12
Dec
2016

Raising a Different Chicken

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged

The demand for pastured poultry continues to surprise us, and we are very thankful for our customers who have supported us over the past few years! That being said, we are making some major changes to our poultry program for 2017.

Up to now, we’ve been growing the industrialized “Cornish Cross” white broiler meat birds on pasture. These birds grow very rapidly and are ready for slaughter in as little as 6 weeks! This is the same type of bird that is now raised by every major poultry producer and is responsible for more than 99% of grocery store chicken!

Earlier this year (2016) we decided to take things in a different direction and started our own flock of true heritage standard-bred poultry. It became important for us to make this switch for a number of reasons:

Sustainability

We want to produce our own chicks! The Cornish Cross chicken is extremely hybridized and unable to naturally mate. If you want some of these chicks, you must buy them from one of the three companies in the world that owns the genetics. Maintaining our own flock of standard-bred birds gives us the ability to hatch and raise our own chicks right here.

Animal Welfare

We want our birds to have a long, productive lifespan and a normal rate of growth. The modern industrial broiler puts on weight so quickly that it’s bone structure and internal organs can’t keep up.

Breed Preservation

Our heritage poultry breeds are in critical danger of being lost forever. It is vitally important that we preserve this genetic diversity for future generations. The only way these genetics will survive is if we put these birds back into production.

Superior Flavor

The reason “everything tastes like chicken” is because our chicken doesn’t taste like anything. Today’s chickens are bred for rapid growth, not flavor.

The New Hampshire Chicken

We have adopted the New Hampshire as our breed of choice. In the 1940s and 50s, the New Hampshire was one of the most commonly seen chickens on farms all across New England, but they then entered a period of steep decline and near extinction as hybrids began taking over the broiler and egg industries.

Some of our New Hampshire breeders

Some of our New Hampshire breeders

We were unsatisfied with the quality of birds we found at the large hatcheries, but in July we were thrilled to find some great birds from a small breeder dedicated to preserving these genetics. A few months later, we expanded with some more birds from another breeder, and we now believe we have enough genetic diversity and quality stock to maintain our own closed flock through proper breeding. We are excited to be a part of preserving and improving this special breed!

The New Hampshire is an American dual-purpose breed, making it useful for both meat and eggs. Meat production was the primary focus of early breeders, and that is our goal as well. As a result, New Hampshire hens lay fewer eggs than the specialized laying breeds, but they have a much longer productive lifespan. They are also great winter layers, even without supplemental lighting.

In their hay day, New Hampshire males were ready for the table in 12 to 14 weeks. We consider them a work in progress, and expect our birds to be ready at around 16 weeks of age. This is more than twice the age of an industrialized meat bird. The New Hampshire carcass has a higher percentage of dark meat, larger legs and thighs, and less breast meat. The are listed in the Slow Food: Ark of Taste directory as a delicious, distinctive, endangered food.

https://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/new-hampshire-chicken

2017 Chicken Orders

We plan to raise a limited number of these to sell locally in 2017. We are still working out our pricing, but we will need to increase it somewhat to account for the longer growing period.

Enjoying an oven-roasted heritage chicken is a dining experience that few people today have ever had, and we are thrilled to be making this available again!

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Grilled Pork Chops with Coffee Rub

 

Here’s a fantastic, simple recipe for our grilled pork chops! We prefer bone-in pork chops cut about an inch thick.

Dry rubs are also a terrific way to season pork chops. The coffee isn’t overpowering at all, but it does at a subtle flavor that works well with the chili powder and brown sugar. Curious? Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins

* The USDA recommends pork chops be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F

 

Ingredients

  1. 3 teaspoons finely ground espresso coffee
  2. 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of kosher salt
  3. 2 teaspoons chili powder
  4. 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  7. 4 bone-in Pork Chops

 

Directions

1. Mix all of the rub ingredients together well in a small bowl.

2. Generously rub the dry rub into the thawed pork chops and then allow the chops to sit on the counter for about 15 minutes while you get the grill ready.

3. Light the grill and heat to medium high heat.

4. Place the pork chops on the grill. For thinner cuts, 1 inch or less, grill them over direct heat with the lid open. They should cook rather quickly, about 5 – 8 minutes per side (depending on the temperature of the grill obviously). For thicker cuts, grill with a little lower heat and close the lid. The same times should apply, but you may need to go longer. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer, or check firmness using a pair of tongs.

5. Remove the pork chops from the grill, cover with foil or a pan lid, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into them.

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21
Jul
2016

2016 Beef Processing Packages

Posted in Beef Cattle and tagged ,

We’ve updated our beef processing options with three new packages for this year!

Each of these processing options is included in the price you pay for beef. Remember, when you order a quarter or more from us, you pay a single rate, which includes processing costs, on the RETAIL weight of the beef you take home.

Each package can be customized. Just contact us for more options.

Click Here To View Our Beef Processing Packages…

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19
May
2016

Pork Available for Fall, 2016

Posted in Pastured Pigs and tagged , ,

Our Heritage Pastured Pigs

Our Heritage Pastured Pigs

We are now taking reservations for this year’s pastured pork. Our pork is available as a half-pig share and you pay a flat rate for the actual weight of the meat you receive. We will be slaughtering on October 18 and November 1, 2016, and your pork will be available for pickup shortly after this date.

Our Method:

Our pigs are raised outdoors and on pasture at all times. We choose to raise slower-growing, heritage breed pigs for their hardiness and superior flavor. They are regularly rotated to new sections of the pasture which provides them with fresh forage and reduced pressure from parasites. In addition to grass and clover, our pigs always have free-choice access to a fully balanced feed ration of locally produced, non-GMO grains.

Pork Primal Cuts

Each half-pig share will contain the following cuts:

  • 20 Pork Chops (12 lbs.)
  • Smoked Ham (15 lbs.)
  • Smoked, Sliced Bacon (10 lbs.)
  • Spare Ribs
  • Shoulder Roasts (Boston Butt, 8 lbs.)
  • Italian Sausage (10 lbs., 1-lb. packs)
  • Maple Breakfast Sausage Links (10 lbs.)
  • Lard (5 lbs.)
  • Stew Bones

Total take-home weight: approximately 75 lbs. Actual weights will vary.

* Whole pigs are also available with custom cutting options.

Pricing and Ordering:

Please contact us to reserve your half-pig share and let us know your preferred processing date (10/18/2016 or 11/1/2016).

Pricing for a half-pig share is $5.50/lb. based on the actual weight you take home. This price includes the pork, USDA-inspected slaughter and processing, curing and smoking bacon and ham, sausage processing, vacuum packaging, and boxing. (Pricing for a whole pig will be based on $3.50/lb *hanging weight plus actual processing costs. *Retail weight is about 65% of hanging weight)

No-nitrate curing of bacon and hams is available for an additional $10 – $15 per half.

We require a $50 deposit per half-pig to hold your reservation.

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07
Apr
2016

Pastured Pigs!

Posted in Pastured Pigs and tagged

All new for 2016…Pastured Pigs!

These little guys just arrived at the farm a few days ago. They are heritage breed Tamworth crosses, and we will be raising them on an unused section of land just across the road.

New pigs on pasture

New pigs on pasture

Electric polywire netting keeps them where they’re supposed to be. We will be moving them regularly to new pasture throughout the summer once the grass is more mature. For now, they are enjoying some recently cleared scrub land.

Portable Pig Feeder

Portable Pig Feeder

A 55-gallon feeder on skids will follow them around the pasture, providing free-choice access to locally produced grains. Clean water is always available via gravity-fed water nipples mounted on the feeder.

Straw Bale Shelter

Straw Bale Shelter

Straw bales provide an adequate shelter for now, but the pigs generally prefer to be outside. The grassland in the background of this picture is where they’ll be until they reach market weight in the fall.

The pigs are very entertaining to watch and we are looking forward to some great pork!

It’s a good day to be a farmer.

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28
Mar
2016

Chicken Available for June 7, 2016

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged

This year’s first flock of pastured chickens will be available for fresh pickup on June 7, 2016. Our chickens are raised outside in portable shelters and moved daily to fresh grass. We also supply free choice locally-produced GMO-free grains.

We currently only sell entire chickens, either whole (roasters) or cut up (legs and thighs, wings, breast, backs). Organs and feet are also available if desired.

Our price for this year remains the same as last year at $3.00/lb. The average chicken yields about 5 lbs, and you will be billed on the actual weight you take home.

Reservations must be made in advance and availability is limited, so please contact us to reserve yours. Thank You!

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14
Sep
2015

New Calves

Posted in Beef Cattle and tagged ,

The 2015 calves have arrived and are all doing well! It’s a good day to be a farmer.

2015 Calves

Healthy New Calves

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29
Aug
2015

Almost there

Posted in Beef Cattle and tagged

These guys will be headed to the butcher shop in 30 days. They are really finishing out nicely on pasture and some sweet alfalfa hay. No grain at all.

If you have ordered some beef for this fall, we will be getting in contact with you shortly to arrange the details and get cutting and packing instructions. They will be ready for pickup by the middle of October. More details to follow.

We currently have a waiting list for beef, so if you’re interested in ordering from the next batch please contact us soon. We hope to butcher one more toward the end of this year and we will have several head available next summer/fall.

Steers, almost ready...

Steers, almost ready…

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29
Jul
2015

Pastured Chickens, Flock #1

Posted in Pastured Chickens and tagged

We will be processing our first flock of pastured chickens on August 11. Our chickens are raised in the sunshine and fresh air in portable, floorless shelters where they can forage for fresh grass and bugs. The shelters are moved to a fresh plot of grass every morning. We also provide them with all the locally grown, GMO-free, non-soy feed they want. Our chickens have never been given antibiotics or medication of any kind.

Please Call or Email Us to order some healthy, delicious chicken for your freezer.

Chickens on Pasture

Chickens on Pasture

Day-old Chicks

Day-old Chicks

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13
May
2015

Green Pastures

Posted in Beef Cattle and tagged

Finishing steers and bull calves

Finishing steers and bull calves

It’s time for an update and some new pictures. About a month ago, the finishing steers and bull calves were separated from the main cow herd and put on some new, lush pasture a few miles away. Since then, they’ve been enjoying an all-you-can-eat diet of fresh grass and clover.

Young bull calf

Young bull calf

This handsome little brute will be our next cleanup bull. We’ll put him in with the cows after we do AI breeding this fall.

The cows, enjoying their daily allotment of fresh salad

The cows, enjoying their daily allotment of fresh salad

And of course there are the cows. The get moved every day to a fresh platter of forage.

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