North Lakes Farm is situated on 40 acres of oak and birch dominated forests, pastureland and cattail
marsh teaming with wildlife located between Lake Mille Lacs and the town of Brainerd MN. Common
sights are sandhill cranes, bald eagles, pileated wood pecker, deer, and common visitors but less often
seen are black bear, fisher, bobcat and the occasional wolf. Gooseberries and raspberries abound the
farm and it’s a race with the birds, bears and squirrels to the midsummer harvest. Keeping predators to
a minimum are our only employees, Kali and Fen, our Anatolian Shepherd livestock guard dogs who
oversee the entire farm from the goats, pigs to the chickens.
We raise mangalitsa pigs in our woodlands allowing them access year round to fresh forages of all kinds
from legumes, grasses, forbs, roots to insects in rotting logs as well as the bounty of acorns that fall from the oak
trees that dominate their habitat. Mangalitsa are slower growing than other pigs and take twice as long to get to weight. Mangalitsa pigs were developed in Hungary in the mid-19 th century
and almost became extinct as vegetable shortening replaced lard in households in the 20 th century.
Luckily the breed was revived and is now world renowned for its exceptional meat and fat quality more rich in
omega 3 fatty acids than other breeds and sought for the most delicious charcuterie. The pork of mangalitsa is red as
opposed to “white,” as advertised by large scale pork producers and ours get a ton of exercise and sunlight. Ask anyone lucky enough to have tried
mangalitsa pork and they’ll tell you that the fat, is where it’s at! It doesn’t chew, it melts in your mouth!
Substitute it EVERYTIME for vegetable shortening or even butter or olive oil. The oils from the acorns
not only give the pork a distinct flavor, like the famous Jamon Iberico of Spain, but also add tannins
giving the meat anti rancidity qualities. We also harvest duckweed off our pond as a
sustainable protein source and plan to combine this with the high carbohydrate cattails, acorns,
chestnuts and hazelnuts as the backbone of a sustainable and regenerative permaculture system.
We are offering pastured poultry this year, raised with access to fresh forages of insect protein, clovers, grasses, soil minerals and whatever else the chickens desire! Order yours in advance as we have a limited supply!
Our laying hens are also 100% free range with access to all the protein filled bugs and fresh pasture
salad they want! They routinely graze the rows of pasture between the newly planted hybrid chestnut,
hazelnut, wild plum and nannyberry trees that will provide a sustainable perennial crop in the future
feeding us and the animals. The chickens eat raspberries under bushes so thick it forms a canopy of
protection from raptors as they graze.
Produce we are likely to be offering are heirloom tomatoes, kale, collard greens, garlic, broccoli,
squash and pumpkins. We also offer Minnesota’s treasured wild rice, harvested and processed by hand from Minnesota lakes. We do not use pesticides, herbicides or any other synthetic chemicals on our farm. Our animals are free of any antibiotics or hormones. We invite you to visit the farm to see our operation, contact us in advance for a tour
We are Garrett and Taneal Palmer. Our intention is to grow nutritious food, be land stewards, teach our children the value of both and share with others in this endeavor. We love farming together as a family, outdoors activities in general, and relaxing when we can and having a good laugh!
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