Here at Nourished by Nature we believe that the quality of the food we raise depends on the quality of the soil on which it is grown or raised. Our belief is that if we have healthy soil it will provide for clean air, clean water, healthy plants, healthy animals, and healthy people. Our soils are much more resilient than they once were. They now harbor billions of life forms that in fact “feed the food” we raise. Soils that are biologically active produce foods that are higher in vitamin and mineral content and when we eat these foods, these vitamins and minerals are passed on to us. These soils are also able to store more carbon and water which has a positive impact on the environment.
Our cattle and sheep are very integral parts of our operation. They spend their time grazing a diverse sward of plants, moving across the landscape and helping to regenerate our soils. They are alloted fresh grass every day throughout the growing season. Cattle and sheep are ruminant animals, meaning that they are designed to graze forage and convert that forage into protein without consuming any grain. When these animals are fed a forage-only diet like they are designed, they provide a much healthier end product for the consumer. Ruminants raised this way have been shown to contain higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acids, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. These attributes are all very important for a healthy human-being.
When the bison ruled the plains, they were followed by vast flocks of various birds, so we imitate this phenomenon on our own ranch. Our laying hens follow the cattle on pasture, free to roam while returning to the portable eggmobile to lay their eggs. The hens are not confined and are allowed to peck and scratch where they may choose. They roost and take refuge in the eggmobiles during the nighttime, keeping them safe from predators. Unlike ruminants, birds have evolved to consume grains. Our chickens are offered non-GMO grains as a supplement to what they find on pasture.
Our livestock are adaptable and thrive in our environment. They are allowed to express what each species does best through the way we manage them. Whether it is the cattle moving across the prairie in a herd, or a chicken chasing after that tasty grasshopper, our animals are grown and enriched in a stress-free environment. Due to the fact that they are raised in this manner, we do not believe that growth hormones or antibiotics are necessary to their well-being. Humane handling is one of our top priorities as well. When livestock and man coexist in a stress-free environment, it provides for a higher quality of life for all involved and we feel that it shows in our products.