How We Grow

Thank you for being concerned about how your food is raised!  We hope the information below will give you a clear idea of our family’s food and farming philosophy here at Broad Branch Farm.

Location

It took over 3 long hard years from 2016-2019, but we moved our entire farm from outside Wyoming, IL to our current location northwest of Chillicothe.  We sought a safe place to live, raise our family and grow clean food without the threat of the pesticides from corn and soybean fields.

We now have one of the best locations in Illinois for an organic farm – surrounded by thick timber with high elevation to keep our watershed clean.  As you can see from the overhead map, we are no longer threatened by the poison used by conventional agriculture.

Commitment to Clean Food

We are committed to raising plants and animals without pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO’s or animal confinement.

Soil health is the top priority and everything we do from composting, mulching to rotational grazing is to improve the health and biological activity of our soils.  We believe in soil testing and remineralizing our soils to assure high nutrition and flavor in our food.

Our owned and rented pastures are Certified Organic and surrounded by thick timber providing protection and habitat.

Our chickens, pigs and beef have access to forage or hay year round.  Never confined or crowded with feet always in contact with the earth.

Respect

We understand we’re not completely in charge of what happens on our farm.   Nature is the boss and it is our goal to work WITH nature and not against it to coax wonderful food from the ground.  We are constantly learning how to promote life in our soils, what grows well at our farm and how to live in harmony with our natural surroundings.  Every single day,  we are immersed in our beautiful surroundings, living and working on this beautiful food growing farm.

Organic Certification

We currently hold organic certification for our Grassfed Beef, owned and rented pastures.   Can a farm grow fantastic, clean organically inspired food without certification?  YES!!   We do not hold certification for our Vegetables, Pastured Chickens and Pigs, Herbs and Flowers and we don’t plan to seek certification for these enterprises.   Certification is very cumbersome and expensive.   When our beef herd became certified, we had to change NO growing practices.  Our growing practices met all requirements for certification – we were already growing clean!   We operate all our enterprises in the same manner only using inputs and growing practices that are NOP acceptable.  We respect every farm that seeks any type of certification but it complicates a job that is already so demanding of our time and energy.

Broad Branch Farm uses the following Certified Organic practices:

 

Certified Organic Beef and Pastures – Our Grassfed Beef and pastures are Certified Organic by Global Organic Alliance.

 

 

Certified Organic Feed – We only use Certified Organic Feed for our chickens and pigs. This assures you there are NO pesticides, NO GMO’s and no cheap inputs or industrial by-products in the feed. It’s real and it’s Certified Organic.

 

Certified Organic Hay and Forage – Only Certified Organic Hay and Certified Organic Pasture for our livestock.

 

Vegetables without Pesticides

Our vegetables are grown without pesticides, GMO’s and outside inputs that could jeopardize raising our vegetables according to organic standards (no municipal yard waste).  Our vegetables are harvested fresh and delivered to your family through our Vegetable CSA from June – November AND through our Online Farm Store when available.

 

Pastured Chickens for Meat and Eggs

We raise Freedom Ranger meat chickens and multiple laying hen breeds from 2 day old chicks.   All our chickens are raised on Certified Organic grain, Certified Organic pasture and Certified Organic hay in the winter months.  NO growth hormones, NO antibiotics, NO GMO’s.  Beaks are never clipped on any of our chickens so they can aggressively harvest pasture.   We raise both both female and male chickens (roosters and hens).    BBF Eggs and Chicken have a dedicated following and are available through CSA Shares and Online Farm Store.

 

 

Certified Organic Grassfed Grass Finished Beef

The beef calves are 100% Grassfed and Grass Finished only and NEVER receive grain.  Grassfed beef calves live a healthy life and produce meat that is more nutritious than confined feedlot beef.  We raise our calves from birth.  Mother and calf stay together  and there is no limit on contact with each other or nursing.   NO antibiotics, NO growth hormones.  Certified Organic Hay is provided in abundance during the winter months.  It takes 2+ years to finish our beef calves on grass giving our beef excellent texture and outstanding depth of flavor.

Our Certified Organic Grassfed Beef is available through our Meat CSA or our Online Farm Store.

 

Pastured Pigs

Our hogs are raised on Certified Organic pasture and receive a Certified Organic grain ration.  NO antibiotics, NO growth hormones, NO GMO’s, no clipping or removing tails, teeth, testicles or ear clipping.

Our sows are not confined when they farrow.  They are allowed to move freely and piglets will stay with their mama and nurse for 4-5 weeks.  We do not castrate our young male piglets so they do not endure the stress and pain of the procedure at just a few days old.   Our pigs are allowed to root and romp, play and run. We never ring their noses to prevent them from rooting.  Hogs want to graze plants just as much, and maybe more, than their grain ration.

BBF Pork is available through our Meat CSA program or our Online Farm Store.

 

Susannah’s Flowers

Susannah grows pesticide free flowers and herbs for her bouquets.  You’ll also find wild harvested materials like seed pods, grasses, grain sprigs, evergreen stems and wild flowers.   No chemicals are ever used on any plant material used in Susannah’s bouquets.   These are fragrant, old fashioned beautiful bouquets.

Available seasonally through our Online Farm Store.

 

Laura’s Herbs

With our move to the new farm, another herb garden had to be planted.   With a little help from her family, Laura has established a culinary herb garden planted with Certified Organic herb plants.   No pesticides are ever used on Laura’s herbs.   Laura harvests her herbs the day before each Home Delivery so they are absolutely fresh and pungent.

Laura’s Herbs are available seasonally through our Online Farm Store.