Videos from the grass fed butchery. Lots of Limousin. Some Zulu and super powers.

I am not trying to be smart with that title but if you watch both of these videos you will understand the title. You might not understand what I am saying in the first video so further down the page I mention the three salient points about the Limousin beef which I debone.

The second video (only 13 seconds) is about what is behind every butcher. The big national supermarkets will have you believe, like the fraud of free range eggs where the hens apparently roam on pasture, that behind every butcher is a farmer whereas the sad reality is that for 99% of butchers behind them is a factory manager. Confinement farming operations, which you are banned from visiting on the spurious grounds of biosecurity, are tough places to experience. They stink because of the build up of manure. It matters not whether you go and see cattle, sheep, pigs, laying hens or broiler chickens the listlessness and vacant stares of the animals is unforgettable. Cattle are on a diet that violates their digestive system. 90% of the antibiotics issued in this country go into these supermarket supported factories. Animal manure which has the central role in regenerative agriculture builds up and eventually pollutes the waterways and ensure that you breathe in faecal dust.

All the animal protein needed in this country could be produced off multi species pastures with the biggest area being the sugarcane fields of KZN and Mpumalanga. Imagine no sugar and how that would lead us from being the third most obese country in the world to one of the healthiest. Our meat would also have the Omega 3’s and 6’s in balance and as long as the animals are managed in the Alan Savory inspired high density grazing method we would be sequestering gigatons of Carbon. Here is is how our tiny operation sequesters Carbon. More on how organics can feed the world is here.

If all this beef chat bores you then skip toward the end of the first video where the talking stops.

First the Limousin is the best bull to use for increasing your profitability. Put another way if you keep your expense the same by keeping your cow (who is adapted to your farm) you will increase your income if her calf was sired by a Limousin bull because the calf will be heavier, at weaning, than if sired by a bull of another breed. 85% of Limousin’s have a genetic mutation that causes double the number of muscle fibres. This enables a small calf at birth but a muscled one at weaning time.

Second, I am deboning a forequarter (weighing 105kgs) of a 400kg carcass. Normal confinement/grainfed/feedlot beef carcasses weigh around 250kgs. Limousin is a slow maturing breed which means they take a long time to get fat, but because they have the muscle this does not matter as in the butchery it takes equally long to debone a 250kg or 400kg carcass so your income is obviously greater. Also by the time the Limousin is fat on grass it is 3 to 4 years old which ensures flavour. The confinement beef is less than 12 months old which is why basting of the burgers and all the steak sauces are so important because the beef has no flavour, except that of maize/antibiotics/growth hormones/asthma drugs that it was raised on.

Third the Limousin has the highest dressing out % of any of the beef breeds. % of carcass as that of live weight. This is the most important metric for me, the farmer/butcher. Same effort for more meat.

In my case having an animal on the farm for a long time is no problem as my production costs are very low. The sun grows my cattle feed for free, the sun powers the electric fence behind which they are moved twice a day and I have one labourer for 350 cattle. Compare this to the cost of urea, maize, antibiotics, enzymes, anti acid medication, asthma drugs etc etc

Like all the other videos, this one is unedited and the filming was done by Mbhekiseni who is being trained up to be Spencer’s right hand.

Angus

21 June 2016

Milk products. After many years of searching, I have finally found the source. A2 and pure grass fed!!!

Being on the holistic ballistic end of the farming spectrum has many advantages. One being that I often hear about other farmers practicing regenerative agriculture. I thought that being in this position I would have found a source of A2 milk products, free from Glyphosate, from cows on a pure grass fed diet quite easily. It was not the case. Only last week did I hear about Jaco from The Dairy. Click here to email him. He has said he is fine with his cell phone number (082 862 9414) being on this blog posting.

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Above is the spread of all of Jaco’s products. Each one is fabulous. He does not make any hard cheeses yet. For this we buy the wondrous goat milk cheeses from Marianne and Jan of Foxenburg in Wellington.

Before showing you the photos of the cows I need to explain that Jaco makes all the dairy products but he is not the farmer. The farmer is Thys Swart and he farms with A2 Fleckveih cows. In addition to all the benefits of raw, grass fed milk these cows have significantly higher CLA in their milk than any other dairy breed. You will not find better dairy in this country.

If you want your cows tested for the A1/A2 genes then email Leigh-Anne here.

A bit more reading is required before the photos. it is one of my monthly columns for Longevity magazine.

Milk, the good and the bad.

To contextualise the good, which is what this column is going to be about, we need to spend some time understanding the bad.

Bad milk, like bad beef, bad pork, bad lamb and bad chicken all comes from confinement farming where the status quo is antibiotics, growth hormones and confined animals standing on top of their own excrement.

Most milk you buy is bad. There are many reasons for this. First and foremost the milk comes from cows that are worked so hard that their average lactation is 2.1 years. What this means is that they can only give milk for 2.1 times before they are slaughtered. This is from an animal that can give you 12 lactations with ease.

Second, the milk is homogenised. This means you cannot see the layer of cream on the top that would normally be there. The milk is very vigorously shaken which breaks the fat and protein molecules and forms a new one that the body cannot recognise. One of the reasons for so called lactose intolerance.

Third, because of the way the milk is produced it must be pastuerised. This of course kills all good bacteria too. Our gut needs good bacteria.

Fourth, don’t be fooled by conventional yoghurt. It is made from reconstituted MCP (milk protein concentrate) so it is not a whole food. In addition a lot of sugar is added.

Fifth, it is very likely that the milk sold in shops is A1. More on this protein that is linked to illnesses ranging from autism to diabetes is discussed below.

Now lets focus on what constitutes good milk.

First, the dairy cows are grass fed at all times. These animals are herbivores, which means that when you feed them grain their digestive system is violated. Feeding grain creates an acidic environment in the cow and of course you have to medicate her heavily and then you have to treat her milk as a sick cow will give sick milk.

Second, the milk must come from A2 cows. In fact they must be A2/A2 which means both parents are A2. When digested, milk from A1 cows, releases an opioid called BCM7 which is linked to the illnesses referred to above as well as schizophrenia To understand more about the A1 and A2 beta casein protein click here and here.

Third, the milk must not be pasteurised or homogenised. It is also very important to drink more of the fermented dairy products such as kefir or yoghurt.

Raw milk (not homogenised or pastuerised) from grass fed cows as opposed to the shop bought grain fed version is medicine. The Mayo Clinic in the US has treated over 19,000 patients with raw milk.

The land of milk and honey was called that for a reason.

Thanks for reading and please support Jaco and Thys.

Angus

5 June 2016

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Beef price unchanged but egg price going up

Apparently the beef price is about to go up by 60%. Ours is not moving.

The reason our egg price is going up is that our input costs have gone up whereas on the beef side our production costs have remained the same. First I will elaborate on the beef and then the eggs below. There are going to be lots of photos with plenty of witty comments so don’t torture yourself and try to read this on a phone screen.

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We grow grasses and legumes in our multi species pastures. Inspired by Joel Salatin and Allan Savory. It is not costing us any more to grow grass this year than it has in years before. In fact we are using less water as we are upping the Carbon content of our soils. Our beef is carbon negative. Click here if you want to know what that means. We also use the free choice mineral lick system. We butcher all our beef on our farm under the supervision of 71 year old meat maestro Spencer Nicholls.

There are many folk who claim to be selling grass fed beef but their input costs are all going up and so they, like the confinement/grain fed producers, will be upping their prices soon. This happens when you feed chicken manure, molasses, sent distillers grain, urea, finish your cattle on grain and use growth hormones. There is a local laboratory that is very close to being able to test for Glyphosate. Once this is available their grass fed claims will easily be put to the test as all the foods that they feed these so called grass fed animals, even their favourite chicken manure, will contain Glyphosate which will then be in the meat. I wrote a short essay on Glyphosate here. It is a carcinogen consumed daily by all South Africans.

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Above is my Limousin bull. I will be selling my first bulls later this year. His sons. The rationale for buying Limousin is that your income (the calf) will be higher whereas your expense (the cow) will stay the same.

If you want to know how to get hold of our beef products then click at the top right of the page on BUY MEAT.

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The photo above was taken by film director, Natalie, at sunset yesterday. Our hens are what is known as outdoor hens and not free range.

The input costs that have gone up for the egg operation are both related to the 100% non GMO laying mash that supplements what they graze on the pastures. A month ago we started feeding them what I have been trying to source for 4 years. Dried maggots from the genuises at Agriprotein. These guys are taking 100 tons of Cape Town’s daily food waste and turning it into nutritious fly larvae. It will hopefully take the place of fishmeal, which is so widely used in animal feed, and hence reduce the pressure on already overfished oceans. These larvae don’t come cheap. In fact they are priced in Euros. I will no longer be needing sunflower and canola as protein sources. I have never had fishmeal in my feed rations.

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The second part of the input cost increase relates to our maize. We are migrating to organic maize and the story that follows is how we will be receiving this maize next month. It is certified year 1 in conversion to organic.

Converting to organic is an expensive process. I have witnessed it first hand on Spier Home Farm where I have been helping the conversion of the vineyards since 2009. Costs initially spike but then come down every year after the third year.

The man destined to become South Africa’s first certified organic maize grower is Bertie Coetzee (they have just launched the most awesome website but to get to that link you will have to read on as once you get onto their website you will not be coming back to mine). Bertie is South Africa’s version of Dave Brandt, albeit thinner, younger and hairier. The Coetzee’s farm near Prieska which is 900kms from us in Stellenbosch.

First, we went hunting with him on their farm in August 2015. Luckily our then 9 year old shot a blesbok at 250 metres which impressed Bertie enough to take the risk on our family.

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The next step was to get Bertie and Alette to come and meet the hens on our farm to understand how serious they are about eating organic maize.

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I agreed to pay Bertie what he would have received had he planted conventional/chemical/NPK maize.

I also lent him some of my books. For once I am the one with neater hair…

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The next step was for Bertie to apply manure and gypsum a month before rolling down the covercrop and planting the maize into the rolled down covercrop. Bertie had two reasons for this. First, manure is a slow release and second, Nitrogen can escape if spread onto bare soil. The covercrop had also been no till planted and so there were three layers, maize stubble/manure/green manure, in other words lasagne compost style.

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At this stage it is worth trying to understand that this is a very different way from the normal way of planting maize. It is planted into bare soil and then fed with artificial fertilisers that burn up soil carbon and then sprayed with a range of toxic chemicals, the most common being the micro nutrient chelator and carcinogen Glyphosate.

Bertie then had equipment specifically made up to enable him to plant or drill the seed into the big green sward of covercrop.

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The massive roller below crimps or crushes the covercrop and then behind the tractor is the actual planter with the blades above cutting the green sward to enable the planting trench to be made and the seed to be dropped into the trench.

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Now follows a series of photos showing the planted in action, Bertie’s supervisor (his dog) and a maize kernel perfectly planted.

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The actual growing of the maize went well except for the porcupines which ate, by Bertie’s reckoning, enough seed for an extra 2 tons per hectare of yield. This problem of creating good food is a common one for organic farmers as even the wild animals know that this food is tastier than the conventionally produced version. Below are photos up until recently.

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Bertie is already working on the next planting and he is getting help from the best friend any farmer could have, earthworms.

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I did promise you the link to the Coetzee farming enterprise which is here.

Egg price increases vary from 5% to 12% depending on what the size of the eggs are.

Tangentially you would be well served to acquaint yourself with the fraud that goes on regarding egg sizes. 

Harvesting of the maize took place yesterday and today and so from next month the maize component of our laying mash will be Bertie’s mielies/maize/corn.

Angus

18 May 2016

 

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