The Lean Grass-fed Beef Myth

One of the most persistent myths about grass-fed beef is it’s always lean. Much grass-fed beef is lean, but not all, and certainly not most of the beef we raise here at Cairncrest Farm. we like some fat on our steaks because it makes them taste better, and so long as the fats come from a nutritious, clean source of …

Edmund BrownThe Lean Grass-fed Beef Myth

Material Handling

When trying to change some aspect of the farm it’s usually better to use animals than machines. Putting cows and sheep or pigs onto a patch of goldenrod will turn it to productive pasture over the course of a couple grazing seasons. While not as fast as plowing and planting, this approach also doesn’t require machines, diesel, and expensive seeds. …

Garth BrownMaterial Handling

Organic and Grass-fed Fraud, or, Let’s Just Call It Farming

Back in August I got a call from a fellow farmer who lives a few valleys over. We chatted about cows and grass, and when I mentioned that our vegetable garden was having a rough year, she said, “It’s hard, but you have to grow your own. You can’t trust anything from the store.” Such suspicion of the food system is …

Garth BrownOrganic and Grass-fed Fraud, or, Let’s Just Call It Farming

100% Grass-fed Beef

To me, 100% grass-fed and finished beef means our cattle never eat grains or grain byproducts at any time in their lives. I wish there was a way to convey this to (new) customers succinctly and in such a way it wasn’t necessary for further explanation and questions. I wish the term “grass-fed” conveyed this level of production rigor. My cattle …

Edmund Brown100% Grass-fed Beef

Why Buy from Cairncrest Farm?

When you purchase grass-fed beef, lamb, or pastured pork from our farm, your support makes a difference: ~Fertility goes to feed healthy, verdant New York pastures instead of hypoxic dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. ~Cows live in a herd eating fresh grass and hay instead of finishing their lives on a dirt feedlot eating corn. ~Pigs root, …

Garth BrownWhy Buy from Cairncrest Farm?
grass-fed beef, pastured pork

Bamboo Yield

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, “bro science,” is when a dude (it’s always a dude) makes a few casual observations about a phenomenon and then launches into sweeping generalizations he proclaims loudly, widely, and authoritatively. When Garth and I run experiments on the farm we generally refer to them as “cowbro science” because …

Edmund BrownBamboo Yield
pastured pork

The Coming Fall

The plants prepare for winter with an enviable complacency. The goldenrod and grasses store up energy in their roots for next spring even as their leaves begin to desiccate. The early frost started the trees turning, but a scorching hot September held them in a yellow green stasis that finally gave way to orange and red a week ago. The annuals …

Garth BrownThe Coming Fall

Ungrounded Earthing

I am by nature a somewhat skeptical person. Send me an article about how Basque sheep farmers in Wyoming are actually a fifth column seeking to undermine the existing political order and I’ll shake my head condescendingly! Call saying you’re from the IRS and that I must immediately send you a $2000 wire transfer if I don’t want to be arrested and …

Garth BrownUngrounded Earthing
pastured pork

Fall Piglets

A newborn piglet usually weighs about three pounds. The natural way to pick one up is to reach down and grab it one handed, the way you might scoop up a dropped beer. Though even the smallest piglet has a surprising heft and solidity, it is hard to believe that something so tiny will grow into a market hog in less than a …

Garth BrownFall Piglets

Tool Review: Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe

In his essay “Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer” Wendell Berry lays out a utopian standard by which to assess the adoption of a technology. A new tool should be cheaper, at least as small, and demonstrably more effective than what it replaces. It should use human power if possible, be easily repairable, and it should be produced …

Garth BrownTool Review: Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe