June 24, 2009

more farm press

We recently wrote an article for the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) newsletter which just came out. We did a presentation at a recent farming conference and were approached and asked to write about how we started farming.
We have really been working our butts off so when something like this comes's kinda nice.
And Nate was just interviewed on our local NPR station as part of a short 3 part series on sustainable farming along with some other farmer friends. Nate's in part one.

June 9, 2009

harvesting chickens for food

The 9 year-old I mentioned.... this is the paper she wrote for school about what she learned.
Harvesting Chickens for Food
By Blue Park
First, you put the chicken in a cone, not a ice cream cone, upside down.
Then, you cut off the head.
Next, hold the chicken in the the cone until the rest of the body stops shaking. It doesn't hurt the chicken because it happens so fast.
Then, you stick it in hot water that helps the feathers come off more easily.
Next, you stick the chicken in a plucker that takes out the feathers.
Last, you take out the insides.
When you go to a farm you can learn a lot. This is one thing I learned.

Future farmer, Blue
Future farmer, Blue

June 3, 2009

the cycle continues

We are beginning to recover from last week.
We completed the HUGE job of harvesting over 200 chickens which we did in 2 days. There's no way around it, it's part of the cycle and it's really hard work. Some very good friends generously donated their time to help us. One of our friends brought his 9 year-old daughter as it was the only way he could come.
She has been to the farm several times and the plan was for her to hang out with another adult elsewhere so she didn't have to witness her cute little chicken friends meeting their fate. We have been amazed so far about how much she 'gets' this whole farming thing and how she understands why we do things differently than most commercial farmers. But she really surprised and impressed all of us by asking if she could watch the slaughter/processing and then being totally cool with it. She was full of questions about the process and completely understood that this was necessary to turn the chickens into food for people. It was fascinating to watch the light bulb above her head as she thought "Oh, so that's how they get to look like food." She even wrote a report for school about how to harvest a chicken humanely. With her and her dad's permission, we might share that report someday in a later post.
And so the cycle continues. With that batch gone (batch #1), the "teenage" birds (batch #2) who are currently inside need to be moved out to the recently vacated outdoor pens. This must be done to make room for the next batch of baby chicks (batch #3) arriving Friday.
Now, if we could just get a break from the rain....
The lambs are doing well adjusting to their permanent outdoor status. They're starting to figure out how to use the shelter to get out of the rain. We're using electrified fencing that is move-able with step-in posts. We're now moving them to a new patch of grass about every day. They're like little 4-legged lawnmowers!