Farmer Angus Eggs

My water has been cut by 95%

Last week I had to offload half my cattle herd. This was because my irrigation water has been cut by 95%. My cattle only eat the grass that grows on our farm. In summer we need to irrigate to keep this grass growing. I am one of thousands of farmers getting water from the Theewaterskloof Dam. I am not the first farmer to have his water cut.

Cape Town’s water engineers specifically and the municipal management generally are responsible for this extra pressure they are putting on agriculture, the second largest employer in the Western Cape. Simply, these engineers are not using Cape Town’s greatest asset which is the millions of litres of water pouring off the mountains that the city surrounds on a daily basis. The millions of litres go into stormwater drains and thence into the sea.

Cape Town was settled by the Dutch because of the water that poured off the mountain. There were 36 springs recorded in the City Bowl alone.

Not only would using this water for the residents of Cape Town take one of the many pressures off farmers (Farmers have enough pressure as it is. An article I wrote on this subject in 2012 which is still relevant today, is here), Cape Town residents would be drinking the most wonderful healthy water. On every measure spring water is better to drink than the chemically treated water that comes out of the taps. The person who did the most work on understanding water was Viktor Schauberger who I can guarantee you no water engineer has ever even heard of. Try to read his books. If not then here and here are good places to start. Especially the second here.

Let me preempt some clever academic or activist who from behind their computer screen, not from any experience of the soil, will no doubt say that beef uses too much water and we should all become vegan. We use 46% of the recommended water used for pastures and 4.8% of the recommended water for vineyards. There is an intentional . between the 4 and the 8 in the previous sentence. We use so much less water because we practice regenerative agriculture that builds soil carbon and hence the water holding capacity of the soil. Our beef contains the right fats because the animals are raised on grass unlike the vegan kale which contains 17 types of pesticides. Healthy fats are the cornerstone of a proper diet (Read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price if you dispute this). Furthermore our beef operation generates Carbon credits which no vegan farming operation anywhere in the world can do.

I finish on a positive note. Stellenbosch Municipality is going to charge farmers who practice regenerative agriculture less rates and taxes than conventional farmers who poison and pollute as they go about their business as usual.

Angus

20 March 2017

Ways to enjoy our produce as of 21 February 2017

Now that we have upgraded our product range we are updating how you can source our produce. The new products have no nitrates or nitrites added during production (Click here for more on this cancer free meat). If you don’t want to scroll through the photos from some of the work on the farm then please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog.

06 JANUARIE 2017 NUUS RAPPORT Werkers by Spier deel die wins wat die plaas uit die verkoop van koolstofkrediete gemaak het. Die omgewingsvriendelike boerederypraktyke sluit in dat diere gereeld geskuif word en net elke ses weke na dieselfde stuk weiding terugkeer. Angus McIntosh is die boer aan stuur van sake. Foto: CONRAD BORNMAN/NUUS RAPPORT SUID Storie: Aldi Schoeman

Everybody loves a back rub. More on our outdoor egg operation here. Photo: Conrad Borman/RAPPORT

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Talent and Mzukisi proud of the bacon coming out of the smoker. They made the brine that the meat soaked in for 24 hours prior to being double smoked.

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We processed our first pigs from the farm last week, hence the different label (Farmer Angus’ Pork as opposed to Farmer Angus’ Meat where the pork comes from other free range farms). In picture is the pork rump which is on the menu at Spier’s Eight restaurant.

 

 

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The great regenerative farmer, Bertie Coetzee from Prieska, checking up on the organic maize he has planted for us. This is the second year that he is planting and so far the harvest looks a lot better than last year. Luckily he planted before he became a Dad. You can read about his organic maize exploits here.

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Thankfully Giles Edwards decided to leave London and come back to the sun. He blesses us with his food at La Tete. Above is a dish with our egg and our pig’s blood as well our pig’s head.

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28 day dry aged rump on bone. Expertly cut by Spencer. Available at Spier’s various restaurants, La Motte or at the PicknPay in Stellenbosch Square.

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Brined and then double smoked.

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Keeping a steady hand on all proceedings in our on farm butchery is our 72 year old Spencer Nicholls.

Please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog page.

You can have this mob grazing app for your farm. Read on.

For the last two years we have been experimenting with an Android app developed by Polymorph, who are based in Stellenbosch.

It records our daily moves. Exact (GPS based) size of the camp. Number of livestock moved into the camp. Time of move into and out of camp. Brix reading of the pasture. Type of animals. Weight of animals.

This is then exported to a website where you can monitor what is going on on your farm.

It works wonderfully. We (Polymorph and I) are now ready to take it to the market of high density grazing practitioners. Being a web based app it can be used anywhere in the world.

If you are prepared to pay $10 a month or $99 a year then please click here so that we can store your details. If we cannot get enough interested users then Polymorph will close this app. It is because the platform that they have been using, Parse, is closing in the new year.

The money paid by users will enable Polymorph to move away from the Parse platform and make the app usable on Apple devices too. It will also allow Polymorph to dedicate one of their IT engineers to this project to improve it as users want. The ability to mine the data in Excel is also planned. Different languages.

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Above is a photo of the online version where you can see what has happened on your farm. The red blocks are within the last week, the yellow the week before and the green the week before that.

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I clicked on the same camp (highlighted in blue) that features in the video. You can see the relevant information on the left.

Brix is the reading of the sugar and minerals in the grass. In essence the nutrient density. It goes up in summer and down in winter but has also been going up for us as organic matter increases in our soils. Considering that a cow is walking fermentation vat and sugar is the key to fermentation then the more sugar in the grass the better the fermentation and the healthier the cow.

In the video I refer to the free choice mineral lick. Click here if you want to learn more about this powerful tool for animal and soil health.

One of the upgrades to the app is to do the same recording for our outdoor laying hens. More about them here.

Most of the cattle you see in the video are at least 50% Limousin. Here is why this is my breed of choice.

Angus

 

 

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