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RBR News | August 8, 2014

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch
It has been an interesting observational year for our vegetable production. We have converted nearly an acre of pasture into annual vegetable and culinary herb production, which has been a thrilling accomplishment in itself. Yet with any new growing space, we quickly figure out the high and low spots, rocky locations, nutrient deficient areas, and sections with drainage challenges.  There are certain areas in our garden where these differences in soil quality are almost night and day.

If you recall Harper’s post from May 2nd, she discussed the role of our pigs in our garden space. For nearly a month, the pigs rooted, wallowed, tilled, aerated, and fertilized the soil.  After they vacated, we planted several varieties of warm season crops in that space. Nearly four months later we can see the effect the pigs had on production. As an experiment, we had the pigs till half of the planting area and prepared the remaining area with mechanical equipment. As you can see in the photo below, all of the crops, especially tomatoes and summer squash, have grown exponentially taller and faster in the pig-rooted area (top/right of the field) than in the tractor-tilled area (bottom/left of the field). We can thus deduce that the pigs did an infinitely better job preparing the beds all while saving us labor, fuel, specialized equipment, and time. 

It is pretty incredible to be able to capitalize on our animals’ instinctual behaviors and mannerisms for the greater good of the farm (the pigs are our natural tillers, the sheep are natural lawnmowers and all of the animals provide natural fertilizers). We’re thrilled to continue to develop this mutually beneficial system with the goal of improved animal welfare, greater soil fertility, and less use of resources like labor, fuel, and equipment.

Available Products
Plenty of sweet genovese basil and mint will be back this week. 

A good quantity of pasture-raised whole chickens are still available, as well as our delicious non-GMO, Animal Welfare Approved chicken eggs. The duck egg season is coming to an end, so grab duck eggs while they last.  

A full pork inventory is available including chops, ribs, bacon, smoked hams, fresh ham roasts, and several flavors of sausage. 

A restock of lamb products will be available including racks, chops, and the popular Mediterranean Lamb Bratwurst.

Purchase RBR products at:

  • Rock Bottom Ranch Ranch | Monday - Friday, 9AM-5PM and Saturday, 9AM-1PM
  • Basalt Farmers’ Market | Sundays, 10AM-2PM

~ Christian La Bar, Agriculture Assistant

Join us for Farm Tours Monday – Saturday at 11AM! For questions about Rock Bottom Ranch please email Jason at jsmith@aspennature.org