Happy New Year to all our Members and those that are on the fringes….
I'd like to start the year out with a foundation of “Why Be a Member of Tara Firma Farms”:
1. The meat, veggies and other products are healthy to eat.
2. The animals have a fun, lazy lifestyle (until that one last moment).
3. The animal poop deposited in our pastures feeds the microbial life in the soil.
4. The microbial life digest the poop and poop out food for the grasses.
5. The grasses, while they are growing, photosynthesize CO2 out of the atmosphere.
6. The grasses are also food for the animals (cows only eat grass, ours anyway).
This multifaceted life cycle is critical to the survival of our planet. Breaking the life cycle is a bad thing. What breaks the life cycle?
1... Animals that are raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations).
a. In a cattle CAFO the animal is fed corn and soy. Cows are not meant to eat corn and soy- they are ruminants. Corn and soy change the PH balance in the cow's stomach to an acidic base that allows for the growth of the type of e-coli which has become resistant to the acidic base in the human stomach, and is therefore fatal. Corn and soy based beef also carries the bad cholesterol found in the fat that we humans are so concerned about. Grass fed beef has the opposite; it is full of healthy Omega 3’s, CLA’s and other nutrients our bodies need in order to be healthy.
b. Sick cattle require antibiotics, which are given to entire herds in CAFOs. Excess antibiotics from a cow's urine or poop is lethal to microbial life, and the spreading of CAFO manure onto fields or into waterways to dispose of it breaks the life cycle.
c. The land in the U.S. that is used to grow feed for cattle is being destroyed by pesticides and herbicides instead of being restored and maintained by healthy organic practices. This soil is being depleted of nutrients faster than any other in our country.
d. Chickens and pigs are omnivores. They are meant to eat meat. Eating only corn and soy destroys the environment in their muscle meat that would grow the nutrients we need from that meat.
e. The inhumane treatment of these animals, high stress, short life span, bad food, and drugs lead to unhealthy meat for human consumption and, frankly, it is pathetic that we allow such treatment to go on.
2. Microbial life is essential to healthy soil. Without fertilizer from healthy sources, the microbial life dies off. Moving healthy animals over grassland in a managed way allows appropriate fertilization without any chemical inputs that kill off microbial life.
3. Grasses need time to grow in order to establish a root base. Cattle kept in one area over several months eat grasses to nubs that cannot recover quickly enough for another round of growth for the year. Without growing grasses, photosynthesis does not occur and within that process the CO2 is not then broken up and put down into the roots for the microbial life to eat.
While I commend the choice to stop supporting CAFOs, humans eating only vegetables is also not the answer. There simply isn't enough land to grow enough vegetable, legumes and plant matter to feed the planet either. Not to mention the industrial equivalent to CAFOs is the GMO, herbicide, pesticide-ridden nightmare we have constructed to bring mass quantities of plant matter to the table; supporting industrial vegetable farming just adds to the problem.
Why be a member? It is the responsible thing, to be part of the solution because you can. We have to be smart. We have to raise healthy food- both meat and vegetables- in healthy ways with the big picture in mind. As members, you have that going on. I am proud to be your farmer. Let me know what your top three reasons are for being a member? I want to know. . .
-Your Farmer, Tara