ABOUT OUR FARM:
Thank you for visiting our web site. The Tiny Texas Ranch is actually a small local family farm operated by the Wolfe family in Harlingen, Texas. We feel people have a right to know where their food comes from so we support the move back to local food production. The meat we raise is born right here in Cameron County Texas on our 17 acres under the watchful eyes of Ken, Kay, and Josh. In addition to raising animals, we raise pesticide free fruits and vegetables that vary throughout the season.
Since we are small, not all products are available at all times. When we do have products available, we'll post that on our blog page so check in with us often. In addition to viewing our products, you can follow along through the seasons and learn with us as we face challenges and experiment with new things. This web site is not only to tell you about our farm but we hope it serves as an inspiration for you to experiment with raising your own food. The benefits go much farther than great taste and nutrition. This is a very rewarding way of life.
If I had to describe our farm or our products in one word, that word would be REAL. Real food to me is food created the way nature made it before scientist became involved. Today's food has changed more in the last 100 years than the previous 2,000 years. The baby boomer generation is the first generation to eat foods raised on artificial fertilizers, sprayed with chemical pesticides (both plants and animals), raised or fed genetically modified seeds, using scientifically created freakish animals kept alive and growing on antibiotics and in some cases arsenic and/or hormones. They have done a fantastic job in bringing us a constant food supply at a cheaper price than ever before (compared to a percent of our income). But, there is an alternative and that is food raised the way your great grandfather probably raised it.
Here at the Tiny Texas Ranch, we use the heritage breeds as well as heritage seeds. Heritage simply means they were around generations ago before agriculture became large and genetically modified. These animals were selectively breed to grow and prosper outdoors on grass because that was the methods used at the time. If you didn't raise your own feed, you didn't have any so farmers then were more self sufficient and sustainable. Animals were also selected for their taste since the farmer that bred them also ate them. Since we eat ours too, we never feed antibiotics or enhancing drugs, ever! Animals have been raised successfully for thousands of years before such aids and we see no need to start now. Just like they did one hundred years ago, we use only natural herbs and organic products. We did extensive study and research and learned the key to healthy animals is healthy soil and balanced minerals. Nearly every ailment from parasites to infection can be traced back to either a mineral imbalance or a man made problem.
We are members of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) and work diligently to preserve several breeds of livestock that were once common in this country but are now near extinction due to the demise of the family farm. You can help us save these breeds simply by buying their products. For many years, we bred, raised, and sold heritage pork but have set that aside for now in order to have more time with our dairy cows.
We feel the past has much to offer current farmers but we see no reason to avoid improved techniques and products if they truly are improved and sustainable. I refuse to plant genetically modified seed but have no problem trying a new vegetable created by selective breeding using the genetics we currently have. We love the latest in machines too. Ken milks a cow everyday but he is disabled so he uses an electric milker instead of doing it by hand. We feel it is a great improvement in cleanliness too so we don't avoid it just because our grandfathers didn't do it that way. We like to take the best from both worlds.
We feel we are without doubt one of the most blessed couples on earth to be able to work with these animals and till the soil that sustains us all. Our animals and gardens are not just a job to us, they are our passion We even prefer vacationing here instead of going elsewhere. After all, I can't think of a more beautiful or relaxing place to be than right here on our Tiny Texas Ranch surrounded by life and nature changing every day.
Ken and I were both raised on small farms in Arkansas where we grew up gathering eggs and feeding animals from the time we could walk. Ken worked in the fields starting in grade school and then later for neighboring farms as a teen. Instead of growing up with video games, I passed the summer months shelling peas or tending the garden when I wasn’t riding horses for hours on end. That love of the land and nature brought us together with a shared dream of having our own farm. It took a lifetime to make that possible but that dream came true at a place known as Wolfe Mountain.
By the time we became farmers though, farming had changed. It looked nothing like the farms we knew as children. They had become corporate conglomerates and the animals were no longer treated as animals but objects. They became “protein units” that were pushed to produce as much as possible in the smallest space possible. Most breeds were unable to survive that sort of condition so they were quickly discarded in favor of the one breed mentality pushing many of our heritage livestock to the brink of extinction.
In the name of more profits, most of these animals are fed antibiotics and a cocktail of stimulants to keep them alive and growing fast. Needless to say, these methods have been extremely successful at feeding the masses but we want to provide an alternative. We decided to go back to our roots of Heritage farming since we were going to be eating our own products and were tired of eating “fake” food, as we call it. Taste and quality became our number one goal as we set out to find the best breeds to produce.
In 2009, we moved our farm and our family from Wolfe Mountain to the Tiny Texas Ranch in the fertile Rio Grande Valley due to Ken’s failing health from years of working in the chemical industry. Now that our farm is smaller, we are forced to produce less so quality over quantity is even more important now. We can’t feed the world but the folks we do feed eat the best in the world!
Our goals on the farm are to:
To preserve rare breeds of farm livestock selected especially for their quality.
Provide a healthy and humane environment for our animals and family.
Preserve and teach the crafts of self sustaining skills and practices.
In addition to our meat producing animals, we have a couple of draft horses that were bred and trained to work the land and pull wagons that can be used here on the farm. No, we are not Amish but admire their dedication to preserving the Heritage lifestyle. We also use many tried and true methods of preserving the harvest and have our own kitchen grain mill to grind whole wheat into delicious breads and pastries. I even make my own cheese and yogurt from raw milk. It is much more simple than you would think and certainly better than purchased.
We would love to meet you and your family so if you have a small farm in the valley, contact us so we can form a co-op of fellow farmers. There is nothing like meeting like minded people who share an interest in animals and the earth.
The Art Work:
The painting of the turkey and the spotted pig on our logo shown above are of our animals by a wonderful artist and friend, Carolyn Guske. She is a champion of endangered livestock and continues to capture their beauty in her unique and charming style.