Entries in Laura (133)

Monday
Oct192015

Final Class of Fall ::: Learn how to Raise and Butcher your Own Chickens

RUSH -- No time to lose to register for Learn how to Raise and Butcher your Own Chickens Class

 

Raising and Processing Pasture Raised Chickens on Any Scale

Sunday November 1, 2015 8a-4pm

 

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We have had several people say they really wanted a chance to learn how to raise and process their own chickens and were hopeful we would have another class this Fall.  We had not originally intended to do a fall class, but have decided that we can can do one to meet people's desires. 

Our scheduling is very tight since this is the time we butcher our farm's fall chickens AND our Thanksgiving turkeys! We MUST know by this Friday the 23rd in order to reserve chickens from our last customer processing this weekend.

 

Information is below or REGISTER HERE
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 Former attendees commented this class helped them feel comfortable with the idea of raising their own chickens and seeing the butchering process up close and personal.   Attendees ranged from curious eaters to serious potential farmers.  All left with positive comments and new ideas!

 

Chickens are an iconic part of the family farmstead and have even evolved to be a popular and valuable part of suburban, urban and rural areas of Kansas City. Chickens have gained this status because they are immensely useful and important. 

In this workshop, we will cover all the basics of raising chickens from brooding new chicks all the way to butchering and preparing them for meat.   All topics will be taught hands-on with examples of what has worked on our farm along with plentiful anecdotes of things that haven't turned out so well.  We will have birds in all stages of development, so you will get to see exactly what it could look like on your farm.  We will give clear examples of how this can be managed at a working-farm scale like ours all the way down to the homestead minded person just keeping a flock for their family.

Topics will include:

  • Choosing breeds of chicks and turkeys (meat birds and egg layers)
  • Raising Turkeys on your farm - differences from chickens
  • Brooding chicks and poults
  • Feed rations, options, and schedules
  • How, when, and why of pasture raising chickens and turkeys
  • Raising egg layers on pasture
  • Keeping Heritage Turkeys on Pasture
  • Dealing with predators
  • Humane slaughter; butchering; packaging
  • Regulations
  • Waste disposal

 Jeff and Laura, I did not adequately thank you for your time on Saturday. Your class was very informative and I learned a lot. Thank you both again! -Ruth

 The class will be divided into two sessions.  The morning session will be a hands-on chicken butchering workshop. Each person will have to the opportunity to learn each step of butchering a chicken and then be able to butcher their own chicken to take home after class.  You will get to see how to butcher using modern commercial equipment such as automatic scalders, dunkers and pluckers as well as how to do it with minimal equipment that you would have at your own home.  

 

The afternoon session will include a hands-on tour of each step of the chicken raising journey as well as a guided tour of the farm seeing the brooder, the pasture pens, the egg mobile, electric netting, etc.  We will also look at how turkeys fit into our farm's poultry operation. There will be a short "classroom" setting where we talk about the finances involved with raising poultry, marketing ideas, and the laws surrounding poultry in Kansas.

In-between the sessions there will be a full lunch with pasture raised meat from our farm where we will be able to sit down and talk farming with other lunatic farmers. 

 

You may choose to attend either of the sessions individually or you may attend both sessions for the whole picture on pasture raised Poultry.  If attending both sessions, the cost is $100, a savings of $25!

 

Morning Session - How to Butcher a Chicken (8-noon) $75

When finished, you will have the skills needed to butcher your own chicken in a humane and respectful way.  In addition to learning the steps, you will complete the entire butchering process on an organic fed Pasture Raised chicken that you will be able to take home to share with your family ($25 value).

Lunch (12-1) Included in the price of either session

Lunch will be served farm style with pasture raised meat from our farm.  It will be a time to visit, get to know each other, share ideas and ask questions.  

Afternoon Session - Raising Chicken for Meat and Eggs (1-5pm) $50

This portion of the class will be focused on learning how to raise healthy and productive chickens. We will start by learning all of the details for brooding your birds from newly hatched chicks.  Then, we'll discuss the important factors for transitioning your birds to pasture and what differences exist if you are raising them for meat or eggs.  You will get to see up close the different shelters we use for each and we will discuss construction details including what has worked and what has not worked in our farm experience.  We will discuss how chickens fit within the overall structure of our farm's systems by cleaning up parasites behind the cattle and by intensively fertilizing targeted pasture areas.  We will wrap-up with a classroom session where we will discuss marketing your products and local laws affecting the selling of your products.

This workshop will be outside so dress accordingly.  Although you may be surprised at how clean you stay during the chicken butchering portion of the workshop, you may want to dress in layers so you can peel your top layer off when that portion of the workshop is done. Waterproof footwear is suggested for all participants.

To register for this class, please click here and fill out the form.  The form will include directions for payment.  

There are very limited spots available, so register early to ensure availability.

Click Here to Register

Thursday
Oct082015

Pork Chop recipe

Pork Chops from our Pasture Raised Heritage Pigs are a quick and easy meal that tastes great.  We recently tried a new recipe that was a big hit.  After a quick sear with a spice rub, you cook the chops in the oven for just a few minutes with a scrumptious peach & mustard glaze.  I found the recipe from Delish D'Lites here.  The glaze really compliments the slow-grown characteristics of the Heritage meat!

We can't wait to hear what you think of peach & mustard glazed chops!

Sunday
Oct042015

Gobble - Gobble Heritage Turkey Orders OPEN NOW

The moment is here....order your Pasture Raised Heritage Turkey Now!

It may seem early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving dinner.  However, at the farm we had to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner in early March when we began incubating the eggs that would soon hatch into the poults that have now grown into large vibrant Turkeys living out on pasture.  Now, it is time for you to reserve a turkey.  

Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on tradition and sharing good food with your family.  A heritage turkey raised on pasture is the perfect centerpiece for this meal.  It idealizes the simple elegance of the day.  When you are carving your Turkey this year at Thanksgiving, you will be able to tell your whole family the story behind their meal.  You can share how it was raised, describe the pastures it lived its life on and recount some of the stories we have shared about the daily care it was given.  Later, when they are raving about the taste you can share with them how this Turkey is the healthiest and most nutritious turkey they have ever eaten.

This is very different than if you buy a turkey from the grocery store, but there are other differences as well. The biggest difference between our Turkey and the Turkey you will buy at the store is that our Turkeys were raised on pasture everyday since they left the brooder as young poults.  This means that the turkey grew up eating grass everyday.  It had a varied diet consisting of various forages found in the pastures and the insects that abounded.  We supplement this natural foraging with 100% local, organic grains.  This ensures that the turkey is eating absolutely the best food. Therefore, it will be in optimal health, giving you a nutritious and flavorful meal to share with your family.  

This type of experience can only be had with a Heritage Turkey.  Our birds are Standard Bronze - the original Thanksgiving Turkey.  It's genetics have stayed mostly unchanged for more than a century when they were bred for flavor and nutrition - not economics and speed.  Because it is a heritage bird, it grows slower and forages better.  This combination means that the turkey lives a longer happier life eating grass and doing things it was naturally designed to do.  This does more than just ensure a happy turkey, it also ensures a healthy turkey. The more grass it eats, the more healthy and flavorful the meat is.

Our customers last year raved about the turkeys they received.  Many of our customers were brand new to buying and preparing a fresh heritage turkey, and everyone loved it.  

Just wanted to thank you, again, for the heritage turkeyand for the wonderful Prairie Rangeryou provided us this past month! My in-laws from Singapore were absolutely smitten by your heritage turkey and Prairie Ranger (we made two curries and some AMAZING stock with the chicken!). In fact, my mother in law was so in love with the turkey that she froze a half gallon of turkey broth so she could bring it back to Singapore and wouldn't let me share a single slice with the neighbors because she liked it so much! - Leon

Your turkey was the centerpiece of our extended family Thanksgiving dinner, and we all loved it! Thank you also for including the Maple Rosemary butter recipe, which was a delicious and delicate addition to the rich taste. I look forward to becoming a regular customer, and I look forward to visiting the farm as well someday. -Nancy

Thank you for your hard work raising a beautiful turkey. It came out very tasty. The organically raised meat is far superior to commercial raised meat. I think I made believers out of the 12 people that the bird fed. Also thank you for the farm tour. It is great to see the organic food movement making its way to the midwest. -Jon

 

Now is the time to reserve your Thanksgiving Turkey.  We have a very limited supply.  Your turkey will be raised, fed and cared for until shortly before Thanksgiving, when it will be prepared for you right here at the farm.  You may pick up your fresh Turkey the week before Thanksgiving.  Sorry, we do not ship our turkeys.  Pick-up on farm only.

A deposit of $25 and the submission of the Order Form Here

Also, please think of at least one other person to tell about the chance to get a wonderful, local, pasture raised, organic Turkey.  By telling a friend, you are ensuring that exceptionally good local food will continue to be raised and available to your family!  

Monday
Sep142015

How long does a farm fresh egg last?

You look forward to that richly colored yolk, the delectable goodness that is conveniently wrapped up in one small perfectly formed shell.  Nearly everyone has a story about a delicious farm fresh egg!  And we agree, pastured and organic fed eggs are unbeatable!

Many of our Customers sing high praises for our eggs.  Our Customers like them so much, they don't want to run out.  However, Nature has a different plan and our hens do not lay much at all during the winter.  So, oftentimes, on a pretense of stocking up, I am asked how long our eggs keep.  Other customers just want the convenience of picking up eggs only once a month (or two), so they need to know if our eggs will stay fresh that long.

Seeing as how we can easily go through 4 dozen a week, our eggs don't ever get the chance to sit around getting old.  So, I decided to do a little test.  I set aside some eggs on August 29, 2014.  These eggs were all laid on the day I gathered them.  I prepared them as I do for customers, spot-washing as needed to preserve the natural bloom on the egg that helps it stay fresh.  (Did you know store eggs are washed with a chemical sanitizer and the natural bloom is removed?)   I marked each egg with the date, put them in a carton and stored the eggs in the fridge.  Fridge space is precious around here, so you can be assured this was an important project!

I cracked open each egg and took pictures to share what I discovered.  I tested one egg each month for 8 months (that's all I saved, I hadn't planned on doing this a whole year!) and then saved one egg for the one year mark because a year old egg just sounded pretty neat.   

By 'tested,' I mean I cracked open the egg, assessed the overall quality, fluidity, smell, and color.  Then, I scrambled or fried it up and ate it for breakfast.  Would you believe, every single egg was good?  I'm here to tell the tale :)  The eggs had their usual rich yolk from being raised free range on pasture.  The eggs smelled like eggs - nothing rotten or foul.  They all had fluid yolks and albumin.  I did notice a slight drying out in the  one year old egg which was evidenced by less fluidity.  The one year egg yolk was darker (from air exposure I presume).  Still edible, but clearly less fluid.  (my camera had a glitch and I lost the one year egg pics)

So, what does all this mean?  I'm actually NOT suggesting you try to store a year's worth of eggs all at once.  However, I do suggest that if you love your pastured, organic fed eggs from Synergistic Acres* that you stock up when you can.  That might mean an extra dozen or two on a regular basis when available or it might mean getting extra in the summer flush of egg laying to reserve for winter eating.  Pasture raised eggs are a seasonal product.  Of course, you can cut back your egg consumption in the off season, but it might help extend your personal egg eating season to bolster your stash before egg production declines.  Tell your farmher that you'll take a few extra dozen when they are available and I will get them to you as soon as I can!

 

*Every farm is different and your mileage may vary if your eggs are from another farm.  There are definitely well-raised eggs out there, just ask questions when you visit to SEE FOR YOURSELF to ensure you are buying what you think you are buying              /end soapbox (for now!)

 

Know your farmer, know your food!

Saturday
Aug082015

How do I Hook up with Pastured Meat?

'How do I get your food?' is one of the questions we hear a lot.
One of our primary missions is to make getting our food as EASY as possible for people.  Like you, we tend to keep busy and it can be hard to add in extra things...like a country drive to pick up some locally raised and organically fed meat!  

That's why we make a weekly delivery to Kansas City in Lenexa every Wednesday afternoon and Evening.   Just email or order online and we'll bring the food up to you on Wednesday.
 
We also welcome pick up on farm by appointment and would love to show you around while you are here or you can just make a quick stop to pick up your goodies and be on your way.  
Raising our animals in regularly rotated, pastured environments is the hard part - NOT getting it and CERTAINLY NOT eating it :)

 

Synergistic Acres - 21733 Iliff Rd, Parker, KS 66072 - 913-735-4769
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