Pasture Raised Poultry

January is the month that I figure out how many birds to raise during growing season. I'm a little behind on doing that, for a couple of reasons. 

  1. I really am not a big fan of chickens...okay they are like mini dinosaurs and scare me. *there I said it*
  2. The local processor is in the process of trying to sell their business. They are still processing but a lot less birds. The other USDA poultry processor is on the east side of the state.

There's a new vendor at Fulton Street Farmers Market, that sells poultry. I don't know a lot about them. What I do know is because they come from Northern Michigan. They can do it cheaper then a farmer like me in West Michigan.

Yes, West Michigan is not a cheap place to live. The feed prices are adjusted according to the area we live in, much like the gas prices or the grocery store prices. *this isn't news, if you have ever traveled around Michigan*

How does any of this effect you?

I will only be raising poultry for Woodbridge Meat CSA this year. 

If pasture raised poultry is something you really like from us. I would recommend signing up for our CSA. You can just choose chicken as your meat choice, which means once a month you will get pasture raised poultry from us. 

I have a two chicken recipes we shared last year with our Meat CSA members. 

Cast Iron Whole Chicken

Savory Chicken Salad 

 

 

 

Ground Beef is versatile

Ground beef is so versatile to use. It's also one of the most expensive meats to have processed.

Our steers are born and raised on our farm. We know exactly what they have been fed from day zero. Meaning we had...

  • to feed the momma
  • to breed the momma
  • to wait for the baby
  • to deal with the teenager cattle *place eye roll here*
  • to get to adult stage
  • to harvest 2 years later.

You get the idea. 

Our Farm (Woodbridge Dairy Farm) doesn't buy a half or whole hanging animal or go to the local animal auction house to purchase some other farmers half finished cattle or hogs and say it's ours. Even if it's cheaper to do it that way, and we know a few farmers or vendors who do it that way. It works for them and they can sell cheaper, because they have less invested. 

I have to be able to look you in the eye at the market or farm and know that I'm offering you the best, healthiest meats we can raise from the conception.

You vote with your money on how your food is raised. 

Ground beef is expense just for the simple fact that it's ground. Grinding cost extra to have done at the local processor. There's a lot of grind on a whole beef so spreading the cost it much easier to do then, a steak where there's less of them on the whole beef. 

Ground beef recipes are a dime a dozen...I do have a couple recipes that use over and over. Crowd pleasers. These recipes were first shared with our Meat CSA members. 

Sloppy Joes

Oven Jerky

Milk in glass bottles

I’m proud to say we use glass bottles. Here’s our pros and cons to why we made the decision to go glass and not plastic.

 Milk is always better in glass!  

Milk is always better in glass!  

Pros  (of glass bottles)

•glass keeps the milk cold longer

•glass doesn’t leave a weird taste in the milk like plastic *chemicals anyone*

•glass is 100% reusable, rinse, wash, refill, repeat 

•saves money in the long run because we reuse

•glass is 100% recyclable, melt, reshape, reuse

•less plastic for our earth, we only get one of those so let’s take care of it. 

•we like how they look, old school, milk delivery

Cons  

•pain in the hinder to wash all those bottles 

•glass breaks, I dropped a whole crate of full glass milk bottles once *crying over spilled milk*

•the sound they make together, tink, tink, tink

•returning the bottles, or on my end, not enough bottles being returned

•large upfront cost to purchase glass bottles

Our pros out weighted our cons. We farm with the earth, the animals and you in mind...why would we work so hard to raise healthy animals that produce  nutritious delicious milk and serve it to you in anything but the best, drink milk from glass. 

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P.S. It’s 2018...let delivery begin!  

Here's to the New Year! The Year of the FARMILY.

The dairy industry has been struggling for the past two years as a whole. I'm not a usually a pessimist, but I don't for see it changing for the better. That's why all the letters and cards we have gotten from the dairy industry are about preventing farmer suicides and "you are not your business" bullsh!t.

Yes, I know that I'm valuable to many and I'm not my business. I have family and friends. The best thing is I have a FARMILY. Let me explain. 

My definition of FARMILY: Individuals that care enough to buy locally from a real farmer to fulfill their story. 

They aren't just customers. They are people that have reasons or stories of why, they have come to us. We are blessed enough to be part of their story. I can't tell you how touched I am when I get to hear their story. 

The beginning, the middle, and to be continued...

I would love to share some of the many stories I hear. I can't do that without my Farmilies permission. 

So my request to you this New Year is share your story with us. We would love to share with everyone else. 

You never know when a simple story can change someone else life. Words are powerful

Here's to 2018 being the year of the Farmily.

Happy New Year!

~Farmer's Wife Karin

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Memorial Day

5/27/2013: The day of remembrance. I would have liked to have gone to a couple of gravesides and put flowers into place. That was not going to happen on Monday. If those individuals were alive today I'm sure they would understand, one being a farmer and the other a milk hauler, both Veterans. Here's the recap on the day. A glove was sucked into the milk pump, spent part of morning pulling pump apart and repairing. Neighbor needed his hay baled, we have are hay down too. Rain was suppose to come in the evening. It started raining well baling hay. I blew the front tire on the tractor. We went and borrowed tractor from another neighbor. One more field to finish baler broke down. Yes, it's still raining! Hay is still in the field. Three heifers (new moms, new milkers) had their calves. The last calf we had to go find out in the tall grass. She kicked and fought my son, who was trying to keep her in the back of the pickup truck. We didn't finish chores until 10:45pm. It was a long day! But Grandpa would understand why I didn't visit his grave on Memorial Day.

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Will live or will die? That is the question.

This cow was past due and we were concerned for her and her calf on 4/21/2013. Time to go in and check. The calf is backwards. She didn't want to lay down. We had to use a calf jack to help her birth him. He came out and was still alive. He had a lot of fluid in his lungs. The farmer said he won't live. So the question was will he live or die? The good news is Kinder is still alive. He's a fighter like his mama!

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Water, water, we need rain water!

Water, water, and a lot of work. We haven't seen rain in sometime that our corn looks much like pineapple in the field. Yesterday was 101 degrees that's not including the humidity. Today is going to be 103 + humidity. We have been spending late nights out in the fields moving irrigation pipes and setting up spray guns. We have hung sprinklers in the barn rafters for the cows. It's so hot the cows pant with their tongues hanging out. We are still praying for rain!

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The "Redesigned" Fulton Street Farmer's Market

The "redesigned" Fulton Street Farmer's Market is now celebrating two things. First is the new roof on the market. The second celebration is the market has been established for 90 years. I am very proud to be part of this establishment. Here are a few pictures of the market. It's still a work in progress, so there are some issues that are being worked out. However, Yeah, No tarps to put up!

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20120518-092734.jpg What's wrong with the first picture? Birds might be a problem. The market is beautiful!

Building a Duck Barn

The weather has been perfect for this job. My husband, our hired hand and I have been working on building a place to put my ducks. I really think that my hubby wants his barn back, so he decided to put a lean-to on the back side for my ducks and I. Our hired hand got to earn his PHD. Which stands for Post Hole Digger! I dug a couple of holes too! We put the first rafter boards up and squared both ends. Strung lines to follow and the rest of the poles went in pretty smoothly. We then started to lay boards across the rafter boards. We aren't finished yet but this is what we have accomplished thus far. I really hate to tell my hubby that he will still have to deal with the chickens that live and roost where every they please. (which is over top of his tractor). I will post more pictures as the barn progresses.[gallery columns="7"]