Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: On the soap box

New on the scene….

….well new to me anyway.  Tammi Jonas is an Australian farmer (cattle and pigs) who departed vegetarianism several years ago to become not only an omnivore but a butchers.  And not incidentally, an advocate for “natural” farming. Ms Jonas recently attended a pork producers meeting in Australia and found her worst fears confirmed.  Pigs are a […]

The cost of confinement….

….is generally discussed in terms of cost/benefit ratios.  What is it worth to keep an animal confined to a pen, indoors…sometimes even immobilized…in order to put cheap meat on your table?  (Forget, for the moment, that it is mostly unhealthy meat.) In the abstract, a few may understand that the animal is paying a terrible price […]

Beware “settled science”….

….I do try to stay away from politics here…there’s enough everywhere else.  But with the increasing dogmatism (okay, fascism) in academia today it seems clear a lot of people are going to get hurt in the name of “settled science”.  All thought and speech really is being regulated now among the “educated”….and the rest of us will soon […]

The Christmas Tree bill….

….perhaps the greatest wrongs committed in Washington are discovered too-late in what is known as the Christmas Tree bill.  That’s when all the pet projects of all the corrupt lawmakers are loaded onto a “must-pass” bill to keep the government running.  It comes up for a vote—all the bad stuff hidden among the required stuff—at the last […]

Alright, this is political….

….I try to keep this blog away from politics but, reading between the lines, you can certainly tell I believe “that government is best which governs least”.  And particularly when it comes to the food we eat. Yes, even the safety of the food we eat is not well-served by big government…not the federal government…or the […]

Behind the scenes…..

….many, though probably not most, consumers of grass fed beef know the right questions to ask a farmer to be sure they’re getting the “real thing”.  The problem is most consumers don’t know their farmer, which is why we think buying “local” is just as important as buying “grass fed”. Simply put:  a good deal […]

The perfect storm….

An old CBS News colleague, Bill Kurtis, is a mover-and-shaker in grass fed beef circles….his Tall Grass Beef company marketing nationally.  But Bill thinks those of us operating at a smaller scale better not be making any big, and particularly long-range, plans.   Guest Blog August 2014 By Bill Kurtis  Dry Age Beef and the grass-fed […]

Mama…don’t let your kids grow up….

….to be farmers. It’s still a no-win game despite all the publicity about the Locavore movement, farm-to-fork, food hubs, CSAs.  “blah-blah” stuff.  The dirty little secret is the Big Guys are killing us….and they’re the ones getting the subsidies and grants that enable them to further squash the idealists. The New York Times had the story […]

On pork….

….we took guests this weekend to a nearby farm store.  As fellow pig breeders, I thought they would be interested in another approach to marketing pork. We’d tasted the sausage before and appreciated the flavor but without endorsing the management technique of using regular genetically-modified grain, plus day-old bread from a bakery (not only GM […]

Talk about a “giant step for mankind”….

the largest grain producing company in the world is changing course….and converting to grass fed beef! They put a pencil to it and decided industrial ag just isn’t sustainable (as we’ve been saying”. Thanks to Dr. Sue Beal for the link.