New Lower Pork Prices

New Pork Pricing

We started this ranch from nothing a short 6 years ago. It’s been an intense, never-die experience that is harder than we ever imagined. It may not seem like it, but we are still tiny in terms of farm sizes, producing only a few tens-of-thousands of pounds of meat per year compared to the millions of pounds produced by a single feedlot or confinement location. Translation… ... Continue reading

Posted in Frugal Living | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hog Killin’ Time

It’s almost hog-killin’ time. 

It is likely that most of our ancestors just a generation or two back participated in a yearly community effort to put up pork for the winter. Here in Jefferson, it’s mid-October, and we’re still seeing 80+ degree temperatures, but soon enough it’ll be cool even during the day, which is perfect weather for outdoor processing like they did way back when.

Of course… ... Continue reading

Posted in Farm Life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Farm Store Kickstarter Project

Farm Store Kickstarter

The cat’s out of the bag–we’re finally building a farm store! Our store will provide a pleasant and convenient place to shop here at the farm. It will include a commercial kitchen, which will allow us to expand our product selection to additional goods like bone broth, breads, prepared meals, fermented foods, etc. In addition to the delicious and wholesome meats, eggs, and veggies we already offer… ... Continue reading

Posted in Community, projects | Tagged | Leave a comment

2016 Turkey Time

I find it to be a great comfort that we get to start thinking about the winter holidays in the dog days of hot East Texas summer. July means turkeys are already on pasture, foraging away to build up the centerpiece of the Thankgiving feast. 

20150615 pastured turkey

If you’re new to our operations, here’s a little bit of info on… ... Continue reading

Posted in Farming | Leave a comment

Meet James and Anna!

Here is a fun article for you. Our apprentices, James and Anna, arrived to the ranch way back in March of this year from South Korea (after a week of visiting James’ family). We had planned to let them transition to farm life gradually, considering that they had just moved all the way from Korea and were still recovering from jet-lag! It was supposed to be an easy week to move… ... Continue reading

Posted in Farm Life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Organic Food Making Us Unhealthier?

Have you heard the term “Greenwashing?” Even if you haven’t, perhaps you’ve noticed the vast increase in availability of things at the supermarket that have pretty, healthy-looking little green labels. It’s so nice to have so many healthful options… or is it?

Not all that long ago in the East Texas/Shreveport area, real health foods were hard to find. I remember the days of driving from one farm in… ... Continue reading | 3 Comments

Posted in Real Food | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Grass-fed Beef

1. The term “grass-fed” beef is no longer regulated as of January 2016.

This is a pretty complicated issue, but honestly, we don’t feel it’s entirely a bad thing. Why? Well, we were never terribly into government regulation of private industries. But when the standard was defined, there were still many loopholes and undefined parameters like antibiotic and hormone use, slaughter methods, and even feedlot use. You might have been… ... Continue reading | 4 Comments

Posted in Grass-fed Beef | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Help a Farmer Out

Oh, the world of advertising. It seems like a mysterious chasm that only lots of money will get you across as a business owner. We know there are people out there looking for us. So how do we talk to them without spending every last dime we have worked so hard to earn?

We use Facebook to share quick news and anecdotes about farm life (sorry, no time for… ... Continue reading

Posted in Frugal Living | Leave a comment

We found a hidden treasure…

This month marks our 6-year anniversary of arrival at Shady Grove Ranch. Six years, in the context of farming, is hardly any time at all, and yet we’ve come a long way and done a lot of cool stuff and been through a lot of intense experiences! But boy, has it gone by fast. It’s especially fun to chat with our customers who have been with us from the beginning, and… ... Continue reading | 2 Comments

Posted in Farm Life | Tagged , | 2 Comments

When Optimism Meets 9,000 Pounds of Hungry

Perhaps many of our readers know us just enough to know that we produce yummy meats and eggs, but not much more than that. Well, let me introduce you to a bit of our kookiness by sharing this fun story. Most of the year, our 185-acre ranch is run by Matt alone, with seasonal help through our internship program. I help with farmy stuff occasionally, with Matt’s parents serving as… ... Continue reading | 1 Comment

Posted in Farm Life, Pigs | 1 Comment