Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pasture raised and organically fed chickens!

Our pastured broilers live their lives on fresh green grass, in these breezy structures.

It is chicken time once more. We are getting 120 birds back from the butchers (a state inspected facility in Gardiner) today and so we will have fresh chickens available for the next 5 days or so. This batch are actually Red Bros, so red feathered rather than these white Cornish cross breed that we raised last year. These slower growing Red Bros have fewer growth issues (lame legs, etc) than the Cornish crosses and we like that they are far better grazers and not hyper-bred to size as quickly as possible.

Our customers repeatedly say that "that was the best chicken I have ever tasted."

So. They are large (4-6#) and at $4.35 /# that makes a hefty price tag but consider that one bird feeds four hungry adults with leftovers. Making stock with the bones, some onion skins, celery tops and carrot nubs really stretches the value and puts the yummiest soup base in your freezer.

Pass this on to others who might be interested, please and give us a call or email if you need any birds for your winter season ahead.
I can smell the chicken and rice soup bubbling away on the woodstove. . .
Best wishes from all of us,
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Late Fall and Winter Shares

Tuesday, October 11, was the last distribution of vegetables to our 17 week CSA season. Thank you for your part in making 2011 such a wonderful growing season. The work parties, visits from members and CSA potlucks are among our favorite summer times.
We farmers felt and continue to feel very much supported and honored by Village Farm's community of members. We are so glad to be growing some of the food that you are nourished by and enjoy!
Last year, when the distributions ceased, so many of you said "I don't want it to end!" and "What will I eat now?" that we got to thinking about continuing to serve up Village Farm's finest for a few more months through a Winter Share. So, we are going to try it. Twenty five of you have signed up for either a farm or a Belfast pick up beginning this Monday, October 17th and running through late December. We have over twenty different crops in the fields, under row cover, in cold storage and in the hoophouse. You will see some of them once or twice (e.g. fall radishes, fennel) and some of them nearly every week (e.g. various winter squash, carrots). Like our summer-fall CSA, we will aim to provide roughly the same value week to week, for a total of $200 value over 8 distributions: weekly in October and November, then every other week around the holidays. Unlike our summer-fall CSA's "farmer's market style" distributions where members pick out and bag their own produce, we will weigh and bag all of the produce for you.
Belfast members will pick up from an in-town covered porch (I will send directions and details in an email) and
Farm members will pick up from the farm's walk-in cooler
Mondays 4-6 pm

Here are the dates for your calendars: October 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, December 5 and 19.
Though we planned for 20 shares, we have a good inventory of crops available for the fall and early winter and so could take a few more members, if some of you are interested. is the best way to reach us.

We are very much looking forward to this experiment and to seeing and feeding so many of you over the coming few months!

Again, many, many thanks to all CSA members, friends and family members for your abiding support in our Village Farm (ad)venture.
Gratefully yours, Polly
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn's Abundance

A fine group of CSA members and farm interns cleaning onions during our last work party. Many thanks!!

The winter sqauash and pie pumpkin harvest.

The farmers and farm children got away to the western mountains for a couple of days this past weekend.

Nate raking and Zac rototilling Hoophouse 2, readying it for 5 beds of spinach. Thanksgiving harvest?

Many small bottles full of flowers headed to a friend's wedding.

Autumn winds and autumn harvests, that lower light, and shorter days all trigger a new flow to our days here. The squash fruits are all safely in the greenhouse curing away; growing thicker skins for the months of storage ahead. We salvaged some colored peppers after that hard freeze Thursday night that wiped out even plants in Hoophouse 1. The work of digging and washing many, many roots is to come.
Tomorrow is the last CSA distribution of 2011's summer season. We have had a great year. Bounteous crops grown in the fertile loam of our fields have fed all of us and many of you. We are grateful for the favorable weather, excellent farm workers, support from friends, family and CSA members and for the earth's generosity.

I dare say we have had our busiest summer ever. A lot of crops and a lot of people here on the Farm. The revolving door of visitors, guests, college students, friends, CSA members and family has been a-whirling. It makes us very happy to think back on all the feet that have padded through our dooryard, farm fields and farmyard.
Like most Mainers, we relish summer's outrageous beauty and full days but we secretly yearn for wood fires and snow drifts as soon as the autumn chill starts up. Come January, you will find us hunkered down, alright. . .but working, too. There is analysis of 2011 to do and of course, taxes to prepare. And there is always another growing season to plan for.
We look forward to growing for you again in 2012.
With all best wishes and many thanks, Polly and Prentice

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