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Archive for July, 2013

Last Batch of Chickens

Ryan3

Ryan

jamie

Jamie

It has been a great year for pastured chicken, thanks to the hard work of our chicken caretakers Ryan and Jamie. They have fine-tuned our systems to produce heavier birds with less feed and fewer predator losses than ever before.

We have decided to extend the season with one last batch—to be finished on October 31. It is hard to believe, but we are getting ready to order this last batch of chicks. So if you want to put in an order, it is not too late. But tomorrow (Tuesday, July 23) will be your last opportunity. Just send Steve an email:

email

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Farm sign

It used to be, you really had to look hard to find us. Countless frustrated UPS drivers have given up after searching door to door, and who knows how many potential customers we have lost.  Today we put up a sign by the road that we hope will fix all that.

The sign is just in time for an event we are hosting on Tuesday, July 16th, from 6-8pm. It’s a pasture walk, it’s sponsored by NOFA-NH and Granite State Graziers, and it is open to the public. Steve will give a tour of the farm, and he will explain how he builds fertility in the soil, treats the animals humanely, and produces healthy food. So if you are curious about how sustainable farming might work, what are you waiting for… a sign? Here it is! Come check it out!

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InspectionAnother first for us this month was a visit from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. Small producer-growers like us are not required to have a government inspector present when we process chicken. However, we ARE required to abide by all the food safety requirements of the law–and the government can theoretically drop in whenever they want to see if we are doing it right.  Normally for an operation as small as we are, that theoretical possibility is remote. However, mobile processing units like ours have been popping up around the country, and the USDA is curious and concerned to learn more about them. For our part, we have been bragging about our training, our planning, our testing, and our documentation. So the USDA decided to see how we like the taste of a little scrutiny.

Craig was understandably nervous about the visit—as was our food safety consultant Ellen Weist (herself an ex-military meat inspector). Those USDA guys don’t smile or chat very much. But we did get a one-word report card before they left: “Phenomenal.” Afterward, Craig had to sit down, and we made him breathe into a paper bag.

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