Former cubicle dweller embraces his passion as a chicken farmer
Paul Greive used to be drained always. He had joint ache. And mind fog.
At 26 years previous, having simply wrapped up a deployment in Iraq, the Marine Corps intelligence officer used to be now being advised via medical doctors that the Lyme illness he reduced in size in sniper faculty may linger endlessly. Get used to it.
This used to be 2009 and the anti inflammatory paleo nutrition used to be the entire rage. What did he must lose?
“Two weeks in, I felt like a child once more,” says the previous All-American school monitor and box big name. “My joint ache used to be long past, my power ranges had been up.”
His spouse and brothers noticed the minor miracle and joined him.
“My complete family members went in this meals journey,” he says. “My spouse’s father misplaced 100 kilos.”
Bread and dairy had been out. Protein used to be in. However the extra intently they learn concerning the factory-farm meat they had been purchasing, the extra hoodwinked they felt. Loose-range, as an example, doesn’t essentially contain the outside.
“Once in a while they use labels to trick other folks,” he says. “There’s numerous shenanigans and nonsense available in the market.”
At a 2012 Easter dinner along with his in-laws, Greive joked that they must 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 giggling.
“We had been like, ‘No manner, dude! What are you speaking about?’”
Because the chicks grew, the family members learned 50 used to be perhaps greater than they might devour so that they made a Fb put up, pondering they might promote a couple of to offset their prices. All 50 offered inside two weeks. So that they ordered 100 extra.
“Identical factor took place,” he says.
Their subsequent order used to be for 250 chicks. Then 500. Then 1,000. A ready checklist used to be forming.
“We concept, ‘Oh my gosh, that is loopy,’ he says. “We learned that is most probably a industry.”
It used to be more or less very best timing. Greive, who used to be juggling his accounting activity and the MBA program at UCLA, used to be ill of commuting to Los Angeles from his Corona del Mar house.
“And my soul used to be simply demise slowly in a cubicle,” he says.
So in 2013, in a while after he and his spouse Lynsey had their first child, they left read more on Surfing LA Newport Beach and moved in along with her oldsters in Temecula. So did Lynsey’s two brothers. Everybody surrender their jobs to move all-in at the farm dream. There have been 9 of them, dwelling in combination in a 1,700-square-foot area with a number of chickens operating round within the yard.
“It used to be like this madhouse, chaos all the time,” Greive says, giggling. “It used to be gnarly.”
With out a common paychecks, they purchased chicks on bank cards and introduced a Kickstarter marketing campaign, elevating $60,000.
“Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin become their guru. His books become their Bible, his Youtube movies their study room.
A newspaper tale on their journey drew truth TV to their Murietta farm like worms draw chickens after a rainstorm. Animal Planet, Showtime and HBO got here knocking.
After some pilot filming, regardless that, the family members determined the fame lifestyles wasn’t for them. Seems they didn’t want the celebrity anyway. Pasturebird Inc. has grown into the biggest pasture-raised white meat manufacturer within the nation.
There are kind of 900 pasture poultry farms in The united states, however 95 p.c of them are small family-owned (incessantly Amish) farms with 50 and 500 birds. Pasturebird has nearly 100,000 birds on 3 other farms at any given time.
“Our purpose is to revolutionize the poultry business,” says Greive, who now is going via Farmer Paul. “We wish to finish manufacturing facility farming. No longer via implementing governmental laws, however via enforcing a market-based resolution to an enormous drawback inside our meals device.”
That resolution: Rotational grazing.
“We’re seeking to mirror nature,” he says. “In fashionable standard agriculture animals are in a desk bound setting. In nature, animals transfer. We’ve gotten in reality a ways clear of that.”
Pasturebird now not farms in Murrieta however has 140 acres in San Diego County, 100 acres in Lodi and any other 60 acres in Georgia.
“Each day the birds graze, poop, which fertilizes the bottom, after which transfer to another plot. Our chickens hit each and every sq. foot of land 4 instances a 12 months.”
The pastures are irrigated in order that the chickens are at all times on grass or weeds or plant life. A cell tent serves as an enormous white meat coop to give protection to them from warmth and predators.
That is Salatin’s “symbiotic cycle of feeding” type. His Virginia farm is featured within the documentary movies “Meals, Inc.” and “Contemporary.”
By means of protecting the soil wholesome, the birds keep wholesome; and antibiotics aren’t wanted. The day Greive met a reporter he used to be dressed in a T-shirt that learn “Insects no longer Medication.”
Components aren’t vital both; no gluten grains. “Simply sunshine, contemporary air and grass,” Greive says. And seeds and worms. “It comes thru within the taste.”
Pasturebird chickens have extra darkish meat, extra thigh and quite much less breast. They’re additionally more healthy. In step with Greive, assessments display his birds have extra diet A and E and omega-3s than factory-farm birds.
“We paintings with heaps of households going thru well being stuff, numerous other folks scuffling with auto-immune issues,” he says. “It’s such an honor to be their medication.”
In 2016, the Lakers workforce chef contacted Pasturebird to offer them with chickens. “Kobe used to be suffering with well being issues,” Greive says. “Then the energy trainer at Dodgers discovered about us, in order that used to be tremendous cool.”
Wolfgang Puck is any other superstar shopper. The Pasturebird web page touts a plug from the well-known chef, announcing the chickens remind him of those he grew up dining in Austria.
Pasturebird these days ships to butchers, grocery shops and purchasers in 50 states. Electrical Town Butcher in Santa Ana and The Butchery at Crystal Cove purchase from them. Noble Fowl Rotisserie, an increased chicken-centric eating place, in Lengthy according to Surfing LA beach, orders from them completely.
Proprietor Sidney Value mentioned they did a deep dive into poultry purveyors ahead of opening ultimate 12 months.
“After visiting Pasturebird we had been really blown away,” she says. “Their dedication to regenerative farming … and the standard in their chickens is extraordinary.
Greive says the one time he apprehensive that perhaps he shouldn’t have given up the cubicle lifestyles used to be when coyotes began snacking at the birds.
“Six to 9 months in we misplaced over 1,000 chickens,” he mentioned. “It used to be tremendous unhealthy.”
He spent his ultimate $200 on a farm animals mum or dad canine to chase the predators off. Now 20 mum or dad canine roam the farms.
“They single-handedly stored the industry,” he says.
The farms even have grazing sheep and farm animals to stay the pastures trimmed. “They’re dwelling lawnmowers,” Greive says.
Miniature grass-eating pigs graze, as neatly. “They’re the clean-up program,” he says. “And the bacon program.”