Today Bill and I were on a quest to visit local farms that share our philosophy toward food since we’re in the market for a new grassfed meat supplier. (We really miss Providence Farms but understand their decision to seek out meaningful, full-time employment.)
The best prospect for us–the one most in sync with our view–is Lubbers Farm near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Here’s what farm owners Karen and Jeff Lubbers say about their philosophy toward farming: “We believe all of life is part of a web. What we do to one part, we do to all. We are committed to the importance of whole foods raised on sustainable local farms as a pathway to abundant health, a sustainable environment and excellent flavor.”
We brought our friend Waltraud along for the annual Farm Tour, where Karen and Jeff Lubbers invite people to take a hay ride through their pastures and see how the meat is raised, where the eggs come from, how the dairy operates, how the bread is made at the Little Rooster Bakery, and how the farm is managed as a whole organism.
Read more about their approach toward ruminants(i.e., animals with rumens, such as cows and sheep) on their website. Here are some of our photos of the ruminants we saw today, along with the guinea hen clean-up crew–an essential participant in grass farming.
We also saw lots of pigs, which are pastured on the edge of the woods.
Also on the pasture tour, we saw the chicken houses and the Eggmobile. These are moved frequently, giving the chickens fresh grass to eat. The chickens, in turn, fertilize the grass with their manure. Read more about Lubbers’ poultry and eggs on their website.
Check out Super Dude, the dog amongst the chickens around the Eggmobile. He keeps the hawks and other critters away.
Everyone sure looks happy, from the animals to the veggies to the flowers and the bees.
What a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon in September, getting to know our local farmers, their land and their animals, and seeing their commitment to the web of life.