Monday, November 27, 2017

Birthdays, Hams, Markets

We recently attended the 2nd Birthday celebrations of That Wholefood Place in Rockhampton. They are a great supporter of our business and have the same core values that we do - supporting small, local businesses, and supplying good quality food ingredients so that YOU can prepare fabulous meals for yourself and your family. We hope that we get to celebrate many more birthdays with That Wholefood Place!

The following is what I put together in preparation for the day, and then scaled it back to a dot point flyer. I also thought that there might be a few newcomers to our site so thought I'd put it all up here. Please read (or scroll) right to the end as I have a few notices regarding hams and markets.

All the meat products we sell come from animals raised on our property “Anabank”, located in the Dawson Valley.   We have many satisfied customers that say our meat has flavour and is consistently tender.

Pork, Bacon and Ham
The pigs are fed a grain ration but are certified true free range with PROOF – Pasture Raised On Open Fields. We pride ourselves on giving our pigs a true freerange life, where they can display their natural behaviours. They are fed a balanced grain ration that we mix ourselves from locally sourced grains so that we can ensure that the grain is not sprayed out with glysophate before harvesting and is not treated afterwards with any chemicals. We do not include any GMO products, including recycled vegetable oils.

We make nitrate free Bacon, Ham, Pickled Pork and Corned Beef, which is simply salted and wood smoked. The Conventional Bacon, Ham, Pickled Pork and Corned Beef is salted with a preservative added and then wood smoked. We use a small amount of preservative, which is less nitrate than would be found in your saliva, so we feel it is quite safe. Most store bought bacon will have a lot of other ingredients (chemical flavourings) that are not good for you, so we have kept ours very simple, which allows the true flavour of our pork to shine.

Beef, Lamb and Goat
Our Bush Friendly Beef is bred and grown out on “Anabank”, but is owned by our children.  So we are a family owned and run business. “Anabank” was certified Organic with Australian Certified Organic in 2016. This means that the animals aren’t certified organic until mid 2018 when the organic calves reach slaughter age. They have been managed organically for many years previous to this. The abattoir and butcher we use is not certified organic. The animals are completely pasture raised and finished – no grain ration is given. It is called Bush Friendly Beef because we use regenerative farming techniques which maintain a healthy ecosystem for our domestic animals, as well as the wild animals and birds. By using rotational grazing, grass cover is maintained which reduces run-off, which in turn prevent nutrient loss and thus damage to the Great Barrier Reef.










The Sheep and Goats are managed similarly to the cattle, they are rotated and managed organically. We use hay or leauceana in dry conditions to ensure the meat remains a quality product. We don’t vaccinate or use any other non-organic treatments on the animals. All animals are certified under PROOF’s rigorous guidelines to be pasture raised and finished.

I'll be at the markets in Yeppoon and Rockhampton this coming weekend - 2nd and 3rd December. Then we only have one market before the end of the year - on the 16th and 17th December. This will be the market that we bring our hams to those that have pre-ordered. I have a few hams left so if you would like one, here are the details:

$22/kg for a full or half, bone in Leg Ham. Please send me an email with your preference of Nitrate Free or Conventional, half or whole ham and include your phone number please.

Also, can you please think about what Christmas Orders you may have. So that we can ensure we send enough animals over to the abattoir, it would be really helpful if you are likely to want more of anything than you normally do. We will have beef, lamb and porkie products. No goat, sorry. Please let me know by Sunday night the 3rd December.

It's all getting very close.........


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mid November Markets

We are having the most delightful Spring! There's been a few hot and muggy days, but on the whole the weather has been quite pleasant. Usually it is so hot and muggy that it's hard to focus on anything work related. The days are fairly nice and the nights can even get too cool! It bodes well for a good summer ahead. We've had good amounts of rain - not too much, but enough to fill our dams and keep the grass growing madly. It does help that we look after our country - some areas of Queensland that we drive through have very short grass, so while it's green when it rains, there's no body in it for it to last and because it's short, most of the rain would run off. We would have good feed even if it didn't rain again for a month or so.

This weekend finds us once again at the Yeppoon and Rockhampton Markets, as well as Gladstone. We will have beef, pork, lamb and goat again this time. What did you all think of the lamb last time? Previously we were selling mutton and then lamb/hogget. For those that don't know, hogget is lamb that is approx 1 year old, but has started to get adult teeth. When they still have their milk teeth, they are called lamb. Last market it was proper lamb - Spring lamb we are calling it. They are only about 6 months old. This is what we'll be selling for the next little while, and if we sell any mutton we will let you know at the time.

This years goats are almost finished - I think we only have one more left after this market, and we'll only be bringing one in this time, so Yeppoon will get first crack at it. Last market we held it over for Rocky.

We are once again looking for a farm hand to work with us. If you know of anyone that would like to learn about food farming and regenerative agriculture, please tell them to get in touch with me. It could be a good job for someone over the school holidays too - any year 12 students looking for some work before they start Uni? The position is live in and the food is pretty good! Resumes can be sent to this email address - dawsonvalleyfr@bigpond.com

The Frequent Free Rangers Subscription is going very well with a few more people joining each time. If you've thought about joining but want to know more, just catch up with me at the markets or send me an email. If you are a FFR subscriber and would like to leave a testimonial in the comments, that would be fantastic.

Cheers,
Lucy


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rain, Grass and Markets

Last post I asked for a bit more rain......well we got it. We have had some really lovely rain - not as much as some, but plenty for us! The place is looking so green and the grass is just growing so well in this heat.
This is some of the new development and has only had pigs in it for a while. It was originally fairly lightly grassed, but has come back a richer green colour.

Leauceana looking very lush - this is what makes our beef tasty and tender.

Our original pig farm was on approximately 18 hectares and surrounded our house. It comprised 21 separate paddocks with some smaller paddocks that we used as farrowing paddocks. The external fencing is ring lock and the internal fencing is electric.

Last year we underwent a significant development program and set up a whole new area for pigs. Pigs are very harsh on the land, mainly around their watering points and wallows. They also deposit an incredible about of poo. This is fantastic fertiliser and to make the best use of this, we need to give the paddocks a spell and the graze other animals in them.

One particular section has had goats and sheep in for the last few weeks before it rained. We were running very low on grass and were madly trying to finish a new section of ring lock fencing to move these animals into, so we had them in here as there was timber that we could cut down to feed them on.  The internal electric fence had been turned off and the goats soon knocked the wires off the insulators etc, so we decided to pull out the internal fencing - we've called it un-fencing.

We may stick rake this paddock as it looks a little untidy, and then plant some sort of forage crop. This will use up some of the fertility that has built up over the years, and also even out some of the bare areas.  We'll gradually do this with all the old pig paddocks.

Pigs are quite harsh on country - they need to have a wallow and they take a long time to recover.


We will leave strainer posts in, just take out the steel posts and wire and if we decide to run pigs back in there in about 4 or 5 years, we can just redo the electric fencing.

Some fences yet to be pulled out. You can see why we need to renovate the paddocks - there's a few bare areas.

Some new wearers just put into a new paddock. We keep them in a large pen for about 1-2 weeks and then let them out into the paddock proper. They were very excited to see this grass!

Before I finish up this post, I must remind you that we have the markets this weekend in:
  • Yeppoon - Community Markets at the Showgrounds 
  • Rockhampton - Kern Arcade Carpark Markets 
We will have Pastured Pork, Lovely free range Lamb, Gorgeous grassfed (and finished) Goat (Rocky only) and Bush Friendly Beef.