KYF #013: Chris Kerston of Chaffin Family Orchards

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Please welcome Chris Kerston from Chaffin Family Orchards. I asked him to be a guest because I wanted to learn more about what they’re doing and I wanted you to hear it, too.


Remember in my last podcast I shared a quote from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon — about the mixed farm? Here is that quote again:

“The educated consumer and the enlightened farmer together can bring about the return of the mixed farm, where cultivation of fruits and vegetables is combined with the raising of livestock and fowl in a manner that is efficient, economical and environmentally friendly. Cattle providing rich manure are the absolute basis for healthy, sustainable farming. Moreover, chickens allowed access to pasture eat worms and insects whose nutrients end up in high-quality eggs; sheep grazing in orchards obviate the need for herbicides; and livestock foraging in woodlands and other marginal areas provide rich, unpolluted meat and milk, making these lands economically viable for the farmer. It is not animal cultivation that leads to hunger and famine but unwise agricultural practices and monopoloistic distribution systems.” – Sally Fallon Morell, Nourishing Traditions © 2001, page 31.

This is exactly what Chaffin Family Orchards is doing! Chris and I talk all about it in the podcast, but I want to give you a heads up now about how special this is. In a world where most farms are monocrops and lots of fuels and inputs are needed, Chaffin Family Orchards is refreshingly different.

Their 300 acres of orchards (olive, citrus and stone fruit) are “mowed” and fertilized by cattle, sheep, and goats who are followed by chickens who debug (natural pest control). Since adopting these methods, they’ve been able to use 85% less fuel, plus they’re building soil fertility and taking higher-quality foods right to the consumer.

What else is different? I alluded to it already, but let me spell it out for you. They sell directly to the consumer — locally and on online. In fact, none of their foods go through a middleman. I love this (and you’ll hear an example of why in the interview).

Chris and I visit about his family, his role as managing partner at Chaffin Family Orchards. We talk about the olive/olive oil industry, what’s wrong with conventional olive growers and conventional olives… all that and more on today’s episode of Know Your Food with Wardee.

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Sale Extended — Olive Oil and Mandarins!

In this episode, Chris mentioned they’ve extended the sale on olive oil until Tuesday, December 4, 2012. That’s good news (because it was supposed to end today)! Here’s more info on the sale, and here are the just the nitty gritty details:

Going it alone (or small scale), you can get some of the best quality olive oil for just $60 per gallon in 2 gallon multiples. Here’s the order form.

If you get together with friends or family to do a bulk buy for 10 gallons or more (in 2 gallon increments) you can reduce that price to $50 per gallon. Here’s the order form.

Plus, they have mandarins on sale through Tuesday, December 4, 2012, too! Here’s the order form.

Links Mentioned

Weekly Shout-Out

Wild Oaks Poultry Farm. This week on the blog, you get to meet Wild Oaks Poultry Farm in Central Minnesota. They raise poultry for both eggs and meat. Also, fruit trees and fruit shrubs and a large garden. What I loved most about this tour was the great advice shared:

“If you want to farm or homestead, be really particular about the land you choose. Then don’t fight it, work with it. If you have a problem with no obvious or seemingly doable solution, unless someone/thing’s life is dependent on it, wait. Work smarter, not harder! I know that’s all kind of vague, but it’s what I have learned in the past two years.”

Why do I love this? It’s because there’s something to be said for being patient and particular — if you have the time and can hold off. A lot of issues can be solved just by waiting on God’s timing and for solutions to become clear.

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What’s Coming Up…

Next week I’ll take listener questions and I also hope to share a fun guest with you!

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It’s Your Turn

Got any questions for Chris? Or, just leave a comment to say hi and thanks for stopping by! :)

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This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!

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