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Summer is passing so quickly! We have the last group of chicks for this season going into tractors this week.
Summer is the time for chickens to take full advantage of the sun. We raise them in mobile pens on the alfalfa hay field. The hay is richer for it, and our chicken is more flavorful for the good greens in their diet. They are also a great way for the kids to be involved and help do chores. At 6, Jim helps feed the chicks and move them from the brooder to the pasture.
Keith has his turkeys going again this year. We are trying an experiment this year and brooding the turkeys with the broiler chicks. We’ve had trouble in the past having turkeys by the layer hens, but they do OK with the broiler chicks. So far he’s had great success keeping his turkey poults alive and well! They should be just right by Thanksgiving.
Rachel has had various projects to sell at the Cadillac Made in Michigan Farmer’s Market this year. She had raspberries she and Jim picked, No bake cookies, and will probably have raspberries again. Dorothy usually has a few vegetables from her garden. The farmer’s market proved to be a great family project this summer. We’ll be at the Thursday and Saturday market for a week or two yet. Come see us!
Whether you’re close or far, you CAN get the best chicken and pork anywhere! We have a couple new options for purchasing in our online store, which can be found in the right hand column if you scroll down a bit.
1) Shipping: There is now a shipping location. It originates at the farm (because the system we use requires a physical location), but when you choose the UPS shipping location, we’ll load a cooler and send it to you. Note that the $50 charge is a generality. I will change it to reflect the actual charge since the physical size and weight of the order and where it’s headed make a big difference. In some cases it goes down. If you’re in Texas or California, it’ll likely go up.
2) Cadillac delivery: We are attending the Made in Michigan Farmer’s Market on Saturdays! You can order during the week, identify the Cadillac location as your delivery point, and come pick up your order between 9 and 12 Saturday morning. This can also work if you want a dairy herd share so you can get your own fresh, raw milk. You can just come and see us there, too, and grab what you want then.
And we still have our Traverse City, Kingsley, and on-farm locations, of course.
I’ve had some other good questions lately and thought you might want to know too:
1) Is the cream skimmed off the top? No, the milk you get is exactly as the cow made it.
2) If there’s a vet bill, or a cow dies, will I be billed or have to buy a share in the new one? No. That clause is in the contract because you are a shareholder in the herd, and the owner should care for the needs of the animals. However, you are only getting a part of a herd. The dairy farmer we work with has an 80 cow dairy and he works cows in and out all the time. Part of the reason we work with him as opposed to buying more cows for our personal herd is so that in events like that he has enough buffer that you are protected and it isn’t a calamity. Joe and Brenda work hard to prevent vet visits by using good practices, homeopathic remedies, and other natural remedies to keep the cows in top form. In practical terms, you would not even know if a cow got sick and was pulled out of production or was struck by lightning or culled out of the herd. It’s part of what they do.
3) Should our milk be dated for freshness? All of the milk we deliver is from Thursday morning’s milking and is delivered Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. The cows are healthy, the milking process is super clean, and the milk is kept in clean and cool conditions until delivery. We’ve found it’s good for at least a week and a half.
4) How often is the milk tested for bacteria? The milk is tested at least twice a week. Joe and Brenda’s cows (and yours) consistently produce milk in the very clean category. this is indicated, in practical terms, in the sweet, clean taste and long shelf life of the milk.
At last, it finally happened! We got some pigs through a USDA inspected harvest and can make our pork available to you all. We weren’t able to get them scalded and scraped, so they aren’t as unique as we’d like, but they are still the best tasting pork in the North country and now you can have some. Order today from our storefront! You can check out as a guest or “put yourself on the map” to order again. We deliver to Traverse City on Fridays. You are welcome to pick up at the farm by arrangement (it’s good to be sure we’re around!). UPS can also bring your order to your door. Let us know what works for you.
Coming soon: CHICKENS! Next week Friday we will be harvesting the first of our chickens for this year. We are so very ready for FRESH CHICKEN. Pork is good, but variety is the spice of life. You’ll see whole chickens available on our store right now. Stay tuned for an update next weekend post harvest when I have a more accurate count. As always, they are GMO free, pasture raised, and harvested on our farm for a stress free kill. Order here to reserve yours for next weekend (June 19)!