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Posts Tagged ‘pastured poultry’

Spring is hatching time. We had hoped our birds would hatch their own this year and we could hatch a few extras in the incubator. Unfortunately, something is still in the barn. We lost an entire duck nest and chicken nest right as they would have been hatching. There were no signs of eggs, shells, or babies. I suspect our villain is a rat or ‘possum living in the barn. Now that no one is nesting in the barn, the dogs have free reign of the area to root out the culprit.

We don’t give up though. We did manage to steal some turkey eggs and have five survivors from yesterday’s incubator hatch. We also set 28 guinea eggs to hatch with June’s full moon. (The guineas and turkeys seem to be having their own issues.)

We picked up 200 chickens today at the local elevator too. That makes 300 broilers growing up for our summer markets. That’s a good thing since we are now sold out of chicken. The next batch will be ready late July.

This week we will only be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms. Come see us Friday, May 16, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 7802 Marsh Road. We’ll have lots of eggs and pastured pork. Betsy’s Kitchen will be bringing granola, granola bars, and Paleo Almond Delight Bars. Betsy will also continue to bring her Guinea Girl lotions, body butter, herbal salves, and lip balms.

The Zionsville Farmers’ Market opens Saturday, May 17 at Main and Hawthorne. We will not be there this week. The Farmers will be attending the Farmers’ daughter’s graduation from Purdue University. We will be there each Saturday beginning May 24.

Plan ahead for the 24th. We will also be at the inaugural Grow Local Roots event at the Indianapolis City Market Plaza from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. This is sponsored by the Indy Action Group and will precede the March Against Monsanto.

As always, we also sell our eggs and grass-fed meats at the farm.

Full Circle Farm. Working with Nature.

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Narragansett turkey poults

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New chicks

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When I walked out in the early dawn this morning to do chores, I turned to admire the near full moon as it approached the western horizon.  As I turned, I noticed a cow standing beneath the moon.  One might think that a pleasant sight to see on a farm, if it weren’t for the fact that particular area of the field is a restricted area to livestock.

The livestock have been stuck in the barnyard since winter began.  This allows them to be closer to food, water, and shelter as well as protects the pasture allowing it to grow more quickly once spring arrives.  Two of the cows managed to push through the temporary fence we use to separate the barnyard and couldn’t manage to find their way back through.  Apparently they were tired of their posh accommodations, hoping for something more amenable on the other side of the fence.  The joke was on them though.  Thanks to a continued covering of several inches of snow, there wasn’t much to be found.  Thankfully I found a gate I could pry from the snowdrifts and frozen ground and herded the cows back through rather easily.  It was a little tougher to mend the fencing but hopefully the patch will last another month or so until they can get back out on pasture.

The farmers will be on a break this weekend attending to other obligations but we will be sending Farm Intern Amy to manage the market stand.  She’ll be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms on Saturday, February 15.  Amy will be bringing pastured pork, pastured chicken, Paleo Almond Delight Power Bars, Paleo bread, and Primal chocolate cupcakes with traditional buttercream icing.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

Full Circle Farm. Working with Nature.

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Full Circle Farm is located near two communities that seem to be spreading by leaps and bounds.  That is a good thing in some ways.  The best being that we are close to our market making it easier for our customers to find us.

It’s problematic, however, in building a community.  Neighborhoods of houses too close together with people attempting to escape the city while simultaneously insisting that the amenities of the city follow them to a new location.  It’s nearly impossible to build a farming community in such an environment.  A beautiful farm just one mile south of us is currently on the market for nearly $3 million.  Now, that farm is 131 acres, but even after allowing for the value of the home and outbuildings they are valuing the land at roughly $20,000 per acre.  How is a farmer expected to make a living when that kind of investment is required?

How do we combat this problem?  We must value our existing communities, utilizing them to the fullest extent.  We must also value our farmers and the resources they require to provide the food those communities need.  Don’t expect the city amenities to follow you to the country.  Each locale has its purpose.  Support the local businesses in your cities and towns.  Buy your groceries from them and eat at their restaurants.  Support your local farmers by allowing them the space and affordable land to provide the food the communities require. 

You can support your local farmers this weekend (Saturday, February 8) at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms.  We’ll meet you halfway at 79th and Marsh Road.  We still have plenty of pastured pork and pastured chicken available.  Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering Paleo Almond Delight Power Bars, Paleo bread, and Flour-less Chocolate Cake.

As always, we also sell all of our grass-fed meats at the farm.

Full Circle Farm. Working with Nature.

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Propane Surplus (Not Shortage)

We’ll be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms this Saturday, February 1.  Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering Paleo Almond Delight Power Bars, Paleo bread, and a return of the Paleo Sweet Potato Donuts.

Now on to my message.  It’s a slight break from my farm messages but I’m really annoyed.  I’m sure that you’ve heard that there is a propane shortage.  There are varying reasons for the shortage.  Grain farmers used more propane than usual to dry a wet harvest last fall.  A pipeline was shut down for maintenance.  Some of us have used more propane in this super cold winter.  The oil and gas companies increased their exports of propane.

Did you catch that last part?  The oil and gas companies increased their “exports” of propane.  The U.S. gets most of its propane as a by-product of natural gas production.  Natural gas production in the U.S. is booming thanks to new ways to extract natural gas from shale formations.  With plenty of natural gas comes plenty of propane.  Propane prices were falling early in 2013 thanks to a plentiful supply and earlier mild winters.  Prices were higher overseas so the oil and gas companies shipped their cheap propane across the water for higher prices.  They bet, albeit wrongly, on continued low domestic use of propane and made some extra money shipping their propane overseas.  Since they bet wrong, and we used more propane and are now facing a shortage, the oil and gas companies are making even more money charging higher prices to U.S. consumers due to the shortage.

I went through all of the ways we, as a society, could reduce our usage of propane.  Don’t grow so much corn that really goes into unhealthy food products and cheap livestock feed.  Don’t raise animals out of season or raise hardier breeds, reducing the need to heat swine and poultry confinement barns.  Switch to more renewable and sustainable fuels for home heating.  The problem with these solutions is that they would all reduce the use of propane, which would again lead to a surplus, which would lead to more exports and then another shortage when we really need the propane again.

Here at Full Circle Farm, we use propane to heat our house and for cooking.  Thankfully, we had a fill up early in the month at reasonable prices.  We can turn down our thermostat, break out the space heaters and extra blankets, and eke through the shortage if we push it.  Unfortunately, others are not so lucky and are already having serious problems heating their homes.

This isn’t a propane shortage.  It’s mismanagement of a propane surplus.

Full Circle Farm. Working with Nature.

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The seasons are a changin’.  Last week we had snow flurries, tonight we are experiencing 60 degrees and thunderstorms tomorrow.  The leaves are finally becoming more colorful.  Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend.  Our last 74 broilers will be butchered this week.  And, the Farm to Fork Market is changing from a summer market to a winter market.

Beginning this weekend, November 2, the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th Street and Marsh Road) will be Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The winter set-up will be in a newly erected greenhouse on the Normandy Farms property.  We plan to be there throughout the winter (with some time off during the holidays).  We will have pastured pork and lots of pastured poultry available for sale.  Betsy’s Kitchen will also continue to bring tasty gluten-free treats.  Stop by and see us.

We continue to sell all of our products at the farm.

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We will be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farm, Friday, October 18, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (79th Street and Marsh Road).  We’ll have chicken, pork, and gluten-free treats. The Heritage Music Festival is this Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., sponsored by the Lebanon Community Arts Council and hosted on our farm.  Cricket Creek Players and Fiddlesticks will be playing for us.  Admission is free.  Chili, Smores, and drinks will be available for purchase.  There will be pumpkin carving and hayrides.  We will also have a display from Human Energy Initiatives.

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Heritage Music Festival FlyerThe farmers took a trip to Colfax last Saturday and picked up our pork bounty.  We now have lots of pork chops, bacon, ham steaks, and ground sausage.  Of course we have hams and roasts too.  We’ll be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms, Friday, October 11, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (79th Street and Marsh Road).  Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering gluten-free pumpkin pie bars and flour-less chocolate cake.

Don’t forget our Heritage Music Festival on Saturday, October 19.  It’s sponsored by the Lebanon Community Arts Council and will feature music by the Cricket Creek Players and Boone County’s own Fiddlesticks.  Check out the flyer.

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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Heritage Music Festival FlyerWe recently had a conversation with a fellow market vendor who didn’t like fall.  Who doesn’t like fall?  It’s one of our favorite seasons.  You get to enjoy the final produce of the summer season.  It’s finally time to harvest the fall pumpkins and gourds.  The first frost.  The tastes of pumpkin pie and apple cider.  Fall festivals in every locale.  Changing colors. Cooler days.  The time for hearty meals in preparation for the upcoming winter.  Who wouldn’t enjoy fall?

Speaking of fellow market vendors, we finally got to meet our off Saturday market partner at the Zionsville market, Amy Pictor of Clearview Farm in Westfield.  She also happens to be Amy Jeffries formerly of Union City.  Who would have guessed?

The taste of pumpkin.  Betsy will again be featuring Paleo pumpkin treats this week.

Hearty meals.  We still have plenty of pasture-raised chicken available and will have pasture-raised pork in two weeks.

Fall festivals.  We will be hosting a heritage music festival in conjunction with the Lebanon Community Arts Council.  The festival will feature the Cricket Creek Players and will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19.

We are down to one market now.  We will be at:

Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms, Friday, October 4, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 79th Street and Marsh Road

In addition to pumpkin treats, Betsy’s Kitchen will be offering Paleo sandwich bread and Paleo Spicy Chocolate Brownies.

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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Our lives are quite convenient.  We enjoy the pleasures of refrigeration, air conditioning, the ability to run to the grocery store when we run out of flour, and the ability to visit a restaurant when we don’t feel like cooking dinner.

What do these conveniences cost us?  Lynn Jenkins, a local columnist, recently argued that the convenience of air conditioning cost us the pleasure of hearing the natural sounds of the night.  Refrigeration allows us to preserve food without fermentation, smoking, or salting and costs us not only the pleasures of such tastes but the benefits of the preservation methods to our own health.

Grocery stores allow us to have all types of food, from all parts of the world, whenever we want.  We no longer relish the tastes of the season since we can have that taste and season anytime of the year.  Many restaurants cost us the benefits of healthful food and beneficial interactions that could be had through the enjoyment of cooking, eating, and of course cleaning up.

I’m not suggesting we give up our conveniences.  I rather enjoy them myself.  Just recognize the costs of your conveniences and occasionally enjoy life without them.

Allow me to offset the cost of this convenient medium and visit with us face-to-face at the farmers’ market this week.  We will be at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farm, Friday, August 23, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  We will only have a dozen eggs and we are down to roasts on our grass-fed beef.  Betsy’s Kitchen has plenty of treats though.  This week, she is trying a new Paleo bread, Paleo Spicy Chocolate Brownies, Paleo Zucchini Bars with Cashew Frosting, Paleo Apple Cider Donuts, and Flour-less Chocolate Cake.

Please continue to support:

Zionsville Farmers’ Market, Saturday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – corner of Main Street and Hawthorne

Decatur Township Farmers’ Market, Tuesday, August 27, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 5106 S. High School Road

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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We had a new addition to our farm this week.  Meet Bea, our newest lamb.  One of our older ewes has begun to cycle out of season, giving us a lamb in August each of the last two years.  Bea is the latest.

Most of the Full Circle Farm family had the opportunity to visit the Indiana State Fair this week.  We enjoyed visiting Pioneer Village, seeing the antique tractors, and visiting the animal barns.  Farmer Paul also visited the new Glass Barn.  Below is my take on the Glass Barn.

*Bea will not be raised on a 2,000 acre farm.

*Bea will not be raised in a slatted-floor climate controlled building.  She will be raised outdoors, as nature intended.

*Bea will not be micro-chipped so that we can track her temperature and general health.  Her health, as that of the rest of the animals, will be evaluated through daily visits by the resident farmers.

*Bea will not wear a pedometer and GPS locator.  We’ll find her on an easy tour of the farm.

We will be taking a hiatus from the Zionsville Farmers’ Market.  Thanks to your support, our supply of grass-fed beef is going quickly.  We plan to be back at the Zionsville Farmers’ Market September 14, September 21, and September 28.  We will have pasture-raised chicken and pasture-raised pork.

In the meantime, we will continue to sell at the Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farm.  We will continue to sell organically supplemented free-range eggs and the remainder of our grass-fed beef.  Betsy’s Kitchen will continue to sell gluten-free and paleo treats.  This week she will be selling Spicy Chocolate Paleo Brownies, Paleo Zucchini Bars with Cashew Frosting, Paleo Apple Cider Donuts, and Flour-less Dark Chocolate Cake.

Friday, August 16, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Farm to Fork Market at Normandy Farms (79th and Marsh Road)

Please continue to support the Decatur Township Farmers’ Market

Tuesday, August 20, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – 5106 S. High School Road

We also sell all of our products at the farm.

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