Arriving at the “cabin in the woods” we were welcomed by a warm fire and a tour of the home butcher shop where Grubby and his friends usually process their deer and the occasional pig.

I learned later that Reuben and I had witnessed the traditional way of making scrapple in the woods over a fire by cooking down the bones in the cauldron.

I was definitely an outsider in this bunch of old deer hunting buddies, being the only woman present most of the time.

Growing up as the only girl with four brothers, I’ve always been comfortable with “the guys.” I’m wise enough to know though, that “the guys” elevate their language and manners when “a lady is present.”

blazing campfire with people around in the night

The hands on education was incredible – I learned so much.

  • Pig brains are the size of a golf ball!
  • Band saws cut bones like they cut wood.
  • Five pigs is too many to do in one weekend – even with five guys and one lady
  • An electric hand drill with paddle attached is great for stirring large quantities of food.
  • Scrapple is made from bone broth.

Let’s Talk Bone Broth

Making broth from a turkey carcass at thanksgiving or from a whole chicken for chicken soup shouldn’t be a new idea for most cooks. Cooking the last of the meat until it falls off the bones is a great way to get more value from your meat purchase and to have the best flavor for your soups and gravies.

Understanding that actual nutrition comes from the bones of the well raised animal is a revelation to many.

Let’s talk about bone broth and give you the perfect recipe to get you started using any type of bones.

Steeped in tradition and backed by emerging scientific research, bone broth is a foundational element in promoting gut health and alleviating symptoms of chronic health conditions.

Understanding Bone Broth

Bone broth is a rich, flavorful, liquid crafted from simmering animal bones, connective tissues, and aromatic vegetables in water over a prolonged period. This gentle simmering process releases collagen, gelatin, amino acids, minerals, and other bioactive compounds, which imbue bone broth with its nutritional density.

Collagen, the primary structural protein found in bones, tendons, and ligaments, serves as the cornerstone of bone broth’s nutritional profile. As the bones simmer, collagen breaks down into gelatin, a substance known to support joint health, promote skin elasticity, and fortify the intestinal lining.

Amino acids in good quality bone broth, such as glycine, proline, and glutamine, play important roles in immune modulation, tissue repair, and gut integrity.

The Potential of Bone Broth for Gut Health

Many families turn to bone broth when dealing with food allergies, sensory and behavioral disorders which can be symptoms called “leaky gut.”

The gelatinous liquid formed during the simmering process soothes the intestinal lining, aiding in the repair of damaged epithelial cells and reducing gut permeability. Research suggests that gelatin and collagen supplementation may mitigate symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), offering relief to those grappling with chronic digestive disturbances.

Inflammation is usually present with these health issues.  The good news is that the amino acid profile of bone broth, particularly glycine and glutamine, exerts profound anti-inflammatory effects within the gut.

Amino acids foster an environment conducive to healing and alleviate harmful immune reactions. By nourishing the gut microbiome and bolstering mucosal immunity, bone broth serves as a cornerstone in restoring balance and resilience to the digestive tract.

Addressing Chronic Health Conditions with Bone Broth

Emerging research suggests that the bioactive compounds found in bone broth, including glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and hyaluronic acid, may exert protective effects on the gastrointestinal tract.

Collagen, in particular, serves as a critical component in supporting joint health, cartilage integrity, and connective tissue function.

By replenishing the body’s stores of collagen through regular consumption of bone broth, individuals with arthritis, rheumatoid conditions, and joint pain may experience improvements in mobility, flexibility, and overall quality of life.

Old Timers & Bone Broth

I doubt that the fathers and grandfathers of yesteryear knew the health benefits of simmering bones, organs and meat scraps from butchering their animals.

Rather, it was always a way of not wasting and being frugal with what you spent time and energy raising for your family.

Here’s my description of how scrapple can be a Superfood rather than a guilty pleasure.


Tips for Using Bone Broth Daily

Integrating bone broth into your diet can be simple and enjoyable.

Here are several ways to start:

  1. Begin your day with a nourishing cup of bone broth as a warming, morning ritual.
  2. Use bone broth as a flavorful base for soups and stews.
  3. When making gravy, white sauce or cream sauce add bone broth
  4. Experiment with different herbs, spices, and vegetables to customize your bone broth to suit you.
  5. Substitute bone broth for water or stock in recipes for added benefit.
  6. Eat Scrapple from Willow Haven Farm

Farm Family Hack

We use bone broth when making rice or polenta, instead of water.

What Bones Should I Use?

When finishing dinner the kids will often remember to ask, “Mom, where do you want the bones?”

If I’ve served pork chops, chicken, ham, duck or a bone in roast, I’ll always tell them to put them in the soup pot, or the Instantpot.

What bones can you use for bone broth? The answer is any bones: large or small, many or few.

But of course, using the the best quality raised animals is the most important.

Conventional, mass produced, feed lot meat will not have the quality or quantity of collagen and other nutrients that will enable healing.

Even if you have a bone broth recipe, download this new recipe for Healing Bone Broth with Any Bones.

This bone broth recipe will:

  • extract minerals from the bones with vinegar
  • suggest the vegetables to add for mineral absorption
  • guide your water choice when making broth
  • storage tips
  • suggest how to extract quality cooking fat from your broth

Download Recipe

As Always…

We support your desire to have a good, healthy way of life and food on your table that supports that goal.

We’ll keep farming for you!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

Download Recipe

P.S. The Farm store is open on Saturday to help you stock up on eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables, natural cleaners, home remedies and more.

Open this weekend!

Market Hours: Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Be Inspired by Your Farm Community!

Making Bone Broth in the Woods + Easy Recipe to Make Your Own 2

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Disclaimer: Willow Haven Farm and our associates are not medical professionals, and the information provided is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Reliance on any information provided by Willow Haven Farm and our associates is solely at your own risk.