At Mercy Haven Farm, our goal is to raise animals and food as organically as possible. We organically manage our property and livestock, but we will never invest in the label of “certified organic”. Let’s be honest, it’s a waste of money and those who have money, can easily purchase that label without actually practicing organic methods. Onto the important stuff…
Our cows are provided with grass and fresh, local hay year round. During milking, we give alfalfa pellets and oats with Thorvin kelp for enerygy and nutrition. The cows have access to a Redmond mineral block at all times as well as fresh, clean water.
Overall, we have had a healthy herd with very few issues. When we have come up on a problem, we have used natural probiotics (homemade yogurt), herbs and natural remedies as directed by our herbalist to treat illnesses. We also keep a “cow first aid kit” containing herbal products from Synergy, a thermometer, stethoscope, elastic wrap for bandaging and other things we hope to never use. As a last resort, when recommended by our vet, we will use antibiotics. If medications are used that could transfer into the milk, we would notify herd share owners and discard milk the required amount of time.
Currently, we’re working to clear our wooded acres, leaving some trees for shade. To improve soil health and move away from the high acidity shown on recent soil tests, we’ve planted Ray’s Crazy Fall Mix from King’s AgriSeeds, containing daikon radishes, turnips, hairy vetch, spring peas, oats, triticale, and annual rye. This seed mix should assist in building soil health as well as being a high energy forage for the cows. In the Spring, we’ll plant Ray’s Crazy Spring Mix and follow with a grass seed mixture which best benefits the needs of dairy cows.
As always, we do not use chemical fertilizers or toxic sprays to manage our property or herd. We continue to use whey and the natural waste left behind by cows, chickens and turkeys for our pastures and gardens. We know these methods will be years in the making for good soil, but we are patience and want only the best for our family, our cows and herd share owners.