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  • Cliff McConville

June Healthy Eating Newsletter

FARM HAPPENINGS

As I am writing this newsletter my fingers are crossed for a heavy rain tonight. We are in the midst of a severe drought and it's not technically even summer yet. So far our perennial pastures have held up relatively well but they are starting to show some heat stress with the recent string of 90 degree days. If we don't get a good amount of rain soon we may have to get creative with our pasture rotations and possibly even start feeding hay which is unheard of this time of year.


With the hot and humid weather of recent weeks our our milk and egg production is down as the girls spend less time eating and more time lounging in the shade of the trees during the day. Sorry no more five gallon milk specials but we do still have a good supply of eggs in the farm store most days. And Anna has lots of duck eggs available.


We are now processing our pasture-raised broiler chickens on average 3 of every 4 weeks, and on processing weeks we will keep fresh chickens in the store from Thursday through Sunday. The batch going in next week is our first soy-free batch of the year. Anna and I prepared our first beer-can chicken of the summer on the grill last week and it was delicious. I have included the recipe below for those not familiar with beer can chicken.


On the topic of meat chickens we do get quite a few questions about why our pasture-raised broiler chickens look a little different and taste so much better than store bought organic chickens. Of course the biggest difference is their diet - our chickens get a fresh "salad bar" of greens every morning when we move their portable floorless coops - we call them Mobile Range Coops or MRCs - to a fresh patch of pasture. And those greens make up about 30% of their total diet.


The rest of their diet comes from a certified organic, non-GMO feed ration produced for us by a local mill in Cashton, Wisconsin. Almost all store-bought chickens are raised in giant confinement buildings with thousands of other chickens on a concrete floor, even the ones labeled "organic" (see last months newsletter). They never eat anything green their entire short miserable lives.


In addition our chickens are a special breed called Freedom Rangers - a red chicken that has been specially bred to actively forage on pastures. They grow quite a bit more slowly than the confinement frankenbirds but those extra few weeks growing on pasture adds quite a bit to the special flavor and texture to their meat - as well as lots of healthy Omega 3 fats.

Mobile Range Coop with Freedom Ranger Chickens Inside

FARM STORE UPDATE

Despite the drought and heat wave we are starting to get some local and homegrown fruits and veggies in the store now....

  • This week Karolina is harvesting lettuce, chives, kohlrabi, mizuna cabbage, turnips, and kale from our organic gardens here at the farm.

  • We will also have strawberries, asparagus (last of the season), beets, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, garlic scapes, radishes, and lettuce mix from other local farms.

  • Ania is now preparing fresh flower bouquets daily for the store from her flower garden on the farm.

  • For Father's Day grilling we have lots of pork in the store, including bone-in and boneless chops, shoulder roasts, and bacon! Plus a good selection of grass fed steaks and burger patties. Brats coming in another couple of weeks.


HEALTH NOTES BOOK REVIEW - METABOLICAL by Dr. Robert Lustig

I don't usually read too many books in the summer with the busy farm schedule. However once I picked this book up I could not put it down, and finished it in less than a week. Dr. Lustig summarizes compelling research that shows that our SAD diet (standard American diet) of processed food, with all the added sugar, salt, and refined Omega-6 vegetable oils, is killing us. Almost all of the chronic diseases afflicting our country and spreading globally - obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, crohns, cancer, autoimmune diseases, even dementia - are now linked to a processed food diet. And big Pharma, Big Food, Big Medicine, and Big Government are complicit in pushing the processed food on us even though it is wrecking our health and bankrupting Medicare. Eat REAL food!


RECIPE OF THE MONTH - BEER CAN CHICKEN ON THE GRILL

This is not so much a recipe as a cooking technique but certainly my favorite way to cook a chicken on the grill. In fact when we cook chicken on the farm for our Friday team lunch we always grill up two of these. The upright position of the chicken "sitting" on the beer can allows the skin to get nice and crispy, and the beer steam moisturizes and flavors the inside of the chicken.


We usually set the grill for indirect heat, and cook the chicken for 45-50 minutes until the legs are at 165 degrees. Our chickens do cook faster than a store bought chicken so keep that in mind. But this will be the tastiest chicken you will ever make on the grill!

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Thats it for this week, pray for some rain and cooler temperatures...


To Your Health,


Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team

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