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RBR News | April 1, 2014

Posted in Ranch Report

Around the Ranch
It is springtime at RBR and new blades of green grass, increased egg production, and softening, frost-free ground are daily glimpses into the warmer months ahead.


The True Cost of Local Food Production: A Chicken's Eye View

Posted in Ranch Report

Article originally published in Edible Aspen's Spring 2014 Issue.


Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference

Posted in Ranch Report

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to travel to Mobile, Alabama to attend a conference hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG).  This conference, in its 23rd year, gives family farm operators practical tools and solutions to improve sustainability.  As always, the conference offers a wealth of knowledge and new ideas, and is an incredible networking opportunity to meet over 1,000 farmers and producers working towards similar goals. 


Tamworth Pigs at Rock Bottom Ranch

Posted in Ranch Report

A few weeks ago, Rock Bottom Ranch welcomed two new gilts (young female pigs) to our family.  These adorable piglets are a heritage breed called Tamworth. The Tamworth breed is one of the oldest recognized pig breeds in the world, originating in England. Sir Robert Peel is credited with developing the breed by crossing local pigs with imported Irish stock.


Rabbit: a Healthy, Nutritious, Sustainable (and Underappreciated) Food

Posted in Ranch Report
Spring at Rock Bottom Ranch

Article originally published in Edible Aspen's Spring 2013 Issue.

Raising animals for food in your backyard is a great way to fundamentally change the way you look at our food system, and your land. Yet if you have limited space, your options for livestock can be limited. A cow in a suburban backyard is likely to depress your neighborhood’s home values, and too many meat chickens might warrant a visit from the health inspector.


Putting the Garden to Bed

Posted in Ranch Report

Putting my garden to bed is almost as exciting as prepping my garden for spring planting.  It’s also my favorite time of year in the Roaring Fork Valley; colors ablaze on every horizon, the air crisp and the sunshine sharp, there is nothing more rewarding then harvesting the last of the season’s bounty and laying to rest that special piece of earth.


RBR Explorers (age 5) enjoying the creek!

Posted in Ranch Report
Summer classes are in full swing at the Ranch, and we're doing our best to have fun in the heat.

Why Do You Farm?

Posted in Ranch Report
Pig

I was just signing up to join a web community of young farmers and was asked on the survey, Why do you farm?  Those four little words really got me thinking, and here's what popped out!


Utilizing Our Local Ingredients: Embracing Fat

Posted in Ranch Report

At ACES’ Rock Bottom Ranch, live remarkably happy and healthy pigs. They spend their days wallowing in baths of cool mud or grazing in the pastures. They are given respect and attention by the steady flow of staff and visitors that frequent their domain, and used as educational tools to demonstrate to the public the importance of preserving heritage breed pigs.


The Mind of Big Willy

Posted in Ranch Report

As we hear reiterated at many a ranch educational program, fall is a time of harvest. We collect apples from trees, pumpkins from the vine, dig potatoes and carrots, and so forth. On our field programs, students join in for cider pressing. They take turns spinning the crank of the apple-crusher, and all sing the song: “This the way we crush our apples, on an autumn day.” Next we turn the topmost crank, and the press mashes the fruits.. “This is the way we press our apples...” And the sweet cider oozes out. Meanwhile, a 600-pound beast watches.