The summer of 2012 was a challenging time.  With a month of no rain, we culled some of our old cows and invested in portable fence so we could graze fence rows.  This was to take advantage of grass to feed the cows.  Everything seemed to be going well.  The main cow herd was on pasture until January 1, 2013.  Never have we ever grazed that long into the winter.  In fact that is more than 2 months longer than normal.  This was needed because we didn’t make much hay because of the drought.  Still everything seemed to be OK.  Then the cows/cattle started going through the stored hay.  This stored hay went fast.  We never imagined they would eat so much.  So here we are, 2 weeks away from the normal start of grazing season.  Typically for us this is April 15th.  We did buy some expensive hay and I thought we would make it.  Last weekend it became very clear that this would not happen.  So on Wednesday, I took 6 nice feeder steers (about 500lb calves) to be sold at the local livestock auction barn.  This does 2 things.  One, less hay needed.  Maybe the hay I have will last.  Two, if we need to buy more hay, I have the cash to do that.  The problem is all these calves would be food on someone’s plate next year.  Not sure how it will all turn out, but it appears some of my customers won’t be able to buy beef next year.  We are glad that God is in control and has a plan.  Hopefully we are accurately deciphering that plan.

Farmers have long been looked upon with respect, as should be the case.  They grow the food that feeds us.  As a result, common sentiment says we need to help or save the farmers. But do we truly want to save the farmer and the farm, as we know them today?

My passion is farming, but I depend on my job as a school bus mechanic to pay the bills.  Recently, at work, we switched to using renewable diesel in our buses.  We’ve been told this helps the environment, but does it really?

Bio-diesel is a byproduct of soybeans.  Ethanol, which fuels our automobiles, comes from corn.  The average American crop farmer now grows corn and soybeans that have been genetically modified (GMO); and the ground is regularly sprayed with Round Up, which kills all beneficial microbial life in the soil.  Is it right to ruin the soil in order to save the oil?

The issue doesn’t completely stem from the farmer, however.  In an effort to expand his farm, meet the needs of a growing population, and increase his profit he is only doing what he is told.  He is “farming” the way the university studies and the chemical companies tell him is the “right” way.  And currently the trend is to increase corn and soybean production in order to create more “earth friendly” fuel sources in order to decrease the need for fossil fuels.  But, sometimes the “experts” are wrong.  The “farmer” needs to consider why he is doing what he is doing.  Is there a better way?

My thoughts and ideas have changed a lot in the last couple of years.  I was that “farmer”.  I went to the University to learn the “right” way.  The problem is the “right” way wasn’t working for me.  There had to be a way to farm without all the costly equipment, chemicals and fertilizers.  It is not the way God intended us to steward the earth.  Modern farming is ruining the top soil, which causes more need for artificial fertilizers to encourage crop growth and chemicals to kill the weeds and bugs that infest the growing infertile soil.  This in turn depletes the nutrients that are found in soil and breaks down the natural processes that help to keep us and our environment healthy.  It is a vicious cycle.

God has gradually been answering my questions and has opened my eyes to show me a better way; a way to build soil, not deplete it; a way to grow quality food without depending on outside resources that cost money and destroy the earth worms and other beneficial living creatures who find their homes in and above the ground.

I certainly don’t have all the answers; not even close.  But I do know that the way modern civilization has been stewarding the land is not working.  We need to get back to the basics.  We need more small farmers to use the natural resources and techniques God has provided for us, not the costly farming techniques, chemicals and fertilizers created by so called “experts” that have been stripping our land of its necessary top soil and creating many other problems, all in an attempt to come up with alternative sources of fuel.

We’ve known for quite some time now that the amount of health insurance we pay through Joel’s job is going to increase tremendously.  Today we found out it will be increasing 1028%!  Ouch!!  There really is no way we’ll be able to maintain our insurance.  Fortunately we have several months to figure out what we’re going to do.

But the question I have to ask is how did we become so dependent on insurance companies in the first place?  As our nation becomes sicker and sicker, health care becomes more and more expensive, people take more and more drugs, we rely more and more heavily on insurance companies and the government to help pay for our treatments.

Two thoughts are currently swirling through my head.  First, our dependence on the United State’s health system has become a god to us.  We can’t live without it.  We have to have it, or at least we think we do.  We trust in it.  Our fear of not being able to afford the latest and greatest medications and treatments for our diseases and illnesses, and ultimately the fear of death, has overtaken the trust we have in the One True God.  Health insurance is very helpful and there is a time and a place for allopathic medicine, but we have forgotten that God is the ultimate healer.  When we place our trust in Him and obey Him He promises to take care of us.  He says it over and over and over again in His Word.

Second, we’ve placed so much trust in the current system that we’ve forgotten about (or are perhaps ignoring) prevention.  Turn on the T.V. or walk into any grocery store and we’re assaulted by the lure of sugar and processed foods.   We’ve become so addicted to these so called foods and we don’t even know it.  At least 80% of our illnesses are diet related.  Take sugar for example.  Processed white sugar is not food.  It comes from a plant, but it has been so processed and altered that it has absolutely no nutritional value.  Sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, causes acidity in the body.  Acidity breeds illness.  Bacteria, viruses, and yes, cancer, thrive on sugar.  Choosing to fill our bodies with living food rather than processed, sugared up, chemically laden and altered so-called foods will help us to avoid illness and thus our dependency on health care.

One of the best preventions for avoiding colds and flu is to get enough sleep, eat living food, drink lots of clean water and avoid sugar.  Quit eating that cake and the Christmas candies.  Stop drinking pop!!  Yes, it tastes good, but we don’t need it!!!! Our kids think we’re terrible, but we greatly limit their sweets, especially during the winter time and we’ve been healthier in the past two years than ever before.  I’m not saying we don’t get sick, but illnesses are fewer and farther between and much shorter lived.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about food and health over the past couple of years and I’ve learned a lot of things, but sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between truth and what seems like someone’s crazy theory about what is good or bad for us.  The conclusion I’ve come to is this:  The most important thing we can do for our bodies is fill them with living, unadulterated foods.

Living foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, and meat that has been raised on pasture and not injected with chemicals such as growth hormones and antibiotics or fed food they were never created to eat.  Living foods supply us with nutrients that our bodies can actually absorb and use.  They help to hydrate our bodies, provide energy and promote healthier immune systems.  Living foods are life-giving.

Dead foods are processed and contain no nutritional value.  They’re basically filler. White sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives and chemicals fill our boxed meals and canned foods, our favorite crackers and chips, cereal, snack foods, and drinks. Many of these foods have been so processed that they have to be enriched with vitamins and minerals (mostly synthetic) to make them appear healthier. Dead foods suck the life out of us and promote disease.

I spent much of my life eating processed food and was always tired and sluggish and without energy. Since changing the way I eat I’ve had so much more energy and have been able to deal with life in a much healthier and more positive manner.  My body is much healthier too.  I don’t ever want to go back and if I could, I would choose the same for you.

I really like to eat.  Not so long ago my favorite meal was pepperoni pizza and potato chips.  My favorite fast food was the Big Mac and French Fries meal with a nice tall glass of coke.  And then there was the candy, sweet and sour or soft and chewy…so yummy.  I pretty much lived for the next meal.  It was the highlight of my day.

Then I got sick.  It began as a small discomfort at the top of my stomach and it wouldn’t go away.  It continued to worsen until stomach acid was shooting into my throat and I could no longer eat much of anything.  Doctors diagnosed me with esophagitis and GERD, gave me the latest and greatest medications and told me to stay away from the foods that bothered me.  The problem was, I didn’t know which foods bothered me.  It seemed like they all did.  Out of desperation I found a doctor who would remove my gallbladder in hopes that my problem would be solved.  It turned out to be a completely unnecessary surgery, but I was desperately searching for a “simple” cure that would still allow me to eat my favorite foods.
I became extremely malnourished, felt miserable and looked very unhealthy.  I cried out to God, asking Him to help me.  There had to be a solution, and there was.  At first, God met my physical needs by leading me to a website and an eating system that would ultimately lead to my physical healing.  Six months later and 50 pounds lighter I began to heal.  But there was far more to it than that.
It often isn’t until we lose something dear to us that we realize where our priorities lie. Food had been my very close friend and it was when I could no longer eat the pizza, the Big Mac, or the Mexican food that I came face to face with the painful, yet liberating truth.  I was a glutton.  Food was my idol and had become an addiction and a stronghold that prevented me from experiencing a deeper relationship with God and the freedom He wants me to experience; the freedom that comes from trusting Him to meet all my needs.  I’ve begun to taste that freedom and it’s far more delicious and satisfying than any food could ever be.
God saw my depravity and allowed me to experience physical brokenness so that my eyes would be opened to my spiritual brokenness.  He has forgiven me and has called me to a higher standard.  It is this higher standard that has brought me to my knees in search of His will and His truth and His knowledge.
So, what does all this have to do with His Acres?  Everything.  Had it not been for this experience my family would still be consuming the Standard American Diet and living as the majority of our country does, sick and becoming sicker.  We would still be eating supermarket meat and drinking homogenized/pasteurized milk.  We would still be eating processed vegetables and fruits instead of fresh. We would still be eating white flour and sugar instead of unprocessed whole grains and natural sweeteners.
There is a much better way and I would encourage you to seek the One who knows the best way.  Let Him show you the truth about the foods you consume and the motivation with which you eat.

We used to call ourselves Pleasant Hill Farms and never had any intentions of changing our business name, but earlier this year we felt impressed to change our name to His Acres.  There are many experiences that brought us to this point but the culmination of these experiences has taken place in the last three to four years; a time of pain, surrender and growth.  For me it was a time of surrendering my will and learning to trust God.  I had grown up believing in God, but never realized how much I didn’t really believe Him.  I had been running from Him instead of running to Him.  At my lowest point, I was finally ready to surrender everything to Him; to open my fists and allow Him to take all my fears, pain and selfish desires.  I was ready to seek Him with all my heart and face the truth; a truth that wasn’t always pretty, but when embraced was liberating. Recognizing that God is the Creator of all things and that he created every human being to have a relationship with Him was huge for me.  Everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him; our cars, our homes, our money and our families are all His.  Our lives exist to bring honor and glory to the One and only God, Creator, Father, recognizing that we would not be and could not survive without Him.  Thus the name, His Acres.

© 2014 His Acres Farm Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha