Simple, Natural, Beautiful: Briar Rose Farm
Written by Steph Rodriguez
Photos courtesy of Briar Rose Farm
Want to order a few pasture-raised broiler chickens from Briar Rose Farm? Find Briar Rose Farm Lamb on Facebook and contact Jane Scheuermann.
Turkeys at Briar Rose Farm
Life on the farm is simply paradise for Jane and David Scheuermann. Together, they tend to the 40 acres of Briar Rose Farm in Oroville, Calif., where they pasture-raise chickens, cows, lambs and a few goats just for good measure.
“Where we live used to be an old dairy farm, and there’s an old rose bush that — I kid you not — is as big as a small shed. It’s been there maybe 60 years,” Jane says. “It’s an old-fashioned, huge rose bush that blooms once a year, and it’s covered in white blooms. It’s a wild thing, and that’s how I came up with the name of the farm.”
In 2013, the couple started to sell their livestock to a few clients by word of mouth, then at local farmers’ markets, and now Jane has a weekly route on Thursdays where she delivers her naturally raised broiler chickens, raw cow’s milk, and dozens of farm-fresh eggs to regular customers. Although raw milk has its misconceptions, Jane says it all boils down to knowing your farmer because there’s nothing like the taste of fresh milk, without any additives.
Briar Rose Farms
In fact, it was additives and preservatives in a majority of grocery store products that steered Jane toward raising healthy farm animals in the first place.
“You start looking at labels and you say, ‘Oh my gosh! There’s no food in the food I just bought,’” Jane says. “There’s chemicals in a lot of ingredients. I also found out how they were processing chickens, and then I couldn’t buy chicken at the store anymore, even if it was cheap. So we just started doing this for ourselves and then decided to offer it to other people.”
All animals who live at Briar Rose Farm have the lay of the land. The chickens live in a mobile chicken coop that she drives from pasture to pasture to ensure her chickens have ample room to stretch their wings and cluck happily. Jane and her husband use electric netting to keep predators such as coyotes, foxes, and skunks away from their brood.
“We move the egg house and we move the electric netting to a fresh pasture, and then they have that for a little while,” Jane says. “After a week or so, we move it all again so that they’re always rotating.”
The mobile egg house at Briar Rose Farm
Another perk of farm life for the Scheuermanns is lambing season. Jane is no stranger to spending all night in the barn watching carefully over ewes bringing new lives into the world. Each year, Briar Rose Farm expects up to 50 lambs and sells them once they’ve reach five months of age. With cute lambs and their wobbly legs scattered about, Jane can’t help but get attached from time to time, and she admits that she’s kept her fair share of animals as longtime companions, from chickens to a wether lamb nicknamed Tyler the Terrible.
“Sometimes you have to bottle feed them, and you get attached,” Jane says. “We have Tyler the Terrible. He was very sick when he was little, so I brought him up because his mom wasn’t a very good mom. He came up to the house and lived in a playpen in the living room. He wasn’t a very good eater, but we discovered the one thing he really did like was orange sherbet until I finally got him to drink some milk.”
Jane Scheuermann and Tyler the Terrible at the Farm City Harvest Celebration
In addition to its lambs, Briar Rose Farms sells about 1,000 broiler chickens a year and upwards of 20 dozen eggs each week. And with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Jane imagines they’ll also sell about 25 pasture-raised turkeys. It’s a lifestyle that she says she wouldn’t change for the world. It’s a home she’s built with her husband over the past 30 years that they now share with their daughter, Maggie, and her two twin daughters. There’s nothing quite like life on the farm.
The Scheuermanns’ granddaughters spend lots of time at Briar Rose Farm
The “It’s not about getting rich, that’s for sure. It’s a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t trade the life I live with all the animals and having the kids be able to be here,” Jane says. “That rural lifestyle, it’s worth it. It’s just so worth it.”
Steph Rodriguez is an award-winning freelance journalist who keeps a close eye on the food and music scene in Sacramento. With more than 10 years’ experience as a writer, she crafts stories that mirror the vast and diverse culture of the region. From entertainment and lifestyle features to profiles with a farm-to-fork interest, she aims to capture the best of Sacramento.