Matt Valenziano was a hobby farmer in Rolling Prairie, Indiana for ten years while also serving full time as a chemist and project manager for a custom water testing facility in Granger, Indiana. It was during that precious time on his Indiana farm that Matt managed to teach himself the nuances of raising organic vegetables, blueberries, chickens, hots and cattle.
Now, teamed up with his wife Heather, they are rockin' the range with their sustainable farm, Primal Roots Farms, on South Park Road between East Empire and East Napier Avenues in Bainbridge Township, south of Coloma.
Launched in April of 2017, Primal Roots Sustainable Farms is the brainchild of Matt & Heather who both proudly proclaim their health fanaticism and also point with pride to Matt's practice of raising livestock originally to feed his own family with the cleanest meats possible. Heather was a vegetarian when the couple met and ever since then the two have taught one another the value of creating a healthy and balanced diet that is all super clean and naturally raised.
Heather tells me, "Our goal is to offer that same sort of lifestyle to like-minded consumers in Michigan and the surrounding states as well." She adds, "If they want to know exactly where their family's food comes from and how the animals were raised, Primal Roots Farms is a great option for them."
At their new Primal Roots Farms, Matt works the farm full-time and Heather joins him there for projects whenever possible. While she provides the back office support in sales, marketing, filling orders and deliveries, Heather continues to also work full time as a freelance Executive Producer of corporate communication programs and events for Fortune 500 companies around the country and globally. The goal is for Heather's time between freelance work and work on the farm to balance out to a 50/50 proposition and then slowly decrease the corporate work until she is on the farm most of the time as well, but she adds, "Obviously, as a start-up sustainable farm, this will take time."
Heather says, "Our customers are always remarking at how amazingly different our products look, smell and taste. Matt continues to refine his techniques to provide the best products possible while honoring the lives of the hundreds of animals in our care until they leave us, to come back processed and ready for our freezer."
The philosophy at Primal Roots is pretty basic, they believe nature has things figured out already, so their processes always try to mimic the way they would be found in nature.
With a herd of 100-percent Grass Fed and Finished Beef, the Valenzianos suggest, "Our cattle eat our 'salad bar' pastures exclusively, we don’t feed them any grain. They grow at a more relaxed pace and we think it’s better that way."
Primal Roots Farms also offers Pasture Raised Chickens. Their chickens eat pasture, bugs & non-GMO grains from a local Amish feed mill. Their website reports that their birds are outside at 3 weeks of age, and spend the rest of their lives outside in fresh air, sunshine and pastures that we move them through," adding, "We use a day range system where the birds free range in a pasture during the day and sleep in an open air coop at night."
Primal Farms Pastured Pork comes from pigs that are rotated through their own pastures, where they can dig in the dirt, eat bugs & plants and non-GMO grains from the Amish.
Additionally, the Primal team offers Free-Range Eggs, saying, "Our egg-laying hens are completely free range. They are free to roam our 27-acre pasture and look for all of the bugs and plants that they would like to eat. They are never confined. Our coops are open air and the birds are free to come and go as they please. We supplement with non-GMO grains from the Amish. Letting the chickens eat a free choice diet of what they find on our pastures increases the nutrition and flavor."
Explaining their whole concept, the Valenzianos say, "It's our focus on the animals eating our pasture plants that sets us apart. Everything is pasture-based. We don’t use any herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones." Essentially they suggest, “You are what your food eats, and you can’t have good health if you don’t eat nutritious food."
All of Primal Roots Farms products are processed at USDA or state inspected facilities, depending on the customer.
- Pick up at farm or in St. Joseph
- Monthly drops in St. Joseph, Chicago, South Haven, Grand Rapids, South Bend
- The Collective, 234 Territorial, Benton Harbor, MI (www.rebel-coop.com)
- The Purple Porch, 123 N. Hill Street, South Bend, IN (www.purpleporch.coop)
You can find a current price list by clicking this link:
Quarter and half shares of pastured pork and grass-fed beef are available by calling or texting 269.214.6836 for information. Limited quantities of roaster pigs are also available at that same number.
You can also sign up to be part of the Primal Roots "Tribe," wherein you will receive a weekly e-mail with details of what is going on at the farm and what they will have at the farmer's markets, drop locations or available on line that week.
The photo accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is courtesy of Primal Roots Farms.