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Pasture Posts #16

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

Summer rains and drought

Our discussion from last week centered around water that we pump; so this week let’s discuss the water that falls in the form of rain.  

Much of our summer grass depends on timely rains in late-May through early-June.  While we didn’t get many of these in May, we are better off in June so far.  These early summer rains help to jumpstart a particular grass species that is key to our grass-fed beef: crabgrass.  That’s right, common crabgrass that many people consider a weed we consider a great asset.  But it does best when it has some heat and humidity mixed with a few rain showers, which more times than not is exactly what we get in South Carolina.

Here you can see newly sprouted crabgrass emerging through stubble and thatch of the previously mob-grazed ryegrass.    

According to our on-farm weather station, which can be monitored by anyone, we’ve received 3.06 inches of rainfall just this month so far.  That’s perfect to get the crabgrass started.  It does get dry very quickly with high temperatures approaching 90 on most days, so 2 inches in the summer doesn’t stay around as long as 2 inches in the winter.  

Did you know that an inch of rainfall on 1 acre of land is equal to 27,154 gallons of water?  So that makes for about 9.5 million gallons of water that our farm catches each time it rains an inch.  With an average annual rainfall of about 45 inches in our area, that’s over 420 million gallons of water that fall on the farm each year.  As we explained some of that to our kids the other day, we all just had to think about it for a minute as we re-checked our math.  That’s A LOT of water.  We have to make sure that we are catching as much of it as possible – more on that in a moment.

As cattle producers that rely on nothing other than forage to feed our cattle, we rarely complain about rain even though it can cause problems when in excess or just inconveniences when it arrives at the same time as a customer does to pick up an order.  We always try to remember that without rain, a grass-fed beef enterprise cannot be sustained.  We also are quick to remember years when drought nearly bankrupted our own farm and is doing the same to many farmers across the country as we speak.  

Farmers in the western U.S. are seeing a terrible drought right now, and our prayers are with them while we also are thankful for the rain we have seen.  We know firsthand how daunting it can be as a multi-generational farmer to know that your generation could be the last to keep the farm in operation and in the family.  We hope that they can find ways to adapt.  

There are ways to insure a farm against drought, and they don’t involve the government or insurance companies.  In a pasture setting, producers have to transition toward regenerative methods.  This means being able to make smaller paddocks which increases the grazing density of the livestock.  This increased density impacts the pasture in a way that infuses carbon into the soil.  This organic matter acts as a sponge that holds onto moisture instead of letting it slip into the subsoil so quickly.  Here’s an article that corroborates and expounds on some of this.

So what can you do as a consumer about drought?  Purchase grass-fed beef from regenerative farmers!  This single action, if taken by a significant number of consumers across the country, can offer viable transition opportunities for farmers that desperately need to see an alternative.  American consumers truly have a great deal of power to shape our food system. Vote with your food dollar today! 

Our chicken is now served at Black Rooster!

We’re excited to announce that the Columbia restaurant, Black Rooster, is now serving our chicken!  Kelly and I paid them a visit last week as we delivered another load of whole chickens.  The Coq au citron (lemon rooster) was amazing!  If you’re in Columbia, give them a try!

Want a free chicken?

Shoot an unboxing video just like this one of your next order!  Tag us and use the hashtag #unboxingwatsonfarms where ever you upload your video! (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)

 When you place your next order, remind us in the comments section that you uploaded an unboxing video, and we will include a whole chicken (under 4 pounds) in your order!

tractor and covered hay ride for Ag and Art Tour South Carolina

Ag + Art Tour!

The Ag + Art Tour at our farm is less than 2 weeks away!  The date that we are involved is June 26 from 10am – 4pm.  Here’s a list of the vendors and food trucks that will be there:

Buttermilks BBQ Food Truck – will be using our pork for the BBQ

Sweet Southern Java – Coffee truck

Carmichael Corner Creations – homemade bath products

Farm Fresh Carolinas – dip mixes, jams, jellies, and honey

White Wolfe Rubs – small batch producer of rubs and seasonings

SJ Woodworking – woodworks – will have cutting boards, serving trays, hand-carved utensils and more

Fox Creations – woodworks – will have hand-turned wood bowls, vases, jars and more

Holly Penza – hand stitched accessories and woodwork

There will be hay rides about every hour. We install tarp bows on the trailer so guests can be somewhat shaded as they enjoy the tour.  There will also be an opportunity to shop at what we hope will be our newly completed on-farm store!  We’re using every spare minute to get it ready!

We would love to see you! Make plans now to come on out!

Product Spotlight

We have stepped up our efforts in supplying you with our grass-fed beef bones.  We now have enough freezer space (and we’re adding more) to be able to store a good amount of bones to meet the demand from our customers. 

We’re now offering a 10 pound bag of beef bones for just $10!

  • They are not vacuum-sealed.  This is part of how we are able to offer them at this low price.  
  • They aren’t sorted or cut to specific lengths or sizes.  
  • Some have some meat and fat.
  • Some have some marrow
  • Basically it’s just an assortment that you can use for the dog or sort through for some excellent stock, broth, or soup!
  • They have already been a hit and this is the first official announcement we’ve made!

Referral Program

If you enjoy our products please consider passing the word along to your neighbors, friends and family!  We don’t spend a lot of money of advertising but rather depend on customers like yourself to advertise for us if they are amazed by our products and customer service.

All you have to do is refer someone to us and when they place an order for the first time they will get a link to a form where they can say who referred them.  You and the new customer will receive a $15 credit!  So make sure they tell us your name.  Hit the button for more info!

Order Deadlines

Charleston: 12 noon Mondays
GSP: 12 noon on Wednesdays
Charlotte/Rock Hill: 12 noon Fridays
Farm Pickup: 24 hours in advance (Mon.-Sat. – 1pm-4pm)

Check out this ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review:

“What a great product and great people. We had been kicking around the idea of buying local, better quality meat for a long time. I’m so glad we decided to make the move. Watson Farms does a tremendous job throughout the whole process. They always answer all our questions, provide great updates on orders and deliveries and the quality of the product is superb. We even took our girls (4 and 2) on the farm tour and we all enjoyed it. It’s so great knowing where our meat comes from and the time and attention they put into their whole operation. We have been a customer for about 2 years and will be continuing to order our meat from Watson Farms. We just got our 1/4 beef today and can’t wait to dig in!!”

We would greatly appreciate it if you would be kind enough to leave us a review.  It helps first-time customers purchase with confidence.

Thanks again for being partners in this endeavor of local, pasture-raised proteins that has truly transformed our farm.  We look forward to continuing this transition while serving you long into the future.


The Watsons

Pasture Posts is written by Matt Watson.

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