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

A Glimpse of Day-to-Day

posted on

July 16, 2021

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... 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!

More from the blog

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.