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This week we started a brand new adventure on our farm. We got our first batch of pigs!
The pigs that we are raising are a lesser known breed called an Iowa Swabian Hall. This breed traces its roots back to 1820's Germany. While the breed started to die out in the 1960's as customers preferred leaner pork, this breed has been seeing a renaissance in the US in the last decade. This breed of pork has won many taste testing competitions and is prized by chefs in the midwest.
We're finding them to be very curious, but also very smart. This week we will begin training them to our electric fencing system so that we can be sure they are contained. We hope to have them trained by this weekend and begin the process of moving them around our farm and through our woods. By moving them regularly, the pigs stay healthier and it helps improve our soils and grass growth too! Pigs are also awesome because they can help us to thin out some invasive species that we have on the farm.
We'll be posting more pig photos and videos all summer on facebook and instagram, but here are some pictures from the first few days we've had them.
With a new year upon us, we decided it was a good time to re-evaluate our chicken pricing. Pricing below is current as of 1/14/17 and applies to sales conducted at farmers markets, on farm sales and delivery groups. 2017 turkey & pork pricing will come at a later date.
Whole Chicken: $4.25/lb
Bulk Whole Chickens (10 or more): $3.75/lb
Boneless/Skinless Breasts: $10/lb
Ground Chicken: $6.50/lb
We get asked this periodically. The short answer is no. In order for us to claim to be organic we would have to be certified by the USDA because the USDA owns the term "organic" and you have to ask permission to use it. This would involve hours and hours of paperwork, record keeping, inspections and fees. Honestly as a small family farm, we don't have the resources to deal with all that at this point so we cannot claim to be organic. But there is a little more to this than a simple black and white answer.
In order for livestock to be certified organic it must meet the following criteria:
Now let's look at which of these criteria we follow:
While the short answer to this question is no, the long answer is yes; we meet or exceed the USDA organic standards on all requirements, we just haven't gone to the trouble of getting certified and neither has our feed producer. We like to say that our standards are "beyond organic." The good news is that you're saving money because of the fact that we are not certified. If you have any questions about this, leave us a comment or send us an email!
Food marketing has become a really big deal in recent years. One of my favorite bits of food marketing that you see is "vegetarian fed chicken." For some reason, food marketers have convinced us that vegetarian chickens are the healthiest chicken available. But there's one problem with this that many consumers have started to realize; chickens are not vegetarians. Chickens are omnivores. A vegetarian diet for a chicken is incredibly unnatural.
Yes, our Non-GMO chicken feed is all grains and minerals, making it vegetarian. And no our feed does not contain any animal by-products or anything strange like that. Where our chickens differ is that they're able to forage for the kind of proteins they evolved eating. These proteins include lots of bugs, some worms, and even frogs, snakes or mice if it's their lucky day.
Our chickens love to forage for a variety of sources and this includes animal proteins. We estimate that they get about 20% of their diet from the pasture. That's why it's important that we move them everyday; to keep the salad bar fresh, and the chickens healthy.
I've actually heard people say that there is no difference between our chicken and the chicken you buy at the store. I don't usually argue with these folks too much because I can tell they are just deal seekers and don't care too much about quality. I think most of us would agree that there is a difference between a Kia and a BMW. Nothing against the Kia, it will likely get you where you want to go, but most of us agree that a BMW is higher quality. We work really hard to make sure our chicken is better and we're really proud of what we do. Here is a short list of reasons why our chicken is higher quality than grocery store chicken.
37 Acres Chickens Are:
You might not be thinking about your thanksgiving dinner just yet, but I can assure you that farmers are. The turkeys we’ve been raising since June are almost ready and they’re going to be sold out fast. Below you’ll find all the information you need about our turkeys and how to reserve yours today!