joel salatin

No added nitrates or nitrites frankfurters (made with my beef), bacon, salami etc etc.

As we have done with Carbon credits, (sold R204,994 worth of them last week. More on this story below.), outdoor broilers, on farm grass fed beef butchery and outdoor laying hens, we continue to try to emulate the regenerative farming pioneers in other countries.

In that spirit, we have now launched the only no added nitrate or nitrite processed meat products in the country. Frankfurters, Linzer, Bacon, Eisbein, Gammon and brined/smoked pork bones. There are another 8 products in the pipeline dependant on obtaining the right packaging equipment.

Nitrates and nitrites in processed meat are a big problem. A big 6 letter problem. Cancer. You can read about it wherever you choose. I tasted my first non nitrate processed meats, bacon and salami in this case, in the US in June of 2013. When we opened our butchery in December 2013, one of our goals was to make non nitrate processed meats. We have been making non nitrate fresh meats since the start with our pork banger being the only one in the country that is free of nitrates, gluten and water. All our fresh beef products, produced under the auspices of 72 year old Spencer Nicholls, are free of gluten, MSG, irradiated spices, water, lamb, pork and nitrates.

There are so many people who have enabled this for us. My father, who gave me the money to buy the equipment to make the goods. Mark Muncer who pushed me into butchery, the team from Zeerens who built our smoker/cooker and the guys from ALMI whose spices and techniques create these non nitrate products.


Spencer and I were fortunate enough to attend a non nitrate workshop hosted by ALMI in Joburg in September. Spencer, on the left, is next to Carl who is the global product developer for ALMI. Matthias, 3rd from right, came down to us last week to help with the first products.


The ALMI man in the Cape is Jerry the Giant. He and Spencer are discussing the various items we made. You can email Jerry here. The man who runs ALMI South Africa is Hubert Trondlin and you can email him here.


For Spencer’s 72nd birthday, on the 28th of November, the smoker/cooker, named The Spencer arrived. Processed meats need this machine to be made in.


The team from Zeerens, Dante and Andre, with Spencer and our first trial of Frankfurters. The machine is made in Joburg. Support local!!!


A close up of our first batch of smoked and cooked frankfurters. They are best eaten out of the cooker whilst they are still hot.


En route the chiller prior to packing.


For now the frankfurters will be packed like this. Vacuum packed and a shelf life of 4 weeks in the fridge (there is something wrong with you if you keep them in the fridge for that long)


The machine above is called a vacuum filler and we started using it in late January. This packs the sausages to the exact size required.


Bring water to the boil. Remove the heat and then drop these sausages in for 5 minutes.


We also make cheese frankfurters. They are the paler ones above. We use the organic Gouda from Foxenburg. We are still playing with the exact % cheese as everyone who has tasted so far has a different opinion.


The Linzer is a smoked and cooked salami made from pork and beef. Whilst we wait for our pigs to grow big enough we are using free range pork and our beef. We sell it whole (480 grams) or sliced (160 grams).


Bacon in the smoker, prior to being smoked, after being in the brine.


After being double smoked.


Talent and Mzukisi looking chuffed with their handiwork emerging from The Spencer. Then the bacon gets chilled and then sliced and then packaged in either 250 grams or 500 grams.


For a list of where you can enjoy our produce click here.


Our butchery team enjoying the bacon.


We also make Eisbein


Along with the gammons, bacon and Eisbein we smoked the brined heads and other bones. These are also available to you.


A close up of the bones.

To enjoy any of the products above or anything else from the farm please go to BUY MEAT at the top of the page or click here.


12 December 2016.

Updated 5 February 2017.

P.S. As promised above more on the Carbon credits. To understand the story you will need to read this blog posting. Half of the money came to me (I bought more cattle with it) and half to my staff. No vegetarian or vegan farm can sequester Carbon whereas properly managed livestock can.

Our staff celebrating last week. Getting a bonus for doing what they do every day.




Update on our outdoor chicken operation


It has been a year since our colleague Rico left to start his own outdoor egg operation at Boschendal which is doing really well. It is also a year since we open sourced all our information. Click here for that. The one thing I forgot to add was that it is critical to galvanise the Eggmobiles. I am paying the price now for trusting in anti rust paint.

Before we get to the video a reminder that these eggs are free of Glyphosate. This is the active ingredient in the herbicide roundup and the photo above is worth studying. The increase in disease concomitant with the widespread use of Roundup Ready crops. There is an excellent video here by the retired geneticist Thierry Vrain on the subject of this poison that all South Africans ingest daily. It is now in vaccines and breastmilk.

Thanks to our mentor, Ray Davis, we keep lots of performance records. Below is our latest batch coming into production. This is a thing of beauty. Especially since these are not caged hens but outdoor birds exposed to the elements. Their sister’s performance is in column D and our in column C. They come to us from the cages at 19 weeks of age. We use only Amberlink hens.


Finally I have updated our client list so you can see where to enjoy our eggs, either at a restaurant or at home. Click here.


22 October 2016


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.



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.


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






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.












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


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.


18 May 2016


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