When we set out to share education about sprouting grains and fermenting feeds, we realized we needed to develop a ready-to-go, easy-to-use kit that would make these heritage farming practices quickly achievable in a homestead or backyard environment. We wanted to make the benefits obvious and the technique approachable. What resulted was our Sprout-Ferment Starter Kit, which shows how easy it is to sprout nutritious, organic grains and ferment our wholesome feeds to get even more out of our quality animal food.
On the surface, sourcing for this product may seem easy. It’s a canning jar and products we already produce. Right? Right. But there was a bit more to it. We made sure the sprouting screens were produced from food-grade stainless steel, and we purposefully made a canning jar work because every homesteader understands the value of a canning jar. For the instructional materials, we queried and tested several sprouting methods for people and for animals, and we worked with regional farmers and a nutritionist to dial in the fermenting ratios best for our feeds.
Finally, we needed to determine how to produce tags for Days 1-2-3 that would make this a fun project and easy to track. We decided on wood tags, because wood is a durable material that reflects our commitment to Mother Nature. In our exploration, we discovered the impactful nonprofit North Eastern Michigan Rehabilitation and Opportunity Center, Inc. (NEMROC) and their talents in woodworking.
We were intrigued to find a nonprofit that works in wood, so we dug deeper. Not only is NEMROC a nonprofit that works in a material we liked and made sense for our products, this nonprofit has been changing lives since 1968. NEMROC provides vocational, personal, and social development opportunities for individuals with disabilities, while engaging the community in working toward a common, positive goal. One of their main product lines is woodworking, and the breadth of their talents range from basswood blanks to boxes and crates to wood kits for building pollinator habitat. Yes, pollinator habitat.
NEMROC launched their Pollinator Project – another fantastic alignment with our mission work to protect all living creatures and expand organic farming practices. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (UFSFWS) has estimated that 75% of all crops are pollinated by insects and birds. NEMROC’s Pollinator Project cleans up and creates new habitat for butterflies, bees, bats, and birds by building homes made from – you guessed it – wood! Pollination by these animals is critical for seed and fruit production in about 90% of flowering plants, according to NEMROC’s website.
From the moment we approached NEMROC’s Executive Director, Dylan Kruse, about our project for wooden tags with chicken flare, he was onboard. He worked with us to develop the right size and shape for the tags. He ran prototypes and took photos. He was incredibly helpful, and it was a pleasure to work with his team on this project.
We started with the desire to create a meaningful product for sprouting and fermenting. Like so much of what we believe in at Scratch and Peck – animal welfare, regenerative agriculture, farmer education, using business as a force for good – we were surprised how working with NEMROC opened an opportunity to create much more than wooden tags. We’re proud of this partnership!