While reading Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” in June of 2008, Angus learned about the American farmer, Joel Salatin. Inspired by Joel’s work, Angus was emboldened to tackle issues such as depleted soil, loss of biodiversity, unemployment, malnutrition and climate change through regenerative farming.
Healthier soil equals healthier plants equals healthier animals equals healthier humans equals a healthier society equals a healthier planet.
A hectare is 100m x 100m, which is about one and a quarter soccer fields.
We have planted tens of thousands of indigenous trees and shrubs in the areas around and between the pastures and vineyards. These environmental buffer zones provide living spaces to endemic animals and insects and their biodiversity strengthens the resiliency of the ecosystem against wind, drought, flood, and fire. Click here to learn more about our shelterbelts.
First, there is not a direct relationship between income and expenses. For example, if you scale down during a drought, you can cut your income in half but that does not mean that your expenses will halve.
Second, chicken manure corrodes mild steel. Corollary: Eggmobiles must be built from galvanised steel.
“Free-range” means that the chickens are not in cages. They are raised in barns with some access to the outdoors. According to the South African Poultry Association Code of Practice 2022:
Birds in Free Range System are free to roam within the confines of a shed … and the birds must have access to an outdoor range.
The code of practice does not refer to how often nor for how long the hens should have access to the outdoors. There are requirements for how much room to move the “free-range” chickens should have:
South African Poultry Association Code of Practice 2022 (AB) Appendix 8
Retail marketers take advantage of the lack of regulation and of consumers’ wishful thinking that free-range actually means free. If these eggs were labelled honestly, i.e., crammed-in-a-barn-but-some-of-them-sometimes-get-to-go-outside then there would have to be eggs labelled as “cage-raised” and who would want to eat a cage-raised egg?
And what about Farmer Angus pasture-raised eggs? You can get the (s)coop here, or come and visit us outdoors on the farm!
If you’re interested in knowing more, Dennis Molewa wrote an insightful article on this several years ago: Free-range labelling in South Africa: No harm, no ‘fowl’?
There is a breed of cattle that was originally known as Aberdeen Angus, that is now generally referred to as Angus beef.
Farmer Angus beef comes from different breeds of cattle. The flavour is unique because of what they eat and how they are raised. Our cattle roam freely in uncrowded pastures, eating only grasses. They don’t spend their lives standing in their own excrement like conventional, confined, grain-fed cattle, who have to be given antibiotics regularly to prevent disease outbreaks.
Additionally, all grain fed beef contains glyphosate, an active ingredient in pesticide, which has various negative health effects, including interfering with nutrient absorption, endocrine disruption and which has been found to cause cancer.
Nutrient density measures the quantity of nutrients per calorie of food. (For example, think about the nutritional value you would get from an apple, which is about 100 calories, compared with 100 calories – about half a scoop – of vanilla ice cream.)
There is also a significant difference in the nutrient density of plants grown in healthy soil, which then affects the whole food chain. Healthy soil produces healthy plants, which means that the animals that eat them are eating more nutritious food, which provides us with healthier eggs and meat.
Industrial agriculture’s interests are larger yields and faster growth, not nutritional value. We have more and more data that show how food is becoming less and less nutritious. Many studies show how food is decreasing in nutritional value.
We did a study on the amino acid profile of our eggs versus caged and so called “free range” eggs and our eggs cracked all the wins. https://www.farmerangus.co.za/2019/11/19/nutrient-dense-eggs-amino-acid-profiles/
Sophisticated and very expensive machinery is needed to extract and produce powdered collagen. We simply don’t have the money, time or capacity to make this kind of investment.
To answer this question Angus wrote a blog post on this topic: https://www.farmerangus.co.za/2021/06/01/how-regenerative-agriculture-can-feed-south-africa/. If you don’t have time to read the blog post, then understand that it is possible to feed South Africa regeneratively: every regenerative farmer that I know has increased their yields.
Whenever farmers change to regenerative agriculture their total farm yields go up and their ecosystem improves. The Rodale Institute in the USA started a trial in 1981 to compare conventional and organic/regenerative agriculture and on every single metric organic is better. https://rodaleinstitute.org/science/farming-systems-trial/
There isn’t demand from the retailers and too few people know about regenerative agriculture and its benefits.
In South Africa: David McEwen, James Leslie, Bertie Coetzee, Paul Collett, Jason Carroll and Charles Edmonds, Sam and Rob Lundie, Pierre Winshaw, Roland Kroon, James Brodie, and Gerrit van Zyl.
Internationally: Joel Salatin, Will Harris, Charles Massey, Manoj Kumar, Ernest Gotsch, Vandana Shiva, Helmi Abouleish, Colin Seiss, and Gabe Brown.