Food Recovery Program
Feeding time at the ranch embodies the essence of sustainability in today's modern agriculture. The sight of young children scurrying about, the sounds of pigs squealing, and the smell of fresh fruits and vegetables, captivate the senses and ignite curiosity. We strive to infuse education in everything we do at the ranch, and the type of feed, and the way we feed, are no exception.
- How We Feed
- What We Feed
How We Feed
We practice a holistic, multispecieation, rotational pasture grazing method with our animals. This basically means that we use the natural, symbiotic tendencies of our livestock to benefit both themselves and the land. In nature, herbivores travel in herds in order to protect themselves from predators. Many times, several different species of herbivores travel, eat, and commune together. This is most commonly seen with the wild herds of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles of the African Serengeti grasslands. During this process, these animals each consume their own unique pallet of forage, fertilize the soil with their manure and urine, and thus, expose and provide and environment for insects. These herds are followed by a host of different birds who feverishly consume their new bounty of food.
The makeup of the produce department at the grocery store provides a food source of great diversity. The natural, contrasting food preferences of our cattle and goats enables them to thrive on this diversity. Their cohabitation ensures that virtually nothing is wasted. What one species does not eat, another will. This is why we follow our herbivores with pigs. Though they are provided with the same fresh salad mix as the ungulates, they thrive in an environment where they can root, dig and scavenge for their food. Through this process, the pigs act as rototillers by turning the nutrient rich manure and other organic material into the ground and thus rehabilitating the top soil.
And last, but not least, come our chickens. By the time they have rotated into the paddock, thousands of small bits of food have been left as well as thousands of small insects have been exposed or born. The chickens also get their share of the fresh salad bar, however, their true joy comes in their scratching hunts for those small critters and tiny food bits. This feverish production cleans the soil of those pesky bugs and pathogens that might otherwise cause problems for our herbivores.
By the time the cattle and goats get back to the original paddock, they have a clean, healthy plate, ready for their daily ration of colorful salad mix.
What We Feed
The cost of livestock feed production in our country is the number one reason most small farm and ranch food producers must take on a second job just to pay the bills. In order to ensure Galloping Grace did not fall into this same predicament, we set out in search of an affordable, healthy, sustainable food source for our animals. The bounty upon which we stumbled, has become the foundation for many of our programs.
- Over 35 million tons of food are thrown into landfills in the U.S. every year.
- We collect and feed over half a ton of this great food on a daily basis.
Over 35 million tons of food are thrown into landfills in the U.S. every year. The evidence of this ocean of food in our city dumps can be witnessed by the plumes of seagulls, crows and pigeons rising above these trash heaps. The food in these trash heaps was the answer to our problem. Due to high food safety, and quality standards, grocery stores in our community have been throwing away tons of beautiful, fresh fruits and vegetables every day. We collect and feed over half a ton of this great food on a daily basis. We call this our Food Recovery Program. Our animals are provided a fresh, diverse, colorful, and nutritious salad bar each morning.
In addition to our relationship with area grocery stores for fresh fruits and vegetables, we have teamed up with other local agencies to collect grain and dairy products that would otherwise have gone to the landfill. As with people, a well balanced diet is essential to the health and well being of our livestock. We have found that we can adequately supply our animals with their required nutrients from the food that our community has thrown into the trash.