There is a lot of confusion now days over the terminology.
What means one thing to one person or organization means
something totally different to another. One thing I want to be
clear about is the terms used here on the Thunder 5 Ranch
and what we mean when we apply a term.
Natural. Is about the most abused word by the mega
corporations and is a word used by the T5R because in its true
form it describes our overall practices better than most other
words. I usually preface Natural with Truly. IE. Truly Natural
pasture raised pork.
Permaculture. Is what the T5R is, we work with nature instead
of fighting the Sacred Grandmother every step of the way. We
build into every project aspects that will benefit and sustain
atleast 2 other aspects of the farm and create habitat for the
wild things. The wold things in turn provide services for us
either directly or indirectly and have an overall positive
influence on the soil and environment of the T5R.
Sustainable. Is a buzzword that is quickly becoming generic
and abused. We still use this word however because it is a
part of the permaculture basis of the T5R. While sustainable is
a part of the overall picture it is not the full picture.
Organic No we are not certified organic and never will be. In
my opinion organic is not so organic anyway when the use of
things like Tetracycline is allowed. There was a time I was very
much in favor of the organic movement and then it became
and exclusive elitist club that promotes some very
unsustainable practices the more it falls under the elitist and
mega corporation sway. Instead I use the term coined by Joel
Salatin "Beyond Organic"
Beyond Organic. What is more earth friendly...... Buying
"Organic certified" feed from 800 miles away and trucking or
railing it in, or buying open pollinated corn that was raised
conventionally 50 feet from where the hogs are? I opt for both
environmental and financial reasons to support the local farm
50 feet from the T5R. Corn locally is $4.25 per bushel
imported Organic Certified is $13- $18 per bushel. Plus the
hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel to transport it. So I shall
look at the bigger picture and go with the conventionally
raised open pollinated corn that is minimally treated with
'cides. I won't use most of the things allowed in "Organic
Certified" operations. If you would like to see the list of
reasons we are not certified organic, the USDA has listed them
quite nicely Here.
Chemical and Anti Biotic free. We do not feed chemicals or
antibiotics, there are no growth hormones. Of course by
saying that I have to say feeding antibiotics to poultry and
swine is prohibited by law. Except every news story I read
and industry journal speaks of feeding antibiotics in the
confinements.............. Our primary parasite control in the
livestock and insecticide in the gardens is DE and in special
circumstances with bought in breeding stock with heavy
parasite loads we will use a 90 day safe guard program while
the animal is in the quarantine pen. There simply are no
synthetic or less than natural chemicals used here.
Moral and Ethical. Some in the past have taken the stance
that I am saying they suck and that the T5R practices are the
best way. While I fully believe that our practices are the best
and are morally and ethically sound, I am not saying other
operations practices suck, they just suck for us as a model.
Ultimately the end consumer decides :) If other farms want to
take my opinions and ethical stances personally........ "Tough
Titty said the kitty but the milks still good." :0)