TheBAR 1 Farms?
From a Sword to a Plowshare
Thebar 1 Farms, LLC is a veteran owned and operated small family farm in North-West Minnesota. The farm is based on the concept of self-sufficiency, sustainability and respect. Respect of self, respect of others and respect of the environment and nature. To read about our journey to get here, please read out homestead blog at http://thebar1homestead.blogspot.com/
Belted Galloway Cattle
Breeding Stock/Beef Production
"Belties" (or Oreo cows) were originally bred in Scotland and bred in order to thrive in the harsh winter conditions there. In my mind that made them natural to be able to do well in our Minnesota Winters.
The breed is known for their grazing ability, longevity (17-20 years) and hardiness, all traits I was looking for in and that fit into our plan.
Belted Galloways are also know to have excellent calving ease, feed efficiency, and they produce an outstanding beef.
Generally, the mature Belted Galloway bull weighs within the 1,800 to 2,000 lb. range while the mature Beltie cow averages 1,100 to 1,300 lb. At birth, bull calves usually weigh 70 to 80 lb. while heifer calves about 10 lb. less.
Breeding Stock/Dairy Production/Chevon Production
As the only true dual purpose goat bred to
excel in both milk and meat production, the
Kinder is ideal for the hobbiest,
homesteader and goat enthusiast. As a midsize goat they are easy to handle, and a
safe choice for families and lone handlers. Their friendly personalities make them a joy to be around.
Kinders make a large amount of milk for their size, and their milk tends to be sweeter and
higher in butter fat than most other breeds. This makes it ideal for cheese-making and
soaping as well as drinking. Reaching 70% of their full weight before they reach a year, with a dress out percentage of around 60%, they are also a wonderful option for those interested in raising goats for meat. They are very efficient in their feed conversion rate, and their milk and meat have both been rated as best tasting in competitions. Hardy and
thrifty, these goats truly are the perfect all around breed!
Our bees are a vital part of our farm and indeed our world. When choosing a type of hive we decided to go with a Warre Hive. Warre hives are designed to be more natural then typical lang-worth hives that you would normally see in a large scale commercial apiary. I believe their design is also more suited to our Mn weather as their "attics" do a wonderful job of reducing dampness in the winter. This design also lends itself to some wonderful comb honey production as well as a less intensive/intrusive form of hive management.
Egg Production/Insect and Weed Control/Poultry Production
We believe in letting birds be birds, as such most of our poultry are raised free range with ample amounts of area or roam. Currently our poultry flock consists of Barred Rocks and Black Austalorp Chickens, whose duties consists of the production of some beautiful brown eggs and insect control. Starting in April you will see their eggs available in our sales section! This year we are also adding Cayuga and Swedish blue ducks and a variety of geese so stay tuned for more on them in April. Our guinea fowl serve as watch dogs and most importantly in Minnesota, tick control. We may also offer some baby chicks for sale this spring.
Feeder Pigs/Pork Production
Our pigs are raised the way Mother Nature intended, on pasture. The difference between pasture raised pork and what you find in the super market is between night and day. A true pasture raised pork will be much darker red in color then what you will typically see in the store, filled with nutrients! Once you try some of our pasture raised pork you will have a hard time going back to store bought!
You may have noticed unlike the other animals that are part of our team you do not see a breed listed here. That is because one set breed did not give us what we were looking for. So, for our swine production we turned to Walter Jeffries at Sugar Mountain Farms in Vermont. Walter has been selectively breeding his pigs for a northern climate, better meat, marbling, length, temperament, mothering ability and pasture grazing ability since 2003. We secured our initial stock from Walter and will pick them up this spring. We expect feeders to be available in Spring of 2019 and we may have limited 1/2 and whole hogs available fall of 2018.
Lets face it, Mn gets cold in the winter, like really, really, really cold. As such, we need something to do on those cold winter days after the animals are fed and taken care of when there is no crops in the field. We have chosen wood working and hand crafted pens to keep us busy, this is a hobby I picked up from my old boss in Amman, Jordan when I was stationed there. You will soon be able to find our handy work for sale at the bottom of the home page as well as area farmers markets and craft shows starting Spring of 2018.
About our farm.
Our Mission Statement
Thebar 1 Farms will grow our business to provide an example of sustainable agriculture by supplying our community with high quality, locally sourced food options. The Bar 1 Farms will strive to be an example of our Christian faith by supporting those in need in our community by donating a percentage of our harvest to food banks and local charities.