Our Story

Why Sweet Grass?

Hello and welcome to Sweet Grass Pastures,

We are a family owned farm nestled in a small town near the gulf in South Mississippi called Lucedale.  

We started on this journey when we decided that we wanted to provide ourselves with fresh, healthy, and
whole foods. With my wife and I both working in the healthcare field, we
saw first hand how bad the healthcare crisis in America has truly
become.  We began to wonder if there was a better way.  Through rigorous
research we began to discover that ultimately the old saying is true. 
You literally are what you eat.  The right foods used as “preventative”
medicine can allow your body to function at peak performance, while the
wrong foods can cause the very illnesses we try to prevent.  If you
provide your body with the proper nutrition it can do wonders for health
problems and more importantly prevent them in the first place. The
right foods and a healthy diet could drastically change the landscape of
healthcare in our country.

In search of an alternative we began to find that
shopping for fresh organic produce was expensive at the supermarket and
after that you still truly didn’t know where your food originally came
from. So taking this into consideration, we decided to start shopping at
the farmers market. We wanted to shop more local and work hard to
really get to know the people who grew our food.  With that in mind we
spent the next few years while we traveled the country (for our
healthcare careers) shopping at the local farmers markets and
introducing ourselves to the local farmers.  This was an excellent
opportunity to see how a variety of foods can be offered all over the
country (in all types of environments) without the heavy use of
petroleum fertilizers or fuel.

So as time passed and our journey brought us closer to
home we finally decided that the ultimate way to know everything about
the foods we were eating was to “cut out the middle man” and
grow/produce it ourselves.  We were both blessed with a little bit of
knowledge about farming between the two of us, because we had both grown
up on  a farm. However, we decided that if we wanted to do this, we
would have to take it as seriously as possible.  So in the beginning of
2014 we took a leap of faith!  We quit our medical jobs and went to a
sustainable farm in north Mississippi to work a season.  We worked an
intense internship which taught us the ways of pasturing animals and how
to improve the soil that the pasture is on.  We learned the best way to
protect and grow a healthy product without the use of antibiotics,
vaccines, hormones, and steroids.  These became the standards for which
we would hold ourselves accountable.  We finished our internship and
moved back to Lucedale in the early fall of 2014 to begin our adventure
and make a start.

In the beginning we started with pastured laying hens
and eggs.  Eggs are a wonderful marketing tool as well as a steady
source of revenue, and hens work as the "cleanup" crew for Sweet Grass
eating the parasites and spreading the manure. We purchased 125 Araucana
laying hens (hens known for their rich nutritious eggs) and we were
amazed!  Its amazing how much fresh air, sunshine, and fresh pasture can
change the quality of an egg.  The yolks were wonderfully rich and they
had this bold orange coloring! Like no egg we had ever seen or tasted
before. 

This led to the next step in our food adventure, the
introduction of the broilers and pigs. We were fed up with what was
offered at the local supermarket and couldn't bring ourselves to buy
their product any longer.  So out of necessity, our farm was born.  We
made the decision to start raising meat chickens as well.  We chose the
Cornish Cross or "Broiler".  These are the exact chickens you can find
on the supermarket shelves.  They can easily be raised outdoors and
ready to buy in only two months with minimal maintenance.  When we saw
how easy to raise the chickens were, we wondered why we had ever shopped
at the supermarket in the first place. 

We started small and raised a batch just for ourselves
and we enjoyed it so much. The taste of the supermarket chicken could
not even be compared to our pastured poultry (not to mention the added
health benefits of abundant nutrients from fresh air and sunshine).
Next, our family began asking if they could have some of our poultry and
then some of their friends began to ask if they could have some of our
poultry and from there the dream began.  We starting producing enough
broilers to sell and provide to others. We have gotten such great feed
back from our friends and family we decided to begin raising some hogs
as well.  In the next year we hope to increase production of all of
these and start raising grass fed beef.

So a small dream has slowly become a small reality,
and with a little hard work and hope my family believes we can truly
provide Mississippi with a healthy affordable alternative.  If you are
interested in viewing our products please click the shop now button, and
please feel free to join our buying club at any time.

Thank you very much for taking the time to hear about
our humble beginnings and please feel free to contact me or my family
with any questions about joining our buying club or visiting the farm.

Farming Practices:

Pastured Poultry

What is Pastured Poultry?
Pastured poultry relies on raising chickens directly on green pasture. The model
has been developed over the last twenty years and allows the birds to
receive a significant amount of pasture forage as feed. The birds are
kept on fresh pasture, which allows the birds to be raised in a cleaner,
healthier environment. Pastured poultry is raised the old fashioned
way; on fresh green pasture and wholesome NON-GMO grain. Processing is
done on the farm. Many of our customers pick-up their freezer-ready
poultry orders at the farm, assuring them a truly farm-fresh product and
revitalizing the farmer-consumer relationship. 
 

Broilers

The Brooder

Our broilers arrive at our farm as one day old chicks.  They are placed in a
brooding house with fresh wood shavings for bedding.  They are
generally kept here for the first three to four weeks of their life
until they are big enough to navigate the pasture terrain and withstand
the cool night temperatures.

The pastured pen

To keep our pastured poultry safe we use
a 10 ft. X 12 ft. X 2 ft. high floor less, portable field shelter called
a "chicken tractor".  Housing about 75 birds each, these pens can
produce a ready to process bird in just 4 to 5 weeks on pasture. Moved
daily to a fresh location, these birds receive fresh air, exercise,
sunshine, and all the local NON-GMO grain they want. Also, integrating
our cows to mow ahead of the shelters shortens the grasses and
encourages
ingestion of tender, fresh sprouts. At Sweet Grass, we want every
animal to eat as much green material as they desire.

Pastured Eggs

Grass-fed/pastured hens are raised on pasture, as opposed to being kept in confinement and
fed primarily grains. Eggs from pastured hens contain up to 20 times
more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than those their less fortunate
cousins, factory hens.

Pastured hens' diets are naturally complemented with bugs, earthworms,
and other such critters that give their eggs a huge nutritious oomph.
Although not necessarily organic, pastured hens are usually much
healthier and happier than their space-restricted and antibiotic-pumped
industrial cousins.

Pasturing is the traditional method of raising egg-laying hens and other
poultry. It is ecologically sustainable, humane, and produces the
tastiest, most nutritious eggs.

Pastured eggs also have 10 percent less fat, 40 percent more vitamin A,
and 34 percent less cholesterol than eggs obtained from factory farms.

The hens are moved from paddock to paddock in the rotational management
system by use of electrified poultry netting.   This allows for new
areas to be explored every few days so the hens can obtain vital
nutrients and insects. It also provides excellent protection from
predators.

 Pastured Pigs

Our pigs play a huge role on Sweet Grass Pastures.  They help the soil
"breathe" by digging and moving the earth.  Every few weeks they are
moved from paddock to paddock with the use of electrified fencing.  They
are provided free-choice access to NON-GMO grain and water.  We love to
allow them to root and wallow as they please.  Our pigs get to be in
the sunshine everyday and enjoy everything about what it is to be a pig.

Why choose Sweet Grass?

All of our animals are:

GMO Free

Antibiotic Free

Vaccine Free

Steroid Free

Rotationally grazed

Grass fed

Loved