"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
Sir Isaac Newton
The person usually credited with the pastured poultry model is Virginia farmer Joel Salatin. He began raising chickens in 10 by 12 floor-less pens as a way to have better conditions for the birds and as part of a regenerative farming program. Joel first conceived and implemented his version of pastured poultry production in the 1980's. Relying on the industrial Cornish Cross this practice has inspired countless farmers in this country and around the world. The 120 square foot pens only allow for 10 to 12 feet of walking in any direction. The density at which most producers are stocking their pens ends up being around 1.5 feet per birds. Not far off from what an industrial broiler would get raised in a massive production house. It has been over 30 years since Mr. Salatin first put chickens out on pasture. While we are grateful for the ground work that has been made before our tenure in farming, we think that is time to start moving towards a post-Salatin future of pastured poultry production. One that relies on more traditional breeds that reproduce naturally and not through artificial insemination. One in which birds are given more space and are not confined to a chicken tractor. One in which the breeds that are used are able to make the best use of the pasture and not grow so incredibly fast they have trouble walking.
Our approach to raising meat birds is to offer as much of an alternative to the industrial model as possible. That's why we use slow growing breeds. The Freedom Rangers are raised to 10 weeks, our Black Broilers 14 weeks. These are significantly longer time spans (in the life of a broiler chicken) to be out developing flavor on pasture. A Cornish Cross raised on pasture is processed usually at 7 weeks, the fate of an commercial broiler is sealed at just 6 weeks. We also implement a system of day ranging in which a flock of 200 birds has full freedom to use the 2,500 square feet of pasture. That's 12.5 square feet for each bird and able to walk 50 feet in any direction. We feel that if we are going to go through all the trouble and risk of putting chickens out on pasture that they should be given plenty of space and that we should be using breeds that are going to make the most of that opportunity. This week Whole Foods announced its plans to start phasing in more slower growing chicken. You can wait several years and drive to the nearest Whole Foods or you can support local farmers who have already started moving in this direction.
The final Indoor Burlington Farmers' Market is this Saturday, April 2nd. Make sure to stock up on all your Pastured Chicken and Farm Grazed Goat needs before the market season is over.
This Week's Special: We will be offering a special on Ground Goat today at market. 1 package for $8 or 2 for $14.
Keith & Lisa
Burlington Farmers' Market
Saturday, April 2nd from 10-2
Duck Eggs are back!
We have Farm Grazed Chevon available (Leg, Chops, and Ground Goat)
Pastured Chicken is also availible.
Email us to place an order.
2016 CSA Sign Up!!!
Submission of 2016 CSA form and payment must be received in order to reserve your share. A full payment must be received by May 31st, 2016. Shares will be on a first come, first served basis. Send your payment in early to lock in your share.
Gochujang-Braised Chicken and Crispy Rice
Submission of 2016 CSA form and payment must be received in order to reserve your share. A full payment must be received by May 31st, 2016. Shares will be on a first come, first served basis. Send your payment in early to lock in your share. Birds will be available for pick up on farm, at the Burlington Winter Farmers' Market and on select weeks at the Middlebury Farmers' Market. Please contact us if you feel another location would be an ideal pick up location. Please visit our website for more information on processing dates.
We truly appreciate your support. We could not do what we do with out all of our fantastic customers. It is a real honor to be able to be your farmer. So, thank you.