Paul Greive was drained on a regular basis. He had joint ache. And mind fog.
At 26 years outdated, having simply wrapped up a deployment in Iraq, the Marine Corps intelligence officer was now being informed by medical doctors that the Lyme illness he contracted in sniper college may linger ceaselessly. Get used to it.
This was 2009 and the anti-inflammatory paleo weight loss program was all the fashion. What did he need to lose?
“Two weeks in, I felt like a child once more,” says the previous All-American faculty observe and subject star. “My joint ache was gone, my power ranges had been up.”
His spouse and brothers noticed the minor miracle and joined him.
“My complete household went on this meals journey,” he says. “My father-in-law misplaced 100 kilos.”
Bread and dairy had been out. Protein was in. However the extra carefully they learn in regards to the factory-farm meat they had been shopping for, the extra hoodwinked they felt. Free-range, as an example, doesn’t essentially contain the outside.
“Generally they use labels to trick individuals,” he says. “There’s a number of shenanigans and nonsense on the market.”
At a 2012 Easter dinner along with his in-laws, Greive joked that they need to elevate their very own meat. His brother-in-law Rob jumped up from the desk and quarter-hour later returned to announce he had simply ordered 50 chicks on-line.
They busted out laughing.
“We had been like, ‘No manner, dude! What are you speaking about?’”
Because the chicks grew, the household realized 50 was possibly greater than they may eat in order that they made a Fb put up, pondering they may promote just a few to offset their prices. All 50 offered inside two weeks. In order that they ordered 100 extra.
“Similar factor occurred,” he says.
Their subsequent order was for 250 chicks. Then 500. Then 1,000. A ready checklist was forming.
“We thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that is loopy,’ he says. “We realized that is most likely a enterprise.”
It was form of good timing. Greive, who was juggling his accounting job and the MBA program at UCLA, was sick of commuting to Los Angeles from his Corona del Mar house.
“And my soul was simply dying slowly in a cubicle,” he says.
So in 2013, shortly after he and his spouse Lynsey had their first child, they left Newport Seashore and moved in together with her mother and father in Temecula. So did Lynsey’s two brothers. Everybody give up their jobs to go all-in on the farm dream. There have been 9 of them, dwelling collectively in a 1,700-square-foot home with a bunch of chickens operating round within the yard.
“It was like this madhouse, chaos always,” Greive says, laughing. “It was gnarly.”
With no common paychecks, they purchased chicks on bank cards and launched a Kickstarter marketing campaign, elevating $60,000.
“Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin grew to become their guru. His books grew to become their Bible, his Youtube movies their classroom.
A newspaper story on their journey drew actuality TV to their Murietta farm like worms draw chickens after a rainstorm. Animal Planet, Showtime and HBO got here knocking.
After some pilot filming, although, the household determined the movie star life wasn’t for them. Seems they didn’t want the celebrity anyway. Pasturebird Inc. has grown into the biggest pasture-raised hen producer within the nation.
There are roughly 900 pasture poultry farms in America, however 95 % of them are small family-owned (typically Amish) farms with 50 and 500 birds. Pasturebird has nearly 100,000 birds on three totally different farms at any given time.
“Our objective is to revolutionize the poultry business,” says Greive, who now goes by Farmer Paul. “We wish to finish manufacturing unit farming. Not by imposing governmental rules, however by implementing a market-based answer to an enormous downside inside our meals system.”
That answer: Rotational grazing.
“We’re making an attempt to duplicate nature,” he says. “In trendy typical agriculture animals are in a stationary surroundings. In nature, animals transfer. We’ve gotten actually far-off from that.”
Pasturebird now not farms in Murrieta however has 140 acres in San Diego County, 100 acres in Lodi and one other 60 acres in Georgia.
“Each day the birds graze, poop, which fertilizes the bottom, after which transfer to a unique plot. Our chickens hit each sq. foot of land 4 occasions a yr.”
The pastures are irrigated in order that the chickens are all the time on grass or weeds or flowers. A cellular tent serves as a large hen coop to guard them from warmth and predators.
That is Salatin’s “symbiotic cycle of feeding” mannequin. His Virginia farm is featured within the documentary movies “Meals, Inc.” and “Recent.”
By holding the soil wholesome, the birds keep wholesome; and antibiotics are usually not wanted. The day Greive met a reporter he was sporting a T-shirt that learn “Bugs not Medicine.”
Components are usually not needed both; no gluten grains. “Simply sunshine, contemporary air and grass,” Greive says. And seeds and worms. “It comes by within the taste.”
Pasturebird chickens have extra darkish meat, extra thigh and barely much less breast. They’re additionally more healthy. Based on Greive, exams present his birds have extra vitamin A and E and omega-3s than factory-farm birds.
“We work with tons of households going by well being stuff, lots of people battling auto-immune problems,” he says. “It’s such an honor to be their drugs.”
In 2016, the Lakers workforce chef contacted Pasturebird to supply them with chickens. “Kobe was battling well being issues,” Greive says. “Then the power coach at Dodgers came upon about us, in order that was tremendous cool.”
Wolfgang Puck is one other movie star shopper. The Pasturebird web site touts a plug from the well-known chef, saying the chickens remind him of those he grew up consuming in Austria.
Pasturebird at present ships to butchers, grocery shops and purchasers in 50 states. Electrical Metropolis Butcher in Santa Ana and The Butchery at Crystal Cove purchase from them. Noble Hen Rotisserie, an elevated chicken-centric restaurant, in Lengthy Seashore, orders from them completely.
Proprietor Sidney Value stated they did a deep dive into poultry purveyors earlier than opening final yr.
“After visiting Pasturebird we had been really blown away,” she says. “Their dedication to regenerative farming … and the standard of their chickens is unparalleled.
Greive says the one time he frightened that possibly he shouldn’t have given up the cubicle life was when coyotes began snacking on the birds.
“Six to 9 months in we misplaced over 1,000 chickens,” he stated. “It was tremendous unhealthy.”
He spent his final $200 on a livestock guardian canine to chase the predators off. Now 20 guardian canines roam the farms.
“They single-handedly saved the enterprise,” he says.
The farms even have grazing sheep and cattle to maintain the pastures trimmed. “They’re dwelling lawnmowers,” Greive says.
Miniature grass-eating pigs graze, as effectively. “They’re the clean-up program,” he says. “And the bacon program.”