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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Grass Fed VS Grain Fed

I love a good juicy cheeseburger or a steak straight off the grill in the summer!  There's a lot of questions from consumers about grass fed and corn feed beef.  Which is better?  Which is healthy?  Which is safer to eat?  These are also all questions that I have been asked personally as well.

First off, let me start by saying, (in case you are new  to This Farm Family's life or just stopping by, if so then welcome;)  we are beef farmers who feed our cattle grain.  They are given a balanced ration of haylage, dry hay, corn silage, and corn.  That being said, I am not judging one way versus the other.  All cattle at one point in their lives are grass fed.  Many of them begin on pasture and are finished out in feed lot type settings while reaching market weight.

All beef is rich in 10 essential nutrients: protein, selenium, B12, zinc, niacin, B6, phosphorus, choline, iron, and riboflavin.  Grain fed has proven to be higher in monosaturated fat which is the same heart healthy fat found in olive oil while grass fed is higher in omega 3 fatty acids.

Another question that consumers are asking is which type is safer to eat?  They are both safe to eat.  Grass or grain fed are both great quality meat that are safe as long as they are cooked properly.

A calf that is grain fed will reach market weight faster than one that is grass fed.  Grass fed beef also costs more per pound.   Research has also shown that corn fed beef provides more tender and tastier meat and creates better marbeling in steaks and such.  

Land base is quickly decreasing because of urban growth while corn yields keep increasing because of advancements in technology.

Lastly, a researcher at Texas A&M university states that grass fed beef is not as healthy, nor grain fed beef as harmful as some reports have suggested.

Corn fed or grass fed.  You be the judge and pick which one is better for your family.  If you prefer grass fed and it fits into your budget, then go for it.  If you prefer corn fed, then go for it!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Why Aren't Soybeans Harvested When They Are Green?

 It's a question that I've heard many times.  Why aren't soybeans harvested when they are green?  We pick green beans in the garden when they are green, so why are soybeans harvested when they are brown and the plants appear to be dead?

In the following picture you can see green beans...

green beans for our June 2 Recipe Box. (Please skip the green bean ...
and in this picture, are soybeans...

Why Aren't Soybeans Harvested When They Are Green? 

If you or I waited to harvest the produce from our garden when the plants were dead, like we do with our field crops, there probably wouldn't be anything left to produce.  Sure, it would probably be there, but the quality wouldn't.  When you plant a garden, you aren't actually growing grain like we are.  While they appear to be dead, they are actually ripe!

Grain crops such as corn and soybeans are harvested when they are ripened which means their green tissue has turned brown, or dried down as we call it.  Crops have a long storage life, so they have to be dry so they don't get moldy.  No one likes moldy food, just like animals don't like moldy food if the crops are being used for animal feed.

Another reason that we let the plants dry down naturally is because if the grain is hauled into a grain elevator, to be shipped elsewhere and made into certain foods or other things, it needs to be at or below a certain moisture, so that it can be stored for long periods without going bad.  The moisture for soybeans needs to be at or below 13%.  If it is above that percentage we are docked in the price.

Here you can see the soybeans coming out of the grain cart auger. 

We are able to dry our grain, specifically our corn.  Most of the time we let Mother Nature handle the soybeans and they are able to be hauled straight to the elevator.  If they are too wet, we put them in a grain bin with a large fan to help dry them out before they are hauled to the elevator.  It's a little more difficult to get corn to dry down enough to haul straight to the elevator from the field, so we use our grain dryer most of the time for corn.

The grain dryer system is another post in itself, so I will have to fill you in on that at another time;)+

Ever wonder why field soybeans are harvested when they are brown,but garden green beans are picked when they are green?  Find out in this post.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Catching Up...

 Well, sadly it has been two months since I last posted on here.  It's been super busy around here as I'm sure it has been for most of you.  And I started a fun little project which I will tell you about later in the post.   I've decided to do a post to catch you all up because I'm sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats wondering about us;)

We had family pictures before harvest started.  We usually wait until after we are done in the fields, so Brad doesn't have to take time away for pictures because we all know he would love that!  The girls are done changing each day like they did when they were babies, so I decided I wanted to have them taken in the summer, but summer quickly turned into fall and in September we had them taken, but we weren't freezing our patooties off!  This is pretty much how they went....

There's always that one sister!;)

Mel turned 7!!!!

Jo turned 3!!!!

3 is my favorite age, minus the terrible three temper tantrums.  I hate to tell you, but the tantrums don't stop at 2.

We celebrated all month and the month before.  The weeks leading up to her birthday, she kept saying, "My birfday's coming up."  Then the days after, "My birfday's coming up."  I think her birthday's from now on may have to be a month long celebration.

I started a new endeavor called The Farmwife Crafts.  I am so excited about this change.  I used to share recipes,  crafts, and family life here on this blog, but now all my crafts and recipes will be posted at The Farmwife Crafts.  Don't worry!  I'm not going anywhere.  I will still share stories here, but for all my crafts, DIY, and recipes, visit The Farmwife Crafts please:).

We visited our favorite pumpkin place to get our pumpkins.

Mel completed her first ever basketball camp and loved it and now she is doing gymnastics!  And she also did a cheer camp and loved it!
Jo got silly putty stuck in her hair and after trying every other option we could think of, she had to get it cut;(.  Goodbye curls...

We visited our favorite place not once, but twice this month.

We spent a lot of time with friends.  Some live close and others live far away.  Either way it's always fun to get together.

Jo filled her pockets with "beams" and cried when all of her "beams" were gone from the fields.  I, however, did not cry!

After 5 long weeks and only a couple rainy days we wrapped up harvest and were thankful for another year.

Last night we  carved pumpkins.  I don't know why we can't just stick to the basic triangle eyes and nose and crooked mouth, but we have fun!

Now we are ready for career day at school tomorrow with our teacher and farmer and Halloween on Saturday with a minion, cheetah, and zombie.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Nights...

Summer nights are quickly winding down, much to our dismay.  Summer always seems to be our busiest time, but also gives us the chance to spend more time as a family.  The days and nights may be long, but we sure do enjoy them!

I captured these the other night while the girls were jumping on a trampoline...with a pool floatie, of course;)  The lighting and quality isn't the best...I'm still working on my low-light photography and after nearly 10 years, I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever master that, but I love them.

This one is my favorite.  Jo is in the shot also, but she is laying down;)

 Sunset, cornfields, and a trampoline.  Perfection!

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