When we first started with chickens, years before the organic movement, we were dismayed to find that easily accessible commercial feeds contained horrible ingredients like animal by-product, antibiotics, and pesticides.
If we wanted a feed that contained only grain, and the right balance of minerals, we would have to make our own, which was a daunting task, and we didn't take it on.
When we came back to backyard poultry farming several years later, we were delighted to find feed containing only grains and minerals, due to the conscientious efforts of other farmers, growers, and manufacturers in New Mexico.
Knowing that fresh, leafy greens were critical to good flock health, we went knocking on the back doors of the organic markets that lined the streets of Santa Fe, New Mexico, mecca of organic food enthusiasts.
The vegetables tossed into our pens had impressive pedigrees. Wholesome food and clean water from our own deep (and regularly tested) well, gave the geese, ducks, chickens, pheasant, partridge and quail a foundation for their natural good health.
We know that the term "organic" is a moving target legally, depending on the USDA definition and certification process. We were not USDA-certified organic. We are drug, chemical, pesticide, and animal by-product free.
Our process, even when we are between flocks, is truly sustainable. It is poultry farming in a non-abusive, non-polluting, food-justice method that can be sustained long term.
I network with other farmers who share my values, and this mission drives our business. Linked together, we can make a difference in an industry guilty of some of the worst practices in the world.