Let Them Eat Rocks

Visitors to the farm are sometimes surprised to learn that we feed our chickens and turkeys rocks. In the case of turkeys, a lot of rocks. Many birds use rocks as a digestive aid. This arrangement makes sense because birds lack teeth for chewing, so anything that can’t be broken down by pecking or clawing goes down the hatch whole. Rocks collect in a bird’s gizzard and they are used to mill food into smaller pieces for more thorough extraction of nutrients. Over time the rocks (technical term is gastroliths for any… Read More

WDF Beef and Water

Once when selling at a farmers’ market, a customer told me she felt particularly conflicted about purchasing beef because of the water it wastes. Indeed, depending on the source of your facts, you can find shocking statistics stating that beef wastes between 500 and 2500 gallons per pound of meat, so it isn’t surprising that she was so troubled. This horrific waste is a favorite argument cited by those who’d wish to convince others to stop eating beef. I’d like to present my reasons for positing that Wrong Direction Farm beef doesn’t… Read More

Solar Pump Station

There is a curious ineluctability that simple solutions are difficult to achieve. After four years of tinkering, I am finally satisfied that I have a working solar water pumping station. Most of the farm is downhill from our pond, so we can siphon our water to the cattle and the poultry without using any power. But there are a few fields at the same elevation as the pond, and for those we need to pump water. Over the years I’ve gone through five different pumps, four charge controllers, and two sets of… Read More

Wildlife Sightings

Sharing two new wildlife sightings. Actually there was a third, a striking godwit out by the pond, but the photos were too fuzzy. Yogi Berra was right, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”