Spring Farm Update - Grazing Begins, New Website Launched, Help for Farmers Rising

Spring Farm Update - Grazing Begins, New Website Launched, Help for Farmers Rising


It's been over a month since our last update so we have a lot of news to catch up on!

All the spring rains and muddy conditions we endured in recent weeks are starting to pay off with rapidly greening up of our pastures.  Grasses in some fields at our Dundee farm are close to two feet tall already so we cut the Moo Crew loose this week for a few hours on that lush green growth.  It will take a week or two for their rumens to adjust to fresh grass vs. the hay they have been eating since November, so we will ease them into a full pasture diet over the next several weeks.  Our raw milk customers may notice a slight change in the taste of the milk during this transition period. 

We have a number of the dairy cows dried off now preparing for their spring calving, most of which are due in the first couple of weeks in May.  Assuming all goes well with the calving we should have an improved milk supply by mid-May. 

The laying hens have been out on the spring pastures for the last several weeks, and egg production is slowly improving but we are still having problems with our organic feed mill. They have been trying to get the custom No Corn/No Soy feed blend for the laying hens where we want it, but if we can't get that resolved soon we may have to switch back to a simpler soy-free organic feed. 

The pasture growth at our Wisconsin farm seems to be about a week behind the Dundee farm.  We will likely start grazing the beef herd there full-time in another 5 - 7 days although they are getting some fresh grass now in their winter sacrifice paddock.  And our first batch of broiler (meat) chickens will be leaving the brooder house for the field shelters next week. We have over 1500 Freedom Ranger chicks in the brooder house and 350 or so five-day old turkey poults in the barn, so our busy season has officially kicked into high gear!


You may have noticed the look of the blog post has changed, and if you are reading this on your mobile device it should be much easier to navigate than previous posts.  After much work and numerous delays we finally launched our new website on April Fools Day (just in case it didn't work).  Those of you purchasing products on the new website have probably noticed the much smoother store checkout and payment process, especially for mobile devices. The new site is built on the Shopify platform which is supposed to be the best for ecommerce sites. That may be true but we are still working out some kinks and learning how to navigate all the features, so please bear with us for a few more weeks.  


To celebrate the launch of the new website, we are now offering free shipping on all online orders of $250 or more.  We ship 1-day ground to all locations within Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Indiana.  Check out our new selection of grass-fed/pasture-raised meat bundles. Most orders are shipped on Monday from the previous week. 


We still have space for a few more kiddos in three of our farm camps in June - our Lil' Farmers Day Camp for 7-9 year-olds and Greenhorns Day Camp for 10-12 year-olds.  We are also taking reservations for the weekly Saturday farm tours that start on May 4th.  Learn more and reserve space today on the Camps and Events page of our new website. 


We haven't received any local produce in yet, but our grass-fed beef supply is super with nearly every cut available now including the hard to find steaks, organ meats, and even soup bones. Other products of note in the farm store:

  • Willy dropped off a fresh load of raw local honey products this week, including two sizes of regular honey, comb honey, pollen, propolis, and beeswax
  • New shipment of local organic potatoes from Igl Farms in Wisconsin
  • From Pure Indian Foods we now have the Best Shilajit Resin Ever and Alphonso Mango Puree
  • Pork Lard and Beef Tallow are back in stock, as well as the best Beef Bone Broth you've ever tasted.

Our on-site organic vegetable grower, Karolina, is busy getting her seedlings started in the hoophouse and some of the cold-tolerant crops into the ground.  She is also looking for new members in her CSA program, where you can get a bag of fresh-picked local produce every week.  Learn more about her CSA.


We have long been supporters of Farmers Rising, a local non-profit farmer training organization formerly know as Angelic Organics Learning Center.  I have personally served on their Board of Directors for many years and hosted a number of field days and events at our farm. 

Their eco-friendly straw-bale office building near Caledonia recently suffered some wind and rain damage and the 20+ year old roof needs to be replaced.  Unfortunately funds are tight so we are helping to "raise the roof" so they can continue their important work. Learn more and please donate here.

That's all for now, stay healthy out there.  We hope to see everyone out at the farm soon!


Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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1 comment

Planning our first visit on Friday, May 17. Looking forward to putting something on the grill that afternoon!

John Devine

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