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How Can I Pitch In? (Volume 6) EGG CARTONS!

People are always asking how they can get involved and help out at the farm.  Right now, one way to do that is to save your used egg cartons (ones you buy from NOMAD Farms or recycle your grocery store cartons with us).  Our laying hens are goin' at it at this time of year, so we need your recycled cartons to put them in...there are enough egg cartons going into land fills that we shouldn't have to buy them and pass the charge on to our customers.  Repurpose those babies!

Bring your empty egg cartons by the Log Cabin Farm Store when you come here to shop or take a tour.  Or bring them to us at the Cobblestone Farmers Market each Saturday or church or wherever you are likely to see us.  We prefer the clear plastic ones like the ones you see in the picture above, but we will take cardboard ones as well.  No styrofoam, please.

Other things to bring to help out: paper bags from the grocery store (we use them to let our customers take purchases home in), compostable material (clean, please--no wrappers or meat chunks!  We can't take time to separate garbage), or a chunk of a perennial garden plant or flower for beautifying our wood lines and beds (dig up a shovel full of a split hosta or lily or hydrangea and bring it in a plastic pot or bag).  

This is a team effort !  We want to share the beauty of this place with you, and every contribution from our patrons is a win for sustainable agriculture.

New stock of fresh pasture raised beef at NOMAD!

Hurry to the NOMAD Farms Log Cabin Store and stock up on fresh, no-nonsense pasture raised beef today!  We just got it back from the butcher, and this is absolutely the most beautiful, delicious grass fed beef you will ever taste.  And the best part?  It was raised with integrity right here on the chemical-free meadows of NOMAD Farms.  Did you see the cover story in Consumer Reports this month on the dangers of grocery store beef?  It's not worth the risk, folks, plain and simple.

Healthy living can't be separated from healthy eating, guys.  The good news is that eating good-for-you NOMAD meat products is a mouth watering pleasure!

 

Also in stock: we just got a beautiful lamb back from the butcher and expect to have a whole pork available by cut in the farm store by the end of next week, too.  Thanksgiving turkeys and coming soon and free range eggs are in plenty.  And, of course, the Log Cabin Store is well stocked with our much-heralded pasture raised chicken--have you tried one of these things?!?  They are outrageously good, and full of nutrition to boot.  With our current special (buy 8 get one FREE!) people are stocking up for the winter months.  These chickens are raised on grass, and when it turns brown next month we have to stop raising chickens until spring 2016.  Don't get caught having to go back to grocery store chicken (or better than that, going without chicken) until spring.  Put a few in your freezer this week!

 

Farm Camp Registration is Open!


Hi! I’m Ruthann, the new Education and PR Specialist at NOMAD, and am looking forward to invaluable learning and using my gifts and experience to further the mission of NOMAD Farms.  I have loved all the rain this week, as it does its work in soaking the pastures and garden, and then inviting me to curl up with hot tea in the evening. We are excited to tell you about the first NOMAD Farms Summer Camp.  This year’s camp is June 22-26, 9 am - 2 pm, for children ages 6-12.  We have limited space, so please include a $50 deposit with registration to reserve your spot. You can print/scan/email or use a stamp and the post box to register.  Come prepared to get dirty, work hard, play hard, enjoy and care for the land!

Click this link to download the Registration form.pdf

If you are interested in volunteering as a helper (ages 13 and up), download the Volunteer Sign-up form.pdf

 

Internship Opportunity at NOMAD Farms, LLC

 

An internship position earning a monthly stipend.  NOMAD Farms (www.nomadfarms.org) is a clean food meat production family farm.  Our humanely raised animals are the centerpiece of the farm and enjoy the cleanliness of fresh, rotated pasture to live and feed on.   We’re dedicated not only to healthy foods and sustainable stewardship, but to sharing this land and model with the community.  For our patrons, we are offering a point of connection with the land and a destination for good food and good relationships.   This is much more than just a farm.

 

The available position is a skill-development internship aimed at equipping the intern with practical farm experience that will enhance any resume, especially on career trajectories in the sphere of agriculture and/or sustainability.   Responsibilities include assistance in daily farm operations, like feeding and caring for animals, mending fences, managing soil health, working in our large scale garden and processing/packaging produce and meat for sale.  The intern will represent the farm at local farmer’s markets and interact with visitors on our farm tours.  By learning detailed operations of the farm and assisting in the development and implementation of new strategies, this intern will gain skills and insight for farm operations and management.

 

This internship will last approximately seven (7) months (May 1 to November 30, 2015).  Compensation will include a $700/month stipend for 35-40 hour work weeks for the first 4 months, and would be expected to drop back to 12 hour work weeks from September to November, as we would prefer for this intern to be a college student.  Those final three months earn a stipend of $400/mo.  Housing is not included, but lunches on the farm will be provided on work days. 

 

Qualifications: Above all, honesty, integrity, a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn.  No farming experience necessary, but the candidate must be physically fit and willing to work in all weather conditions with a smile.  Good people skills are strongly desired as most everything we do includes interaction with the community.  Valid driver’s license and legal work status in the US required, as well as a current tetanus shot.  

Nomad Tibetan Mastiffs 2015 Litters Just Born!

 

This was a big weekend for NOMAD Farms and NOMAD Tibetan Mastiffs. 

 

Many of you know that when we moved to North Carolina after a ten-year tenure on the “Rooftop of the World” in “The Land of Snows,” three beloved Tibetan Mastiffs boarded the plane for America with us.  It had taken more than two months of standing in China lines for physical exams, permission slips, stamped papers, and dog passports to pull off this immigration.  So August 7, 2013 was a fine day when we let the dogs out of travel crates to potty on American soil in the RDU Airport cargo terminal.  From Tibet to Tobaccoville, Nora Sangje (red dam), Earnest Shackleton (gold sire), and Burleigh Heads (traditional black sire) were beginning life in their New World.  Earnest’s sister, Jashie (name means “blessing” in Tibetan), had flown ahead of the other three five months earlier and was waiting at NOMAD Farms on the day we drove from the airport to take residence. 

 

Fast forward to the present.  Based on our first sight of Nora and Burleigh’s “getting together” and by my calculation, Nora’s puppy litter was due last Friday.  We could not be so sure about Jashie’s due date as Burleigh chose a more private time for their rendezvous.  Friday passed without signs of labor but Saturday morning we awoke to find the first three of Nora’s pups already born and tucked in the back of the dog house.  With gentle coaxing, Mark was able to lead Nora into the whelping box (a kind of crib that Bowen and David had built for birthing and nursing puppies under the house) and this just before number four emerged, sealed in her amniotic sac.  Nora methodically tore away the sac, carefully snipped the umbilical cord with her teeth and began cleaning the next of what would be eight healthy pups.  Nora’s mothering instincts are sharp.  She labored long and then napped and fed her babies for the rest of the day.

 

Late afternoon we discovered Jashie had started labor.  Pheromones are for real!  Jashie settled in her personal whelping box where she would deliver her first litter of five thriving puppies.  Nora’s eight plus Jashie’s five equals a proud papa of all thirteen puppies.  Burleigh says, “ Cigars to all hearty congratulators!”

 

A year ago we were delighted to welcome Nora & Earnest’s first litter of eight pups.  These TMs are now spread out across the USA (+1 in Canada) where, by all reports and pictures from nurturing families, they have grown to an average 125 lbs of world class splendor.  It is awe-inspiring to see how such a tiny bundle can grow to lion-stature in a year’s time.  Cells multiply, manes and tails grow, colors change, and distinctive personalities develop in just a few months’ time.  In the winter issue of Modern Farmer I read an interview with B.J. Novak, the actor who plays an intern on the sitcom, “The Office.”  Well, the guy is moving to a farm in real life and said this about it: “A friend of mine has a theory that those who live closer to where food is grown are more religious.  Because when you see how food is actually created, instead of just seeing it in a package in a store in a city, it gives you a real sense of awe.  And I love that and would like to be closer to that.”  This observation may resonate with visitors to NOMAD Farms.  And the same sentiment expressed about the source of food can apply to the untrained and intricate knowledge of a mother dog to care for her pups and the transformation of these from birth to adulthood in less than a year’s time.   Awe-inspiring.

 

The same pup from four days to eleven months old

  

 

 

 

 If interested in pup for purchase, write info@nomadfarms.org.  

 

Weeknight Bird is Guests-Worthy


On Saturday Mark & I took the children for a spontaneous “night out on the town.”  We ended up at a joint called Barnes & Noble.  The diversion was for all of  us to fan out and select books on topics we were interested in studying.  Then we would meet back at the store lounge and spend the evening reading together or at least getting overviews of stuff we may like to put on our “to read” lists.  Well we all ended up in the farming section of the store where Bowen found some provocative pig books, Ellis found berry books galore, Mark found new releases on the evolution of the American food industry, and I found a few unfamiliar farm biographies, my favorite genre over the last few years.  David couldn’t find a thing on sheep so I took him over to the magazine section hoping there would be a title like “Mutton New” or something like that.  But the magazine that winked at me was “Cook’s Illustrated.”  Because, guess what?  This season’s special issue is called, “All-Time Best Chicken Recipies.”  It features at least 46 different recipes that have been tried in kitchens across America.  That every recipe has been tested and retested for success in the average stripped-down kitchen set-up is good for me as I have never been one to luxuriate in fancy kitchen provisions.  You should have seen my kitchen cubicle in China.  How about the yak dung burning stove that had to be used for cooking whenever the power went out (which was a regular occurance)?   But I digress as the point of this blog is to share my first personally tested recipe from this impressive collection.  So here you go:

 

It’s called, “French Chicken in a Pot” (Cooks Illustrated, 2014) and it was SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS!  Chances are you already have every single ingredient to prepare this weeknight or having-guests dinner (that is, if you have already stocked up on NOMAD Pastured Poultry).

“Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more for this recipe; the pot should have a tight-fitting lid. . ."

1         whole chicken, giblets discarded (the bird we sell at NOMAD is perfect)

2         teaspoons kosher salt

¼        teaspoon pepper

1         tablespoon olive oil

1         small onion, chopped

1         small celery rib, chopped (I skipped this)

6         garlic cloves, peeled

1      bay leaf

1      spring fresh rosemary (clip from our herbs at NOMAD Farms if you like)

½-1 teaspoon lemon juice

1.  Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, tuck wings behind back (NOMAD chickens are already perfectly positioned), and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking.  Add chicken, breast side down, and scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary, if using, around chicken.  Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Using wooden spoon inserted into cavity of chicken, flip chicken breast side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

2.  Off heat, place large sheet of aluminum foil over pot and cover tightly with lid.  Transfer pot to oven and cook chicken . . . 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes.

3.  Transfer chicken to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer . . . discard solids.  Let juices settle for 5 minutes, then pour into small saucepan and set over low heat.  Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan.  Season jus with lemon juice to taste.  Serve chicken, passing jus separately. 

We just finished this meal and it was splendid.  Take it from a provincial girl (when it comes to cooking, that is) – you can’t mess this one up!

 


NOMAD Farms Chicken has a New Look

Our family of six woke up early and started processing part of the second batch of NOMAD Farms' fresh, pasture raised, better-than-organic chicken!  The biggest change?  Our packaging.  Stays fresher longer, and makes this chicken look as professional and high quality as it truly IS.  

 

Those of you who bought chickens our last go 'round got it in a zip-loc bag.  Not the statement we wanted to make with our packaging.  But it was out of necessity, as our freezer-quality logo labels were not yet delivered.  These labels, besides looking great, actually are a vital step to sealing in freshness.  

 

We now have fresh chicken available at any time.  Drop by the farm Mon- Sat, 9:00 - 5:00 (call ahead to make sure we are here) and see what we have in the NOMAD Farm store.  These chickens will sell out, and we will have to process again soon.  T-shirts, compost bins, logo bumper stickers and more await you in the farm store.  Both whole chickens and butchered chickens (conveniently cut into two boneless, skinless breasts, two tenders, two quarter chickens (leg & thing),  two wings and a back for stock) are in the never-frozen section.  Hearts and livers sell for $2.50/lb.  Gizzards, necks ($1.50/lb) and feet (FEET?  YES!!!!  Add them to your backs and necks for a SUPERIOR stock flavor--no kidding!) separately packaged as well.  

 

One last note...tomorrow (Friday morning) we are hosting a huge educational farm tour at 10:00.  We expect over 50 people.  This is fun, informative, and relaxing.  Great for kids.  We may start doing tours every Friday morning on a sign-up basis.  More info to come.

 

Many thanks, from your clean food processing team!

Why Does NOMAD Charge $18 per Chicken?

Warning:  I am prone to this.  Those who know me best are familiar with my propensity to soapbox on the subjects that most inflame me with passion.

 

Clean, healthy food is one of my passions.

 

Someone who loves me very much sent a kind-hearted and gentle email this morning to let me know of her concerns that we cannot sustain our business in the long term selling chickens for $18.  She compared our chickens to the ones she is buying at a health-conscious grocery store—let’s use the letters WF to represent that store—and essentially communicated that we are charging a higher price than our competition for what must be an inferior product. 

 

If I can get you to finish reading this blog entry, I think you will understand that exactly the opposite is true: we are selling a superior chicken for a lower price.

 

I am NOT in this blog entry comparing our chicken to the cheap, low quality stuff you fish out of the bargain freezers at Costco and Food Lion.  Those Tyson or Perdue chickens are not the same product.  They are intentionally low cost, low quality, steroid-laden, antibiotic-riddled, unethically raised, environmentally destructive junk food chickens raised to get the most bang for the buck in the short term.  You see the long term costs of these chickens in your checkbook, and in headlines like: “Health Insurance Jumps Again—rate increases due to skyrocketing incidence of cancer, disease and obesity” or “Tax Hike—taxpayers responsible for bill in latest chicken sludge environmental disaster” or “ERs Overworked—Salmonella outbreak kills 6, sickens thousands.”  Our chicken has nothing to do with this stuff.

 

Our chicken is more comparable to the better products sold at stores like WF.  Chickens there are fresher, many raised on organic feed with few or no antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, etc.  They are overall good for you.  I am not opposed to folks buying their chicken at stores like WF.

 

But how does our chicken compare?

 

1.       (Most importantly) We are local.  I spoke at a party with a nutrition expert this week who says she tells people “Local first, organic second.”  Local food is superior for myriad reasons.  It makes sense.  When you ship something across the country or across the ocean, you must do bad things to it.  The chickens at WF may or may not be “locally” sourced . . . at our WF, the local chickens come from Texas.  They are ten days old before they leave the shelves.  They are packaged in about half a pound of water.  Still, this is better than Tyson.

 

Was your chicken from WF raised in a dark room with poor ventilation, no exercise, in a cage with little space (while eating organic grain)?  How can you know?  What does “access to outdoors” mean?  Who oversees it?  Come to NOMAD Farms and see every step of the process.  Hold the chickens.  Read the ingredients on the healthy, no animal byproduct, medication-free, high protein feeds we offer.  Watch our healthy chickens eat bugs and grass, run in the sunshine and enjoy fresh air.  Local foods can be seen and touched.  WF cannot offer this. 

 

2.       We are healthier.  My guess is that one in fifty people who buy organic meats can articulate what organic means in an educated manner.  Without going into what “organic” means, it only refers to what the chicken ate while it lived.  “Organic” does not insure ethical treatment, clean facilities, or even healthy air.  “Organic” does not necessarily mean “healthy”—or even “healthier”!  Most organic chickens are slaughtered at the same types of unclean and unethical processing plants Perdue and Tyson use. When people ask, “Is it organic?” the true question is “Is it healthy?”  It’s only healthy if it is healthy from the hatchling to the farm to the slaughter to the packaging to the consumer.  We can provide that.

 

This article: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=116 clearly articulates why “pasture raised” is better than “organic,” given a choice between the two.  This is where I would differ from the nutrition expert I talked to at the party—I would say local first, pasture raised second.  The data on the health differences between organic and non-organic indicate a slight jump in nutrition quality.  But the data says the difference between pasture raised and non-pasture raised is a HUGE jump in nutrition. 

 

We are not yet organically certified because of the expense and hassle related to that certification.  Our feed is high quality.  Our living standards are better.  Our health and sanitation standards are higher.  Nutrition comparisons between pastured poultry farms (like ours) and health food store chickens consistently show that we (the small farm farmers) sell the superior product.

 

3.       We are cheaper.  For most folks, this is where the rubber meets the road.  In the email, she told me she was paying $3.79/lb for her WF chickens, usually at about 3 lbs. for an average price of $11.37 for a whole chicken.  Ours are $18.00.  Aren’t ours way more expensive?  No, actually.  Our last batch of chickens dressed out at an average of 4.7 pounds per bird.  If we charged $3.79, that’s $17.81.  WF is charging tax on top of that.  And look how much water comes in the WF bag with the chicken!  Some of our birds are smaller, closer to 4 pounds.  Some, however, are larger, weighing over 5 pounds.  We are taking the weight variance guesswork out and charging a rate based on averages...consistent price is easier for everyone.  This keeps some people from having to pay over $20 for a large bird. 

 

Our pricing is consistent with fresh-food farm rates.  We have almost $7 cash invested in purchasing, feeding, processing and packaging each bird.   That means we processed our first batch of chickens at a rate of about $4/hour for my labor.  That does not even address what we have put into infrastructure.  We are new at this and will get better, but I can assure you we are providing a great product for a great price.

 

I could go on and on, but I think you get the general idea. 

 

Try one of our chickens.  Taste the difference.  See how much further it goes than your average grocery store chicken.  And know that it is good for you, ethically raised, environmentally responsible, and comes from a farm where integrity in all things is important. 

 

We sell a better product at a lower price.  I am confident there is not a more healthy chicken available at ANY store, farm, or restaurant in the Winston-Salem area than NOMAD Farms chickens.  

Farm to Table food on your menu for this weekend!

Having dinner guests?  Hosting a party?  Wholesome sit down (or on  the fly) family meal?  Come to NOMAD Farms this Friday or Saturday for fresh, never-frozen Pastured Poultry!  After you taste our flavorful chicken for the first time, you may determine that one is not nearly enough.  Are you going to eat mostly factory chicken with a wholesome chicken every once in a while or mostly wholesome chicken that you can feel good about feeding your family on a regular basis?  Would you rather risk eating the cheap chicken and wait decades to determine the impact or go ahead and invest in the toxin-free, nutritious alternative?

True, it's a decision that may affect your budget but could you consider eliminating a couple of splurge items to make even the trade-off for good health?  Skip one package of cookies or a bundle of sodas and you've made up the difference.  Besides, isn't the extra cost worth the avoidance of factory meat that was injected with antibiotics to keep it alive in toxic conditions?  For years you've been talking about animals pumped with steroids to speed growth and production and how our ingestion of all that can't be good for the human body.   NOMAD Farms is making it possible for you to DO SOMETHING about that atrocity!

Come on out for a NOMAD Farms educational tour!  There's a BIG GROUP with children (young and old) gathering this Friday at 10:00 am.  Bring a picnic lunch for afterwards.  Mark makes the learning FUN!  Your young'uns will be primed for a solid nap on Friday afternoon - dreaming of sheep, chickens, cows, horses, pigs, and their pastures.  You'll have fresh chicken in your frig and peace in the initiative you've taken to care for your family's health.  Maybe you'll consider a transition to 100% straight up local meat products.  Okay, okay.  I'll not insist on such a sudden revolution.  "Man, man lai" (lit "Slowly, slowly come along," as they say in Chinese).  Not this time, but next time we'll talk about investing in a deep freezer.  He he!

Open for Farm Tours : You Can Boost the Beauty!

Some nights ago we were wandering through Mark’s luscious garden and musing over this week’s developments at the farm.  We were SO PLEASED that several families and individuals had dropped by for a casual farm tour.  Some bought chicken, some bought composting bins, and some bought fresh pies that Scottie had baked.  Some were just passing through.  In all cases, we were HAPPY to spend an hour sharing the NOMAD Farms vision and look forward to this week’s drop-ins.  Your interest alone is encouraging!  

For all who are curious about the vision and would like to come by for a picnic and /or educational and energetic (!) tour, here is our brand new idea to enliven your experience and help sustain NOMAD Farms.  We suggest making some small contribution that would enhance the landscape, enrich the soil, nourish the animals, or boost our family business.  Be creative – ANYTHING GOES! 

Our farm tours are fun, educational, great for kids, eye-opening, and refreshing.

Some Good Ideas:

·         Bring a bag of compost that your family accumulates over a few days’ time (fruit, vegetable, and plant waste)

·         Bring a bag of pig slops (any and all human food scraps)

·         Save and bring your empty egg cartons

·         Bring a sapling, plant or flower of any kind (this can be a transplant from your yard or clearance purchase from a local nursery)

·         Spend 15 minutes weeding the garden or pitching in some other way.  We are in way over our heads here so there is no lack on the list of things to do!

·         Make a $3-$5 donation to say you “Like” Mark's educational farm tour!

·         In addition to or in lieu of any of the above, you can stop by our store on your way out and purchase a pastured poultry chicken ($18), NOMAD Farms T-shirt (Green Label organic quality at $18 for any size), NOMAD Farms compost bin ($18), homemade blueberry or apple pie ($18).  Yes, pretty much everything we sell right now is EIGHTEEN DOLLARS!

The point is to have everyone who comes feel like he /she has done something active or tangible to add value to this farmland.  We want to engender the sense that this clean food enterprise belongs to all of our patrons and anyone who lends a hand!   In his casual tour, Mark delights in teaching kids (and adults,too) about God’s appointing humans to be good stewards of the resources He has given us.  By making some kind of contribution, your kids will feel like they’ve done something meaningful to tend God’s green earth.  If you bring a sapling or plant that takes root here, you’ll be able to watch it grow over the years and enjoy visible reminder of your investment.

These days our log cabin store is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00.  If you want a guided tour – call or email to confirm or join up with another family.  We appreciate groups collaborating on times – the more the merrier! 

 

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Comments

  1. Re: An Eye-Opening Comparison

    good post

    -- replica Cartier watches

  2. Re: NOMAD Farms Chicken has a New Look

    "Pastured Poultry" I love it! Continued best wishes to you guys.

    -- DC

  3. Re: An Eye-Opening Comparison

    Wow thank you for sharing this comparison. Very eye opening and disturbing!!!!!!!

    -- Tina

  4. Re: Why Does NOMAD Charge $18 per Chicken?

    Great article, Dana! You really broke things down well!

    -- Denys

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