Bringing fat back into the kitchen

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well" -Virginia Woolf

I have a few of these jars- the rest are frozen

I have a few of these jars- the rest are frozen


Hey everyone, Elizabeth here with some good news about cooking with fat (get ready- your taste buds will throw a party after you've tried this!)


We’ve been taught to banish fats… Low-fat milk, no fat this and turn on the TV and hear "to get skinny, cut the fat". It can become quite the headache with all of the information. So here I offer you a simple solution to try- and with this option you have the chance to build your immune system up and make your food taste BETTER than you could imagine.  

Fats have amazing health benefits and add another dimension of flavor profile to whatever you’re making. Since our ancestors had no way of cultivating or processing oils (besides olive and coconut), our bodies don’t digest them as well.  Animal fats, which have always been easy to acquire, are available in mass amounts, make our food taste better and our health more in balance. Studies show that the further away we travel from the diet of our ancestors, the more diseases persevere.

Before the 20th century, animal fats were a staple in the kitchen...then the cotton happened. Cottonseed was plentiful and, until a process was invented to make oil from it, was worthless. Crisco was marketed as a “healthier and cheaper” alternative to animal fat for cooking and even gave away free cookbooks with their product to entice people to buy from them.

Happy pigs who live outdoors are loaded with vitamin D- this is the most concentrated and natural way for us to get this important nutrient!

Happy pigs who live outdoors are loaded with vitamin D- this is the most concentrated and natural way for us to get this important nutrient!

When processed oils are heated, they become chemically unstable and oxidize, which contribute to an unhealthy imbalance to our Omega 3:6 ratios. These disproportions are the core in the rise in inflammatory-based diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and more. These diseases were incredibly rare before the introduction of these oils and now we see them everywhere. Food can be thy medicine or thy poison. Choose mindfully.

Simple = better. Vote with your dollar for sustainable and nourishing whole foods. We can inspire a healthy food system and stay satisfied and healthy!

Fats sourced from pastured animals eating a natural diet and living outside can give us a wide spectrum of health benefits. Plus they are cheaper, more sustainable, and most importantly, they make everything taste better! Canola and soy oil are an absolute disgrace to food tastewise.

Personally, I’ve noticed a difference since I’ve ditched the vegetable oils (I still drizzle avocado and olive oil on meals raw and use coconut oil like it’s my Bible). My food tastes a lot better and I feel fuller faster. I ate a plant-based diet for a while and found myself in a constant haze of spacey confusion and I was always hungry no matter what. Everyone is different and I believe that myself and many others need healthy animal fats to thrive and live life in homeostasis.


At Tara Firma Farms, we give our animals stress-free lives and allow them to live as nature intended. Our pigs live outside and soak up the sun so we can reap the benefits of their high content of vitamin D (and flavor)! We have lard available for just $3/pound.  Experience it’s tasty, healthy goodness!


pastured animals are the best way to go when it comes to self-nourishment

pastured animals are the best way to go when it comes to self-nourishment

The best source for your animal fats come from pastured farms, and pure. We have a bunch ready for you here! When you get it pure, you'll have to render it. There are two ways to render fat: dry rendering and wet rendering. You can cook it in a pot of water, in a crock pot, on the stove or in the oven. Either way, you will reap the tasty benefits of the cooking fat. Before the rendering process, cut off any flesh or muscle meat still attached to the fat as that would cause the fat to spoil. You can save those pieces for cooking later. It may take you some time, so play some music and get in the zone.


Dry Rendering

Slow cooker - place the fat in a slow cooker and set the temperature to low, let it go for a few hours, and make sure to stir from time to time. Clear fat will render out of the fatty tissue.

Oven - set the oven to 250. Place the fat in an oven-safe pan with a lid and stir occasionally.

For convenient use, put some fat in ice cube trays

For convenient use, put some fat in ice cube trays

When it is ready you will know by the small dry looking and browned fatty cracklings in a bath of clear fat. Strain the fat through a fine mesh strainer to separate the cracklings from the rendered fat. You may choose to utilize a cheese cloth for this process as well. Be very careful- hot fat can burn your skin worse than hot liquid.

When dry rendering, you can keep the brown cracklings and use them as a snack!

* The total time depends on the amount of fat being rendered, the temperature, and size of fat chunks. *


Wet Rendering

Put some water in the pot with the fat chunks. The amount of water doesn’t matter entirely, however, be mindful of the water evaporating- your fat may end up burning. It is ready when you get a feel that most of the fatty tissue chunks have given up their fat content. You might end up with less rendered fat when using the wet method because you don’t get the dry cracklings.

[I used this method and found it incredibly easy- just check on it every 15 minutes or so to stire]

Once you’re done with either method, place it in the fridge to harden. Once it is hard, break it up so you can reach and drain the small amount of water that will be on the bottom of the jar.


To summarize the wondrous world of pastured animal fats:


-fats balance omega 3:6 ratio- critical for health & reducing inflammation in the body

-energy-dense & will indicate a message to brain that you’re fuller faster

-contribute to the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin D and calcium)

-act as structural elements to cell walls

            -which aids with blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation regulation



-When used for frying, it will make things crispier

-The taste is unbeatable...have you had duck fat french fries?? Still to this day the french use animal fats to make tasty meals.


Sustainably Good

We have more pork fat than we know to deal with...will you help us? Rather than paying top dollar for a vegetable oil from a big company, support your local farmer and try ours for a low price and help us use every part of the animal so we can minimize our footprint. Share your favorite meals with us using our lard!



The Great Greens Pesto

The Great Greens Pesto

Hi All, Oona here :)

The cold is here! Luckily for us, it’s the best time for greens; The cool weather makes them tender and so delicious, not to mention full of nutrition and all around just good for us. Chard, different kinds of Kales, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Beet Greens, Cilantro, Parsley, Escarole, Mizuna, Dandelion, not to mention Arugula and spinach.


But even greens enthusiast like me reach a point right about now when I feel like I am swimming in greens and need a break or at least a fresh method to prepare and consume them! That is when I discovered - kinda by accident - Leafy Green Pesto. 

Pesto is one of my all time favorites; So alive, vibrant and is good on anything, one of my favorites being on salad. Basil Pesto is the classic but we are neck deep in dark leafy greens right now. I discovered the amazingness of leafy green pesto one night when I was digging through my veggie box brainstorming about what to make for dinner while wishing I had some fresh pesto to go on top of it. It suddenly struck me and I tossed pesto ingredients into the food processor along with a few bunches of leafy greens. The results made the rest of the wintry meal taste fresh and alive.  Welcomed by all, it is now a staple in our house.

Here is some interesting nutritional information that keeps me ploughing through my greens:

*The slightly bitter taste of many leafy greens is a good sign: It reflects their high levels of calcium. 

*One ½-cup serving of dandelion greens contains 78 mg calcium, mustard greens have 55 mg calcium, assisting in Bone Health.

A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011 linked a higher intake of vegetables in the Brassica family (Kale, Mustard etc.) with a decreased risk of cancer in the ascending section of the colon.

*Greens are high in vitamins: A and C, Escarole especially is high in Vitamin B5.

*They are also a good source of several dietary minerals including Iron, Potassium and Calcium, *Not to mention fiber and Chlorophyll.

*Kale and Mustard greens have been shown to lower cholesterol. The liver uses cholesterol to digest the fiber in the greens. According to a U.S. study in Nutrition Research.

*In particular kale, dandelion, mustard greens and Swiss Chard -are good sources of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which help filter high-energy light that may cause eye damage.

*A one-cup serving of raw escarole provides 1/10 of your daily needs for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). B vitamins are water soluble, which means the body doesn’t store them, so we need to get enough each day.


Good thing this Leafy Green Pesto makes eating your greens a snap.


- 2 Bunch of Leafy Greens. I find 2 different kinds of greens gives the best flavor.

- 3/4 Cup of soaked cashews (Put cashews in a cup and fill with warm water for 10-15 minutes, I left mine soak overnight (by accident) and it turned out really good. You can substitute ½ Cup of cashew butter if you have it one hand.

- 3/4 Cup extra-virgin Olive Oil.

- Juice of ½ Lemon about 2 tablespoons lemon juice

- 2 Large clove of garlic

- Salt and Pepper to taste, about 2 pinches of each


For a spicy sauce- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

For a creamier sauce- Add ½ avocado

For thinner sauce- Add additional Olive oil or a tablespoon of water.


Wash Greens and remove largest part of the stems, roughly chop.

Add Chopped greens to a food processor and blitz for 5 seconds.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until creamy, give it a good long blend.

Taste sauce- and add additional lemon or salt and pepper to taste.

Use immediately or store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one week.

We put this sauce over everything: other vegetables, rice, noodles, beans, salad, eggs, steak etc.

Eat Well and keep warm.

French Baked Chicken

 ♥ Hey all, this is Elizabeth from the customer service department with a good recipe to get you excited about chicken  

Our whole birds are available for $7.50 per pound

Our whole birds are available for $7.50 per pound

I'd like to share a special recipe with you love our chicken? I know I do...and I am always searching for exciting ways to cook a whole chicken. With the temperature dropping and the days becoming shorter, I myself LOVE to cook nourishing meals to keep me and my house warm with comfort and a full belly.

Stop by the farm during out business hours (10-4) and pick up your pastured whole chicken so you can experience this delicacy! 




1/4 cup creme fraiche

4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

1 shallot (thinly sliced)

1 bunch of parsley (leaves removed and chopped)

1/4 cup thyme leaves

salt & pepper for taste

1 whole Tara Firma Farms chicken


I add parsley whenever I can in a recipe...beyond its ability to add a clean taste, I use it as medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties and its high content of iron. Flavorful and beneficial!

I add parsley whenever I can in a recipe...beyond its ability to add a clean taste, I use it as medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties and its high content of iron. Flavorful and beneficial!


1. Add creme faiche, garlic, shallot, parsley, thyme, salt & pepper into bowl

2. Cut the skin between the thigh and body

3. Add half the mix to the cavity and the other half to gut side

4. Sit overnight or at least 24 hours

5. Bake at 350 for 1 hr 10 min

6 Garnish with parsley

7.   ❤ E N J O Y! ❤ ♥

Nourishing Bone Broth

Hi all, Oona here :)

It's the first of December and the day is warm - but it is COLD at night. We're full on into the heart of winter, and come January I want to be keeping warm with bone broth soups. My family has been sick lately - not laid out flat or anything - but stuck with a persistent cold that has sapped our energy and left us with a head that feels clogged and a dripping nose. I know it's that time of year, and we are not totally surprised when we get sick - mainly because everyone else is sick right along side us  :-/.  I’m not making any claims here that Bone Broth will cure your ailments but I do think it is a piece of the puzzle to staying healthy at this time of year.  With the onslaught of holiday cookies fast approaching, the more I read about bone broth the more I am impressed with all the claims.

I am dreaming of experiments where I feed my family bone broth for a year, or at least a winter and take note of how many times we get sick.  I am taking the day to step back and really see how I can slow down (almost impossible on a farm) and focus my energy into what is important and where my effort can make the most impact in keeping my family healthy and out of the Dr. office.  Conveniently for us all Bone Broth is amazingly nourishing and rich in minerals that support the immune system as well as many other systems in our body. Bone broths contain minerals in forms that our bodies can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others.  Making the broth is important, because most store bought stalks and broths aren't "real". They are meat and vegetable flavors in a bouillon cube with none of the nutrition.

Here are the health benefits that bone broth is claimed to help:

1. Protects Joints

2. Good for the Gut

3. Maintains Healthy Skin

4. Supports Immune System Function

5. Boosts Detoxification

6. Aids the Metabolism and plays an important roles in antioxidant defense.

If only a few of these turn out true, as I see it we're doing pretty good.


All bone broths — beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork and more — are staples in traditional diets and as usual western thinking is catching up with what the world has practiced for hundreds of years. It is also how our ancestors made use of every part of an animal.  Since moving to the farm I have learned that chicken backs, and for the more adventurous, chicken feet, make superb additions to any bone broths.


Maybe one of the best things about bone broth is that it is a nutrient dense food that is inexpensive and keeps well in the freezer. Last winter every few weeks I would make a big batch and would freeze what my family couldn’t eat in the next week. Freezing can be done in any container; I use Pyrex glass containers and then once frozen remove the frozen block by running warm water over the glass. Once removed I combine a few blocks into a plastic bag that takes up much less space in the freezer, and bring them out as needed. The broth is great in soups, or as a nourishing tea with a teaspoon of miso stirred in.  My 2 year old (Rowan) gobbles it up.


Here is the recipe that I have used. Let us know how your broth turns out in the comments below!

  •  2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source

  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)

  • 1 onion

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

  • You'll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.


  1. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.

  2. Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.

  3. Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.

  4. Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.

  5. During the first few hours of simmering, you'll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.

  6. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.

  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.


Our Families Turkey Brine Recipe

As our family gets ready for our first thanksgiving on the farm (very exciting), I’ve been daydreaming about all the infinite potentials of delicious homemade food and recipes that will be made and enjoyed across the country! I am a sucker for beautiful foodie photos and recipes. I love to eat food, be cozy, and be with friends and family. The Thanksgiving feast is the culmination of all these nourishing things and for my family Turkey is at the center of it.  

Sustainable pasture raised animals lay the foundation to our core values and how we vote with our dollar. My family and I, along with all of you in this community, relish food that is high in nutrition, regenerative for the land and locally sourced. High quality pastured turkey is just as important to me and our family as are happy cows, pigs, and chickens. Have you sourced your phenomenal tasting turkey yet? We are partnering this year with BN Ranch (Bill Neiman of Neiman Ranch's new venture) who raises heritage and broad breasted breeds just a stone’s throw from our farm. He uses pasture rotation methods, and we appreciate the opportunity to support other farms that practice sustainability by giving back to the land through stress-free, natural methods. Contact us today for your pastured turkey and other holiday meats. (


Personally, I'm all about the brined turkey; last year was the first year I tried brining, and found that the results took the flavor profile to the next level! I'm pushing it to become a tradition. It’s a little extra work, but the turkey will come out juicy and more fail proof. I have also recently discovered the value of a good meat thermometer, maybe I am late to the game on this one, but I am constantly impressed how phenomenal meat turns out with them. As someone who has taken the torch of cooking the turkey, fail proof is very attractive.


 I went out on a limb and added 3 leaves of white sage which adds a strong sage flavor. I personally love the strong herbs, but it would be delicious with any kind of sage that is added. I also added a large handful of thyme.  

 I went out on a limb and added 3 leaves of white sage which adds a strong sage flavor. I personally love the strong herbs, but it would be delicious with any kind of sage that is added. I also added a large handful of thyme.


Here is the recipe we use. I always add more fresh herbs then called for. This Recipe is on the saltyer side. If you want less salt you can half the salt.  

Contact us to reserve your heritage or broad breasted turkey, and localize your holiday! Eat to grow the mind and grow the Soil. My recipe is adapted from a Taste of Home's Brining Recipe. 


Oona Eldridge-Squire




What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups kosher salt

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 5-8 fresh sage leaves

  • 3 fresh thyme sprig

  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns

  • 3-4 fresh rosemary sprig

  • 2 quarts water

  • 2 quarts Ice water

  • 2 large turkey-size oven roasting bags

  • 1 turkey (14 to 18 pounds)



Yummy Herbs

Yummy Herbs

  1. In a large pot, combine the salt, brown sugar, sage, thyme, rosemary and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add the ice water to cool the brine to room temperature.





This is where the magic happens

This is where the magic happens







2. Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan or pot. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning once (We did not turn ours and it turned out great).






Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

3. Drain and discard brine then pat the turkey dry and place in baking pan. Cover breast and legs with aluminium foil follow your favorite turkey baking instructions. Remove foil for the last hour of baking and it is done when the the correctly placed thermometer reads 165 degrees. 





And this is what you end up with... The best ever amazing juicy, succulent herb infused mouth watering Turkey. Don't forget to brag about your amazing pasture raised turkey to all your guests.


TFF & The Cooking Project

This week we were lucky enough to link up with The Cooking Project, a local Non Profit that provides free cooking classes to young people right here in the Bay Area!  Chef and Founder Daniel Patterson (James Beard Winner) and Executive Director Sasha Bernstein have done an amazing job connecting culinary experts with kids and young adults interested in learning to cook and learning more about where their food comes from.  Tara Firma Farms was very proud to be able to donate some of our pasture raised chicken quarters to their class this Monday.   Know that your support as members of our CSA and friends of the farm makes donations like this possible - So thank you for continuing to support local, sustainable businesses like ours!

Check out the pictures below:


Find out more about the cooking project:  


Holiday Delivery Schedule 2014

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and have remembered to put your deliveries on vacation hold if you are going to be out of town. For the lucky ones staying in town, our holiday delivery schedule changes are as follows:

  • Wednesday drops move to Monday.
  • Thursday drops move to Tuesday.
  • Friday East Bay Crossfit drops move to Monday Christmas week.
  • Friday Marin drops moves to Tuesday.
  • East Bay door-to-door move to Saturday morning delivery.
  • Mill Valley door-to-door move to Wednesday morning delivery.
  • Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Novato, San Francisco, Petaluma & Peninsula door-to-door remain the same.
  • Farm Pickups – this week: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday – pick up by noon Wednesday

Office is closed half-day Wednesday the 24th and all day Thursday & Friday the 25th & 26th. Merry Christmas!
Farm tours as scheduled on Saturday and Sunday the 27th & 28th!

How to Cook the Perfect Standing Rib Roast

Our standing rib roasts are extremely popular and have become a tradition for many of our members. These are bone-in fat cap on to ensure they are the ultimate in juicy perfection. We recommend cooking to medium rare and cutting as a prime rib but it's a little tricky--getting that perfect seared crispy outside and medium rare, pink-not-grey inside.

Here's a great article that shows you how! Don't forget to take pictures because you'll be dreaming of this all the way until next year!. We are offering whole or half roasts with a whole being seven ribs and weighing approximately twelve pounds.

Tara Firma Farms Holiday Meats

Make Your Holidays Special

With Tara Firma Farms Holiday Meats

WE ARE HAPPY TO LEARN SO MANY OF YOU are making our holiday meats part of your holiday tradition. Each year we try to come up with different cuts to be eaten as a family feast and this year we’re offering some favorites and a couple new items. All our meat is grown using the same pasture-raised process as you have come to expect from us with no chemical or medication whatsoever. So start a tradition with a specific special cut or vary and try different cuts each year!

**FEATURED NEW** Porchetta $16/lb.
Porchetta is a traditional Italian cut rolled roast made by leaving the loin attached to the belly (can you say bacon?) then rolling and tying it. This makes a 20-30 lb. roll of the richest, moistest pork roast imaginable. As an added treat we are going to leave the skin on so the meat will be cased in crackling when done. The real fun with porchetta begins before cooking when you unroll your roast, use your imagination to add seasoning in the middle and then re-roll and tie it to make your customized treat. Try salt (hand-rubbed first then let sit), garlic, fennel, pepper, red pepper, citrus zest, rosemary, and sage. Cook as you would a pork roast--it’s very hard to overcook so just make sure it’s fully done.
(Minimum of four pounds per order. Plan on one or two pounds per-person depending on how many leftovers you want).

Whole Smoked Ham  $16/lb.
These choice cuts start with a 20-lb. leg from our pasture-raised dairy-fed pigs. We either leave them whole or cut them in half then cure in all-natural ingredients: sea salt, brown sugar, and celery seed base (a natural preservative) with no chemical nitrates. If you like a big ham you’ll love these. We had these last year and got great feedback.

Pork Rib Roast $20/lb.
This is the same cut as a beef standing rib roast to offer you the pork chops presented as a roast. Typically you’d cut these as you would prime rib in slabs and we recommend leaving them slightly rare. We are offering a whole which will be ten ribs and weigh eight-to-ten pounds or a half roast.

Pork Tenderloin $25/lb.
This is the filet of the pig--melt in your mouth tender and perfect if you have a smaller group wanting a modest but special roast. Alternatively, cut into medallions and serve as an appetizer. We are going to hold some of our pork tenderloins fresh and they come in at between one and two pounds each.

Beef Standing Rib Roast $27/lb.
These are bone-in fat cap on to ensure they are the ultimate in juicy perfection. We recommend cooking to medium rare and cutting as a prime rib. We are offering whole or half roasts with a whole being seven ribs and weighing approximately twelve pounds. These are extremely popular and have become a tradition for many of our members.

Beef Tenderloin $35/lb.
Have you ever had a whole beef tenderloin prepared as a roast? They are truly magnificent, melt-in-your-mouth juicy with unbelievable flavor. These should run three-to-four pounds each.

Turkey $7/lb.
These are the same birds we offer every Thanksgiving. The sizes vary but we have quite a number very big birds in the thirty pounds range. Plan your feast now and invite the whole family or better yet the whole neighborhood!

Helping People Understand What Real Food Is

Join us on this mission!

Every Saturday and Sunday we have tours at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. Tours are an important part of our mission to help educate the public on what REAL food is and the difference a farm like ours offers in terms of health, the environment and community. We try to reconnect people with where real food comes from while offering interesting facts and stories about the farm and our animals.
This is an invitation to join us in this mission. How? If you haven’t been on a tour please come out. If you have been on a tour please tell your friends and family to come out. Let’s see if we can get all our friends and family members to learn about REAL food.
We’ve been thinking about this a lot lately--what we are doing here and why--especially since we’ve been making plans to put more effort into our non-profit Tara Firma Farms Institute. We started TFF with the intent to educate the public and provide an opportunity to reconnect with your farmer. We believe this is so important for the well being of people and the planet we’ve been trying to figure out how to use the the TFF Institute to expand that education effort ten-fold.

And now we know. The answer is you! By virtue of being a member, buying food or coming on a tour you have joined our mission. We hope you too feel a shared responsibility to get the word out.
Our request: Please, in the next month tell at least two additional families about what we have going on and encourage them to visit and take a tour. We'll give you lots of rewards for helping spread our word but none of those will feel as good helping people learn what you know about REAL food.

Your Farmers,
Tara and Craig

Random Thoughts on Farm Animals

Goats are not animals of Satan even though they have rectangular-shaped pupils (still a little creepy if you have seen any movies with this stuff in it).       

Chickens are omnivores and will tear apart small rodents with a vengeance. We have little-to-no rodents where chickens have been. They are great for an established garden!    

Roosters, well some of them should be in chicken jail for abuse, if you know what I mean.  

Pigs are just about the funniest silliest animals on the farm. They run, flip and twist even at 200lbs which is more than I can say for most of us. And why aren’t pigs milked? I get this question all the time. I guess it has to do with the pig not particularly willing to stand for milking? 

Hens have eggs inside them like fish do--100’s of them and one moves down the path, earns a shell and eventually pops out. The question of whether the eggs we have are fertilized? Yes, some. There are roosters present. Probably a more important question is does it matter? If the eggs are put in cartons every day and sold it doesn’t as there is no change in the egg. The real source of the flavor change between store bought and fertilized eggs is that the hens were raised on pasture with no stress, as opposed to the input from the rooster (public apology to all roosters).      

Did you realize that when we die and if we are not in a steel casket, we will become microbial food which then poops and grasses eat the poop. Cows eat the grass…so in essence, literally cows eat people. Think about it. Beware the cow.          

And some non-farm animals...

Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize that you had thought something was a certain way and suddenly you find out you were wrong. Case in point: My son Jake and I were standing next to the Pink Flamingo exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo. He was 12 at the time. He turned to me and said “you have got to be kidding. Pink Flamingos have 2 legs? I have always thought they have one”. 

What about the camel? I saw a camel last week and my friend asked me if the camel hump would shrink or swell depending on if it had water to drink or not. Then it hit me. I have always thought that people who crossed the desert on camels did so because they could use the camel's water. Now I never thought through it, obviously, but I am still cracking up that I had this casual thought my entire life. As if the traveler could put a spigot in the camel hump and pour. 

Your animal-loving farmer,