The July EGG350 monthly gathering took place Monday, 07/19/2021, starting ~6:30p. The event included some EGG350 notes and a special presentation from Kevin Kelley of Terra Vitae Farms. Read more in the meeting notes below.

EGG350 Meeting Notes

Dams To Be Removed

Mary Alice M reported that the Kimball Street dam in Elgin IL will be removed, following the unanimous vote. Over time, it will cost less to remove than to maintain. The dam in Carpentersville IL is scheduled to be removed summer 2022.

Yard Tours

The Greater Kane County Wild Ones held their 1st garden walk of the season, Saturday, 07/24/2021, at the home of Patsy & Ronald H.

Act Endorsement

The Elgin Sustainability Commission (ESC) and the Unitarian Universalist Church Of Elgin voted to endorse the Citizens Climate Lobby Energy Innovation & Carbon Dividend Act of 2021.

Waste-Free Life Style

Robin M of the ESC’s Zero Waste Committee will present a program entitled “How To Live A Waste-Free Life Style”.

Renewable Energy

Chris K of the Kane County Forest Preserve District noted the renewable energy option they have within their ComEd contract.

Summary: TVF Presentation

Kevin Kelley kicked off the evening program with three reasons Terra Vitae Farms (one of the many businesses-organizations on the “Resources EGG350” page) raises animals sustainably:
Better for you
Increase community engagement
Cause civic engagement

Pictorial Proof

Kevin showed photos of two pork chops: one from the store and one from TVF. The TVF pork chop was redder. The commercial pork chop was pale and advertised as “the other white meat”, but TVF’s prove pork is red meat.

Kevin also showed eggs from chickens at TVF; they have orange yolks compared to organic eggs purchased elsewhere.

Animal Approach

Using balanced humane intervention with a minimalist approach, TVF observes, rotates and responds to the animals.

“Pasture Pigs” (as they call theirs) eat vegetation and grain as they choose, with about one pig per area, unlike businesses where all animals are confined.

TVF offers free choice minerals, too. Grain is added to increase their protein.

By The Numbers

Started in 2018, TVF now boasts 76 acres total.

TVF has:
16 head of cattle
30 goats
30 sheep
44 pigs
3 sows, each of which can produce 13-16 piglets

TVF measures its Soil Organic Matter (SOM) to track its increase with this form of sustainable farming.

A nearby 100-acre corn farm is being converted into an orchard. This will be better for the soil and regenerative farming.

The alfalfa seeds TVF planted have not germinated due to this year’s drought. TVF hopes to harvest this.

Community Outreach

TVF attends farmers markets in Crystal Lake IL (Sundays) and Woodstock IL (Tuesdays).

TVF also participates in Farmapalooza (Saturday, 09/18/2021), one of many events listed on the “Events EGG350” page.

Family Fun

Kevin, his wife, their daughter, and their son-in-law all have different roles on the farm. Their sister-in-law also works full-time outside the farm. The family anticipates making a net profit this year.

Q&A Notes

All animals live outside year round.

Chickens have a mobile chicken coop for layers.

No chemicals are used, unless an infection may spread to other animals.

Items are available to buy on TVF’s website; Sandy highly recommends TVF’s sausages. Orders may be placed online with pickup in Woodstock; delivery can be arranged.

Bonus: August Meeting

With pandemic protocols eased, EGG350 will meet again in person starting next month!

Plan to join us Monday, 08/16/2021, starting at 6:30p, at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center.

We will share ‘green’ (or tasty finger) snacks.

Meeting Notes submitted by Sandy Kaptain, Chair.


GO GREENER!

Start by checking out the “Solutions EGG350” page for a list of ideas.

Will you join the conversation in words and actions?

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