Sunday, January 17, 2010

before the storm

My latest flurry of work has been about finishing my second eggmobile so I could get my flock two out into their new home. It seems only a couple per day escape the netting/hardware cloth and have to be caught when the door gets closed.

The picture below is flock one. These birds are laying well and seem happy and healthy despite the wet conditions.

I also moved the pigs before the big storm. They had pretty much finished off the first area I had them in, and the areas I added to that area, and it was time to move them before the storm pinned us down. I put them in a prior year's garden to let them tear it up and stop the weed cycle.

The sheep are now opposite the pig's new area...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 customer email

I sent out my first email to customers and friends today. Sums up what we have available in terms of product, so I figured I'd paste it in here also...

Happy 2010 to everyone. Now is the perfect time to let you know that we've planned a ramped up season this year, as last year was a sell-out every single harvest.

This year, the first 2 Sunday/Monday afternoons most months will be chicken pickup days excluding September and October due to the dry grass season. The 2010 price for our chicken is $5.00/lb.

We will be harvesting the Saturday before pick-up this year so that the meat will have been "rested" (for tenderness) for 24-48 hours by the time you get it. The pick up times will be Sunday afternoon from 3-5 and Monday afternoon 4-6 (you don't have to tell us which window you'll come in--just place your order for that harvest). You'll get a reminder email the Friday before the harvest.

Here's the list of chicken pick-up days: March 7/8, March 14/15, April 4/5, April 11/12, May 2/3, May 9/10, June 6/7, June 13/14, July 4/5, July 11/12, Aug 8/9, Aug 15/16, Nov 7/8, Nov 14/15

In other good news, since we like variety and dislike inhumane, environmentally unsustainable, confined animal operations, we've expanded our efforts to include lamb and pork. Sure, almost all lamb is grass fed, but they are excellent mowers and fertility builders, and a very welcome addition around here. Pork rips and roots up pasture like crazy, but now we can retire our diesel powered roto-tiller, and there is no better example of inhumane animal production than intelligent hogs raised in concrete boxes. They say a pig's happiness is measured by how far up their face the mud stain goes. Ours have mud up to their ears! Fill your freezer with meat that you and mother nature can both feel good about! If you find someone to split a half hog or lamb with, you don't even need a big freezer (you just have to get rid of a few of the mystery items back in there, like the 2 year old tater tots, which is a good thing!)

The hogs and the lambs will be ready around April/May, and I am taking orders now. Lamb is priced at $3/lb and we will only sell them whole (about 70 lbs.), and pork will be $4/lb for a half hog and $3.75/lb for a whole hog (about 220 lbs.) The animals will be humanely harvested by the butcher (Willowside Meats) and then prepared according to your taste (you will call them to specify how thick you like your pork chops, how much you want made into sausage and so forth). You will be buying the live animal from us, but don't worry, you won't get it until it is packaged up and frozen, and you'll pick it up at Willowside. In addition to paying Felton Acres the price of the meat, the butcher (Willowside) charges a harvest fee (around $50/animal) as well as a "cut and wrap" fee (around $0.70/lb) which you pay directly to them. Get your orders in soon to ensure your share!

Once again, it was a pleasure farming for you in 2009 and we look forward to seeing you all when you come pick up your chickens. Thanks for being such mindful eaters!

-Mary and Marc