Archive for July, 2012

Hello! It‚Äôs April. ūüôā I have had some of you ask questions as to where we get our RAW milk. As most of you know, RAW milk is none other than milk that is‚Ķ well‚Ķ straight from the cow! It has never been pasteurized or homogenized ‚Äď just the way our creator intended. The cows that we get our milk from are grass fed, rather than grain fed. Some believe raw milk to be very good for you while others believe that raw milk consumption is not healthy. My family has had only good results. Please educate yourself on raw milk to be responsible and make your best decision. A search on the Internet should give you much information. Virginia Law only allows human consumption of raw milk from your own cow, therefore my family and I have purchased a “COW SHARE”. We are part owners of a sweet cow that goes by the name of “Bossy”. Bossy lives on a little farm in Ivor, Virginia, and her milk is delivered to us every Sunday. Her fresh milk produces a lot of cream, that can either be mixed in to your milk to give it a creamy taste, or it can be skimmed off and used for butter, ice cream, and even coffee creamer. We usually make butter out of ours – just put it in the blender, add a little salt if you like, and in just a few short minutes you will have your own butter. As I mentioned, Bossy is a grass fed cow, rather than grain fed. Here are some of the great health benefits of grass fed, over grain fed:

The difference between grainfed and grassfed animal products is dramatic. First of all, grassfed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grainfed products. For example, a sirloin steak from a grassfed steer has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grainfed steer.

In fact, grassfed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk.1  When meat is this lean, it actually lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.2  


benefits of grass fed beef
Because grassfed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories.  Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates.  The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.

A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has almost 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grainfed steer. 

If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year‚ÄĒwithout requiring any willpower or change in eating habits.¬† If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year.¬† If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic of obesity would begin to diminish.

Extra Omega-3s

Although grassfed meat is low in “bad” fat (including saturated fat), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of “good” fat called “omega-3 fatty acids.”¬†

Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in your body.¬† For example, of all the fats, they are the most “heart friendly.” People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat.¬† Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to have a serious heart attack.3

Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well.¬† People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression,¬† schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.4

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.  

In animal studies, these essential fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and kept them from spreading.5 Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer.6  They can also hasten recovery from cancer surgery.7  

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that people with cancer who have high levels of omega-3s in their tissues may respond better to chemotherapy than people with low levels.8 Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in grassfed animal products.

The reason that grassfed animals have more omega-3s than grainfed animals is that omega-3s are formed in the green leaves (specifically the chloroplasts) of plants. Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or LNA.

When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they lose their valuable store of LNA as well as two other types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.  Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.9  

The graph below illustrates this rapid decline.


grass fed beef health benefits
When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s.10

Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 20 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens. 

Switching our livestock from their natural diet of grass to large amounts of grain is one of the reasons our modern diet is deficient in these essential fats.  It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these nutrients.  Twenty percent have levels so low that they cannot be detected.11  Switching to grassfed animal products is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.
The CLA Bonus¬†¬† The meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA.¬†¬†When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.12

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.

In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA — a mere 0.1 percent of total calories —greatly reduced tumor growth.13¬†Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grainfed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.

There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans. 

In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA.

Switching from grainfed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.14 Vitamin E In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is higher in vitamin E.

The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh pasture with no added supplements.  The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.15 

In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.  This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties.  Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.


grass fed beef health benefits
¬† ¬†My family and I are¬†thoroughly enjoying our¬†raw milk from Bossy, our grass fed cow. ¬†Just let her roam the pasture, eat her fresh, green grass and collect her milk – her non-homogenized,¬†pasteurized God-given milk. ¬†There is beauty & health in the simplicity of our food that our creator has provided for us.¬†How much healthier would we be if we just left everything the way He intended? ¬†Raw. ¬†Fresh. Whole.”Whatever you eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all for the glory of God.” -1 Cor. 10:31Image

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The Great Quail Eggscape!

After eighteen days of anticipation my quail finally hatched! ¬†Eighteen days doesn‚Äôt seem like very long when you think about what goes on inside that little egg. ¬†It is truly one of God’s many miracles. ¬†Here is a Quail development chart that I downloaded off of the¬†The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s website. ¬†Click here to see it better.

This chart is of Bobwhite quail.  I hatched Coturnix quail. The incubation for Coturnix is shorter between 16 and 18 days.  That is unless you are me then its between 18 and 19 days.  I think God wanted to remind me that he is in charge of life, to appreciate his role in the hatch and an opprotunity practice patience.  In the end God answered my children and my prayers and gave us 26 quail chicks!  So far all are healthy and feisty.

To hatch your own quail eggs you first need to invest in an incubator. ¬†Incubator prices vary extremely, from $50 to $300 +. ¬†After researching incubators I saved up and was able to buy an Brinsea 20 advance. ¬†When incubating quail eggs the humidity and temperature needs to be ¬†constant at¬†45% and about¬†99.8 degrees F. ¬†You will also have to turn the eggs 3 times a day. I bought the Brinsea because it takes care of all that for me. All I had to do was make sure the water trough didn’t dry out. ¬†I just set it and forget it. ¬†This was an important feature for me. ¬†With 4 small kids, one being 6 months, I didn’t have the time to keep a watchful eye 24/7 on my incubator. ¬†If your kid is older it might be a good education experience and lesson in responsibility to buy a cheaper still air incubator

We posted a wanted add on craigslist and bought 48 quail eggs from a 4H student. ¬†Interesting side note. ¬†A fertilized egg doesn’t start developing until it is incubated by a bird or machine. ¬†You can keep the eggs in a cool, damp area for a week or two before incubating. ¬†Fertility rates drop the longer they sit though. When we got home we let the eggs settle for a couple of hours. ¬†While we waited we let the incubator heat up and stabilize. ¬†Then we placed the eggs and let God and the incubator do their work.Two days before hatch day we take out the bars, turn off the auto-turner and increase the humidity to 65%. ¬†This is was to make sure the membranes in the eggs don’t dry out and trap the chick. ¬†This is also a good time to set up a brooder, a little pen to keep the chicks in after they hatch. ¬†The pen can be a fish tank or a large plastic bin with food water and a heat lamp set to 95 ¬†degrees F. ¬†(Reducing the temperature each week by 5 degrees.) ¬†Then you can watch as the eggs jiggle and listen to the little peeps coming from the eggs as they try with all their might to break through and make that first little hole.You have to use extra small water dishes or fill a larger one with marbles so they don’t drown.

It can take sometimes up to 24 hours for the chick to completely emerge after this point.

This little guy came out feet first and wasn’t getting anywhere after a day. ¬†So I helped him out a little.

It was a wonderful experience for the kids and myself alike. I am so glad we decided to hatch our own eggs.

 Now we have the cutest little chicks running around. Hopefully most will be female and in only 8 short weeks we should be getting some eggs!

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good... Genesis 1:31 

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I am not a very patient person so waiting is very difficult for me. ¬†I want things to be done right away and on my time table. ¬†I am the kind of person that will sit and wait and think on something nonstop, as if that will make it happen somehow. ¬†Waiting, for me, can be completely debilitating. ¬†When we are waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer, heal a love one or change ones heart it can be even harder. ¬†We can’t see what He is doing most of the time. ¬† His time table is completely different than ours. ¬†He see’s the whole picture at once while we get only a tiny piece. ¬†But our God is so merciful, ¬†He gives us hope. ¬†Hope in tomorrow and hope for today. ¬†This hope is what makes waiting bearable. ¬†Staying in Gods word helps us not to become debilitated in life. ¬†It gives us hope in his promises as we wait on him. ¬†He WILL answer our prayers.:

Isaiah 55:11……. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 65:24…….. “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are speaking I will hear.”

Jeremiah ¬†29:12…….. “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah¬†33:3……… “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things…”

Jeremiah¬†1:12…….. “I am ready to perform My Word.”

John 14:13…….. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

John¬†14:14…….. “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

John¬†15:7………. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

John¬†15:16…….. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

John¬†16:23…….. “…whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

John¬†16:24……. “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

James 5:16…….. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Job 22:27…… “You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you…”

1John 5:14…….. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

1John 5:15…….. “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

Matthew 21:22………”…whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Matthew¬†18:18…….. “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew¬†18:19…….. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

Now I am just waiting on silly little quail to hatch but God cares about me and what I care about, even the small little things.¬†¬†“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”¬†1 Peter 5:7

What did I do today? ¬†I didn’t sit in front of the incubator with my chin in my hands. ¬†Inspired by my friend Stephanie,¬†my family and I went huckleberry picking!

My husband’s friend has 20 acres up in the foothills of Mt Baker with lots and lots of huckleberries.

Look what we found!

¬† ¬†My boys called it an alligator lizard, don’t know the real name.

Here is my boys trying to see if it likes huckleberriesIt took a few bites at it,  although I think it was in self defense.   Altogether we had a beautiful day and picked over 4 QTS of huckleberries!!

As for my quail eggs..

I think i saw that striped one in the back wiggle a little.


Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

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I have always really liked spotty eggs and the thought of¬†quail eggs¬†always intrigued me. Every now and then I would tell my husband “I really want to try some quail eggs”. ¬†He would look at me and say “No.” ¬†He knew that if we tried quail eggs that we would want some quail. He really didn’t want anymore animals at the moment. One day while we were driving we saw a man selling tomato plant starts for $1 from his front yard. We needed to get some tomatoes going in our garden before it was too late, ¬†so we pulled over. The man had chickens, turkeys, quail and partridge in his back yard.¬†¬† Of course, I asked him if I could see his birds. He was more than happy to give us a tour. He was an older guy, a northwest hippie, and you could tell he’d been raising birds for a while.¬† I asked if he liked quail eggs. ¬†There had to be something spectacular about them. ¬†I mean they are so small! ¬†It would take like five quail eggs to make one chicken egg. Why would anyone in their right mind want to raise quail, ¬†well except for the reason that their eggs are really really¬†pretty and very spotty. ( I never claimed I was in my right mind) ¬† ¬† ¬†This man spoke at great length about the natural healing properties of the wonderful quail egg. Yes, he went on for quite a while and everything he said seemed too good to be true. My husband and I thought that he had to be making some of it up. By now my four children had used up all of their patience sitting in the car watching mommy and daddy talk to some crazy bird man. He gave us a few quail eggs to try, our tomato plants, and we were off.¬†Later on that evening I researched the health benefits of quail.¬†Sure enough everything that bird crazy hippy said kept popping up on tons of websites. ¬†I have researched and searched , but I have been unable to disprove any of the facts that the man claimed to be true about the medicinal value of quail eggs. I also tried to find medical case studies without any success. The Japanese have been eating quail eggs FOREVER and swear by it, so there must be something to this little egg.

The next morning I fried some up for the kids. ¬†They loved them! ¬†After seeing this my husband said “Start researching how to raise quail.” ¬†Yea, spotty eggs!

¬† ¬† ¬†Here is a brief list of some of the health benefits of¬†quail eggs that I’ve found.

Quail eggs:

  • help to digest food,¬†treat ¬†constipation, nausea, muscle weakness, dizziness, and fatigue.
  • are a remedy against digestive tract disorders such as gastritis and stomach ulcers.
  • can help cure anemia increasing hemoglobin level and remove¬†toxins¬†and heavy metals from blood.
  • can help¬†control infections and inflammations leading to asthma, allergies, eczema and psoriasis.
  • help in the treatment of tuberculosis and diabetes .
  • have strong anticancer effects and may help inhibit¬†cancerous¬†growth.
  • give you the needed energy, resistance from illness, and faster recovery following surgery or from chemotherapy effects and other cancer treatments.
  • can remove stones formed in the kidneys, liver and gall bladder.
  • may accelerate recuperation after blood stroke and help strengthen heart muscle.
  • promotes good memory, enhancing brain activity and regulating the nervous system.
  • it also protects the nervous system and brain from the oxidative damage associated with age-related memory loss.
  • ¬†help restores sexual potency in men.
  • are a high protein food without the carbohydrates and bad HDL cholesterol
  • strengthens the immune system which slows down the aging of organs and increases your life span
  • ¬†improve skin color and strengthen hair.
  • ¬†In contrast to the chicken, ¬†quail eggs do not cause allergies, but rather suppress it.
  • ¬†useful for children to enhance development, both physically and mentally. A child who eats two quail eggs a day has a better memory, a stronger nervous system, sharper vision, is better developed, and is less likely to suffer from infectious diseases.
  • helps a¬†woman feel better during pregnancy, and helps in the amount of milk in nursing mothers.
  • Research scientists have shown that quail meat and eggs can help avoid adverse effects of stress and overwork.
  • Their nutritional value is 3-4 times higher than that¬†of chicken eggs.

You can also eat quail eggshells!  Research has shown that the shell of quail eggs is 90% calcium carbonate and contains lots of essential minerals for the body, like copper, zinc and lots more.

Wow!  I guess the quail egg is truly the incredible eatable egg!

Also if you want to maximize the benefits found in a quail egg you better eat them raw*. ¬†RAW!! ¬†That’s certainly a word our society has conditioned itself to be afraid of, ¬†but the more and more informed I get raw is better for most things. Just wash them in boiling water. You don‚Äôt have to be afraid of salmonella because the body temperature of¬† quail is higher than that of chicken. Quail¬†eggs have¬†a high content of lysozyme that kills harmful bacteria and makes their eggs¬†resistant to infections.

I’m sure your saying “Yeah that’s nice and all but we I don’t live on a farm.” ¬†Neither do we! All you need to raise quail is a rabbit hutch with protection on at least three sides. ¬†This is what we are going to use:

Quail don’t need a lot of room. ¬†You can fit 1-2 quail in 1 sq foot. ¬†More and more Apartment dwellers are raising quail and button quail inside. ¬†Button quail are even smaller quail. ¬†They have GORGEOUS eggs. ( picture copied from an Ebay ad.)IMG_3357They take up less room and can live in a guinea pig cage like this one that I copied off of the petsmart website.

     I purchased some Coturnix quail  from Oak Meadows Farm.  They are in the incubator now.  Hatch day is this Saturday (7/14/12) .  Stay tuned for our hatch day blog and pictures on our Facebook page!

Now go get some quail! ¬†Ok, Ok now your saying “We are not “enthusiastic” ¬†bird hippies.” ¬†Well , fair enough.

The first egg from our quail that we hatched out.

I suggest if you are to get quail that you do so early spring.  Unless quail have the proper lighting (14 hours a day) they quit laying for the winter. Otherwise you would be paying to feed them all winter with no eggs in return. Unless you are planning to keep them indoors or provide artificial lighting.

God has given us so many resources here on earth.  He is so wonderful to take care of us in so many different ways.  He demonstrates His glory in this small bird and tiny egg. His creations are so marvelous.  He deserves our praise.

I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable. Psalm 145 :1-3

Waiting for the hatch.

The Great Quail Eggscape!

*Now a quick disclaimer: You should always do your own research and weigh the risks v.s. benefits of eating raw.. anything.  Use your best judgement before feeding your family and yourself raw quail eggs.  There is always the possibility that eating raw or under cooked meats can make you sick.

 Here are some links where I found my information






Please feel free to leave a comment.  I look forward to reading them. -Theresa

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