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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Kirchner

Iron Man & The Transition to Organic

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Sorry y'all... It's been a second. Let’s catch up…

Two main stories in this blog... 1. Why is Iron Man mentioned in the title? It’s a reference to a story about my 5 year old son. 2. Our decision to begin the transition to a certified organic operation. If you’re wondering about the reference to Iron Man, let me explain. My son is 5 and pretty much a SUPERFAN of all things Iron Man. It’s to the point where he wants to be the real life Tony Stark. We’re big MCU fans so, in my opinion, it could be worse.

But, he’s being featured here because my little Iron Man is not the example of ideal health. For example, he has asthma which has sent him to the ER for extended stays numerous times, he has constant digestive upset, he had brutal eczema for a year plus and has skin sensitivities to a long list of things.

As I’ve dug deeper into pasture based farming and clean eating, I’ve grown to appreciate food can be medicine. I’ve also grown tired of conventional doctors telling me “he’s fine.” The reality is, he may be “fine” by their standards, but he is not enjoying optimal health. And beyond that, I’ve decided maybe regular doctors have become desensitized to chronically ill kids with underlying, but not debilitating sickness. That reality isn’t good enough for my Iron Man.

That’s why, I’m super excited and feeling blessed to begin a journey with a Family Nurse Practitioner that specializes in integrative medicine (aka functional medicine). She’s out of Billings and went to school at MSU in Bozeman. Together we’re going to get to the root cause of things and get him on a path to optimal health. I’m truly so excited for him.

Food can be medicine but sadly most general practice MDs aren’t encouraged or required to take a deep dive into nutrition (say nothing about how the food industry funds a majority of the research being taught at universities on the subject).

This is going to be a big focus for us this summer. We hope that him being out of school will allow us to control more of the variables around what he puts into his system. Wish us luck.

Organic you say?

Yep. I spend a lot of time, thinking about, envisioning, and researching my future ideal farm and no matter how I try to ignore it or avoid it, all roads point towards becoming USDA certified organic.

But, I see that as the beginning of our farming journey not the end destination. I’m not a fan of green washing or producers that mislead customers to think that their products are healthier for the land, animals or people than they truly are. And, I want people to be clear about where we stand on things.

That being said organic certification can’t replace integrity, there are ways to cheat or cut corners in everything if you want to. And, it won’t replace the relationship between producer and customer that is so important. Still, it feels like the right path for us.

And as for the process, this transition to certified organic will take 2-3 years before it’s official. Okay, so I’m going to share a part of my future farm dreams here (please withhold judgement). This year we’re going to restart our herd focusing on Galloway genetics. It’s a beef breed that I have fallen in love with. The following year, we plan to add Katahdin sheep to the grazing rotation, and the year after that some pastured poultry.

Exciting right!?!

Long term, I see us pursuing a regenerative certification process as well. One that aims for beyond organic practices. But, that’s still very new territory at this point and organic will be a good foundation.

We intend to always stay small. And we will let the land and pasture health dictate and influence our stocking density. But, the outlook of knowing where more of our food comes from and sharing that with friends and neighbors feels really good.

Looking forward to it!

Last thing, I would be remiss in my duties as seller of beef if I forgot to share… If you’re looking to fill your freezer with beef you can feel good about and will thoroughly enjoy… click here to reserve a quarter or side of beef for your family from our next round of processing dates.

grass fed chuck roast
Grass fed bone-in chuck roast we recently enjoyed. Seared then slow cooked.

*this photo has almost nothing to do with this blog post, but it was a recent one on my phone and yummy, right. So, I figured it was worth sharing.

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