012 Our Purpose
In the most primal sense, everything begins with a hunger. We have a hunger for growing and raising good food, which is at the heart of what we do. Second Journey Farmstead is committed to organically growing fruits, nuts, and vegetables, along with humanely raising livestock and poultry. This means that we do not use pesticides or herbicides in the garden or orchard, or use antibiotics, growth hormones, or preservatives in the livestock or its meat. It also means that we hold all life in high regard, and treat it as a precious gift. This includes feeding a wholesome, nutritious, and diverse diet to our short-term guests, and dispatching by the quickest, most humane means possible.
Our “second journey” is a transition from a career in the Navy to civilian life, but it also symbolizes a commitment to mentally transition from accepting low-quality mass-produced instant-gratification foods to one of deliberate intent to be more discerning in what we consume. Part of that transition involves becoming, as much as reasonably possible, the source of our own sustenance. Portions of the property have been designated for assignment, and are currently undergoing preparations to fulfill their tasks. We expect to have the orchard at full production by 2022. In the meantime, we will focus on meat, eggs, compost, and the garden.
We are passionate about ensuring the survival of heritage livestock and poultry breeds because they are beautifully unique, multi-purpose animals that have mostly been dismissed by large commercial interests. Being well-rounded, heritage breeds generally lack the excellence in any one particular category that commercial raisers look for. Another appeal of heritage breeds is that they are not raised to be oversized for their skeletal structure, a trait commonly found in commercially grown animals, which leads to poor health quality and shorter lifespans. Heritage breeds must be capable of reproducing on their own. Most of the commercial breeds raised for mass consumption cannot make these claims. They are selected for one purpose, and animal longevity, quality of life, or unassisted reproduction are not it. This is why we are proud to be lifetime members of The Livestock Conservancy, a non-profit organization who shares our dedication to the preservation and promotion of heritage breeds.
Our passion for heirloom seeds matches our passion for heritage breeds. No matter which side of the GMO debate you fall on, you will likely appreciate that we seek to minimize or utterly remove all pesticide and herbicide use in our garden and orchard. This may complicate pest and weed eradication, but it also means no GMO seeds for us. Our output may suffer, but we are willing to accept that consequence to ensure we are not ingesting herbicide or herbicide-ready chemicals through our food or water supply, and neither are our animals.
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This is a family affair. We all get involved in documenting our life in the woods.