Monday, September 7, 2015

How To Trim Boar Tusks

A brief tutorial on how to trim boar tusks properly and without causing stress to the hog. 

By Xenia Stavrinides (Rainbow Ranch Farms)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Orchard Day - Fallen Fruit

Monday July 6th 2015 - Collecting fallen fruit from the orchard and used as a seasonal livestock fodder.

We collected various varieties of peaches, apples and we pulled fresh green and lush grass!

Anyone visiting Rainbow Ranch Farms for C.S.A. Pick-Up on Saturday, July 11 2015 will have the opportunity to purchase Certified, Pesticide-Free and beyond-organically grown, freshly picked ripe peaches and other fruit direct from Richard & Patty (Artisan Market). 






The Garden

Nice, Juicy Peaches


Patty and Dennis

Crab Apples




Patty and Richard



Xenia working really hard..

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rats in Coop

Orrie came over on the 4th July 2015

Rats in coop was so difficult to deal with. I mean those suckers really freaked me out!

Orrie came over on the 4th July and stripped all the insulation and will be removing the plywood from the framing to expose the studs. NO PLACE for those rats and mice to hide anymore!  

Orrie wore a hazmat respirator

Happy Sussex
Rats were falling on his head and crawling down his back

Happy Jungle-Fowl & BCM Rooster
Looking good

No more insulation for rats to hide in
All that old and nasty insulation is covered in rat droppings!

Happy BCM flock

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Typical Tuesday on the Farm

Remember JULY C.S.A. farm pick-up is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 10:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.  and all shipping orders placed after June 21st. will be shipped out during July. 

6:00 A.M. Tuesday June 30 2015
Neighbors yelling from the ranch front gate!

Neighbor: My bull is in your back yard!
Xenia: Well, I guess I should find the breach in the fence
Neighbor: There's no breach in the fence
Xenia: Did the stork drop your bull into the back range?

Xenia: OH CRAP!

The bull ripped up the adjoining neighbors chain link fence and crawled under it. Then walked right through the livestock panel. Dennis placed a wooden crate in front of the ripped-up chain link fence to keep the sheep in-range while wrangling the neighbors bull off the property.

Neighbors, Dennis and Xenia wrangling the bull for about 15 minutes. That bull really wanted to get in with the heifers and mate. The Heifers are always sweeter on the other side! (LOL!).

Blanca trying to get her bull
The visiting  bull

Neighbor trying to get his bull
Blanca going to get feed to lure the bull

Neighbor running toward the bull

After 15 minutes, Xenia goes and gets the camera (LOL!)

Dennis has been nursing an injured leg for about 3 weeks and was limited in his ability to run. I have slept for about 2 hours since the 28th of June. CRAZY!

Another 15 minutes of wrangling and out the gate the bull goes. 

The visiting bull


How did you start your morning?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Acorns,  Almonds, Corn, Brocolli seeds, Oats, Cashews, Flaxseeds, Rice, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Alfalfa seeds, Sesame seeds, Walnuts, Barley, Sunflower seeds, Soy beans and Pinto beans. 

What are Nuts?
They are hard-shelled fruits (Fruits vs. Nuts) of plants which are an important (Urgent vs. Important) source of nutrients for man and some animals. Some examples of nuts are hazelnuts, chestnuts, acorns and hickories,  and they are characterized by the stony fruit wall which is actually a composite of the seed and the fruit.

Nuts are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fat; while seeds are rich in protein, vitamin B, minerals, fat and dietary fibers.  Peanuts and ground nuts are not part of the "nuts" family, they are actually legumes.

What are Seeds?

Seeds are the small plant enclosed in the seed coat, which usually has stored food. There are some edible seeds which are a crucial part of the human and animal kingdom diet, because they provide a good source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Some seeds (sesame and poppy seeds)can be eaten without the removal of the outer husk, and other seeds require the husk to be removed. 

What are Beans? 

Beans are considered seeds, however not all seeds are beans. Beans are commonly characterized as being a legume. Common bean types include: haricot, butter, navy, kidney and red beans. 

There are many different subtypes of beans such as,  The vicia (faba), pisum (pea), lens (lentils), lablab (hyacinth), glycine (soybeans), and erythrina (coral bean) are among the most popular. 

Other plants which are not closely linked to the same legume family are still classified as beans like the castor, coffee, vanilla and cocoa bean. Simply because of appearance. 

Corn is classified (by Botanists) as a fruit, and not a grain nor vegetable (1-A)

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and corn meal
  • Flax
  • Indian rice grass
  • Legumes and bean flours
  • Mesquite flours
  • Millet
  • Montina
  • Nut Flours and pastes
  • *Gluten-Free Oats and gluten-free oat products
  • Psyllium
  • Potato Flour and Potato Starch
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Rice Bran and other rice products
  • Sago
  • Seeds and flours made from seeds
  • Sorghum
  • Soy (soya)
  • Sweet Potato Flour
  • Tapioca
  • Teff                                               (check source)

According to "Gluten-Free Living: 


This material is not intended to provide medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician.


Foods made from grains (and grain-like plants) that do not contain harmful gluten, including: Corn in all forms (corn flour, corn meal, grits,etc.). Rice in all forms (white, brown, basmati and enriched rice). Also amaranth, buckwheat (kasha), Montina, millet, quinoa, teff, sorghum and soy.
The following ingredients:
Annatto, glucose syrup, lecithin, maltodextrin (even when it is made from wheat), oat gum, plain spices, silicon dioxide, starch, food starch and vinegar (only malt vinegar might contain gluten). Also citric, lactic and malic acids as well as sucrose, dextrose and lactose; and these baking products: arrowroot, cornstarch, guar and xanthan gums, tapioca flour or starch, potato starch flour and potato starch, vanilla.
The following foods:
Milk, butter, margarine, real cheese, plain yogurt and vegetable oils including canola. Plain fruits, vegetables, (fresh, frozen and canned), meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans and legumes and flours made from them.
Distilled vinegar is gluten free. (See malt vinegar under NO below).
Distilled alcoholic beverages are gluten free because distillation effectively removes gluten from wheat. They are not gluten free if gluten-containing ingredients are added after distillation, but this rarely, if ever, happens.
Mono and diglycerides are fats and are gluten free.
Spices are gluten free. If there is no ingredient list on the container, it contains only the pure spice noted on the label.


Wheat in all forms including spelt, kamut, triticale (a combination of wheat and rye), durum, einkorn, farina, semolina, cake flour, matzo (or matzah) and couscous.
Ingredients with “wheat” in the name including wheat starch, modified wheat starch, hydrolyzed wheat protein and pregelatinized wheat protein. Buckwheat, which is gluten free, is an exception.
Barley and malt, which is usually made from barley, malt syrup, malt extract, malt flavoring and malt vinegar.
Breaded or floured meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. Also meat, poultry and vegetables when they have a sauce or marinade that contains gluten, such as soy and teriyaki sauces.
Licorice, imitation crab meat, beer, most is fermented from barley. (Specialty gluten-free beer is available from several companies.)


Dextrin can be made from wheat, which would be noted on the label, and would not be gluten free.
Flavorings are usually gluten free, but in rare instances can contain wheat or barley. By law, wheat would have to be labeled. Barley is usually called malt flavoring. In extremely rare instances, neither barley nor malt is specified in a flavoring.
Modified food starch is gluten free, except when wheat is noted on the label, either as “modified wheat starch,” modified starch (wheat) or if the Contains statement at the end of the ingredients list includes wheat.
Oats used to be considered unsafe, but recent research has shown that a moderate amount of special pure oats is safe for most celiacs. Several companies produce oats specifically for the GF market. They are labeled gluten free.
Pharmaceuticals can contain gluten, although most are gluten free. Check with the pharmaceutical company, especially if you take the medication on a continuing basis.
Processed cheese (spray cheese, for example) may contain gluten. Real cheese is gluten free.
Seasonings and seasoning mixes could contain gluten. Wheat will be noted on the label as required by law.
Soy Sauce is usually fermented from wheat. However, some brands don’t include wheat and are gluten free. Read the label to be sure.

Special Cases

Caramel color is almost always made from corn, but it can be made from malt syrup. However, in more than 10 years, we have not been able to find a single instance of a caramel color produced this way. Companies in North America say they use corn. You can consider caramel color GF.
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is a phrase that under federal regulation should not be used on a food label. Food processors have to identify the “vegetable.” So you might read “hydrolyzed wheat protein,” which would not be gluten free, or “hydrolyzed soy protein,” which is gluten free. )"

Fruits vs. Nuts

Seeds vs. Beans




G-F Nuts, Grains & Seeds
Corn (vegetable, grain or fruit)

Crop Dusting

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Phytoestrogen-Containing Foods

Surprising Foods Loaded With Estrogen — The Chemical Hormone Linked to Obesity, Depression, Cancer, and Sexual Dysfunction.

It is not news that our bodies, ecosystem and environment are plaqued in estrogen and many other hormones (pesticides and antibiotics). For many, puberty has been documented as occurring as early as eight years old, and recently there have been reports of babies in China  developing breasts. 
Father of toddler in central China, one of four toddlers to exhibit early breast growth.

Other Issues:
Frogs and fish are becoming "intersex" 
Women's bra cup sizes increasing independent of their weights, (likely because of environmental and livestock chemicals). Daily Mail UK

Big issue: The average breast size in the UK is increasing but it's not just on larger framed women

Estrogen is blamed for everything from breast and prostate cancer and other hormone-linked conditions to obesity, sexual dysfunction, dropping sperm counts and depression and mood disorders. In studies of women given prescribed hormone drugs, estrogen was linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, skin cancer, gall bladder cancer, cataracts urinary incontinence and joint degeneration. ALTERNET

Most of us know we unwittingly get synthetic estrogens (endocrine disrupters) from plastics like BPA, petroleum based products, detergents, cosmetics, furniture, carpeting, thermal receipts and on our food from agriculture chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and fungicides (a good reason to buy organic). 
Xenia's Note: Organic does not always mean "Pesticide-Free". Some pesticides approved by Certified Organic applications are very toxic. Click here for details:  (Berkeley.EDU)


1. Flax
Image result for Flax Seed
Flax and especially flax meal has the image of being a healthy superfood. But flax and flax products are at the top of phytoestrogen-containing foods,  with a whopping hundred grams of flax packing an astounding 379,380 micrograms of estrogen compared with 2.9 micrograms for a fruit like watermelon. Flax is now widely found in baked goods like bread, bagels and muffins, snack foods, cereals, pasta, drink mixes and is used as a protein-substitute in poultry feed, swine feed, beef and dairy feeds. 
Xenia's Note: Check with your farmer or rancher and ask if they are using flax.
Like so many edible plants today, genetically modified versions of flax are common, rampant, spreading and rarely labeled. Buyer beware. ALTERNET
2. Soy
Image result for soy beans bad for you
What is the second highest phytoestrogen-containing food in most lists? Soy, which packs 103,920 micrograms of estrogen per 100 grams. Low in calories and with no cholesterol, soy has been a mainstay protein of many cultures for centuries and is considered nature's perfect alternative to meat by many vegetarians and vegans. It has been hailed as a "good" estrogen that could prevent breast cancer and serve as an alternative for hormone replacement therapy, traditionally made from pregnant mare urine.
Yet the bloom has partially fallen off soy's rose. Its possible cancer prevention properties were called into question after some animal studies and groups like the American Cancer Society found themselves defending its moderate use. Like flax, unlabeled GMO soybeans dominate the market and have been linked to sterility and infant death in hamsters. ALTERNET
Unfortunately, most "research" that assures the public that hormones used in meat production or milk production (like Monsanto's  rBGH) result in less estrogen are funded by Big Ag. Two features betray the Big Ag-funded research —it claims there is no difference between hormones that occur "naturally" in the human body and synthetic hormones, and it claims there are no residues of the latter. If synthetic hormones are so safe, why would we mind residues? The European Union disagrees about the dangers and boycotts US beef, which is swimming in the hormones oestradiol-17, trenbolone acetate, zeranol and melengestrol.

Are organically produced foods more nutritious?

The USDA makes no claims that organic foods are more nutritious than conventionally-grown foods; they are produced using different methods. For example, organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Click Here to learn more
Just When You Thought You Could Sleep at Night
CropLife America members include such bastions of corporate virtue as Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, and Dow Chemicals.  The president subsequently appointed CropLife America vice president Islam A. Siddiqui to become the nation’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator. Siddiqui is not exactly what you would call a hero to the organic food movement. Nor has he made it his mission to defend future generations and the biological carrying capacity of the planet. 
When he oversaw the release of the National organic Program’s standards for organic food labeling, it was his bright idea to permit both irradiated and GMO foods to be labeled as organic. Click Here To Learn More

Making healthful choices does not need to be expensive. We are all consumers to some degree, and we live in the real world. We are surrounded by smog, toxins, poisons and some of us even suffer from allergic and environmental issues. Let's try to barrel right through some of these issues and move-on.  
Avoid synthetic hormones and gluten in food, cosmetics and commodities (avoid wheat, soy, flax, corn etc.)
Check ingredients on labels and do your homework. The internet is a useful tool especially when researching ingredients 
Plan a meal-budget for the entire month 
Plan a meal menu and when including meat or poultry, plan for nutritious bone stock/broth & soups. If you are looking for a clean, organically-grown source of fish, raised by hydroponics/aquaponics we can help. 
Plan to cook at least one well balanced meal per day
Select fruit, vegetables, nuts, meats, poultry and eggs that are SUPER-FOODS, NUTRIENT-DENSE and  have been grown by clean and ethical standards. There is no use in spending hard earned dollars on food that has LOW nutritional value. 
Green Cabbage            Broccoli          Cauliflower       Yellow Onions    Spaghetti Squash
Red Cabbage             Sweet Potato        Garlic          Butternut Squash   Acorn Squash
Heritage, Standard Chickens are more nutritious than commercial or commodity chicken breeds.  IMO: If you are consuming commercial chicken breeds, you are eating chickens that have been genetically modified to grow very fast. In fact, even when these chickens are grown outside on a pasture based system, they DO NOT forage! They must be fed a GRAIN-BASED diet. In addition, ALL commercial and commodity (fast-growing) chicken breeds are hatched in pesticide sprayed chambers and those hatching eggs are commonly vaccinated. You are wasting money and compromising the integrity of your nutritional intake.                                                                                                                                                   
Free Range Chickens that have been grown on forage, insects and grain-free/gluten-free diets, are healthier than chickens grown by sack feeds (even certified organic or soy-free/corn-free feeds). Grains cause enterititis and mycoplasmosis in chickens! IMO:  If you are eating chickens grown on ANY commercial feeds, You are wasting your money and compromising the integrity of your nutritional intake. Chickens are healthiest & nutrient-dense when grown on a SPECIES-SPECIFIC DIET!. In-fact, staudies show that supplementing chickens with grain based feeds (yes, even certified organic) LOWERS the Omega 3/6 valuies. 
Chicken begins to reach nutritional density at 12 weeks old. IMO: If you are consuming chicken that has been processed before 12 weeks of age, you are wasting money and compromising the integrity of your nutritional intake. 
Select seasonal fruit and vegetables that grow well in healthy, balanced soil conditions without the need for pesticides. Produce which is easily grown without pesticides include...
  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet Peas 
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Root Crops (carrots, radishes etc)
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Cauliflower
  • Seasonal Squashes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Pomegranates
  • Figs
  • Loquats
  • Olives

Foods grown with pesticides are generally...
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes

I hope this helps.