June 29, 2011


Kristen, John and Lynn

Brent and Kristen

Kristen, Jen, Michael Paul, Kristin and Brent


Kristen, John, Brent and Lynn

deep breath

We're recovering from a 2-day extravaganza of processing our first batch of birds of the season. We're overflowing with gratitude as we think about the amazing friends of the farm who donated their time to help out. Everyone did a great job and were genuinely interested, enthusiastic and so helpful. Our birds turned out big, beautiful and from what we've heard so far, very tasty!

On Sunday, once we had processed our last bird and dealt with our last customer, the second half of the job began. Clean up, breaking down chickens, dealing with organs and parts and organizing the freezers. It would be days before we could rest and before the smell of chicken disappeared from my hands.

This processing was a bit more of a challenge than the rest. For starters, it was our first batch of chickens since 2009 at the old farm, but even more challenging is that this time I was almost 5 months pregnant. Crating up birds the night before and lifting multiple crates of 8 birds weighing 6-7 pounds each up onto the truck, only to lift them off the truck again. Standing all day while processing. Unable to take as many breaks as I should have to pee, drink water and put some protein in my mouth. Preparing food to feed the volunteers. Cleaning and setting up the processing equipment, 2 days in a row. Bagging birds and cleaning up afterwards. It was, all in all, a 5 day event and it was a lot harder than it used to be.

All I can say (again) is that I'm most grateful for all who helped. Most of all though, the person deserving the most thanks and who never gets to show up in photos, is Nate. He has the hardest job. He's in charge of the general set up. He does most of the cleaning and the rigging up of tents and awnings and making sure the equipment runs well. Most importantly, he has to kill these animals we've spent the last 7 weeks caring for. . . and he does it with love, respect, humor and grace. It wears on a person, I know. But he handles it so well and I never fear that our animals are feeling anything but calm and happy until their last moments. Thank you, Nate.

Wow. Pregnancy makes life just a little bit harder. I feel like I've run the longest marathon and all I want to do is hibernate for a few days.

I know, I know . . . there's work to be done for the farm doesn't sleep.

June 22, 2011

the start of the 2011 CSA (and chickens!)

The Blackberry Meadows CSA starts today so if you've been planning to sign up but just haven't gotten around to it, now is the time! The form you need to fill out is here and here's a great explanation of why things are starting a bit late this year, though I think you know why.

And . . .

We will be butchering our first batch of chickens of the season this weekend and you'll have a chance to purchase fresh (not frozen), organic, pasture-raised chicken this Sunday.

We've switched to certified organic feed this year for all of our poultry which has been a long time coming. We haven't been able to afford it and we haven't wanted to ask our customers to pay more for chicken but we just can't morally feed or consume conventional grain anymore. Unfortunately, that means the price has to go up. Just as we were making plans for a season's worth of chickens, the cost of grain skyrocketed forcing us to decide if we can continue to raise poultry. We're still hanging in there for now and instead chose to do a much smaller batch this time.

That means numbers are limited so we need you to pre-order between now and then. We'll confirm your order by email until we run out of birds to sell.

Hope to see you!