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Healthy Growth – Pasture Posts #26

pasture posts

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts where we show you what we were up to!

Healthy Growth

The times we live in right now are different in many respects to say the least, but one definite difference our farm has seen is the new appetite that many people have for foods purchased directly from a local farm. We welcome this new appetite with open arms and have embraced it fully over the last year and a half – so much so that we drastically shifted our production methods to pastured animals only with nothing marketed through conventional channels. You can read more about that transition here.

One challenge that we haven’t entirely figured out is how to continue to grow and at what speed to grow our farm. The growth we saw in the spring of 2020 was great and afforded us many opportunities to be better farmers. We saw our meat and egg sales increase over 250% when we compare the spring of 2019 to the spring of 2020. This quickly showed us that many new customers were finding us, and we quickly shifted all our efforts to satisfying the demand for pastured proteins in order to retain as many of these new customers as possible.

Continue reading Healthy Growth – Pasture Posts #26
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Pasture Posts #20

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer.  Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!  (Web versions of this newsletter can be found here on our website!)

Monocultures don’t exist in nature

Last week, we discussed how we view and deal with weeds in our pastures.  This week, let’s look at the diversity in our pastures and the species that graze them and compare that to other types of agriculture.

forage diversity mob grazing
Notice the diversity of forages in this pasture.  From Johnson grass and crabgrass to plantains, this field likely has more than 10 different species that flourish after each grazing period.  
Continue reading Pasture Posts #20
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Pasture Posts #9

Here’s the latest edition of Pasture Posts – the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer!  Enjoy!

What’s keeping us busy

Chicken Processing

Our first flock of 2021 reached maturity this past week.  Harvesting livestock is something we take very seriously as it is the one bad day that our animals have.  We work extremely hard to minimize stress for all our livestock throughout their life which is something that is low in priority for the industry which we’ll talk about more below.  

Our belief is that by us providing them with a respectful, species-appropriate life, that they will then in death provide us and our customers with a nutrient-dense, nourishing source of food that gives us life.  

For this flock we used a small USDA processor for some of the birds which will allow us to market the birds in different ways – mainly to stores for resale.  (The birds that we process on-farm can only be sold directly to the consumer or to restaurants, hotels, or other institutions that will further prepare the poultry under government inspection of some sort.)

So here’s some pictures of us loading chickens one morning.  It truly was very low-stress for the chickens and went well overall.  

After loading the birds into the transport coops, we then put the coops onto a pallet.
Then we slowly take the pallet to the nearby trailer.  
Continue reading Pasture Posts #9
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Home Delivery Schedule Update

We have decided that we will not be doing home deliveries on Wednesdays anymore. Today was our last one for the time being. We feel like this is the best decision for the farm right now. Our regular delivery driver (Mason) has started back to college so he is unavailable on Wednesdays now. Kelly has done several Wednesday deliveries over the last couple of months when we have had busy days on the farm but she has started back homeschooling our oldest (2nd grade) so it is hard for her to get away for a day and we don’t want to get behind in school. She is also over the office and answering calls and emails so having her away is difficult. Gary (main boss man around here…lol) has been doing them some but there are jobs around the farm that we can use him for. Matthew is better used on the farm doing chores and whatever else may come up. So as you can see we are all pulled in different directions right now.

So what does that mean for you? If you place an order for home delivery it will be delivered that following Saturday. You are also welcome to come pick up at the farm if you need it before Saturday. Just select Farm Pickup as you checkout.

We do appreciate all of you for supporting our farm. Without you purchasing from our farm we would not be able to do what we are called to do. We love having the opportunity to serve customers. It blesses us that you know where you meat and eggs are coming from and how they are raised.

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Creek Flooding

Lots of rain in a short amount of time makes our creek look like this. This is what we call our “rock crossing” that has large sheets of bedrock that are normally visible and allow us to cross the creek. Of course, on this day none of this was possible.
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What we’re about

Rest assured that our beef cattle never receive grain.

None of our animals receive any genetically modified organisms.

All of our animals are rotated on pasture and are never confined like in the industry.

Antibiotics are simply not needed as a general rule in a pasture setting.

When we honor the animals they honor us by providing nutrient dense nourishment.

Our cattle are rotated every day or two to new pasture. This high-density rotation mimics nature and builds soil. They never receive grain, hormones, antibiotics. What they do receive is high-quality grass, plenty of fresh water, shade when needed, and the respect they deserve.

Our pigs are rotated through 1/4 acre paddocks where they have access to fresh grass, fresh water, shade and a natural, non-GMO grain ration. Pigs love to root for anything they can find in the ground. Confinement hogs never get this opportunity. It makes for happier pigs and pork that you can feel good about feeding your family.

Our laying hens are rotated every other day to fresh pasture from March to November. They forage for bugs and grass and have continuous access to fresh water, shelter, and a natural non-GMO feed ration. All of this makes for the richest eggs you will eat.

Our broiler chickens are rotated to a new spot of grass daily for the 5 weeks that they are on pasture. They love moving time because they get a fresh plate of grass filled with grasshoppers and crickets that they feast on in addition to their non-GMO grain ration. They also have constant access to fresh water. These pasture shelters provide refuge from wind, rain, and sun.

Read more about the premium pastured proteins we produce:

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Delivery opportunities and other news

Spring is in the air, and we have a lot going on.  We appreciate all of our customers, and the choices you make with your food dollar.  Here are some ways you can engage with us.

We are gathering eggs everyday so follow this link to order some.

Now is a great time to get bulk beef or pork. Follow this link for custom orders and this link for standard orders.

There are several deliveries coming up.

April 6th we have home delivery, Fort Mill Delivery (5:45 pm) and Rock Hill Delivery (6:30 pm). Please note that we are only doing these deliveries once a month now on the first Thursday. If you would like to place an order for one of these locations please do so by Wednesday April 5th at noon.

April 7th we will be doing Columbia Delivery at 2:00 pm, Goose Creek at 4:15 pm, Mt. Pleasant at 5:30 pm and Daniel Island at 6:00 pm. If you would like to place an order for one of these locations please do so by Thursday April 6th at noon.

Now we’ll leave you with some scenes from the farm this week.

This is a red oak tree that died about a year ago. We fell it and are having it milled into lumber for new dump truck sides and a new floor for the livestock trailer.

This is the grass-finished herd. They are still grazing rye for now, but will be moving on to about 35 acres of newly planted spring oat pasture soon.


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News Update

Hi. We hope everyone has had a great summer so far! We have been very busy on the farm. All the rain we have been getting has really helped with growing the grass.

We just wanted to let  you know what was going on on the farm and what we have coming up.

We have plenty of meat in the freezer right now. We have whole Chicken Packages (10 whole broilers), Family Packages and Quarter Pigs available for purchase. We also have a few new cuts available. We have beef brisket, flank steak, skirt steak and beef arm roast.

We will be processing our last round of beef in September. We have two dates scheduled, the first date is September 20th and the second date is September 27th. We will get the meat back from the processor around the middle of  October . After these two dates we will not process anymore beef until the Spring. If you are wanting a half or whole beef then now is the time to get your deposit in to us. You can do this by sending a check made payable to Watson Farms to 713 Colony Road, Chester SC 29706. It is a $100 deposit for a half and a $200 deposit for a whole.

We will also be processing a round of pigs on September 26th. You can send your check to the above address. It is a $100 deposit for a half and a $200 deposit for a whole.

We have found a new location for our Columbia Buying Club. The address is 571 BrookshireDrive, Columbia Sc 29210. Our first delivery is scheduled for September 9th at 3:15pm. We will be doing this delivery every 6 weeks.

We are doing the Rock Hill Farmers Market. We are there on Thursdays from 5-8:00pm. You can either place an order to pick up there or you can stop by our booth and shop there. We have all of our cuts with us.

We are also doing the Hub City Farmers Market in Spartanburg. We are there on Saturdays from 8am-12noon. You can either place an order or you can stop by the booth and shop.

Our next Charleston Delivery is scheduled for September 9th at 6:00pm.

We are in the process of getting a few more locations where you will be able to get our meat. Look for more information on that.

As always we appreciate your business and thank you for choosing to spend your food dollar with a local farm.