This week was full of visits – 8 farm tours and a 3 day visit with gypsy farm friends who parked their camper here to live, learn and observe the chaos of farm life.
Most of our farm tours were with potential/new customers, but we also hosted a group of kiddos from AppleTree Learning Center as part of their “When I grow up I want to be…” summer series. The group included around 25 kids and they were an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable bunch!
Our second large group was the West Michigan Growers Group, which is an organization of local growers who meet monthly. Sometimes we gather for a seminar or educational lecture at MSU Agricultural Extension Office or we visit various farms to see what others are doing and what we can learn from their successes and failures. But we always eat!
This month we were fortunate enough to host and we had a fantastic turnout…and it was a feast! You’ll never taste better farm to table eating than these events. Our potlucks showcase the creativity and diversity of our farms’ interns, growers, WOOFers and the like. Throw in a few packs of local brews and it was a party!
In other updates from the farm…
Our turkey poults are around 6 weeks and officially outside now. Some of the colder nights, we are still running a heat lamp, but overall, they are happy grazing in their tractor. We keep them in the pens (which double for chickens) until they outgrow them, at which point they are fully feathered and pretty invincible. They are one of my favorite animals for entertainment and are so enjoyable to have around the farm during the fall.
We are currently taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys. Price is $4.50/lb for these pasture-raised, fresh-never-frozen 100% non-GMO birds. Be sure to save the carcass and scraps for broth – one turkey gave us 20 quarts of delicious bone broth last year! Please email us to reserve yours today.
Our piglets are already 6 weeks, as well! I know, I will get the whole farrowing story on the blog soon! They are still nursing from mama and are on non-GMO grain and pasture right now. During the Growers Group, our friends from Plainsong Farm in Rockford brought us tons of drop apples from their organic orchard and they have been providing tons of nourishment and emotional/mental stimulation for the pigs. We are planning to hook up with a few places in the area to gather drop apples this fall for them, too. Adding diversity to their diet makes for a tasty meat, and it helps them have some fun along the way!
We also taking orders for half and whole pigs. These guys will be ready for harvest around the holidays – December/January. Our Berkshire pigs are farrow to fork – they are born on the farm, never receive vaccinations, tail docking, teeth filing, or farrowing crates. Our piglets nurse from mom for at least 6 weeks – conventional pork production includes all of the mentioned practices and piglets are weaned between 10 and 30 days.
Price is $3.99/lb hanging weight and you can expect around 60-75lbs of meat in your freezer (90lbs hanging weight). There is a $50 deposit per half and $100 deposit per whole. For more information, check out our Pastured Pork page.
Last but not least, a big shout out to the Declercq family who called our farm home for 3 days last week. They worked tirelessly with us to prep for hosting the Growers Group and threw themselves into learning and experiencing everything they could about farm life. From learning how to milk cows and fix fencing to canning fresh peaches, they were wonderful to host! Our 5 kids never slowed down enough to get any photos apparently but they had a blast staying up late catching fireflies and eating s’mores!