The Journey

Farming & Nature in Harmony

In Spring 2017, to the dismay of our friends and family, we abruptly sold our house in central Austin and traded city living for life on Shirttail Creek Farm just outside Brenham, TX (about halfway between Austin and Houston). It would be fair to call this a leap of faith...

THE JOURNEY (continued...)

After a 15 year career in Digital Advertising and chasing the life we thought we wanted we realized we were on a path that wasn’t actually fulfilling for us. So with two kids in tow (1 and 3 at the time) we set out to lay down some roots on a farm where we could raise our kids, and build a life full of meaning and purpose. Were we naive to the realities of what we were doing? Absolutely. But if it wasn't for ignorance and a desire for adventure, nobody would ever take any risk at all! And so the journey began.

Moving to the farm was the beginning of an awakening for us. Yes we moved away from our favorite coffee shops, our friends, and our comfort zones, but we also thrust ourselves into a life that didn't allow us to hide when the weather turned bad or call for help every time the tractor broke down or an animal got sick.

It was also the beginning of our evolution around how we view food. Before moving to the farm, we shopped at the big fancy 'granola' grocery stores in Austin and bought foods with packaging that had all the right buzz words. Organic, Sustainable, Natural, Humane, etc....But how was all this stuff made and with what? Well it turns out organic sugar will still give you diabetes!

As our eyes opened to the many problems that exist in our food system as well as the the plentitude of disinformation that informs the food buying decisions of so many of us we wanted to make a positive change by producing real, unadulterated food and giving people the option to buy from the farm instead of the supermarket.

Family Owned

Shirttail Creek Farm is run by Sam and Carolynn Moffett and our small and amazing team! No factory farming over here!

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100% Grassfed
and Finished Beef

At Shirttail, we are passionate practitioners of the art of growing and finishing cattle on grass WITHOUT the use of any grains!

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Regenerative Farming

We run our farm in the image of a healthy ecosystem, where diversity is favored and precious resources are valued.

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Our Farming Practices

A lot of people throw around the word Regenerative these days. I myself become wary when I hear people use it or see it on product packaging. It's prone to abuse by brands that want to satisfy the consumer's desire to "check that box" when buying their food.

The fact is that regenerative agriculture is an amazing approach to farming that has the ability to revolutionize the way we produce food all while rebuilding our topsoil, sequestering Carbon from the atmosphere, and greatly reducing or eliminating the need for chemical inputs.

The foundation of Shirttail Creek Farm is our soil and each of our animals adds value in it's own way. I'll use this space to expand a bit for those of you who want to know more!

Each fall we plant a mixture of winter grasses (oats, wheat, rye grass) along with a mixture of legumes (vetch, clover) and even some brassicas (been liking Daikon Radish for the long root it sets and leaves in the soil). The grasses build amazing root systems in the soil and hold it together while also sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and putting it in the ground! The legumes pull nitrogen from the atmosphere and cycle it with the grasses and other plants providing natural fertilization. The root vegetables that we plant provide some forage as the cattle, chickens, and pigs like to eat the greens and sometimes the roots, they also set a deep root in the soil that, once the growing season is over, begins to break down and release nutrients to forages that grow in the next season!

When summer is on the way, we plant a different mix of season appropriate grasses and legumes to feed our cattle in summer and enrich the soils for the next spring!

As the grasses begin to grow, we graze our cattle using a managed intensive grazing program that involves moving them each day to a fresh piece of pasture. This allows the cattle to eat the forages while depositing their own 'organic matter' back in to the soil and then moving off that piece of land for 5-7 weeks to allow it to rest and regrow.

While all this is happening we're also moving our broiler chickens' tractors daily to ensure the birds have fresh pasture and to ensure the even distribution of their manure! Our pigs rotate in the more heavily wooded and well shaded parts of the farm into new large paddocks every few weeks.

Our laying hens are on a weekly rotation. Every thursday is layer house move day. It's well known that unless there is lightning in the field, we're moving the hens. It takes us about 3 hours with all hands on deck to move all of our 13 large pasture coops as well as feeders, shade tarps, drinkers, etc. This is important because our several thousand hens poop a lot and need to be moved to fresh ground regularly. The system we employ is awesome. Where the hens spend the summer, we plant winter forages and the cattle graze in winter and spring. Where the hens spend winter, we plant summer grasses and graze the cattle in the summer and fall. It's a beautiful system and it has made a HUGE difference in our pasture fertility over the years!

Well, I could write chapters about our farming practices and if you bump into me somewhere and ask me about it, there is a good chance you'll get more than you bargained for! Hey this is my passion! So if you have specific questions about how we produce our products just give me a call or email number is on the bottom of the website and you can email me through the contact us form! You should be able to call your farmer after all! Ultimately you need to know everything there is to know about your food....and I'm here to help! Sam

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