Seems like the dog days of summer are here already and summer technically just started a week ago. Its been dry and hot which is not a good combination for growing grass for cows, chickens, and pigs to forage on. We've gotten a bit or rain here and there but nothing consistent like we need. Fingers crossed I see some chances in the forecast but so far those are not panning out very often,
We processed our 3rd batch of broiler chickens on Wednesday, so we will have fresh chickens in the store over the weekend while supplies last. They are still a little smaller than we would like but getting closer to the 4 lb. average weight we target. We will also be processing another batch next Wednesday so there will be fresh chickens available in the farm store July 6th through 9th. Of course these are real chickens, hatched from an egg and raised outdoors on green organic pastures. Not to be confused with lab-grown chicken, which I will discuss below.
On the topic of chickens, our laying hen flocks have really picked up their egg production over the last few weeks. With most of the younger hens still laying medium eggs, we have a lot of those coming in every day so we have the medium egg bundles on sale again. We have also removed the 3 dozen limit per customer on large and jumbo eggs.
In other farm news, we will be closing at 2 PM on Tuesday July 4th so that most of the staff can head home and enjoy their own cookout with friends and family. And we will no longer be accepting glass jar returns as of July 1st. But, please bring us your plastic or paper shopping bags and egg cartons so we can continue to recycle them.
BEEF AND PORK GRILLING DELIGHTS
I just picked up the meat from eight grass-fed beef and 22 pasture-raised hogs that we processed in the past month, so we have a huge selection of steaks, brats, patties, ribs, briskets, roasts, franks and chops for your 4th of July cookout. And with chicken parts back in the store Saturday afternoon we will have almost every conceivable grilled meat product available. Put it all on the grill at the same time!
FARM CAMPS AND TOURS
We are just finished with our first three week-long farm camps and will take a break for the holiday next week. However we still have two more camps scheduled for July for the older kids (13 - 18 year olds). The older group includes a camp out at our Wisconsin farm by the pond and the kids will learn to dress and cook their own chicken. There are still a few slots available for those camps.
Our weekly $5 Saturday farm tours are going well and some weeks are selling out. Please note that Saturday July 22nd we are hosting a large private group tour and therefore will not be offering the usual tour to the public. We do have about two months of tour dates listed on the website so reserve your tour space in advance to make sure there is space available. Visit our Camps and Tours page for more info.
FARM STORE UPDATE
Good news we are starting to get in more local fruits and vegetables from our on-site grower Karolina and other local farms we source from:
Bagged salad greens/lettuce mix and fresh turnips from Broadview Farms in Marengo
Rhubarb, swiss chard, kale, turnips, and spring onions from Karolina's garden at our farm
Just in grass-fed tallow from our beef, in quart containers
Pork lard is back in stock, quart containers again.
NEW: Raw goat milk cheeses from Capra Nera Creamery in Minnesota
Great assortment of local/organic sourdough breads, buns, pastries, muffins, and bagels from our store bakers.
LAB GROWN CHICKEN APPROVED BY USDA - WILL ANYONE EAT THIS STUFF?
The announcement that lab-grown chicken was approved for sale in the US was all over the news in the past week. The talking heads were out there discussing if this was the future of meat or just another fad food for the elite. Given the sales slump currently experienced by the fake meat companies (Beyond Burger and Impossible Foods) I have to wonder how much market traction lab-grown chicken will really have.
It is being sold as having a lower environmental impact that conventional CAFO chicken, but nobody knows how much pollution and runoff the labs would be producing if/when they scale up. And in reality we already have a much better environmental option than CAFO chicken....pasture-raised chicken! The other touted benefit to lab-grown chicken is the humane treatment of animals perspective. Again, we already have solutions to that concern....pasture-raised chicken! Of course nobody can patent the pasture-raised chicken and its really hard to mass-produce them and make big profits so that's probably why Bill Gates and his friends are investing millions into the lab-grown meat industry. Only time will tell if this concoction will ever gain market acceptance but personally I am not too worried about losing sales to this stuff.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK - SIMPLY ROASTED "REAL" CHICKEN
With so much attention on chicken with the announcement of USDA approval of lab-grown chicken, I thought it would be appropriate to include a simple but wholesome recipe for real chicken from our farm-fresh recipe guru Jackie. Follow the link at the bottom to view the recipe on her website with more pictures and the story of how she found us through our pasture-raised chickens.
1 Whole Pasture-Raised Chicken (4-5lb)
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion (1/2 chopped, the other half whole)
1 lemon (slits cut into the sides)
Handful of herbs (thyme & rosemary)
5 long carrots (chopped)
3 celery ribs (chopped)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Night prior, pat chicken dry and salt all over, get under the skin.
Leave uncovered in the fridge overnight,
Next day, preheat oven to 425F.
Place celery, carrots and chopped onion in a brasier.
Rub chicken with oil.
Lay chicken over the veggies. Stuff cavity with lemon, onion and herbs.
Roast an hour and a half, basting every 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from pan and let rest on a cutting board.
Add quinoa to veggies. Mix well.
Carve and serve together!
Visit Jackie's blog My Roots and Recipes for the full details on this recipe and many more.
Please follow us on our Instagram Page where Anna tries to post photos and farm updates a few times per week.
Cliff, Anna and the Farm Team