January 1, 2016

It's not chicken feed

Mercer producer speaks to GAIA

By STU MERRY

Starting a farm virtually from scratch, and seeing it become self-sustaining through lots of hard work is gratifying for any producer.

For Annie and John Carlson of Morning Joy Farm northwest of Mercer, their passion for raising animals and making a small farm setting profitable is paying dividends beyond their wildest dreams.

Annie was the featured speaker at the Garrison Area Improvement Association’s annual meeting, Monday.

She shared her story of how she, John and their family have become self-sufficient in the organic farming industry.

The family raises a wide variety of livestock and poultry, including chickens, turkeys, which are the family’s biggest seller, grass fed organic dairy cows and sheep, pastured pork and ducks (notably for eggs for those who are unable to eat chicken eggs).

The Carlsons offer value-added farm products as well as catering.

In marketing their homegrown products, the Carlsons have a clientele of bulk customers, a buying club and freezer club.

"It has really exploded and now has more than 30 customers," Carlson said about the freezer club.

Catering wasn’t in the original plan, but it has blossomed.


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