Apr 052013

By Julie Wiessner
Day-Star Farm owners Brad and Dr. Hannah Rishel have partnered with Milky Ranch owners Traegen and Marilyn Knight to provide beef that is free of added hormones and antibiotics, and is available through the Day-Star Farm website.
The Knights’ ranch is just down the road from the Rishels, east of Petrified Forest National Park on Highway 180 in Apache County. “Combining Milky Ranch beef with Day-Star Farm produce means making one stop to obtain a whole meal that is nutritionally dense, locally grown and not genetically modified,” said Brad Rishel.
Another first for Rishel is having market hours at the farm from 4 to 6 p.m. on Fridays now through just before Thanksgiving. Rishel is willing to add more market hours if the Friday hours work out as he hopes they will.
Located a half-mile east of Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood store on Highway 180 in Holbrook, the farm boasts of health giving foods. Rishel said he feels it is important to grow this kind of food for optimal health.
As an example of the importance of nourishing food, he noted, “In the ‘30s or ‘40s, you could eat one orange to get an abundance of nutrients from that orange. Today, you would have to eat anywhere from six to eight oranges to get the same amount of nutrients as was found in that one orange back then.”
In order for the food to be as nutritious as possible, Rishel uses mycorrhizal fungus with his plants, which he says creates a, “symbiotic relationship with the plant. This relationship helps the plant to mine, or absorb, more nutrients from the soil, creating a more vitamin laden product.”
Besides being nutritive, these plants are not Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and are usually referred to as non-GMO. Rishel said he feels it is also important for people to know the difference between GMO and non-GMO seeds. There are two ways a seed is genetically modified: it has either been crossed with another seed of the same species, creating a hybrid; or it has been bioengineered, meaning two genes are spliced together from completely different species, like a bacteria or a virus gene spliced into corn.
The food grown and sold at Day-Star Farm is Certified Naturally Grown, making it non-GMO.
“We do have a limited supply of health food bulk items, but are trying to figure out what people want, and will order or grow what they need,” said Rishel.
There are some items available for those who are gluten intolerant, like his granola and gluten free cookies. For those with similar or differing needs, Rishel said, “Let us know and we will see what we can come up with.”
Those who cannot come by on Friday can always call to make other arrangements with the Rishels. “The ideal way would be for people to make an order online and choose to either pick-up or have items delivered to their door,” stated Rishel.
For more information, visit the website at www.day-starfarm.com.