Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014 From Bethany Farm

"In everything give thanks!" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thanksgiving is a time of gratefulness. A time where we thank God for His constant provision and the many blessings which He pours upon us.

This Thanksgiving, our family had much to be grateful for. A great chicken harvest, baby piglets, a new family milk cow, a healthy baby calf, yummy homegrown turkey, good health, the ability and means to grow and raise our own food, faithful customers, and of course, family and friends.

As Christmas and the New Year approach, we pray you and your loved ones will only find more things to be thankful for!

Happy Holidays!
The Wheeler Family

Miss Bonnie, giving out kisses
"The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense."
-Thomas A. Edison
Some super hungry piglets
Our lovely calf Betsie is quite the diva, and enjoys the attention of a camera :)
Bethany Farm pastured raised chicken
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, August 8, 2014

Did somebody say PORK?!?

We are now taking pre-orders for
 Bethany Farm Pastured PORK
ready for your freezer late winter-early spring. 

Our Heritage breed pigs are raised on pasture, free to eat all of nature’s bounty supplemented with a non-GMO diet and farm fresh foods free of any anti-biotics or growth hormones.  The result is a very healthy pig that yields a very nutritious and tasty meat for your family

Half Hog - $425 (Deposit $220.00)
  • This includes the butcher's fees for various cuts like hams, roasts, loins, chops, ribs, sidemeat (bacon), ground pork, lard and bones for broth estimating about 75 pounds.
Whole Hog - $795 (Deposit $400.00)
  • This includes the butcher's fees for various cuts like hams, roasts, loins, chops, ribs, sidemeat (bacon), ground pork, lard and bones for broth estimating about 150 pounds.

To secure some of our great tasting pork, please send us an email letting us know you are interested.  A deposit is required up front to secure your order.  The remaining amount is due at pick up.

A deposit is required up front to secure some of our great tasting pork. For your convenience,  you can use our Paypal option or you can simply mail your deposit to us directly. The remaining amount is due at pick up.

*Disclaimer - To be compliant with NC pork regulations, we are selling you a live animal and you will pay the processor directly.  The pricing above includes all fees for processing and we will work with the processor on your behalf and deliver your pig to you processed/butchered and ready for the freezer.

Pork Deposit

Monday, July 21, 2014

We are now accepting deposits on Bethany Farm’s 2014 fall/winter pasture raised chickens.

Our chickens are raised in a humane-God honoring way from start to finish. Raised and processed here on our farm, our birds have access to all the green grass, vitamin D and NON-GMO - soy free food they need to grow into healthy great tasting chicken for your family's table!

Priced at $4.99 per pound, there is a $10.00 deposit per bird due up front to secure your chicken. The remaining amount is due upon delivery. 

For your convenience, we have added a PayPal button to our webpage to pay your deposit. (If you would like to order more than 10 birds, just choose the '10 Chickens' option and then choose another option until you have ordered your desired amount.)

Or, you can simply mail your deposit to 7917 Benton Edwards Road Marshville, NC 28103

All orders/deposits are due by Monday, August 4th. Chickens will be ready for your freezer the first or second week of October.

If you have never tasted one of Bethany Farm’s delicious pasture raised chickens, we hope this season you will taste the difference and allow our family to farm for yours!

For His Glory Alone,
The Wheeler Family

Chicken Deposit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plantain, but not the banana

If forced to choose between my favorite weeds/plants, I would have to say Plantain would top my list.  I pray I never have to choose between my most favorite of weeds, but this one is highly favored.

It is everywhere and I thank God for it!  This is the weed my dad use to 'Round-Up', well hopefully not anymore.  I think I have convinced him of its worthiness to overtake his highly manicured yard.

Plantain - Plantago lanceolata or Plantago major.  You may not have known what it was called, but you have seen it - everywhere.

Highly nutritious, packed full of iron and other very important vitamins and minerals and just wonderful for whatever ails you, read what Alternative Nature writes about Plantain...

Plantain is edible and medicinal, the young leaves are edible raw in salad or cooked as a pot herb, they are very rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. The herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine dating back to ancient times. Being used as a panacea (medicinal for everything) in some cultures, one American Indian name for the plant translates to "life medicine." And recent research indicates that this name may not be far from true! The chemical analysis of Plantgo Major reveals the remarkable glycoside Aucubin. Acubin has been reported in the Journal Of Toxicology as a powerful anti-toxin. There are many more highly effective constituents in this plant including Ascorbic-acid, Apigenin, Baicalein, Benzoic-acid, Chlorogenic-acid, Citric-acid, Ferulic-acid, Oleanolic-acid, Salicylic-acid, and Ursolic-acid. The leaves and the seed are medicinal used as an antibacterial, antidote, astringent, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive, cardiac, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, laxative, ophthalmic, poultice, refrigerant, and vermifuge. Medical evidence exists to confirm uses as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension, rheumatism and blood sugar control. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, coughs, asthma and hay fever. It also causes a natural aversion to tobacco and is currently being used in stop smoking preparations. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity, it is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars. Poultice of hot leaves is bound onto cuts and wounds to draw out thorns, splinters and inflammation. The root is said to be used as an anti-venom for rattlesnakes bites. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion.

…and that is just one review of this marvelous plant!

I cannot tell you how many times a week we use this plant.  Ant bites, bee stings, cuts, splinters... we have even used it in a poultice along with a variety of other natural herbs to heal a Brown Recluse spider bite on my youngest son! 

God's creation never ceases to amaze me! 

So, the next time you see this weed - stop and thank God for making it so plentiful; because once you realize all the ways it can help you and your family, you will never want to mow your grass again.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

What's Up? Dock!

As a farmer, one would think that those plants and herbs I personally till up soil for, plant from minute seed, water liberally, then weed around it to further insure optimal growth, water again, weed and weed some more, that they would be my most prized of harvest, but believe it or not, they are not.

I have this sick obsession with volunteer plants.  Most people call them weeds.  Most people spray Round Up on the plants that I treat with kid gloves.  Some of the most nutritional food and medicine we can obtain grows on road sides, in barren feilds and unmaintained dirt lots.

I recently went to visit a friend who lives in a well manicured neighborhood and she had Dandelion growing IN HER FRONT YARD!!  I think HOA's send out letters if you have things like that growing in your yard.  I  begged her, "Please, please do not spray those glorious plants".

My whole yard is full of what most people would consider weeds.  I consider them a precious gift from God!  I harvest them and dry them and freeze them and poultice them and tincture them but never EVER do I Round Up them!

So to save innocent, healthy weeds from being taken out, but rather to be used and enjoyed, I have decided to start showcasing some of my favorite 'weeds' for your reading weeding enjoyment.

First, let's take a look at Dock. Curly Dock. Yellow Dock. Rumex crispus L.

Dock is entirely eatable (root, leaves and flower), when eating the leaves, the younger are preferred since they are less bitter.  This green leafy 'weed' is said to help remove toxins from your body, purify your blood and liver, fight constipation, improve chronic skin problems, help a sore throat, treat insect bites, help deter fleas on your pets, all while being high in vitamin C.

After this long cold unusually snowy winter we experienced here in the Southeast, I was more than excited to see Dock popping up all over my yard.  One cool sunny April morning, while everyone was finishing up chores on the farm, I grabbed a bowl, some scissors and headed out the font door to harvest breakfast.

I clipped young Dock leaves along with some Dandelion leaves and Plantain leaves.  Once washed, dried and chopped, I added my leafy green concoction along with some diced spring onions and butter into my cast iron skillet. (Cooking them also removes some of their bitter taste.)

My youngest son brought in eggs fresh from the hens nests and we enjoyed yummy fried eggs and sauteed greens drizzled with my special sauce for breakfast.  That just makes a momma feel great about starting her family's day off with such a healthy breakfast.

Did I mention no one had to work and over exert themelves for this food?  Nope, it was just there.  Free for the taking.  When it is your profession as a farmer to work and work hard to grow food, it is no doubt rewarding to eat the fruit of your labor, but there are definitely those days when it is so very nice to harvest, eat or make medicine out of something you just let be.

So whatever you do, please do not destroy your weeds for the sake of a manicured lawn, it would just break my heart!

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 CSA Information

We are doing things a little different with our CSA this year.  We will be scaling back on our produce side of things here on the farm.  However, we have a large garden area and will be growing for our own family and while we are, we will grow for a few others as well.  So with that said, we will be offering a CSA, it will just be limited in size this year.  

Those of you who know us well, know that we truly believe in our product.  We do not skimp on providing the soil with the nutrients it needs in order to grow produce that is more than just fiber.  We desire to feed our soil and animals for that matter, additional nutrients like Sea 90, kelp, fish emulsion, calcium, magnesium, green sand, rock phosphate etc., in order to pass on food to our family and yours that we know is highly nutritious and fortified with the trace minerals your body needs to thrive.  What would it look like if we could get the majority of our nutrients like calcium and magnesium from our food?  What if glands and organs like our thyroid and liver functioned properly because we ate foods that did what they were suppose to, because they were grown in the way God intended them to be grown, thus allowing them to do what God intended them to do for our bodies?!?  Novel idea I know.  

I often tell people I would eat the weeds that grow in our garden beds, because I know they are super nutritious due to the fact that Curt takes much care to amend our soil with as many nutrients as he possibly can.  He never skimps or scrimps on this area of our farming.  My bank account can testify ;-)  This is something he truly feels is most important. It is not enough to just not use harsh chemicals to fight pests and weeds, it goes far beyond that for us.  It is about health.  It is about growing food that will nourish and feed your entire body not just fill your belly.  

I say all that to say, we are looking to farm for those people who share in this passion for health with us.  If you just need certified organic produce, that can be purchased at the local grocer.  We want to really know the few people we farm for.  This year’s CSA will be a little less formal.  It will be a lot more flexible and those few families who get on board will have much input in what goes into the ground as well as the flexibly of telling me what you want each week, depending on what is ready for harvest.  We will most likely have only 2 pick up locations with the farm being one of them and Indian Trial being the other.  

Keep in mind, CSA's are a shared risk.  Like those of you who were apart of our CSA (or any other farm’s CSA) last year, know we saw a lot of rain - it hurt us all!  Each year has it’s share of trials whether it be a drought, record high temps and even too much water.  Some crops may do great one year and completely flop the next,  You never know.  When you join a CSA , you have skin in the game.  Please do think of these things before you send us your request to join our 2014 CSA.  I recently told Curt I think we should start calling ourselves ‘Personal/Private Farmers’ ;-)  Silly I know, but that is the best way to describe what we want to do.  We want to be your family's personal farmer.  

CSA’s are NOT for everyone. They are a lot of hard work on your end with a lot of time spent in the kitchen.  They are even more of a commitment to us, but we know our produce is unlike other CSA’s.  While there are a lot of sustainable farms who practice sustainable methods, there are not many who take the time and money to put back into the soil what we do.  We do our best to offer it at the best price we can. When we add up our time in the field (which is A LOT), the money we invest in quality seed, extensive soil nutrition and fertilizing programs, we know the value of our product.  Yes, we could be like everyone else and throw some manure in the beds and plant plant plant - mass producing a product that is not at all very nutritious, but we will not.  We want to grow the very best food for our children and family and we will.  If you want to share in our harvest with us this, please let us know soon.  We can only take on a few families.  

We will structure the CSA into two phases.  It will run a total of 16 weeks.  Eight weeks for spring/summer produce, then eight more weeks providing summer/fall produce with a potential break in deliveries.  We will only offer Full Shares this year.  The price will be $560 for the entire season.  Half ($280.00) will be due up front as a deposit, the other half is not due until we deliver your first bags of produce. It will be on a first come first serve basis.

For those of you who have allowed us to farm for you in the past, we cannot say THANK YOU enough.  We have had some of the most supportive and gracious customers and we are most grateful to God for that!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call us at 704-385-8632.  We want to secure these spots soon, since now is the time we have to start sprouting seeds and we would like some input from those of you that we will be farming for. 

For His Glory Alone,
The Wheelers

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chicken from China or Chicken from Bethany Farm?

Did you happen to see Dr. Oz's episode sounding the alarm to Americans of the USDA's intention to send chickens to China for processing; only then to be sent back here to your local grocery and restaurants?  Crazy?  Yes!
There is nothing better than a farm fresh, locally raised and processed chicken.  We can tell you exactly what your chicken ate and how they are processed - in a humane God honoring way here on our farm.  Our chickens are not raised in large toxic chicken houses.  They are not fed arsenic or genetically modified grain.  We do not have to decontaminate ourselves after working with our chickens.  They are fed a healthy non-GMO diet.  They are allowed to free range on grass, in the sunshine, thus producing a healthy, tasty bird for you and your family.

Here at Bethany Farm we process chickens twice a year, spring and fall.  We will be ordering our spring batch in February.  Currently our chickens sell for $4.75 a pound. If you would like to place an order, please email us and let us know how many you would like to reserve.  There is a $10 deposit per bird - the remaining balance due at pick up (end of April first of May).

If you have any questions concerning how we raise our chickens or would like a customer referral, please feel free to contact us by email at bethanyfarmnc@gmail.comor call us 704-385-8632.

Want more info on how to get the most bang for your buck bauck while buying farm fresh chickens? Read this article.