensive grazing. They learned how to respect the halter, and I learned to respect all that they give us – real milk, beautiful calves for future milk and beef production, valuable fertilizer for healthy grass, and lessons in patience and perseverance. I couldn't count how many times they have made me madder than a hornet, yet cause me to turn right around and laugh at their antics. Animals are a blessing, not a production unit to be exploited.

Fall brought the taste of blackberry blossom honey from our bee hives, and homemade applesauce with honey and cinnamon topped the list of family favorites. Our second batch of broilers, turkeys, and three pigs lived happily and fulfilled their purpose... :) Hearing people rave about the flavor and deep color of milk-fed pork makes me want to raise pigs again in the future. We'll have to see what next year brings! Another arrival was our short-term milker, the Holstein, Nevada. She was a great experience for me, learning how to handle and care for a much larger cow, and she fed our calves well. I'm transferring her to another good home and hope to add Opal the Jersey to our herd in April! Exciting times.

And now this Winter season of cold mornings also teaches me many things. The sky proclaims the handiwork of the Creator as the sun rises, gleaming red on new snow. The bees, barely moving in their hives, yet staying alive and waiting for the first pollen rush of spring teach me the need to have a season of rest. Studying human and animal nutritional needs shows our complexity that no scientist will ever be able to totally define in a laboratory. God knew better than man when he designed calves to drink real milk, chickens to scratch at bugs, pigs to dig in the dirt, and cows to eat grass. My job is simple: learn more and more how to follow His perfect design.

Blessings to you all, and once again thank you for a great year!

~ Emily Sauble
Shiloh Knoll Farm

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