About Simple Gifts Farm Livestock

healthy and sustainable

eggs * pork * beef


Chickens
Our eggs, from a variety of heritage breeds, are pasture-raised and fed organic grain. We house the chickens in a movable hutch during the summer, so that we can bring them to a new patch of fresh green grass two to three times per week. This gives them plenty of fresh green feed, resulting in eggs with radiant orange yolks, full of anti-oxidants. It also distributes their manure around the field as fertilizer, so that the soil is richer when rotated back to crops the next year.

During winter, the chickens live in a nice, warm greenhouse. When hens grow older and produce fewer eggs, we try to sell them to backyard chicken raisers so that they can continue to be productive and cared for.


Cattle
Our cattle are 100% grass-fed, primarily on a pasture next-door to our main farm. Grazing this land is clearing shrubby invasive plants, which prepares it for vegetable production. The herd is a mixture of Angus, Scottish Highlander, and Galloway, selected to maximize both the quality of the meat and the ability of the animals to thrive on our overgrown pasture.

Pigs
Our piglets are born on the farm. The pigs live on pasture all summer, and stay in a warm, deeply-bedded house through the winter. They eat only certified organic grain. In the spring, they help us turn over our compost with their rooting power, and have a good time doing it. Their breed, a cross including Gloucester Old Spot and Berkshire, is selected for high-quality meat production on pasture.

How Our Livestock Help Manage the Land
Employing the wisdom of generations of farmers, we use our livestock not only to provide quality meat and eggs from happy animals, but also to help fertilize the land. We generally wait much longer than the 90-120 days that organic standards require between applying manure and harvesting a crop. (Conventional farms using manure are not held to these standards.) Each of our fields is grazed, then we wait through the current growing season and the following winter before planting it with crops in the next growing season. The manure saved from winter housing is always composted for at least a year before application, and then applied in the fall so as to let it settle over the winter. Manure dropped during grazing enriches the forage crops, and when we are ready to plant produce, these crops are plowed under to lend their nutrients to the vegetables and flowers.

We believe that food-borne illnesses result from unhealthy animals raised in industrial systems, and we seek to provide an alternative to supporting such unethical and unhealthy agriculture. Our animals and land are healthy, and our respect for natural cycles allows our soil to continue abundantly and sustainably producing nutritious food that you can feel good about eating.