Although we are not Certified Organic, our practices meet USDA Organic Standards. Come visit our farm and learn firsthand that there are:
- No Artificial Fertilizers
- No Artificial Pesticides
- No Artificial Herbicides
- No Added Hormones
- No Antibiotics
- No Animal By-Products
And we go beyond USDA Organic Standards:
- Increasing biodiversity and decreasing bare ground
- Increasing the effectiveness of the water that falls on our land
- Ensuring that minerals present in our soil are cycling in our ecosystem efficiently
- Harvesting solar energy in our “living solar panel” of plant species in our pastures
- Building soil and ecosystem health
Our Approach to Raising Beef
We believe in the approach that building health is better than fighting disease. We finish 1.5-year-old, mostly Beefmaster, Angus/Limousine, Charolais, and Hereford cattle on our 120 acres of non-sprayed irrigated pasture. This season we began building our cow/calf operation, starting by breeding our 13 heifers with a Longhorn bull, and while we will continue to purchase and finish grassfed beef cattle in the short term to meet our production needs, we have a goal of breeding our whole herd on-site by the 2016 season.
We ensure that we know the herds that our animals come from, and that they are only fed legumes, forbs, and grasses, have had no antibiotics, no steroids and no added hormones before arriving on our property. The only supplement they receive once on our property is access to a natural salt block (we use Redmond Real Salt for our cattle and ourselves).
We move our cattle every few days to fresh pasture in a process known as mob grazing. We use low stress stock handling techniques, usually just calling the cows so they follow.
We have our cows slaughtered at Steving Meats in Kersey, Colorado, a locally owned and USDA approved processor. They dry-age our beef for 14-21 days and then vacuum pack the cuts. We have chosen this facility because they have skilled employees who treat our animals humanely and slaughter only 10 beef animals per day compared to larger corporate facilities that butcher hundreds of animals per hour.
Our Approach to Gardening
Our vegetables are grown on 2-4 acres that have been maintained with compost and manure since 1945. We rotate our vegetable patch with annuals, pasture, and fallow to ensure proper health of our soil. We are experimenting with some companion planting and no-till gardening to further increase the health of the biology in our soil and to ensure continuity of habitat for predator species of insects which help with pest control. We start our own seedlings in our strawbale or partially below-ground greenhouses.
Our Approach to Work
We grow healthy, tasty food using realistic time management, focused energy, and attention.
We share with others the rhythms of farming and promote a task-oriented approach to work in a time-oriented world.
We balance work and rest. We create ways for people to participate in and support the farm.
We profit from livestock and crops. We create a work culture that trusts, welcomes creativity and fearlessness, and honors wisdom and experience.
We invest in teachers for the farm. We create appropriate social activities. We dedicate time to maintain equipment and grounds. We engage in conscious proactive land stewardship.
The Crack O’ Dawn Newsletter