In 2014, Grant and Alison Goldberg started Twisted Pines Farm with the goal of wanting to help people “Eat Different.” Grant is a third generation native to Colorado and grew up right here in Black Forest. Alison moved here from central Texas right after high school and never wants to call anywhere else home. Their dream was to raise livestock but do so in a way that their animals could grow and be nurtured in the way they meant to live.
They raise both meat chickens as well as laying hens for eggs, heritage breed pigs, cattle and turkeys. Their meat birds are raised in a special structure with propane heaters until they are three to four weeks old, then they spend the rest of their lives in the fresh air, out on pasture doing what chickens were meant to do.
The Goldberg’s don’t use any fertilizers or pesticides on their grass; they only use “sunshine, rain and prayer.” They don’t raise commercial breed meat birds, but rather an older meat breed called a Freedom Ranger. They have over 13 different breeds of laying chickens and the eggs come in an interesting assortment of colors, such as green, blue, brown and white.
Grant also loves to share his passion of raising animals with several workshops given throughout the year with his favorite being their “Chickens 101” class. They happily teach anyone who’s ever wanted to raise chickens the ins and outs of keeping the birds here in Black Forest.
They not only have chickens, but they keep many very content, pasture raised pigs. The main breeds being Yorkshire and Berkshire, which are well known heritage breeds. The Goldberg’s pigs have lots of open space and room to do what pigs are meant to do. They naturally mitigate the forest by rooting out baby trees, stumps and other clutter as well as clearing land for other plant species to grow. As a bonus, pine needles are a natural dewormer for them as well. The Goldberg’s spend each Saturday moving all of their electric fences so that the animals can have a new area to enjoy each week.
The taste of the meat of these naturally raised animals is completely different from store-bought pork. While pasture raising pigs might seem odd to many, Grant and Alison wouldn’t raise them any other way.
They also raise cattle that are 100% grass fed. They lease land close to the forest where the animals have plenty of grazing as well as a natural creek that runs through the property. They use no antibiotics, hormones or other additives in any of their meat. The cattle are never fed corn or grain, both of which are not the natural food for these animals.
Although their products are not certified “organic” by USDA, the standards they set and use can best be described as “beyond organic.” By letting the animals do what they are meant to do and using no chemicals at all, their animals have a better life than any of their counterparts in the industrial food system.
There have been stories of “organic” meat producers using such components as arsenic in the feed of their chickens to kill bacteria, which is not healthy or encouraging.Studies have shown that the absolute best nutrition is to eat locally produced foods and it also stimulates the local economy.
Their eggs are sold by the dozen and chickens sold individually, either whole or in parts. Their pork is sold by the whole and half while their beef is sold in quarter or half shares. They also sell a 35 lb. sample box of their beef so that customers can try the different cuts.
They do things differently than most producers by including basic processing in their prices. Grant will explain to any customer what the different cuts are and go through the cut sheet process with them. That is very helpful to those not used to buying in quantity. Deposits for their beef and pork are due by July 1 and they tend to sell out quickly.
Their two small sons are very fortunate to be growing up in our beautiful Black Forest, eating their home-grown vegetables and healthy meat. They also employ local high schoolers every summer to help on the farm and get some valuable experience in the farming life.
For more information, call 719-322-1987, visit TwistedPinesFarm.com or email Info@TwistedPinesFarm.com.
Article by Sarah Dumler and originally published in the Black Forest News & Palmer Divide Pioneer on June 8, 2017. Revised and re-formatted for publication on this site.