Friday, November 5, 2010

Recap of the week


CHICKENS (we are so thankful the big snow storm didn't hit until Wednesday morning, the day AFTER the processing)

A quick recap of the last processing. We processed our last and largest batch of chickens on Oct. 26 2010. We've sold about 3/4 of them so we still have some in our freezer for sale. We're quite happy to be done with this year (mostly done, aside from 10 turkeys and a couple dozen laying hens). Thank you all for your interest and supporting our farm. We are happy to spend the winter preparing for next year! In case you're new to our blog, we have red rangers (a traditional chicken with lots of white breast meat & a mild flavor) and turkens (a heritage chicken with more dark meat and a richer flavor) for sale. They are $4.25/lb. which comes to about $15-20 per chicken depending on the size. We sell whole chickens only, and these chickens were raised free-ranging on pasture in Draper, Utah. Email us to order. The turkeys are all sold out, but we're going to have much more next year. Also, to get on our email list for next year, just send us an email. We'll be sending out a survey and an order form by email to get an idea of how many birds to raise next year. Thanks for a great year!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Turkey for me...turkey for you

This Tuesday, Oct. 5 - we are processing our turkeys (most of them anyway, we have a few still growing until December). They are such beautiful birds and are not shy. Here is a great video, along with a few pictures. All these turkeys are pre-sold and we have a waiting list.

As far as chickens, we have one more processing date this year. We will be processing red rangers and turkens on Oct. 26 and we will begin taking orders soon. Thank you all for supporting our farming venture this year. We're already thinking of improvements for next year and will keep you all posted. We will also be sending out a survey soon to gather information about which breeds to raise next year, how many, etc. Here is a picture of the chickens.

And...since we moved and cannot have chickens at our new place, our egg laying hens went out to Draper as well. Lucky ducks (I mean chicks).

Okay, never mind - the video will have to come later since it's not working...sorry!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Red Rangers

With a successful 4th batch behind us, we are on to our 5th batch. We'll be processing the Red Rangers (see below) this Tuesday Sept. 21 at the farm. They will be bigger than the last group we processed and have more white breast meat (approx. 3.5-4.5 pounds). The Red Ranger has a similar build to the Cornish Cross, but they do appear much more active. Anyhow, we'll be taking orders by email.

Our last chicken processing will be in mid-October. We'll have more Red Rangers, a new breed called Turkens (naked necks) and some more heritage Plymouth Rocks and Barred Rocks. We'll also be processing most of the Turkeys then, and we'll finish the rest in December. We'll be using our winter break to review the past year and make improvements, decide which breeds to raise next year, and build up the energy to start again!

With the exception of a few (approximately 4 December birds and 1 October bird) turkeys, we are all sold out. If you're interested, email your order and we'll take it first come first serve. We're starting a waiting list in the event that someone does not fill their order (the first picture is a Heritage turkey which will be processed in December...the larger birds below are the broad breasted turkeys that will be processed in October...aren't they beautiful)?!

Thanks for supporting our farm! Danny, Shawnee & Saffron

Wasatch Front 100 mile endurance run

Call him crazy, but Danny signed up to do the Wasatch Front 100 mile endurance run this year AGAIN! I can't blame him though...I am the one who got him interested since my family has been involved with this race for decades. His goal changed from under 24 hours, to just finishing the dang race because so many variables made this year much more difficult than last. Note: When he signed up for the race, we did NOT yet know we were going to be raising chickens on a large scale (large for us) this year. Two days after the race he was back out at the farm doing chicken duties. He's amazing. Thanks to all who helped take care of the chickens to allow him to run 100 miles (some break). Thanks to all his pacers and his crew (Shawnee & Saffron) We sure appreciate it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Recap of this week

We processed about 230 chickens on Tuesday and they are all sold, except a few we promised to the Bell Organic CSA pickup on Monday evening. Thank you all for supporting our farm! We are so excited with the responses we are getting. People are thanking us for our work, and really ecstatic to have a place to buy local chicken. We are hoping to sell eggs next year too as a lot of you have asked about that.

We just tried one of the chickens last night. It was delicious. It was quite a bit smaller than the Cornish Cross breed so I wasn't sure how long to cook it. That's something I'm still experimenting with, so please share your cooking methods and recipes!

If this is the first chicken you purchased from us, we tried to let everyone know that these two varieties (White Plymouth Rock and Delaware) are a smaller heritage breed, quite a big smaller than the first breed we raised (Cornish Cross). We are now finished raising the Cornish Cross, White Plymouth Rocks, and the Delawares. Our next batch (coming on Sept. 21) will be the Red Ranger breed, which we have heard is very tasty, and the bigger size that we are used to in the U.S. so we're excited to try it. The final batch (in October) will be a mix of Red Rangers, Turkens, and Black Rocks (two more of the smaller heritage breeds). That will finish out our season this year and we will have tried 6 varieties. We are hoping to get feedback from you, our customers, as to which breeds are the best. We want to narrow it down to 2-3 varieties for next year.

Just a quick note on the turkeys since many of you have questions. The turkeys will be processed in October and in December.

October: These turkeys will have to be frozen for Thanksgiving. They will be $4.95/lb. and we're estimating they will be ~15-20 pounds. If we waited until Thanksgiving to process, we might have 30 pound turkeys that wouldn't even fit in your oven! Anyhow, about half of the ~40 birds are reserved already. In order to reserve a turkey, we are taking $20 deposits that will go toward the total price. Send an email to reserve.

December: We only have about 10 of these turkeys, which are a heritage breed. They will be $5.95/lb. and will be 10-15 pounds. We have about 4 left.

Again, thanks for the support. We are so pleased with the support and the interest in eating local, pastured, free-range, happy, antibiotic-hormone free poultry!

If you're ever interested in visiting the farm, let us know!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Coming soon...from a farm near you!

Tuesday, August 31 is our next processing date. We will have White Plymouth Rocks and Delawares. These chickens are growing well and going through a ton of food each week. They clean out the pasture pretty quickly as is evidenced by the before and after photos below. They were just moved again to fresh green pasture on Monday and boy do they love it! These chickens are a different breed than the usual chicken that is raised and sold industrially in the U.S. With the recent industrial chicken & egg recalls due to disease, we are being reminded of the importance of our work on our little family farm. Our chickens are being raised in the most natural way possible. It's a lot of work but we are enjoying the process! These chickens will be $4.25 per pound and we will have them fresh ready for pickup on Tuesday evening 8/31/10 from 5:30-7:00 pm. Whatever is not sold fresh will be sold frozen. The fresh ones are AMAZING. They taste great frozen too, but there's just something about eating a fresh, home-grown chicken that's never been frozen. Enjoy!

The pasture they just cleared out

New pasture

These are the Red Rocks and the Turkens, in another part of the field...still growing and they were also just moved to new pasture so they are exploring the goods! They will be processed in September and October.

And last but not least, the turkeys. They come and greet us like this each morning!

The bigger turkeys will be processed in October to eat fresh or to freeze for Thanksgiving. There is a $20 turkey deposit to reserve a turkey. Email to reserve as they are going fast.

I LOVE these pictures below. Taking them was so fun! These Toms were so close to Saffron and I, it was almost like a turkey kiss.

That pretty much sums up the remainder of our year. December's Turkey processing will finish out our first year of raising poultry. We already have lots of ideas for next year, and want feedback on which breeds are best tasting. We're still working on a website with recipes, ability to order and pay online, and more concise, easy to find information. Thanks for sharing our adventure!

Bounty & Abundance

Well, our crops are producing like crazy. Here's what we've been up to (in the few moments we have of 'chicken-free' time).

Turning plums into plum jam (the less sugar kind so it's kind of tart...delicious)

Harvesting and eating summer squash, corn, onions, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, etc.

Making fresh salsa...yum yum

Taking care of this sweet girl

And attending weddings and reunions. It's been a busy month!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Now what do I do with my chicken?

If you bought one, you may wonder how to cook it. I found this article and recipe interesting and delicious. Includes 3 different recipes to get the most out of every piece of your chicken. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Third batch...and turkeys too!

Just a review: We are raising 6 different breeds of chickens this year: Cornish Cross, White Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Turken, Red Ranger, and Barred Plymouth Rock. This is our first year raising free range chickens on pasture. We have sure learned a lot! We are raising 6 different breeds in order to see which ones we like best and which ones our customers like best.

We are processing our third batch of chickens this Tuesday, August 10th. We will be processing mostly Cornish Cross chickens, which are the chickens you've probably eaten before if you've ever eaten chicken. They are bred to grow fast and big. This will be our last batch of Cornish Cross chickens this year.

We may also be processing some White Plymouth Rock chickens in this batch. White Plymouth Rocks are a heritage breed. They will be smaller and may taste somewhat different.

Our next processing date is scheduled for Tuesday, August 31. We will be processing more White Plymouth Rocks and some Delawares. Again, these will be smaller and we're excited to see if they taste different.

We have Red Rangers and Turkens (aka naked necks) still to be processed at a later date. We'll let you know the specific date soon (a few picture of the Turkens below - I personally think they have the most beautiful colored feathers).

And...our turkeys are growing quite nicely. They obviously need more space than the chickens. See these great pictures! These birds will be processed in the beginning of October.

They can be eaten fresh in October, or frozen for Thanksgiving. Since we are processing outside, we're trying to avoid processing in the freezing cold weather. Having said that, we do have some younger turkeys which will be ready around Christmas time so we're not going to be able to avoid processing those in the cold! Thanks for your interest and support to our farm!!

Here are some reasons people are buying our chicken

And last but not least, we do have a life other than farming (but not much right now)!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The second round is here!

We are processing Cornish Cross birds tomorrow! If you would like any please let us know. 801 241 1681. In two weeks we will have more Cornish Cross and some White Rocks. That will be fun to see the difference in the breeds. We are hoping for a nice cloudy day tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We're back!

What a fun trip! A little bit of Alexandria, VA ~ Driving through the beautiful countryside ~ Two 14-hour intensive training days on the farm ~ A few state parks and caverns ~ and lots and lots of learning and note-taking. We had a bit of a frame of reference since we have been raising chickens and turkeys this year, which allowed us to ask some detailed, specific questions. We learned lots about pigs and cows, which we want to raise in the future. We met many people devoted to local farming, grass-finished meat, pastured poultry, etc. Joel Salatin was the teacher and we followed him around his entire farm for 2 days. The training was limited to 30 people to keep it intimate and give enough time for valuable discussion. Virginia is a beautiful place, but so is Salt Lake City and we're excited to be back home to farm in our own local community. The visit to Polyface was so encouraging and positive. The Salatins have been farming for years and decades, so it was fun to see all the possibilities and come back to our own little growing farm. Thanks again for sharing this adventure with us. Enjoy the pictures!

p.s. if you don't know who Joel Salatin is yet, watch the movies Food, Inc. and Fresh, the movie or read the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. We highly recommend them.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Polyface we come!

We are off to Polyface farm in Swoope, Virginia (Shenandoah valley) tomorrow for a 2 day conference. Joel Salatin is the owner of the farm, has written 6 books, numerous articles, and is featured in the movies Food, Inc. and Fresh, the movie. Danny will be trained from Joel Salatin himself. This is such an exciting opportunity for us to learn from the best!

"Roughly 550 acres, the farm is about 100 acres of open land and the balance is wooded. Polyface Farm produces "beyond-organic," grass-fattened beef, home-grown broilers, pastured turkeys, firewood, eggs, rabbits and vegetables."

We recently learned that all sessions of this summer's Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar are long full and there are lengthy waiting lists in case there are cancellations. We'll have a full report when we get back. In the meantime, thank you to all the people who are helping 'babysit' the chickens and the farm while we are gone. We return on 22JUL and will have our next processing dates on 27JUL and 10AUG. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 9, 2010

We reap what we sow!

It brings us great joy to start something from the beginning and see the finished product. As far as birds go, we have seen one batch begin as babies in the brooders, taken care of them for life, and then they fed us. What an amazing process. Here are some pictures of other things we are looking forward to this fall (or now). Saffron is especially excited because she will be able to eat real food by then! Tomatoes, peppers, corn, broccoli, onions, fresh herbs, eggs, and chicken...and in one of the pictures you can see our nice compost rotting away.

We just got 3 orders of new baby chicks in. These chicks are actually called turkens or naked necks. I think they look like little people with wigs on. They are doing well and we hear they are more of a delicacy in terms of flavor. We can't wait to find out.

And we'll close this entry with a very nice picture of a flower and a flower girl.