Join me for this Pioneering Today Podcast as I catch you up on all the happenings around here, including some of the decision-making processes we go through to determine the livestock we'll raise each year.
Plus some fun updates on the Norris Farmstead and ways you can get involved with either a Farm Stay, or some in-person workshops this year.
In This Episode
- The discussion continues on mRNA in meat and our food system.
- How we're using regenerative pasture practices with our cattle.
- My family's decision-making process on whether or not to raise pigs this year. Learn more about raising pigs here and butchering pigs here.
- Deciding how many meat birds to raise and why we chose to raise the full amount (and why you might want to raise your meat birds, too). Learn how to raise your own meat birds here.
- In-person workshop recap. You can see all the upcoming in-person workshops here.
- Learn more about Norris Farmstead and how you can book a Farm Stay with us.
- Why I'm all for community sufficiency over self-sufficiency.
- Verse of the week: Romans 8:32-37
I recorded a podcast interview recently about the health benefits of consuming liver. More specifically, how we can mask the liver flavor while reaping all the benefits. I don't have any liver in the freezer right now, so I went onto Azure Standard's website to see if they offered any beef liver capsules.
They do! I was so pleased to find grass-fed liver capsules and have been taking them for two weeks now and love the added energy it brings to my day.
Azure Standard is the sponsor of today's podcast. If you've never tried Azure Standard before, you can get 10% off your order of $50 or more (first-time customers only) with coupon code “Melissa10”.
More Posts You May Enjoy
- What is A2 Milk & What are the Benefits?
- Tips for Homesteading Off-Grid & Life w/out a Fridge or Running Water
- Planning our “Farm Stay” Homestead
- Creating a Homestead Business That Makes Money
- Urban Homesteading – Tips for Small Space Self-Sufficiency
- Biggest Homestead Mistakes We Made & What to Avoid
- What to do When Homesteading Gets Tough
- How to Buy a Homestead – What to Look For
- How to Get Everything Done in a Day Without Wasting Time or Getting Distracted
Hey, pioneers. Welcome to episode number 392. Today's episode is more of a behind the scenes, a catch-up on things that we have been doing, as well as how last week's podcast episode has shaped and changed some of the decisions of how we are doing things immediately this summer, as well as moving forward.
If you did not catch that episode, we will make sure to link to it in today's show notes, but it was episode 391 and it was the episode that I did with Joel Salatin and it was on Decoding mRNA in Meat: Essential Insights and Unleashing the Secrets to Budget-Free Meat Marketing, which that sounded like a whole big old mouthful, but it was a really great episode where we talked about mRNA in livestock vaccines that are mRNA-based. And then we also talked about how that whole process is unfolding, how long it's been in certain vaccines for livestock, et cetera, which is therefore in the food system, and different things like that.
But then also how you can find meat that is raised locally from small farms in a manner that you are comfortable with and want if you're unable to do it yourself. For a lot of us who are small farms and small homesteads, ways that we can get the word out about extra meat that we may be raising. We have extra beef available right now and how that all breaks down. So really, really great episode. I've been getting a ton of feedback on it. I have to say, it's been very interesting feedback, because a lot of folks have been... Most folks are, it's really positive, wanting to stay informed and be aware of things that are happening in our food system.
Because if we are informed, then that allows us to make decisions that best serve us with having all of the information so that we can decide what it is that we are comfortable consuming and making sure that we are finding product if we're not raising it ourself in a manner that aligns with that. What was very interesting though is for people who I'm assuming had not listened to the episode because the comments that they were making when I was sharing this on other platforms other than the video edition of the podcast, which is now on YouTube, so if you're watching this with me, you're like, "Yeah, I already caught that episode and watched it."
But when we were sharing about the episode on Instagram, mainly Instagram, not so much Facebook, there was a lot of comments from people who based upon how they commented I have to assume that they didn't actually listen to the episode. Hopefully they then went and listened to the episode because there was a lot of comments that were saying, "Well, there is not a vaccine that is licensed, keyword word there, for use and cattle," and that's absolutely true. However, if you actually understand how the licensing process comes about in the United States, you'll know that it can be used without being licensed.
Anyways, if you didn't catch that episode, highly recommend that you go back and catch that. If you are listening to this and not watching it on YouTube, if you're my... I laugh. I try to pretend I'm cool. My kids just love it. I'm like, if you are an OG, old time podcast listener who listens to it audibly usually on an app, that's how I consume most podcasts I listen to, then make sure you go back and listen to that previous episode. But it was really funny actually. My husband doesn't, shocker of all shockers, or maybe not, he doesn't always catch the podcast. He doesn't listen very often, but he actually had a coworker who does listen to the podcast and came up to him and was talking about it.
He's like, "Oh, I don't know. I haven't listened to that episode yet. I better go listen to it." He listened to the episode that Joel and I did, and then we came home and had a really big discussion. A little bit behind the scenes, just get you guys caught up to speed on what's been going on, some recaps, because I think it's helpful to know how other people process things like in real time. There's a lot of value in being able to learn from someone who has done something for a lot of years, a lot of hours, decades, for example, because you learned so much by doing something for that many years. That type of experience is really invaluable to be able to learn from people like that.
I find it helpful when other people share how they're pivoting their decision making in the now as well that I think is helpful. We do a lot of episodes obviously where I'm either sharing my decades of experience or bringing on a guest like Joel who's been doing this for decades, but I also think it's helpful to do some of these episodes where I share with you guys in the real time, like here's forming our decision making or here's how we're doing certain things, because it helps you then be able to take some of that criteria and evaluate it within your own homesteads and your own lives. We had planned this year on doing pork again.
We don't raise pork every single year. We don't breed our own pigs. Now, with our cattle, we breed them back. Usually I'm not going and purchasing babies from another breeder. We are breeding our cows to a bull and we have that whole process down. Now, when I'm wanting to expand or bring in another bloodline or some different genetics or maybe a different breed like we did with the Scottish Highlands last fall, then of course, I'm buying those and bringing them in. But for the most part, we're pretty self-sustainable when it comes to our cattle operation, but we are not set up to breed our own piglets and have that with a boar and a sow and all of those things.
Normally for us, because when we first started raising all of our own meat 20 years ago... I'm trying to think how many years ago now. I have to remember how old I am and count backwards. About 20 years ago is when we started that. Really our goal at that point was just to raise the food for ourselves. With most animals, they do better in a herd. They don't do well in isolation. With the cattle, you should never really raise just one cow. We always had a herd that we could breed back. We always had multiple cows. And then when we decided to do pigs, we would get at least two piglets. Again, one pig by itself is not ideal.
Honestly, as long as you have the space, it really isn't any harder to raise two pigs as it is one pig or really three pigs as it is two pigs. We would always raise an extra pig to be able to sell to help offset the costs that we had to buy the animal because we weren't breeding it, as well as feed costs. In the beginning, I don't think we really actually necessarily made a profit, not if you count your feed costs, your infrastructure costs, the actual cost of the piglet, and then time, but it did help offset those costs.
But with all of the meat birds that we raise, what we're able to catch when we go crabbing, the beef that we have, if we get a venison, depending on how hunting season goes, et cetera, we don't really need to raise a whole pork for ourselves every year. We usually would go every other year. This year, it's been a couple years since we've raised pigs, we were going to raise pigs and we were also going to do an in-person live butchering workshop with the pigs in October. I had arranged for Brandon from Farmstead Meatsmith was going to come out and run that workshop because I do not know how to do old-fashioned charcuterie and salt curing.
We've butchered whole hogs before ourself here on the homestead when we're doing a whole hog roast, but not actually cutting it up and curing it with salt and doing all of that type of stuff. We really want to learn that. I want to learn how to do that. We were going to do that this year as some of the in-person workshops that we're offering at Norris Farmstead, which is the 40 acre farm we bought at the time of this recording almost a year ago. We even haven't quite owned it even yet for a year. But with having our homestead here, which is I'm recording this at our home homestead in my home office, and the new farmstead down the road, which is the 40 acre farm, we've brought in Scottish Highlands.
We have a new beef herd down there, and then the farm stay is open for guests. It's a short-term vacation rental. You're probably, familiar short-term vacation rentals like what Airbnb is or VRBO, those sites where you rent a place for a couple of nights or sometimes up to a week, that type of thing, but it's not long-term where you're renting it by the month or a year lease or et cetera. That we have had up and operating since December 30th of 2022, not even a full six months yet. So much renovation has been having to happen, which we knew when we bought the place.
I'll make sure and link to that video and some of the posts where we shared that story more in detail if you haven't caught those, if you want to go back and see that. But we just had our first in-person workshop there, just coming off of that. That was just this weekend. I'll share a little bit more about that. But we have a lot of things going on beyond just raising our own food and still operating our own home farm.
About two weeks ago, we started looking at everything that was happening this summer with the first Modern Homesteading Conference that we'll be traveling to, because it's in Idaho, I live in Washington State, so it's a state away, that I am co-founding with my partner Katie Milhorn, who we just did a raw A2A2 two episode. If you didn't catch that one, that one was really great. I highly recommend listening into that one as well. We've got the conference coming up. We are doing a preserving workshop at the farm in August in-person, and we're also doing a herbal in-person workshop with myself and Dr. Patrick Jones, and that's going to be in September.
Those are onsite in-person workshops, plus the conference in June. In order for those to happen, then that means I am in the process and have been for really the past couple months, putting in a large medicinal herb garden down at the farmstead so that we've got the plants there to be able to do the in-person workshop, and so also that it looks really nice when people are staying at the farm stay, as well as we're getting everything ready down there to be able to... We have the event barn where we're doing the in-person workshops, but also as a wedding venue. I'm super excited.
We just had our first wedding got booked for this year, and I'll share about that a little bit more when I go back and recap this past weekend. As you can see, that's a lot that's going on. We started sitting down and really listing out everything that needs to happen. We've got meat birds that are coming, new chicken tractors have to be built, all of the stuff. We got to the point where I don't honestly think that we can get everything ready in time for the pigs with all of the other workload stuff that we have going on. My husband and I had to just have one of those sit down. We really need to look at things because we both had reached a point where we're like, we physically cannot work any more than we are right now.
My husband is still working his regular day job, so he works 40 hours a week at his day job, which he commutes to, and then all of the normal homestead stuff that we have here, plus the pharmacy. We've been redoing all of the fences down there. That's one part of the infrastructure is redoing all of the fences so that we can pasture rotate the herds down there and help regenerate those pastures and start to bring those back with doing pasture rotation and some mob grazing. But your exterior fence lines, when you do mob grazing, you're putting them on a small section of pasture that they will be able to eat all the way through.
Some people will do it daily. Some will do it within a week. There's some variances there. But your exterior main part of the fence is usually a solid infrastructure, which ours is barbwire. Barbwire your fence. And then you run a hot wire to section it off and you leapfrog them across the pasture and move them. It's really great regenerative agriculture. I have an episode that I'll share back that goes on that in more where you get the science behind it and how and why that works so well. But the exterior infrastructure fences, they needed to be redone before we could even run the hot wires. Of course, everything takes longer.
I don't know if it's just me. I tend to think I can get a lot more done in a day than I actually can. I am constantly overestimating everything that could get done in a day. We're like, oh, we'll be able to have these pastures ready to go much faster than actually ends up happening in reality. We were looking just at all the stuff that has to be done, and we both realized that there is no way that we can actually get the pig barn ready to go, the netting up for the pigs and all of that in time so that they will be a butcherable size come October when we're going to do the workshop. We both made the decision to cancel that workshop for this year.
It's one of those things where I hate to say that... If I say I'm going to do something, I do it. It is very rare that we ever pull back. But we also had to acknowledge that when we decided not to do it, it was like this huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders. I don't think either one of us realized how overburdened we both were feeling with all of the things that we had committed to this year. It was the best decision. Even though there was a part of me that was disappointed because I really wanted to do it and to be able to offer that learning opportunity to people and to myself, but we got ahold of Brandon and decided we're going to reconvene and look at doing that in 2024 and not do it this year.
But I also share with that because sometimes they're all very good things that we have on our plates. They're all very good things that will benefit not only ourselves, but also others around us and people in our family or people in our communities, et cetera. I do believe that about raising pasture raised pork and teaching people how to butcher it themselves and how to cure that meat themselves all without the use of traditional butchery using bleach and chlorine and all of that by just natural old-fashioned salt curing. I think that that is phenomenal. However, sometimes you also have to look at everything you are doing in the moment or in that season and pace ourselves.
I'm preaching to myself right now, but to you as well. We have to pace ourselves so that we don't burn out and we don't impact our own health too negatively by trying to take on and do too much. There is a balance there. Being able to reach a point where you're very honest with yourself and-or your spouse or whoever, if you have people helping you with this, that you have taken on too much and then taking some steps backwards so that you can pivot. We're not doing that in-person workshop this year or raising the pigs this year. We're going to hold on that and take that on next year. But we had been going back and forth on how many meat birds that we were going to raise this year.
I had not made the call yet to McMurray Hatchery because I have our meat birds on order. They're coming in July when we get back from the Modern Homesteading Conference so that we won't be traveling, that part. Because when I'm at conference, it's a state away, obviously I would have to have then somebody take care of all of the meat birds. We already have a farm sitter that will be staying here and taking care of all of our existing animals, but to add on six brand new baby meat bird chicks for a farm sitter, that's a lot. We had switched the date so that they come after we get back from conference, and then our meat birds would be coming in July.
We had been trying to decide if we really wanted to raise as many because we're going to be raising 60 meat birds, 6-0. I was like, oh, do I really need to raise that many? We could half it and then we would only have to deal with one tractor for the meat birds, building one, taking care of one, moving one, et cetera. It would be less of a workload. And then I did the interview with Joel and my husband listened to the interview with Joel. I have to be honest, I did not know that poultry had been receiving mRNA vaccines since... Documents go back to 2015, which means most commercial, even organic, if you listened to that episode you'll know why I'm talking about that from that conversation, has mRNA vaccines.
I don't want to consume things that have mRNA vaccines. In fact, my meat birds, I don't have them get any vaccines. Because typically with meat birds, you are butchering them between eight and 10 weeks of age, and so they wouldn't even be exposed to most of the diseases that you're vaccinating against. My meat birds are never... I tell the hatchery no vaccines. They don't get any vaccines. I've never had issues because of that with the meat birds. We've been raising meat birds... Math. How old am I? How long have we been raising meat birds? Probably at least going on 10 years now, if not more on the meat birds.
We've been raising them and not ever had problems. Because sometimes I usually will do our meat birds and we butcher them as whole, and then I'll just roast the whole chicken. We'll have the roast whole chicken for dinner that night, and then I will take it and make a bunch of different leftover meals from it or new meals from what's left, casseroles, chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, chicken enchiladas, all the things. And then take the carcass and, of course, make my chicken broth. Sometimes though we'll want to do wings or drumsticks or something like that. Every now and then, we will purchase from the store organic like a package of chicken wings, that type of thing, because I don't normally part them out.
We usually just butcher and keep them whole. Well, after that episode, my husband and I sat down and I'm like, we need to do the full 60 and I still want to do my 20 whole birds, because I figured that gives us about every other week-ish or so where I will roast a whole chicken and then make chicken meals out of that for almost the rest of the week. I'll still have that, but then I want to part out the rest, so I've got my own packages of chicken breasts, the wings, all of that, because both my husband and I are in agreement that we do not want to purchase any chicken from the store anymore until we have labeling laws in place that would show if it had been mRNA vaccine or not.
We have decided that we are still going to raise the 60 meat birds this year and did not alter our order. I'm sure my contact at McMurray Hatchery is very happy to hear that, that I'm not calling to alter my order, because I had to alter ship dates from them again. McMurray is fabulous. They are the only place that we order our chickens from, our poultry ducks, all of those meat birds, et cetera, for I think the past six years. I had tried some different other mail order hatcheries in the past and just did not have good viability with their birds. When I tried McMurray, it was way before they ever became a sponsor of anything.
I used them for a number of years and was highly impressed and then was lucky enough to meet them and the rest is history, so they say. Because of that, we decided to still raise the large amount of meat birds in order to take us through the entire year for all of our chicken meat needs. I think that's important too because we were going back and forth on that. How many are we going to raise? Could we supplement a little bit from the store when we want certain cuts, et cetera? But based upon that new information that was new to us, we decided, no, this is really important to us. We are going to raise them and not go back on the quantity.
When it comes to that, I think you really have to evaluate what is truly important to us where I'm not willing to compromise, and do we have the capacity with everything else that we're doing in this area to do it ourselves or find another outside source. For us, raising pigs is a much longer commitment. It's a bigger dollar commitment. It's a bigger infrastructure commitment. It's a bigger time commitment. Whereas with raising the meat birds, we do have to make some new tractors because all of our other tractors are in use with our other poultry needs right now.
But making a couple of chicken tractors both cost and time is it nearly the cost and time that it would have for us to be able to create the pig shelter, redo the pig barn, put that all in from ground zero. The cost of the meat birds is definitely not the same as cost of piglets, both either the initial cost of actually buying a meat bird chick versus buying a piglet, as well as feed costs. We spend a lot more on the hogs than we would for the meat birds. And then it's eight weeks, they're butchered and done versus the pigs, six to eight months, breed dependent, I should say, because there's some breeds that would take even longer than that.
But with the Hereford/Duroc, usually those types of breeds, usually about eight months or so and they are at a good butcherable size. Based upon those two, we went ahead and decided just to do the meat birds and not do the pigs. Now, we just came off of the in-person workshop that was just this past Saturday, which you guys probably can't hear it. I'm not sure. When you're starting to come down with a cold, you can always hear it in your own voice before usually other people can hear it.
Well, our Saturday in-person workshop where we were teaching growing a year's worth of food, we started it at 8:50 on Saturday in the morning and went until... We ended at 4:30, but I don't think everybody... We're visiting and saying goodbye and hugs and all that kind of fun stuff went on until about 5:00. Pretty much eight hours. We had a break for lunch. But of course, I didn't stop talking during lunch because we were still visiting even though that we had a lunch break in there. My voice is very hoarse, at least to my own ears. I'm hoping it's not too hoarse to you, guys. I normally record my podcasts on Tuesdays.
This is actually getting recorded on Friday, and then it will go... I mean, excuse me, recorded on Wednesday. I waited an extra day hoping that my voice would come back a little bit because it was quite hoarse from doing all of that talking and teaching for that many hours. I wasn't sure what to expect because it was our very first one at the farmstead. Now, we've done smaller in-person chicken butchering workshops of 10 people here at our home, but the farmstead in-person workshops, we had 30 people that were in attendance, and that's three times the amount of folks. And also, it was a longer full day.
Usually with the chicken butchering workshops, we would start at 8:00 in the morning and go until about noon or 1:00 and then they would be wrapped up. This one, of course, went into late afternoon, almost until dinner. Well, depending on when you eat dinner, until about 5:00. It was a longer day. It's one of those things where you think you have a pretty good idea because I've taught a lot of live classes at different conferences and stuff, but I've never taught that long of a day before and hosted that long of a workshop. I was very excited.
It's one of those things where the night before you know need to get a really good night's rest, but you're so excited that you keep waking up every couple hours and like, oh, is it time? Oh, I need to do this. I need to do this. I need to do this. No, I need to go back to sleep. Sufficed to say I didn't get very much sleep the night before. The workshop though was everything that I hoped it would be and more, which might sound kind of funny. I'm going to release a video. We filmed during the day. I will be releasing that as one of the upcoming YouTube videos so that you can get a see and hear some of the stuff and also learn some of the things from that day in a video format.
I'll be sharing that with you, but I wanted this episode to just be a little bit more of the thoughts and feelings and reflections around that as we move forward and offering them. What was really amazing is getting a group of people together who were in all different ages, walks of life. We had people drive from states away, from towns away, had local people who are friends of ours that came. All different walks of life as far as that go and from different areas. We had California, Oregon, Washington. I'm trying to remember now if anybody came over from Idaho for this one. I think we might have had one person from Idaho.
Those different states in this area. What was amazing though is seeing how much we had in common despite how much we had that was different. The camaraderie of people when you realize, "I found my tribe. I've found my extended family," and I've got to see that before when I've went to conferences and taught at conferences too. But there's something really special when you get a small group of people like that and just get to be a fly on the wall for part of it and listen to the conversations, which is what I got to do at lunch and at break time.
Just to hear people sharing stories and experiences and their dreams and what they're hoping and what they want to do and their plans, it's so inspiring and invigorating at the same time. If you ever get a chance to do something in person like that with people, I highly recommend that you do it because it will change you and inspire you in ways that you don't expect. That part was really fun, and then also getting just to see everybody so hungry to learn. There's something refreshing about that and questions, because one person would have a question that someone else might not even think about asking, but then they get a benefit from that because it's all in real time.
Obviously everyone is hearing everything that's being asked. You'd have to like, oh, I didn't think about that. You could see them. They were writing it down. That was really fun and that was really exciting. It was a long day, but one of those days when you finish and you're exhausted, but you feel just deep down in your soul so satisfied. That was from my part as the host and the teacher. But what's really fun is I had a guest teacher come and teach about elderberry and fig growing, and he's also a beekeeper, so Seth Smith. We started just pinging different ideas off of one another for future workshops, things to be able to help people and to offer them.
That part was unexpected for me because I've known Seth my whole life. We started going to school together in kindergarten in our local public school. We went up and graduated together and have kept in touch over the years. But it was really exciting to be able to get together with a group like that and both of us sharing our teaching and decades of learning and trialing and the different areas that we have done a lot of work in and then get to see and bring that together. It was one of those moments where I had to think back to when we were kids in school and be like neither one of us would've ever dreamed that God would have us doing this together later on.
As kids we would've never seen that. But then as you look back, you can see those threads and you can see where the paths... I'm mixing analogies, they're between sewing threads and paths, where they've converged to this moment in time, but then also where things will grow from here. That was really exciting on my part. I love the brainstorming part when you're sitting and dreaming and just envisioning things, with it being a new garden bed on the homestead or anything like that. I think that that's one of my favorite parts is relishing just that space to dream and to think of what could be. I think that that's really important with homesteading or anything that we're doing in life.
Oftentimes I don't know that we give ourselves enough space to do that, but I think that it's really important and something that we should probably embrace and do a little bit more of. We had the in-person workshop and what was really exciting is how many people messaged me that attended later either that night or even in the days that have just... Because we're just coming off the backside of that, have messaged me and said, "I was feeling so stuck on some things that I just hadn't been moving forward with what I wanted to do at my place with the garden and with growing things.
I had this aha moment when you were sharing, and now I've got my exact plan, I've got my exact list, and I know exactly what I'm going to do. I feel like I can move forward now where I had really been stuck and unsure of what I was going to do." To me that is so exciting because so oftentimes we let ourselves get overwhelmed. Like I was just saying, we need to have that dreaming phase. I do think that, but we also can't get stuck there where we just get stuck where, "I could do this. I could do that." At some point, we need to do the dreaming, but then we need to pick our course of action and take the steps and move forward in order to do that.
To be able to have people walk away from a day like that and then have their exact plan and how they're moving forward, that was really exciting on my part. We need to have those days where we are excited again because homesteading is definitely hard physical work. As I was sharing, my husband and I decided not to do the pig part this year because there is so many different demands that come with homesteading physically and mentally that it is easy if we don't pace ourselves and also renew ourselves to get burnt out. I think that's where you see a lot of people who start homesteading and farming.
And then statistically wise, I think it's within... I'm trying to remember the exact statistic. I'm probably going to misquote it, but it's within three or five years, I think over 50%, it might be higher than that, stop or fail or decide to not do it anymore. And then the ones that make it beyond five years, I think it's like half again. It's actually a very small percentage. The reason is because it is hard and you could get burnt out. For me especially, it's really important to have those moments where I get that fresh excitement and that fresh inspiration to carry me forward for the times where it is hard and I am feeling tired and/or discouraged.
When we come together like that in community, there's something that happens that I'm not even really sure how to put it into words, but I've been fortunate enough to witness it now. Time and time again, when you come together in person, there's something very special. As a Christian, I think that it's the movement of the Holy Spirit and God that brings the people together. There's something that moves when you're together like that in person and in fellowship that encourages and lifts everyone up and feels like renewing no matter where they're at in their journey in order to give them fresh... Like filling the cup, right?
Fill my cup. Run it over. It feels like that's what happens when you get together at events like that. We are doing this year the preserving workshop in August, and then we're doing the herbal medicinal workshop in September. I'll put a link in here. You can go and check out the events here that we'll be having this year in 2023, but then we're also making plans now for 2024 and what we'll be offering in 2024. I won't be sharing all of that now because we're still fleshing those out. But if you have the opportunity to... And maybe it's you hosting a community event where you live, but highly recommend that you do so and take that time to build that community and be in person with other people.
I think it's so important. There's so many opportunities that are happening now for that more so than even just a few years ago within the homesteading community itself. We've got the Modern Homesteading Conference that's in Idaho for the West side of the country coming up here in June, so there's that, which is a larger in-person event, but there's all different ways. If you don't have something in your area and travel is not something that is working for you to get one, maybe this is the seed that needs to be planted for you to start something. Maybe it's just a small get together. It could just be a small gathering of people in your area that you host and help get that started.
But I think my biggest takeaway is how important it is to get together in person with one another. I've done episodes in the past where I've talked about self-sufficiency versus community sufficiency within the homesteading realm and how important that community sufficiency aspect is. I think it's even more important perhaps than I even realized getting to witness that afresh this past weekend. We'll link to that and you can go and check that episode out if you haven't, where I go into more details on that and the nuances there. We have a lot more happening. We are expanding our own medicinal herb garden here at the homestead, as well as down at the farmstead.
A lot more planting will be going on. Speaking of community and support, today's podcast episode is sponsored by Azure Standard. One of the more recent episodes of the podcast, we were talking about organ meat and liver in particular. I won't have any more liver from our cows until we butcher in September. I went on Azure Standard to see if they had any liver capsules, and they do. They carry the grass-fed beef liver capsules. I got my first bottle from them and started this almost two weeks ago, have started daily taking the grass-fed beef liver capsules. Azure Standard is great because not only do they have a lot of bulk food.
For items that we're not growing here ourself yet or unable to, I'm able to buy in bulk. Knowing it's raised with standards that I am comfortable with is very nice knowing that there's a business that has the same alignments and thoughts that I do. They also have supplement lines. That is where I got this grass-fed beef liver. It's 500 milligram capsules, and it's gluten-free, CGMP certified, third party tested, BPA-free, as well as hormone, pesticide, and GMO-free with no fillers or flow agents. If you are looking for a source for beef liver capsules, highly recommend grabbing those from Azure Standard. If you are a new Azure standard customer and have a minimum $50 order, you can get 10% off with coupon code Melissa10.
That's coupon code Melissa10 at Azure Standard. And now for our verse of the week. We are over in Romans and Romans 8:32-35. This is the Amplified Translation of the Bible. He who did not withhold or spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also with him freely and graciously give us all other things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect when it is God who justifies, that is, who puts us in right relation to himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, who acquits us? Who is there to condemn us?
Will Christ Jesus the Messiah, who died, or rather who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as he intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, for thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through him who loved us. I think it ended up reading a little bit further.
We actually went through verse 37 there. But for me, even though it is talking a lot about things that are bad there at the end, if you're going through persecution, hunger, destitution, peril, sword, suffering, those aren't necessarily happy, joyful things. But in this section, it's really a testament of God's love and how nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from that and how powerful God's love for us is. I mean, he gave his own son for us. That's how much he loves us.
When you think about if you're a parent how much you love your own children, that takes on a whole new level in depth, at least for me, it did once I became a parent, how deep of a gift that was and how deep his love, God's love, for me and for you must be in order for him to have sacrificed his son that way. It's saying like God puts us in right relation to himself, and he did that with the gift of Jesus and by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for us, and that nothing can ever separate us from Christ's love.
To me, even though that sounds a bit perilous parts of those verses, it's actually a very, very comforting part of scripture and helps to just illustrate the true depths of God's love and mercy for us as well, and that we are conquerors. I hope that that encourages you and inspires you, and I would love to hear what you have going on, what you're excited about, and what plans you have for your homestead. Blessings and mason jars for now, my friends.
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