February 8, 2015
Our move has gone well. The chickens are doing well in their new home and the pigs first litters here are doing well. Still have a lot of fence to build and fields to clean up but things are looking better.
One item we will add back this year is another breed of bird. Most of thebirds we raise are the commercial cornish cross meat type birds common in the US with relatively more white meat. We are also raising, in a smaller quantity, a red broiler that we buy from the Freedom Ranger Hatchery in Pennsylvania. It is a more european type of brfoiler with relatively more dark meat. Our foodie friends like it a lot. The first batch we raised this fall got big and consequently got as big as 7 lbs. We call these roasters. We worried that they would be a little tough but the ones we have tried and shared with our neighbors have been great. (one friend soaked his in a bourbon punch. I think anything would taste great that way) Anyway let us know if you would like to try some of these. They are priced the same as the white birds and packed in the 20 lb cases sorted by size.
Thank you for your business and we look forward to hearing from you.
Well the big news on the farm is we are moving!! After 20 terrific years at Oaklyn Plantation, we are buying our own place. We are fortunate to have found a place just 5 miles from our current location. It is a lot of work moving a farm. Taking up fence, making sheds road worthy, sorting through the years of accummulated stuff and sorting the trash from the stuff you want to save. Sometimes the difference is subtle.
I am an inveterate re-user so there has been plenty to sort through. Going through the old stuff was like going through a scrapbook. I picked up a piece of wood with a particular bevel cut in it and remembered when I had made that for a particular shed. And we've taken the opportunity to let some items find new life -- in other words, we have carried a lot of metal to the recycler!
There is a lot of work to do on the new place but we are well on our way. There is a new batch of chicks on the ground, the sows are in their new home and have just recently given birth to lots of babies. It's fun seeing the babies running around the new farm. We are working on fence for the goats that we need to help clear brush from the future pasture and cropland.
We have delicious chicken in the freezer and in the field. We have had some requests for the Red broiler we raised a couple years ago. It is more of a European breed having proporionally more dark meat than white meat. Foodies prefer it. I have some of those started and will be offering them as a whole bird.
With the change in location, we need to come up with a new farm name. We have had a lot of fun looking at this. I think we are going to settle on something with Maypop in it. It is the common name for the Passion flower, the only host to the gulf fritillary butterfly. Maypops were growing on the farm this fall as we moved, and they are very pretty. Coincidently I was at a beer tasting where someone had made a beer with passion flower juice in it. So Maypops are useful all around! Watch for a new website design soon to reflect the new name.
In the meantime you can still contact us by clicking on the order form on the left which generates an email to us. We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to supply you with "the best eatin chicken in the southeast".
It is cold out here. Man, we don't see these temps often. The chickens are doing OK. All my water lines are frozen so I have to carry water to them.
We have a good inventory of chickens just now but will be getting a little thin toward February. In the winter we don't have as many birds on pasture. We have two small flocks and will start making larger placements now the holidays are over. We also have some pork but are pretty much out of beef. It will be a little while before I am able to offer my own beef again. In the meantime I am recommending that you consider John Rogers' beef. He is a neighbor who has been selling grassfed beef locally for some time. He has offered to make his beef available. I can ship it. If you make an inquiry I will forward your message on to him.
If you go in for podcast videos you can go to South Carolina's site for Down Home with Tony and Amanda and view the show I did with them a few years ago. It was a lot of fun. Besides featuring me and our chicken, Chris Williams, Chef and Caterer in the midlands was on to do some fine cooking with our chicken. His catering company is Soigne Catering and he can be reached at 803-707-6310.
Here is more about our chicken.
The reason our chicken tastes so good is they are raised outside on pasture rather than in crowded poultry houses. They have constant access to a natural diet and enjoy plenty of fresh air and sunshine. We do not use artificial growth promotants; do not feed meat or bone meal; and do not use antibiotics. Our chickens mature at their natural pace and offer you outstanding taste and healthy meals. USDA rules are pretty lax when it comes to claims of free-range . All that is required is the poultry have "access" to the outside.
We, and farmers like us around the country ( APPPA) raise our birds outside on pasture where the birds can scratch in the soil, eat green plants and whatever bugs they find. We move the birds to clean ground regularly. This has the added advantage of spreading the poultry litter around which is important to the management of our fields. Raising chickens in this way takes a little longer. Our birds reach marketable weights in 8-10 weeks as opposed to 6 weeks which is the industry standard. We believe this longer growout period is a key factor in making the chicken taste so good.
Click here to see what some of our customers say about the taste of our birds. Some of our customers buy our birds for the flavor. Some buy because they want to eat healthy foods and know that pasture raised meats are better for you. The meat milk and eggs from grass fed and pastured animals has been shown to have a healthier profile of fatty acids and CLAs. There are several resources for more information about this. A good site is Eat Wild, Jordan Rubin has several books that outline how healthy eating can contribute to good health.
We have a few recipes on our site (link) One is from a good friend of ours, Chris Williams. He runs the Lone Star Barbecue in Santee SC. (link). Mostly when asked how to cook free range chicken we encourage folks to use their favorite recipes but try not to cover up the taste with heavy sauces and flavorings. But I would also like to put out a call for favorite recipes that our customers might like to share. Click here to submit a recipe. I'll try it in my "test kitchen" myself.
A word about our processor. Williamsburg Packing is processing our poultry and pork and will be doing our beef too. We are real pleased with their work. The CO2 stunning and air chilling work real well and allow us to offer poultry and pork that is humanely slaughtered and chilled without adding water. Williamsburg Packing has been certified by two different humane handling certification organizations.
Thank you for visiting us. Click here to go to the price page and here to contact us with an inquiry or to place an order or to offer a favorite recipe.
I forgot to mention our products for pets. To learn about why more and more pet owners are feeding their pets Raw meats click here.
AND click here to learn more about us and what we are trying to do on our farm.
Thanks for visiting our site. I look forward to hearing from you.