Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Month: June, 2012

Nature is always right…

One of the lessons of farming is that you don’t fight nature….and it’s time for us to recognize that we ‘re in the summer dry spell.  Maybe drought.  Whatever.  While the grass still looks good and there’s plenty of it, you can feel the dryness in the hardening ground.  And you certainly see the water […]

Et tu, NIH?

One of the rewards of what we do is talking to our friends and neighbors as they get their latest grass fed beef and pork fix.  There were a couple of those conversations yesterday.  One about the federal study that says the low carb diet is best for losing weight after all….and another with a […]

Those who can’t….

….well you know the rest.  And it’s certainly true in the cattle business.  Some of the best-known consultants have never really successfully managed a herd, much less produced a notable cow.  You can check. But here’s a Devon cow bred by a consultant, Bill Roberts of 12 Stones Grassland Beef, that would be a star […]


…to our British colleague, Gavin Hunter of Tilbrook Grange, for the success of his new young bull, Victory.  Victory won the recent three-county show in England and is the latest of a string of triumphs for Gavin and his bull program. Victory is 21-months old, the son of Tilbrook Kiwi.  Unfortunately he doesn’t quite meet […]

Just by coincidence…

I had barely finished writing my post below warning that grass fed farmers needed to carefully consider before shipping their animals into the commercial marketplace.  My point was that designing your animals for “The Box” is what got the meat industry into trouble in the first place. It’s an easy way to sell your steers, […]

A 7,000 year-old cow….

….a painting found on the wall of a cave in the Sahara.  Actually more than one cow.  We think we can make out 7.  Hard to see but much better if you click on the picture to enlarge. Thanks to our dear friend in Germany, Gisela Volkert, for sending it to us.

The developing grass fed beef market (Part 2)….

Bill Roberts’ dissent from the old bromide perception is reality reminded me of another:  “Each man is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts”.  It’s generally attributed to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan but goes back a lot farther than that. And while we have some serious concerns over Bill’s article […]

The developing grass fed beef market….

There is no one in this business of grass fed beef whose opinions I value more than Bill Roberts of 12 Stones Grasslands Beef.  Bill has not only an education in the field but years of experience in all levels of raising and marketing cattle.  While a staunch advocate for natural food he has also […]

We invite your attention….

….to two new “boxes” on our home page. The first, is a link to Traditional Devon.  For the past two years, much of our time has been spent in England searching out the very finest genetics for import to the United States.  We’ve also tried to isolate what remains of more traditional Devon herds in […]

Sharpening their saw….

We slipped across the Potomac river yesterday to join a group of grass farmers who belong to the Maryland Grazing Network in a day-long seminar.  About 40 farmers spent the day discussing grazing techniques, cattle and financial planning.  Here they’re studying a summary report of 10 years of operation at host Myron Martin’s dairy farm near Knoxville.  […]