Almus Farms is a small family farm in Southeast Idaho -- Bear Lake County. Almus, in Latin means to nourish or nourishing. This is at our core of operations. Everything we do is to bring nourishing, nutrient dense, natural foods to our members and community.
We do not follow traditional methods of farming, but instead embrace regenerative models. Our focus is actually the soil and grass. We rotate animals daily, keeping them exposed to fresh grass and soil. This allows portions of our pastures to rest for many days or weeks before we bring animals around again.
While the animals graze, they drop their manure and add biomass to the soil, rich in nitrogen and serves as food for the grass. The animals also till this land up under them, then are moved to a new section. The used sections are watered, then in about a week we have a lusher and richer patch of grass thats ready for more animals.
These methods are championed by widely known advocates like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.
Who Are We?
Our lead farmer is Richard Spencer. As a child, he grew up visiting the Bear Lake Valley in the Summer or Winter months to spend time with his family for family reunions or to be around and learn from his grandfather John, a traditional farmer. Richard's father (John's son) decided to raise him and his family in California due to career opportunities and schooling, but it was in 2020 while visiting his family that Richard decided to go back to this natural life and follow in his grandfather's footsteps.
Ashley Spencer, Richard's wife, is our lead biologist and conservation officer, specializing in avian and plant life. She has her Master's degree in Environmental Science and a Bachelor's in Environmental Studies.
Together, they balance the work load and manage this small farm. The animals are kept and managed by Richard, while Ashley fills the role as baker and chef so the farm can offer high quality, hand made foods like fermented sauerkrauts, pickled vegetables, fresh baked local sourdough bread and much more.
Both our farmers have left high paying, high skilled jobs in large multinational companies to live a simpler, more natural and wholesome life and farm to feed themselves and their community.
Farming is a holy calling. Who else is willing to get up at sunrise every single day, work with animals all day outside despite the weather to make almost nothing or just try to break even year after year? We are called by God to feed our people and trust in God that we will make it to another harvest. --Richard Spencer
After changing their lives completely and facing record winter conditions in Bear Lake, both of these two will keep going as long as there is a market for clean, natural, pasture raised meat and homemade goods.
Our Farming Principals
Regenerative agriculture allows for maximum yields on smaller parcels of land. It restores the land to its more natural state using livestock. It is through this method that Joel Salatin's family purchased a run down old, mostly dirt property and have turned it into a lush, natural farm that produces tens of thousands of pounds of pasture raised meat for thousands of families and raised the value of the farm to millions.
It takes patience and persistence to work this method. Traditional agriculture has you use large portions of land, allowing animals to graze wherever without being moved from section to section. Typical ranching uses horses to corral the cows and large tractors to till the land and mix manure into the soil. Regenerative farming is a more active farming role that gets to the heart of what is good for the soil and land in the long term.
Honoring Traditions and History
Utilizing regenerative processes and methods for farming may seem new or non-traditional, however, it is actually based on historic farming traditions in early American and Native cultures. The method for farming by moving your animals daily comes from the historical observance of large herds of ungulates eating and crossing the plains of North America. These herds ate, manured, then moved on. The great plains were a test bed for this "new" farming methodology prior to the normalization of industrial farming.
We also use historic food preservation methods in the kitchen like grandma would have. We ferment, pickle and can most of our harvest in order to preserve the dense nutrients in our foods. Members buy these foods to restore their microbiome and gut health, as well as the enjoyable taste of fermented or pickled ingredients.
Although regenerative farming is considered "new" it is based in history and the traditions our pioneer forefathers established for us long ago.
A "New" Model
Traditional farming and selling methods used today destroy farms with red tape, fees and paperwork. Although the methods guarantee a government job, it does not increase safety or efficacy for the consumer. There are more rules on sellers of food today than ever before in history and yet people are sicker today than ever before.
Farms need to adapt to survive in a new market and era that is constantly pushing for more volume and less for quality. The food in the grocery store is less nutritious today than it was in our parents and grandparents generations. This is due to industrialization in agricultural production. Volume is favored by large corporate entities instead of smaller sustainable practices that restore the land.
Most chickens, for example, even if they're labeled "free-range" are simply raised in large indoor commercial buildings in an area that never changes. Chicken manure up builds up, polluting the air around them causing lung issues. The space is often big enough for one square foot per bird, but there are so many birds that many get crushed or die from respiratory issues.
Although consumer trends fluctuate, the purchasing of higher quality meats raised and butchered in a natural setting are on the rise. With the popularity of farmer's markets and direct to consumer sales, the consumer is telling the industry, "We want change and better quality."
This is where the private membership association comes in. Due to all the red tape and fear mongering of non-corporate farms "safety", many small farms get buried in licensing and regulation traps, while not really ensuring product safety or education. We have more red tape today, yet there are still massive food and product recalls after injury occurs. It is apparent that big government cannot ensure your safety. Remember, this is the same government that used to recommend refined sugar in the everyday diet, smoking and thalidomide to pregnant women which resulted in irreparable birth defects and mutations.
We at Almus Farms trust the consumer to know what is good for them. We trust in telling the truth and educating the public in our regenerative methodology. We explain the differences between our ways and the current "traditional" ways of farming. We believe the consumer will choose what is best for their health and wellness.
To cut through all this red tape and to put trust directly into our customers, we decided to form a private membership association in order to trade directly with our supporters. Every customer reads and signs a membership agreement and pays a membership fee, just like Costco or Sam's Club, then places their order.
Going with a private membership association allows us to not only put our trust directly in our customers, but it allows us to expand our market to anywhere we can ship. Almus Farms will ship your products to you within the lower 48 states as long as you are a member.
If you're visiting from a distance, we offer ways you can stay here or stay locally and pickup. We just want you to get the best quality food that we can provide.
Private membership, guarantees that our transactions are private and held in the highest of confidentiality from any agency or business.
To join our Private Membership Association (PMA) please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call or text us at (208)244-0420. We have a digital membership agreement you can sign right on your computer to get started away.