It's hard for farmers to hold still for fancy photos
in their 'goin to town' clothes! Where's Dad....?
We, Cary and Shari McMinn, met while working in the rat-race of Denver, CO. Cary was, and still is, a licensed Architect, and Shari was a Commerical Interior Desinger (once long ago!) We were soon married and eventually blessed with 6 children. Without warning, our youngest child, 10 month old Abby Joanne, died on Christmas Day of 1995. Dealing with such a great sadness changed our lives, and lifestyle, forever.
Yet, the good Lord walked us through the valley of the shadow of death, and brought us to a beautiful wilderness 85 miles from Denver in northeastern Adams County, Colorado. During the decade since our family's move to the middle of nowhere, we have built-up our homestead and livestock herds, and to our amazement have been blessed to add 5 more children to our family through adoption. Of our 10 living children, 5 are adults pursuing their interests on and off the farm, and the 5 younger children are still at home, helping with the farm while being homeschooled.
Our farm-to-consumer bulk meat sales help support this lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves, and especially our children, including those we adopted who are labeled 'special needs'.
We consider ourselves to be sustainable farmers, following the practices of Joel Salatin, owner/operator of Polyface Farm in Virginia. However, unlike the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, we are in a dryland climate and have to make modifications based on unpredictable and often overwhelming weather patterns.
It is our desire to raise our livestock 100% on grass; reality is often something different. Our farming practices include rotational grazing of all livestock on dryland pastures. During winter, and drought conditions that seem to be year 'round lately, we supplement our pasture grazed livestock with alfalfa/grass hay and grain to keep them properly conditioned, especially our breeding stock during gestation and lactation.
All animals are hand-fed twice daily by family members. We send our animals out to pasture in the morning, and bring them back into paddocks at night to protect them from coyotes and nocturnal birds of prey. Our pigs and chickens also eat lots of kitchen scraps, and excess fresh milk or whey when available. We do not administer any hormones or chemicals. Chicks and piglets do eat medicated feed as a disease preventative when they are young. All our young mammal livestock nurse at their mother's side until weaning at an age much later than commercial farms. We feed our rabbits alfalfa hay along with pelletized feed, as too many vegetable scraps seem to wreak havoc with their digestive systems.
We raise primarily Heritage Breed livestock as they are better foragers, breed easier, birth better, and we believe have a finer textured lean meat with better flavor. Breeds include: Scottish Highland Cattle; Tamworth and Old Spot Pigs; Jacob and Suffolk Sheep; Rex and New Zealand Rabbits; and Heritage Poultry including Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Guineas and Turkeys. Additionally we have Jersey milk cows and Oberhasli goats for our own milk and cheese production and use. Our pets consist of too many horses and dogs that we love dearly!
We have meat available for sale direct to customers year around depending on our freezer inventory. We take most of our meat livestock to our butcher in late Fall, and sometimes other times of the year. We can sell what we have in the freezer to buyers, but also recommend you contact us in the Spring for what you want to obtain in the Fall, so we can customize your purchase to your liking, and to know how many animals we will cull for processing.
We often get calls for whole pigs for summer pig roasts. These must be ordered months ahead of time in order for us to have the butcher keep the hogs whole, as we don't normally have them just waiting in our freezers! Please contact us ASAP if you want whole pigs!
Another pork note: we have our butcher leave hams and bacon fresh, to avoid nitrates required in USDA curing.
In addition to growing much of our own food, and selling meat direct to customers we enjoy teaching others. (Cary taught college for 25 year, and Shari has taught our kids in homeschool for 18 years) Whether it is through demonstrations to 4-H or homeschool students, teaching small acreage owners gardening skills at conservation workshops, or helping missionaries learn basic food production skills prior to their relocating to an underdeveloped area of the world, our heart is to serve others in order to bring glory to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Several years ago we began to team with Christian Home Educators of Colorado (aka CHEC). With them we host our HOMESTEAD BOOTCAMP and FAMILY HOMESTEADING DAY. Learn more about these on our Event Page.
We also Partner with CHEC for our AME Program. Learn more about this on our Products (and Services) Page.
We invite you to visit us! Visits to our farm are available based on our family schedule. If you are interested in such, please email us with some dates that work for you, and we will respond.
The farm is located 26 miles south of Fort Morgan, CO. We are approximately 1.5 hours from Denver; 2.5 hours from Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins.