In case you didn’t get killed on your first visit to the farm, another take

Yesterday I posted about the Washington Post article on all the different animals that can kill you. Turned out pretty much everything, except sharks, was lurking on the farm and waiting to kill you. Despite the assurances that these number are still basically like getting struck by lightning, it still gives one the heebie jeebies.

Then the author followed up his post with another article on just where in the US are you more likely to get killed by these marauding bands of animals. Huh, so NC is 4th out of 50 states. But then the author slices and dices the data a bunch of different ways so I’m sure that tells a different story.

The first slice is deaths by other animals. Aha! Now we are nowhere near the top because…. Oh. Because there are more farms in the midwest and Texas and farms are where you get killed. Uh oh.

And then we see dogs. Everybody loves dogs and, oh, The Southeast leads the US in dog deaths.

And then bees, yep. We are the winner in bees too.

And snakes. Another winner there. Oh boy.

And lastly, “Other horrible venomous things.” Guess who is number one? The South. Oh goodie. I can see the Chamber of Commerce lining up to use this article in their recruitment brochures.

Fortunately, our author has a nice closure statement for everyone so they really do feel better. “In the end, it bears repeating: you are not going to get killed by an animal. Especially if you don’t work on a farm.”

Oh great, what about those of us who DO work on a farm?!

This entire post has been tongue in cheek if you cannot tell. Do farmers get killed more often by farm animals? Yeah sure. Do surfers get bitten more by sharks? Yep. Do pilots get killed in airplane crashes more often? Of course, how else did the plane get into the air. Office workers get paper cuts. Drinkers get liver damage. Sprinters get pulled ham strings. The things you do most often are more likely to result in an accident. It’s like the statistic that you’re more likely to get hurt at home, or more likely to have a car accident within X miles of your house. I’ll most likely die covered in frozen meat, surrounded by sales tax forms I can’t get filled out properly based on the way its going currently.

Come take a tour, see the cute animals, and get killed

SWMBO sent me this article a while back on which animals are most likely to kill you. It was written in response to the shark attacks that happened of the NC coast. Since it was written, Jaws music has been playing rather routinely  up and down our coast as our selachimorpha foes have taken up the challenge laid down by this article and their land bound cohorts to kill and maim as many of us as possible.

However, as the article points out, the sharks have a long way to go to catch up to their bovine peers as cows kill 20 people per year while sharks can only manage one. 608_kowabunga

I even learned recently it’s no bueno to be on the wrong end of an angry cow. So what other dangerous critters do we have on the farm.

Venomous snakes kill 6 people per year. Copper heads, water moccasins. Yep, got them.

Spiders kill 7 people per year.

Big spider
It’s as big as it looks

Took this pic the other day. Spiders, check.

Non-venomous arthropods. 9 people per year. Yep, got ’em in spades.

Dogs kill 28 people per year. There is a dog in every house on the farm, two in most of them. Yeah, certain death there.

Other mammals kill 52 people per year. I think we have at least one of all the mammals that are native to NC. Spork even thinks he saw a black bear one time. Check.

Bees, wasps, and hornets kill 58 people per year.

Bee going into hive.
This little guy, and 10,000 of his friends, are now part of Ninja Cow Farm. I hope they stay a while.

We have four active bee hives we manage, plus native bees all over the farm. We also had a graduate student come down to study and collect our wasps, since we had plenty.

So if you go to the beach, you could be the one person who dies each year from a shark attack. If you come to the farm, you could be one of the 180 people who die from bees, cows, dogs, or whatever else you find on a farm.

 

Run!

We have all cuts of beef back in stock for your cookout!!

I’ve been telling everyone that we’d be back in beef by about September but last week we took three cows to the processor earlier than expected. Yesterday we picked up a little over 1000 pounds of beef from those three cows. That means that we have all the cuts available right now, T-bones, ribeyes, roasts, filets, and of course lots of hamburger. Plus skirt steak, flank steak, flat iron steak, etc, etc.

Freezer full of beef
Our newest freezer, chock full of beefy goodness

We brought in so much beef, that I had to order another freezer just to hold it all. Even with the new freezer in place, the freezers are pretty much jam packed.

Freezer full of beef.
Our original beef freezer, also full to the brim.

We have two freezers that are full of nothing but beef for your selection. We also had the cows cut differently so that some have t-bones, some has filet mignon. We’ve never had this much choice at once so there should be something for everyone.

A freezer full of chicken
A freezer full of chicken

In addition to all the beef we now have for you, we also have a freezer full of farm fresh, grass raised chicken. We had to borrow part of this freezer to hold some beef, and some snack sticks for Neuse River Brewing Company, whom we are anxiously awaiting to open as we’ll be on their tasting menu!

A freezer full of pork
Our pork freezer, full and ready to go

We have bacon, break fast sausage, ground pork, Boston Butts, and BBQ all waiting for you. We also have a good selection of sausage still with more on the way. I also see some racks of ribs hiding there in the bottom.

Freezer full of beef
Our overflow freezer, completely disorganized and overflowing.

Those are five different freezers full of meat. We’ve never had this much selection or quantify before. Lord willing we should be able to maintain this for the foreseeable future so if you’re looking for some protein for the dinner table, or something to grill out for the 4th of July, email me at dan@ninjacowfarm.com and let’s get you stocked up!

What farm living and a good diet does for you

When I graduated high school, I weighed 212 pounds. I wasn’t really skinny (although I sure look skinny looking back on the pics) kind of a doughy computer gamer nerd. When I got out of college, I weighed about 222 pounds. I played volleyball, surfed, and drank lots of beer. The freshman 15 had never really left but I was still tall and relatively thin.

Bring on life, a desk job, business trips, sympathy pregnancy weight, etc. When I went on the diet SWMBO put me on, I weighed over 250 pounds. I really don’t know what I weighed when I started, 252-253 were the last times I’d looked, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find I was actually 255-260 when I started. When your weight goes nowhere but up, you stop weighing yourself because you don’t want new news as it is always bad. But on the diet I went and I dropped from over 250 to 205 or so. Then I sold my business and started farming full time. I don’t actively diet to loose weight anymore, I just diet to maintain. Last night I had a large snow ball at Pelican’s with the family.  The night before, we had ice cream with whipped cream and a movie. I had seconds. However yesterday I ran the farm by myself on a gorgeous 80 degree day. I worked pretty much all day and didn’t have breakfast till noon. This morning I was greeted with this.

Under 200 pounds for the first time
Thank God it doesn’t round up!

I haven’t weighed less than 200 pounds since about 9th grade. I’m not trying to loose weight, and I eat all I want. But I’m tan, my back hasn’t felt this good in years, I see my kids every day, multiple times per day and can usually attend their events for the first time ever, and I’m at my lowest weight since I was a kid. If I could just figure out how to get paid to be a farmer, this would be the perfect life!

Eeek!! A spider!

 

So the other day while I was compacting cardboard, I thought I saw movement in our baler. Meh, a bug or something. No big deal.

Then yesterday I’m helping Spork clean up some of the cardboard from feeding and I saw this in the exact same area.

Big spider
It’s as big as it looks

This guy was riding the ram of the baler up and down as we compacted the cardboard. He was careful to keep out of the way of getting squished. It was obvious he’d made this trip many time before because he had it down to a science.

Because of all the fresh produce, we have lots of flies around so I’m happy to have a resident spider hanging out and eating bugs. And this guy looks like the Special Forces version of farm spiders.

Big spider
Riding the ram

Spork was totally nonplussed about the whole thing. He’d been watching this guy walk up and down the ram every time it went up and down. It seemed to be some mild entertainment for him while he worked. So Spork is entertained and bugs are going to a good use. Yeah spiders!

Um, yeah. 

Stupid baler is made of steel and won’t burn! Anybody have a working flame thrower?

Egg rationing in the US?

SWMBO sent me the following article on egg rationing due to the Avian flu in the US. Since we don’t buy eggs, this was news to me. I don’t know if this is doom and gloom or just the latest weird happening in the world.

A dozen perfect farm fresh chicken eggs
A dozen perfect farm fresh chicken eggs

Either way the good news is, we still have plenty of farm fresh eggs ready to sell so if you need some eggs to go along with your fourth of July celebration, then make sure to grab some while you are getting your burger and sausage for the grill. Just shoot me an email if you want to stop by and stock up. dan@ninjacowfarm.com

How we heal our land without chemicals

Despite what you might think from the pictures we post and products we list for sale, our main crop isn’t cows, or pigs, or chickens. Our main product is grass. Cows, pigs, chickens, and produce are the tools we use to seed, grow, harvest, and manage our grass. Being that we are in reality grass farmers, it may surprise you to know that we don’t own a grain drill. We don’t plant seeds, or roll out turf. We don’t have Chemlawn out to treat our pastures so they are bright green and glowing like subdivision grass. We don’t own a lawnmower or a bat wing mower. We don’t own a hay baler or bale any hay. In fact, to be grass farmers, we don’t do any of the things you’d expect of someone who raises grass. What we do is utilize what we have to work with nature to improve our soil. By concentrating on the soil, we get the grass we want. It’s that easy, and that hard.

A few years ago, we did a big project with Wake County Soil and Water to repair a huge eroded area in the middle of our main pasture. It took some heavy equipment and about 55 dump truck loads of dirt to backfill the missing soil and to get things back like they should be. We seeded the ground and let things grow as best they could. This winter, we found that not all of the areas had recovered and we had to change our process to help the new soil do better. Now this summer, the areas we were able to treat over the winter are the greenest and lushest in the pasture. However not every area was able to be treated so what to do?

Bare patch-2Here you see an area that shows all the various stages of what I’m talking about. The area in the background where its bright green (and in front of the big orange arrow) is an area we treated this winter. As you can see it’s recovering nicely and is lush and green. All that was done to transform that area was to feed hay directly on the ground and allow the cows to do their magic. Now the soil in that area is moist, brown, and growing good grass without any application of seed or commercial fertilizer.

Bare patchThe areas in the picture with the beans spread on it looked like the bare patch in the foreground. Pretty much barren clay, devoid of organic matter. By next spring, or even late fall, this area will be green and rich with life. We will continue to practice this spot application of surplus produce on areas that are not growing grass till we have no more areas without grass. Then we will transition to areas that are growing the wrong kind of plants such as thistle and weeds. Once those areas are gone, we’ll transition to areas where the grass us underperforming or the wrong kind of grass. Every time we add organic matter combined with animal traffic, the end result is something better grows. This is all without disturbing the soil, and without chemicals.

Your local source for beyond organic beef and pork