Melo Farms

It's all swine with us!


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2 Week Graduation - First Day on Grass

Posted on May 5, 2015 at 5:50 AM

It's been two weeks since the first batch of chicks came and Sunday they graduated to their portable hoop shelter.

During their first two weeks - here is where we're at.


  • We had 2 losses within the first 12 hours.  We count those as 'failure to thrive'.
  • We had 1 loss at about 7 days .. .no explanation
  • We euthanized one this weekend, due to a displaced hip.
So from an 'environment' perspective we've lost one chick during thei...
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We Want Health and Humanity for the Animals We Eat - We are Tribe

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 9:10 AM


There are days at our stand at Detroit Eastern Market when joy, hugs and deep conversations are a large part of our market experience. On a typical Spring Saturday at Eastern an estimated 30k - 40k people flow through market looking for fresh produce, a sweet treat and farm raised meat. Some who come are longtime customers navigating the market deftly, transacting with vendors they trust and rely on. Others are newbies taking in the vast market and array of choices. And a few are...

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Yeah .. they sent us to Melo Farms

Posted on April 23, 2015 at 5:05 AM

Chicks arrived a bit later than planned, but all arrived safe and sound.  

As I mentioned in the last entry, the big thing is getting the environment stable as well as warm.  Their water should be air temp or better vs right out of a tap.  Since ours comes from a well, it'a about 50 degrees and a bit 'chilly'.   Also, no matter what type of waterer we've used, a few of them always end up taking a bath, so keep an eye and if they do, just warm them up ... their 'fuzz'...

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Baby Chicks Tomorrow Morning

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 5:40 PM

Well Spring is trying.  We had a nice stretch of weather, so finally ordered the chicks.  Now we're looking at the next week of nights at freezing.  However .. we're ready.  

When we are looking at a stretch of cold / wet weather we start the chicks in our Chick Starter Suites :)  We strap two hoop houses together.  We cover it with 6 mil plastic (20' x 25') and seal up the ends.

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Baby Chickens on Grass

Posted on April 15, 2015 at 4:40 AM

It's finally here ... warmth and therefore chicken season for all of us who raise Pastured Chickens.

This will be the third year of our First Day on Grass practice, which is based on our 'Instinctive Habitat' practices.  So, I'll take a shot at documenting our approaches and experiences.

Bypassing a brooder and going straight to grass for baby chickens was evolutionary and we've learned a number of lessons, but rather...

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Boston Baked Beans - Melo Style

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Ok, this is why it’s hard for me to share recipes. My cooking often lacks….we’ll call it….structure. Let’s use my latest confection, Boston Baked Beans, as an example. The ingredient list looks like this

1 bag navy beans from Hampshire farms, soaked overnight and rinsed

1 pint jar homemade ketchup from Megan

8 oz. hock meat

16 oz. bacon

Some chicken stock

Some reduced to gelatin pork stock


Brown sugar


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Farm Time - Answering to a Different Clock

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 3:20 AM

I’m listening to Cokie Roberts read her book ‘Founding Mothers- the Women who Raised our Nation’ on cd. It’s a great listen and inspiration from a historical and a female tenacity perspective. This leads me to the topic of this blog – work, time and the perception of the inverse proportion of one to the other.


I’ve not often thought of myself as a strong woman though I’ve been described as one by many. More, I think of myself as ten...

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Thank You Mother Nature - Winter 2012/2013

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 8:05 PM

It's been a long winter! The most upbeat people I know are actually beginning to get a bit grumpy, the new has worn out of wearing woolens and creating warm spaces.

In a darker moment last week it hit me like the ton of lake effect snow hitting my windshield why Eastern and Midwest pioneers were so willing to pull up and head to the mythical, magical Willamette Valley. The place where I've spent a great deal of my life since 1970 and living, literally at the end of the Oregon Trail with...

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Posted on September 18, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I hear so many cool memories from people my age who knew / raised / sloped pigs at their grandparents. I love the moments of the faraway look that recaptures and relives those feelings and have come to realize it’s less about the pigs and more about touching the tangible memory of time spent with a grandparent. I have a tad jealous love of those memories as I don’t have them and people enjoy a rapt audience as I live vicariously through these stories.


Not that ...

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A Relationship with your food

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 8:20 AM

I'm asked on a weekly basis how can I kill the animals I care for. The query as written is not verbatim. The actual questions run the gamut infused with you heartless bastard to true disconnected disbelief. I've honed my sound bite response to 'it's not my favorite day of the week' but this does not cover the true depth of my conflicted feelings about raising animals for food.

So let's begin there, food. I had winnowed down my meat to fish and buffalo by the time I started the journey t...

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