Farm Field Days First Saturday of June & First Saturday in October!

New Year! New Baby! New Friends! Check out our 2023 Schedule

2023: Started off with a Baby Liz's due date came and went on December 18th with no baby coming. We thought for sure the Christmas blizzard was going to bring baby, but thankfully baby did not come.New Year's Eve came. Liz made 250 pounds of cheese that afternoon. We played games with family that evening. We wished each other a Happy New Year at midnight and went to bed.At 2am Liz woke me up and told me to call the midwife. Luckily she only lives 5 miles away. She arrived at 2.20am. Baby Reuben arrived healthy and happy at 2.39 am.We are thankful for a beautiful baby boy to kick off 2023!New for 2023, Lorenzo will be sharing a monthly recipe for our Sweet Grass Family.He will be cooking up a simple easy to make dish with one of our meats and sharing how he makes an amazing dish with great ingredients.Our hope is that we can make great grass fed meats simpler and more attainable to cook in a busy schedule.We're looking forward to learning some new cooking tips and recipes for our own home.Eggs!I keep hearing rumors for egg shortages and crazy prices. We are not singing that tune here!Our organically fed pastured hens are laying eggs like crazy.We've got eggs available this week for as low as $4.50 a dozen when you order the 15 dozen case!Also our Eggs for a Friend bundle is back for a limited amount of time. You all are our best advertisers. So to help you tell a friend we happily give you 2 dozen eggs. We ask that you share 1 with a friend and keep 1 for yourself.Shop Sweet Grass Eggs!Calendar of Sweet Grass Events! (New exciting events in the works)We've planned some exciting events coming this Summer. We are getting better at planning our events ahead of time.This year has two of our annual Farm Field Days.June 3rd - Spring Field DayOctober 7th - Fall Field Day  Seasoned & Chef Lorenzo are coming to Sweet Grass!Lorenzo & Jacob have been dreaming of connecting people to their food in deeper more intimate ways.What better way than to invite folks to the land that produces their food. Our aim with these meals to use foraged and grown food from here our our 140 acre organic farm. These evenings include a short farm tour and a family style meal served on the land overlooking cows grazing and watching the sun settle below the horizon.May 6th - Spring Seasoned MealOctober 21st - Fall Seasoned MealStay tuned for details.Check out Lorenzo's and Seasoned's Instagram pages.Crazy prices are real! I stopped at our local Walmart just to see for myself...Thank you for being apart of our Farm Family!

Cash, Turkeys, Bar-B-Que!

November 21stMark your calendar. It's turkey pickup day! But we also want to make it extra special. We will also have any other pre-ordered Gelatos or specials ready for pick up that day. (other times and days can be arranged for turkey pickup.) On the Rise Bar-b-Que will be serving our meats up for a late lunch early supper that day. (2pm-6pm) It's the day to stick the credit card companies! As you might guess we pay a lot of credit card fees for that convenience. SO on this day we want to pass the savings on to you! Bring cash and save 5% on any in Farm Store shopping you do November 21st. (Pre-orders not included)Just a few Small turkeys left!If you are feeding a crowd we recommend pre-ordering 2 of them. Then you get double the parts and the chance to cook them two different ways.Farm Pick up only.Turkey Pre-orderLimited Spiral Cut Sweet Grass HamFarm pick up only.Spiral Cut Ham Pre-orderWow you guest with some amazing Sweet Grass Gelato.Made from our milk, organic ingredients. We are the only Ohio farm with grass to cup gelato. Try some of our great Fall flavors for Thanksgiving dessert. Farm pick-up onlyGelato Pre-order

Regenerative Farming- What is it Really?

Regenerative Farming:What do we really mean when we use the regenerative?In the simplest form, regenerative farming is a method of management and care that allows our natural ecosystem to symbiotically rebuild and regenerate the land and environment over time. Essentially our 140 acres is growing more fertile year after year!Unfortunately, this term is being tossed about more & more by big corporate industries(kind of like organic).The key to regenerative farming is a partnership between the natural ecology of an environment and space. Central Ohio's ecosystem over time was not naturally corn and soybeans. Our region grew a diversity of perennial grasses, forbs, and legumes along with trees, shrubs, and vines. In the midst of all this greenery was a wide array of herbivores, birds, predators, and soil microbes. All of this worked naturally to build a resilient ecosystem.Modern land ownership in many ways broke the natural rules of the ecosystem. Society built fences, plowed up polycultures of plants ,and put animals in barns. In turn these actions destroyed the symbiotic relationships of plants, animals, and microbes.To bring regeneration back to the landscape, we as managers must allow our animals, plants, and microbes to come together and work symbiotically. That means movement across the landscape! All of our animals are orchestrated in a way to move methodically across the farm. This allows carbon to be stored up in the plants. The animals then apply that carbon back to the soil through hoof action and manure deposits. When done correctly and consistently the land is rejuvenated!Even as a regenerative farmer I have choice. Not every day is roses and beauty, but every day we must choose between regeneration or degradation of our 140 acre ecosystem. Every single day animals need moved to maintain the symbiosis of regeneration. Every cold day, even sick days we have to make the choice and do the work to create that healthy beautiful environment of a Regenerative Farm. As we enter November a month of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for each of you making the choice to eat regeneratively. We could not farm regeneratively with out you. By working together we symbiotically allow each other to make a better choice every day. Farming & Eating regeneratively.Speaking of Thanksgiving: We have come up with some extra special Specials :)I have added Gelato to our Thanksgiving pre-orders. Stay tuned the last batch of hogs that went to the processor are turning into a select number of spiral cut hams.We've got a few more specials coming so stay tuned to the pre-order page so stay tuned.

Gabe & Emily join the Sweet Grass Team

We are excited!Sweet Grass has gained 2 new team members. Well, kind of. Both Gabe & Emily have worked for Sweet Grass, so they know what they've signed up for. Farming is not necessarily easy every day. Some days are long and miserable, other days are fun and fulfilling.Our mission of caring for Healthy Land & Healthy People really needed some more team members.Gabe worked for us during his high school years. Emily babysat our children during those years. Some evenings they would pass each other as his day ended and her evening started. You could say a match was made in Heaven.When Gabe graduated high school, we told him he needed to experience some other jobs before coming back to Sweet Grass. After 3 jobs and some good life lessons, Gabe was still in love with farming. He is 100% ready to be the Right Hand Farm Hand here!His responsibilities will include day to day animal care, farm handyman, and he will also be developing some off-farm pig pastures. Gabe has always had the grit and consistency to take on any project that comes his way.Emily was one of the very first people we met when we moved to Ohio. Her family helped us unload our U-haul truck when she was 9. Six years later she would babysit our children occasionally.When Gabe graduated, she started working two days a week. She is in charge of all the order fulfillment here at the farm. She also bottles all the milk. These two jobs are huge. She also dreams of creating more opportunities for families to connect with the farm.Gabe & Emily together plan to operate the Worthington Farmer's Market. We will see where their energy and ambition takes them.

Pork Barbecue Nachos

Barbecue Pork Nachos  2ish pound Sweet Grass Pork Shoulder1/4 cup Brown Sugar1T Chili Powder1t Onion Powder1t Garlic Powder1t Cayenne Pepper1t Salt1t Pepper1 Medium Red Onion1 Cup Ketchup1/4 Cup MustardMix above mixture and pour over Pork Shoulder. Bake at 335 degrees for 4-5 Hours1 Bag of your favorite Corn Chips1 Sweet Grass Cheddar1 Sweet Grass Pepper Jack1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce​Jalapeno Peppers (Optional) After Baking Shred Pork ShoulderPreheat oven to 400 degreesShred Cheddar Cheese and Pepper Jack CheeseLayer your favorite chips in a 9 by 13 pan, then add Shredded Pork, Barbecue Sauce, Jalapeno Peppers, and top with shredded Cheese.Bake for 8-10 Minutes

Misty Mornings

It was morning, and the mist was so heavy I couldn't find the cows.Trudging across the road, coffee mug in hand, I made my way down the lane to the cow pasture, feeling like I was walking through a scene in The Princess Bride. I would have been only slightly surprised to see knights on horses galloping up behind me. There is certainly something peaceful and pleasant about early morning on the farm, and I think a lot of that has to do with routine. I pull on my boots and leave my phone inside, all the better to notice the wonders around me -- the chirpings and rustlings of animals with enough determination to be up that early, the hazy pink of the sun, the willowy scent of heavy dew. This has been the routine of summer.So I didn't mind walking to get the cows, but I did wonder where they were when I rounded the bend in the lane and saw nothing through the mist.These cows have their routine, as well, which for the most part they good-naturedly comply with. Cresting a hill, I finally found the herd on the other side. They were still lounging in their bed of grass. I almost hated to disrupt their peaceful scene and herd them in to milk, but girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.A three-year-old once taught me how to call cows in German. Everyone has their way of talking to them. Liz calls them loudly and boldly, with unmistakable authority. Jake's call is more easygoing. I can hear Heidi in my head, saying, "Keep it moving!" in her usual way. I like to call them by name; I feel it's more personal."Wake up, Evelyn. Get up, Effie. Come on, Sassy." I don't bother with the German.When you think about the life span of a cow, it varies so much depending on their environment. A cow living in the fresh outside air and not being milked constantly will have a longer life than a commercially-raised cow. When you're talking about beef, well, sure, it takes longer to grow an animal on a grass-fed diet. In the long run, however, you're preserving your soil's health and giving yourself a healthier option that could, and likely will, save you health concerns in the future. Does the end result make the slower process worthwhile? I am learning that it does. What that looks like in reality is a herd of cows, romping through the pasture on a misty morning, miffed with their herdswoman who is making them show up for work while pretending she is Princess Buttercup in a long flowing gown.We say our cows are happy cows -- now, they don't speak English any more than they speak German, so I can't tell you verbatim, but I would bet this to be true.

Dog Days

It's the dog days of summer around these parts, both literally and figuratively. The heat is making the grass grow and the tomatoes ripen and the butter is melting on the kitchen counter. August brings a lot of work, but at the same time it's the beginning of the respite that eventually comes with autumn. But what I mean when I say "dog days", more than just long hard hours, is actually that there are like two dozen puppies around the farm right now.Alright, not quite two dozen. But enough that it's a significant amount of chubby fluffiness to handle, and everywhere I go lately it seems there's a little wagging tail underfoot. I am constantly overwhelmed. Mini Australian Doodles and Great Pyranese pups, many of them still unclaimed and soon ready to move on to their new homes. Maybe that's you! Send us a message on our Facebook or Instagram page, or comment here for more details.Meat chicken season is...over?? That's right. Our last birds went to the processor last week and the freezer is full of the summer's yield. A kindly neighbor and friend showed up all three evenings last week to aid in catching and loading the 2,000+ birds, and commented that it was "kind of like dodgeball, but with chickens." He is not wrong.And speaking of autumn (thought it's not here just yet), meet the resident fowl who are taking over in the chickens' absence -- Thanksgiving turkeys! The Pyranese take their duty of guarding VERY seriously.Heidi is still foraging for roadside flowers, and brings her voluminous bouquets to show me. This is what we do in our off-time, along with harvesting and drying large quantities of herbs from our gardens, which you can also buy fresh in the Farm Store. Did you know that Heidi, along with being a knowledgeable tour guide, chicken queen, and businesswoman extraordinaire, is also a master gardener? Still, we like the roadside flowers.And me? I am enjoying the mornings like this one you see, where the sky surprises me with how much it has to give at 6:17 in the morning. It inspires me to keep putting in the effort. And so I pour some more raw milk in my coffee and march on.I have been so grateful to meet many customers of ours in the Farm Store, at the Clintonville Farmer's Market, and in the community over these last few weeks. It's been a treat and a joy to meet some of those who make up the Sweet Grass farm family. Your part in this endeavor is really the most important. As always, THANK YOU for choosing local, authentic and nutritious food.Till next time,Emma

Dairy Farming on the Fringe

Ever wondered what it's like farming on the fringe?"I don't have much experience on a typical dairy," I told Jake on the phone, prior to me coming to work on the farm."That's good," he said. "We don't want someone with experience on a typical dairy. We do things a lot differently."Grazing style. Manure management. Barn layout. There's more than a few things that set Sweet Grass apart from your typical conventional dairy setup, or even another organic dairy farm.Our cows eat grass. ...And that's all they eat. Hence the name Sweet Grass was born. The herd is grazed rotationally across pasture, with new grass to eat every day. Besides milking time, that's where they spend their days.What does this mean for the cows? Well, walking on earth instead of walking on concrete all day is much better for their physical condition. I think if I were a cow I'd be much happier to graze on clover, prancing among the Queen Anne's Lace all day instead of ambling around a freestall barn.For me, it means there is very little manure to clean up in the barn and the holding pen. There is no skidsteer on this farm. Most of the manure is composted back into the pasture, returning nutrients to the soil. Sounds like a very good thing, yes? I agree.That's all great. But what you care most about is, surely, how does the cows' grass-fed diet turn the milk they give into something greater and more beneficial than milk from a cow who eats grain?Grass-fed cows' milk is significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids and CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids), making it healthier for your mind and body. The benefits of grass-fed milk, as well as raw milk in general, are not something easily overlooked once you find yourself down that path of learning. (It's a really good path to get on.) That's a topic we'll go more in-depth on in a future post.For now -- it's so good for you!We participate in herdshares. We operate as a herdshare dairy. All the milk goes directly from the cow to the bulk tank, the bulk tank to the jug, and then to you. It's beautifully simple. It's the best way to drink milk. Everything you need is in the raw, unpasteurized, unhomogenized form, the good bacteria necessary to digest it and the rich creaminess that makes drinking raw milk "kind of like drinking ice cream," as someone described it.Talking about cream...have you seen the creamlines on a gallon of these girls' milk???We milk once a day, in the morning. This is a surprising contrast to the twice or three times daily that you'll find on most farms. I have told this to older farmers and watched their eyes pop like water balloons. Why would you do this?For our herdshare demand, we don't need the increased volume that necessitates milking a cow twice or three times a day. Holding their milk gives it a much higher protein concentration and a higher cream content. Our cows will give us ten plus years of milking rather than industry's standard three to four.It also allows your farmers a little more flexibility in schedule, which is a perfectly okay thing to us. We are much more than just a dairy. Milking once in the morning helps to keep chores manageable and leave enough time for the rest of the animals running around this farm.And your farmers need to have some time for fun once in a while, too.At the end of the day, the goal is not solely to be different for difference's sake. That would be too small of a goal. The real goal is to make a difference. We are doing this by raising healthier cows to produce healthier milk to support healthier people, and maintain healthier soil to keep growing the grass that makes it all happen.Check out two of my favorite resources on raw and grass-fed milk!The Untold Story of Milk by Ron SchmidNourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon-Morrell~Emma

A Glimpse of Day-to-Day

Have you ever wondered what a normal day on the farm looks like?"That's neat that you work on a farm," people say when I first meet them. "So, what does a typical day look like for you?"I smile, of course, and try to think of a way to answer that question that won't take ten minutes. We all know life is crazy. But farm life...When you factor in weather, plus every piece of machinery that is hopefully (but not always) running smoothly, not to mention over a thousand animals living and breathing everywhere around you, life can be an entirely new level of crazy. That is not to say we don't have our routines. There are simply that many more monkey wrenches that can be thrown into those routines and flip them over on their sides.For those of you wondering, for your entertainment, here is what just a plain ol' day looks like in the summertime at Sweet Grass Dairy, from my perspective.5:30 AM: my alarm goes off. The coffee pot goes on. I am the only one on this farm who drinks coffee. Shocking, I know. So I have my morning coffee ritual with the cat, Smokey, and a guinea hen or two out at my humble camper. Sometimes the turkey waddles in and makes predictions about the weather according to what his knees are telling him.7:00 AM: first on the agenda is chicken chores. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Well, thanks to the flow these guys have perfected, chicken chores are relatively simple, but rigorous. We have fifty-two 10x12 ft. shelters that get moved by hand down the hillside, and all those shelters need feeders filled and waters checked. Thanks to the in-ground water system that provides water hookups every two hundred feet, and lots and lots of quarter-inch hose, we don't have to haul any water. After years of raising chickens on pasture this way, Jacob and Elizabeth run this show like a well-oiled machine.8:30 AM, maybe: someone gets on a dirt bike or a 4-wheeler and brings the cows from their current pasture to the barn, and we make ready to milk. We milk around 35 to 40 cows currently. In they go, ten at a time, graceful beings for sure. It may surprise you to know that cows can have attitudes. There is something lovable about them, still. My favorite cow is a Red Deven named Miley who came from Indiana. She is a classy lady.We milk our cows once a day -- stay tuned for a future blog post on the reasoning for and benefits of this!9:30 AM: someone has to feed the calves, and that's me! We are raising six calves born this spring to add to the herd. They are precious to be sure, but not the brightest crayons in the box. If they don't knock over their feeder before everyone is finished drinking, and if I get out of the pen without being stepped on by a calf, zapped by the electric fence, or spilling any milk out of the feeder, then I did an A-plus job. I'll nuzzle the baby goats. Everyone gets along great.10:00 AM: this is usually when I'll check in on the Farm Store. Freezers get stocked, floors get swept (it's like making your bed in the morning -- gotta do it, even though it doesn't last long) and I try to pretty the place up. It can be a fun little social spurt in the day, as people will drift in and I'll get to visit with them as they pick up their goods. If you haven't been in our Farm Store, what are you waiting for? Besides being adorable, you know it's stocked with the best meats, dairy, eggs, cereals, and kombucha that your American dollar can buy. Everything we don't produce here is sourced as locally as it gets, and you can bet we wouldn't be carrying it if it wasn't oh-so-delicious and wonderfully nutritious for your body and soul.There is a beautiful variation to the days, and after chores are done, anything could come down the pike. Pig fences will get moved every week, as do the sheep fences, and depending on the day we will be jugging milk and prepping orders. There are always projects to be done, things to be fixed, or animals to move, and it's all hands on deck.5:00 PM: the calves get their evening meal, for which they are very grateful, and the chickens get checked again. I'll fill the feed buckets for tomorrow morning's chores, because tomorrow morning......it starts all over again!8:00 PM: Supper is finished and things are usually wrapped up. Smokey the cat is back lounging on my patio mat. I'll sit with him awhile and read a book until it gets too dark to see, and then we call it a night. Farmers should obey Ben Franklin's advice -- "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."(This doesn't always happen, but they're good words to live by!)There. That took you ten minutes to read. Now you have an idea of what a "normal" day looks like at Sweet Grass Dairy. Come swing by any day and see for yourself!

Emma the Hired Girl

Greetings and salutations!Welcome to the Sweet Grass Dairy blog. While I don’t know exactly who you are, if you found your way to our farm website and blog, I’m guessing you’re the type of person who cares about things. Maybe you care about real food, healthy land, and living an authentic lifestyle. Maybe you just like cows. Maybe you care about how your food is raised, the impact those farming practices have on the future, and the reliability of securing that food from people you trust.If you haven’t found out already, you’re about to find out that these are the things we care about, too.My name is Emma, and I am the hired girl here at Sweet Grass. (That is the title I gave myself. Employee sounds too mainstream.) I will be the one behind the pen, or rather keyboard, whose voice you will get used to hearing here on the blog.A little bit about me: I grew up on a produce farm in western NY state, which is a lot like Ohio, except there are these things called “hills.” My family was the kind who worked really hard while the sun was out and sat around playing guitars and fiddles on Saturday nights. I attended a tiny state school in a tiny rural town, where I lived with a family who operated an organic dairy farm. I fell in love with farming in a completely new way, partly because it was a completely new way to farm. All the while the degree I was pursuing assured me I would end up in a job where I wore heels to work and sat in a swivel chair.I ended up wearing heels for a little while, and the swivel chair was fun...but farming eventually won over. I gave my heels to a coworker and in spring of 2021 moved to central Ohio to become part of the didactic and thriving environment that is Sweet Grass Dairy.But before I was a farmer, I was a writer, and so it is truly a pleasure to have you as a reader. What can you expect to find here? Well, there will be recipes, some real food education, stories from everyday life at the farm, and the official scoop of what’s going on here across the different seasons. I promise not to be too long-winded. There is no time, with all these animals to take care of.Whether you are a farmer yourself, a foodie, someone who wears heels to work or someone who wears a hardhat, I hope I can encourage you to keep caring about the important things and to grow your enthusiasm for stewarding land and animals by supporting farmers who are working to do just that.So buckle up, or unbuckle, because we’re just riding on cow paths and back roads....~Emma