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More Forgiving Farms – Pasture Posts #92

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

One goal we have on our farm is to never have bare soil. There are several reasons for this which we’ll outline in this edition of Pasture Posts, but they all revolve around carbon sequestration and soil and water conservation.

Some might see our pastures at certain times of the year and say that we waste grass. But the truth is that none of the grass that is left standing or is trampled by the cattle is wasted. In fact, it is performing very valuable work, but the results of this work is not always evident immediately. Carbon sequestration is a highly valuable activity that is set into motion by herbivores like buffalo in nature and by cattle on our farm. Read more on this in Pasture Posts #12.

As we often mention in this newsletter and on tours, the hooves of the cattle help feed the soil while their mouth helps feed them. They trample more grass than they eat! This is a great way to transfer carbon from the atmosphere to soil where it can be an asset rather than a liability. Did you know that every one percent of organic matter can hold 20,000 gallons of water per acre? That’s a lot of resiliency that is unlocked by capturing carbon!

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Please welcome our newest team members! – Pasture Posts #91

We sincerely hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week! Be sure to take note of the modified deadlines below.

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

We wanted to introduce you to two of our newest team members: Daniel Taylor and Jordan Bishop.

Daniel is our new Fulfillment Manager and works hard to accurately assemble your orders as you place them on the website. He also organizes our various freezers to make things as efficient as possible when assembling orders as well as to keep the inventory moving out in the correct order. He also pitches in on chicken processing days when we need all the hands we can get. He plays an increasingly important role here at Watson Farms as more and more customers like yourself continue to find us each week.

If you would like to send Daniel a word of welcome and encouragement, you can reach out to him at daniel@watsonfarms.com.

Jordan has stepped up to become our new full time delivery driver. He will soon start serving all of our Home Delivery customers in each city that we serve. We believe that our delivery business is a major driver of sales in each area that we serve, and it takes dedicated, hard-working people like Jordan to perform this important task for our farm. This is the last step in getting our pasture raised proteins into your hands, and we know that Jordan and all of our other drivers strive to make these deliveries go smoothly.

Give Jordan a shout out at jordan@watsonfarms.com.

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New Product Offerings – Pasture Posts #90

We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank our Veterans for their service and sacrifice in keeping America free. We hope you had a wonderful Veterans Day!

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

Last week we introduced our Carving Hams and our Fresh Whole Broilers so check them out if you missed last week’s newsletter.

This week, Kelly and the team have been busy getting together a variety of other new offerings that we are excited to share with you!

Pepperoni and Salami

We’re excited to offer even more pasture raised products from our friends at Hickory Nut Gap! These pepperoni and salami rolls are made with pasture raised pork from pigs raised to the same regenerative standards as our own. Add some to your order this week!

Orchard Road Pecans are back in stock!

As some of you already know, we have re-stocked pecans from our friends over at Orchard Road (who are literally right down the road from our farm). These pecans were freshly harvested in the last few weeks, and we are well-stocked so come by the store or add them to your cart!

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Farm Happenings and Special Announcements – Pasture Posts #89

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

It’s starting to get even busier around the farm as we are wrapping some things up for the year on the production side and ramping some things up in anticipation of the holiday season on the marketing side.

Layer Chickens

We have moved our layer chickens into their winter housing where they can be much more comfortable during wet and cold weather. This is a huge task as it involves re-homing thousands of chickens to a new house. If you know about chickens you probably know that they fall into habits easily so making the big transition to a new house, nest boxes, feeders and drinkers is a big shakeup for them. Nevertheless, they have done well with it and are settled in nicely to a deep-bedded house with outdoor access and thermostatically controlled curtains to keep them comfortable.

Broiler Chickens

We have also begun processing our last 1500 broiler chickens for the year. We won’t place anymore chicks so we’re focusing on making sure these birds do the best they can so that we can stockpile as many as possible in the freezer for our winter supply of chicken. Truly pastured broilers cannot be raised during the winter in our area due to several reasons including the lack of pasture and freezing temperatures.

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Modified Delivery and Farm Store Schedule for Thanksgiving Week

Home Delivery Schedule

We wanted to bring it to your attention that due to the Thanksgiving Holiday we will be performing Greenville/Spartanburg and Columbia deliveries on Wednesday, Nov. 23 instead of Thursday, Nov. 24.

Charleston area deliveries will remain on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and Charlotte/Rock Hill/Local area deliveries will remain on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Order deadlines for the week of Thanksgiving:

Charleston area: Monday (21st) at noon
Greenville/Spartanburg area: Tuesday (22nd) at noon
Columbia area: Tuesday (22nd) at noon
Charlotte/Rock Hill/Local area: Friday (25th) at noon

Order deadlines for Produce the week of Thanksgiving:

Charleston area: Sunday (20th) at 9:00pm
Greenville/Spartanburg area: Sunday (20th) at 9:00pm
Columbia area: Sunday (20th) at 9:00pm
Charlotte/Rock Hill/Local area: Thursday (24th) at 9:00pm

Farm Store Schedule

The Farm Store will be open normal hours except for Thursday, Nov. 24 when it will be closed. So for the week of Thanksgiving, it will be open Monday, Tuesday, and Friday 10am to 6pm; Saturday 10am to 2pm.

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The Long Reach of Buying Local – Pasture Posts #88

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

As most of you know, we carry many items from a number of local producers. These items can be purchased on our website and delivered right along with your meats and eggs. We love allowing our customers to support other small farms and businesses through us, and since we’re already running the van to your doorstep, it just makes sense.

One really neat aspect of these offerings is the positive impact that is made on these family businesses. Their products are able to be put into the hands of customers who might not have otherwise been found. We’re happy to be the “last mile” link from these partner producers and the consumer. Here’s a current list of our Partner Producers:

Wild Hope Farm
Cotton Hills Farm
Nance Farm Creamery
Thomas Family Farm
Orchard Road Pecans
T&M Farms
White Wolf Rubs
Hickory Nut Gap
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Thanks for a successful Farm Day! – Pasture Posts #87

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

Our Farm Days keep growing thanks to you all!

With great weather we had a great crowd of several hundred people that attended our Fall Farm Day. Families from all over the Carolinas came out to enjoy the hay rides, straw bale maze, shopping with local vendors and much more! We added a second hay ride this year in order to shorten the wait time for the next tour. These hay rides visited each set of animals where we talked about how and why we raise them the way we do and much more.

As I said on the tours, our family would not be on the farm without a great group of dedicated customers like yourself. You are truly making a direct impact on keeping an independent family farm running when you choose to spend some of your food dollars with us. We believe that customers like you will be the saving grace of family farms across America in coming years.

Thanks again for the great day yesterday, and stay tuned for what’s in store next spring!


Join Our Team!

As our farm continues to grow so does our team, and as team members move on to other endeavors, we find ourselves in need of talented individuals to help us continue to serve our customers with the high quality proteins and services they have come to expect.

We are looking to hire for two positions in the coming weeks and months. One will be focused more on production, while the other will be focused more on order fulfillment. Use the button below to check out the job descriptions, and if you know of a talented individual that would like to play a big role in producing and bringing pastured proteins to customers’ doors please send them our way.

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Can Grass-fed Beef Overcome the Feedlots and the Lab? – Pasture Posts #86

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

When we chose to finish cattle on grass only for the first time back in 2007, it wasn’t because it was familiar or easy. In fact, my dad and granddad had far more experience in grain-finishing as they operated a small feedlot in southern Indiana decades earlier.

The main reasons we challenged ourselves with a grass-only protocol was that we believe that a cow’s digestive system is designed to and has the unique ability to convert forage into nutrient-dense meat. Ignoring this miracle-like ability of ruminants not only disgraces the cow by not recognizing the “cowness of the cow” as our friend Joel Salatin might put it, but it also deprives the consumer of the ability to have a health-enhancing meat product instead of a health-diminishing one. Not to mention all the land-healing that a properly managed grass-fed cattle herd can do.

Pictured above is an actual image of a feedlot near Hereford, TX where hundreds if not thousands of cattle can be seen on dirt lots.

We believe this method of cattle production easily exposes all the shortcomings of the feedlot industry which has become the standard practice of beef production in the U.S. This practice has the potential to give all cattle finishers the bad reputation of being the cause of excess methane from cattle. Consumers must be increasingly committed to educating themselves and their friends and family of the pitfalls of the conventional methods and the obvious benefits of a properly managed mob-grazed grass-fed system that mimics the vast herbivore herds that we see naturally occurring such as the American bison herds that the pioneers found in bygone centuries.

We discussed the mob-stocking method of grazing in a little more detail in Pasture Posts #29 if you want to check that out.

A more recent industry that has emerged is that of plant-based meat, but we believe that this highly processed protein can easily reveal the benefits of locally-produced grass-fed beef as well.

One pitfall of the plant-based meat imitations is that they often use complex synthetic compounds. A rather convincing case can be made that our bodies are not able to process synthetic chemicals such as methylcellulose and that we should avoid them altogether.

Another glaring contradiction that plant based meat corporations ask consumers to accept is trading locally produced, pasture-raised animal proteins for soy and pea proteins that are produced in a monocrop setting. Some companies also use genetically modified ingredients in order to make the burger appear to “bleed”.

While perhaps a case could be made that this man-made meat might be better than the factory style production method of cattle found on western feedlots today, plant-based burgers have their own set of issues and risks that can be quite easily solved with mob-stocked grass-fed beef.

On the bright side, I think that a large number of consumers will choose to research more and more how their food is produced and will determine for themselves that sourcing directly from a farm like Watson Farms is the best way to eat with confidence.


Fall Farm Day!

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Introducing Our Newest Team Member! – Pasture Posts #85

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

We want to take the opportunity in this edition of Pasture Posts to highlight the Farm Store and our newest team member, Rebecca Hopper, who will be managing it in the afternoons and on Saturdays.

Not only will Rebecca be managing the store, but she will also be keeping our social media fresh and up to date. Make plans to come by soon and welcome her if you haven’t already!

We’ve had a lot of new customers since we last highlighted the store so we thought it might be a good idea to make sure everyone knew that we indeed have a store on the farm with regular business hours where you can drop in anytime to shop. Everything offered on the website can be purchased in the store with the exception of our larger bundles which take some extra time to assemble.

The store hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10am – 6pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm; Closed Sunday and Wednesday.

Look for some occasional in-store-only specials and flash sales in the coming months as we try to increase foot traffic to the store a bit.


Fall Farm Day!

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The chickens survived! ☔😀 – Pasture Posts #84

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

Our broiler chickens are especially susceptible to flooding as we have learned in the past, so we were very careful to monitor them closely during the heavy rainfall on Friday. If rainfall starts piling up in any of the pasture shelters then the birds get really wet and really cold. Thankfully we did not lose a single chicken! The shelters were in a good area of the field and the ground soaked up a lot of the rainfall. Come along in the video below as we perform one of the many checks Friday afternoon.

Also, Kelly shot a video on Saturday of me letting the cattle herd into the next paddock. Come see how we keep our cattle full and happy!


Fall Farm Day!

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