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Friday, December 16, 2005

Certified Humane and web changes

Congrats to Sarah and her winning the contract to be the new Web Master for The Denison Society. She now has our web site all changed over for the new buttons and things seem to work much smoother than before, I hope everyone has a extra moment to view the site and all it's pages.

We have FINALLY sent in our paperwork to qualify for a Certified Humane Designation for our farm. This is by far the most important label any farm could hope to qualify for. This is step two, step one was filling out all the paperwork, step two is getting it in, step three will be hearing from them as to what we need to do better (I am sure there will be a lot) , step four will be getting inspected, step five will be addressing their concerns and then HOPEFULLY we will finally qualify, please so take a moment to view the Certified Humane site.

We have also contacted the Bay State Organic's people and left a message to get information about applying for a Certified Organic label for all of our products, I still have many issues with this process but need more education before deciding what step to take next.

Busy time of year at the Post Office so I am not getting as much done here on the farm as I should, this is a perfect time of year to be clearing brush but I just have not had the time.

It's nice to see us making some forward progress although we do have a long way to go yet, would LOVE to get all these fields clear of brush before spring 2006 so they could be properly limed and over seeded.



Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Great recipe for pastured poultry

Anything that has a high diet of grass must be cooked slower due to less fat in the meat. Here is a great recipe for pastured poultry, from a woman named Allison.
My husband simply could not get enough of my latest test recipe. Called Roast Sticky Chicken, I found this recipe, along with its very own FAQ, at Busy Cooks on About. The introduction to the recipe states, “Please try it and you will never roast chicken any other way.” I’d have to agree with that statement, because it is one delicious chicken!

You need to start this the night before you plan to serve it, as the chicken needs to sit overnight to absorb the spice rub. The secret to this scrumptious chicken has got to be the baking method. It’s slow-cooked in a 250°F oven for 5 hours, which makes the meat come out tender and juicy. It’s so good that we almost finished the entire chicken among the three of us! I guess that must mean this chicken is a definite five-star main entrée, in our opinion.

Until next time,
Have a good week and good eating!
Roast Sticky Chicken

By Allison
Makes 6 servings
4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. white pepper
_ tsp. garlic powder
_ tsp. black pepper
1 large roasting chicken
1 cup chopped onion

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove the giblets from chicken; clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a resealable plastic bag; seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to roast the chicken, stuff cavity with onions and place in a shallow baking pan. Roast, uncovered, at 250°F for 5 hours. After the first hour, baste the chicken occasionally (about every 30 minutes or so) with pan juices. The pan juices will start to caramelize on the bottom of the pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. Let the chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Two new places

We have decided to apply to get listed on two very good sites, one is Slow Food Usa, and the other is American Grass Fed

If you get a chance check out their sites, it will be worth your visit.

Price Structure

While I was at Maurice's Slaughter house taking care of the pig order the Grandfather said to me "you aren't charging enough, you should be getting $6.00 per pound, or you should charge hanging weight".

Funny how things work out but we had just got our new price lists up and in fact we will be charging $6.00 per pound for a 1/4 pig. This price structure is for a number of reasons but Grampa put it best: by charging per pound as we were, a lot of the pig is discarded so we were loosing money on what we had put time, money and feed into, so we were actually charging just for what we delivered to the customer and loosing all the rest that was required so the customer could get their order.

With the new price we won't be throwing away money and the actual price per pound for the whole animal including the parts discarded is more in line with what others are doing.
( )

Our Turkeys are the same thing, look at what others charge and you will see that you can get a great deal here at Footsteps Farm and heck, if you buy from us it will help us get larger so we can serve more people. Our goal is to sell 200 Pastured Tamworth pigs per year, 800 Pastured broilers, and 100 Heritage Turkeys.

For 2006 before the season starts we need ten more chicken or turkey tractors at a cost of $135.00 for the parts for each tractor, plus 8 porta huts ( for our hogs at $235.00 each. We could really use three 4 1/2 ton bulk storage bins at about $18.00 each so as you can see we really need to charge a fair price for our products.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

A good day

My friend Dan found a listing in the sale ads for "layer box" for sale (for hens laying eggs), so I called the guy up. He had 100 boxes from an operation that housed 20,000 layers. Dan and I went over today and I got 5 six-hole layer boxes, two huge feeders, three waterers and an egg baske, all for about $150.00. Just the boxes new sell for $150.00.

The guy also has original glass tops and glass bottom waterers, I told him I wanted one just to have it.

We went on our yearly jaunt today to get our Christmas tree. We drive the tractor over and Sheryl and the boys follow in her car. The tree farm is just across the street from Prentice Williams road; it is always fun to do this and as I type this blog Sheryl is decorating the tree.

Sunday: Shawn came by again as he has been every Sunday, it is great to have him here to help, Cody came up and between the three of us we got all the pork delivered to the customers who came by, got a new round bale in the Four-Acre Lot so the cows are happy, got the chicken coup cleaned out, Shawn did the tent garage and got more space in there for more "stuff", and I cleaned the house chimney again. Our new stove is really efficient but that causes more stuff to build up in the chimney so I was glad to get that done. Got the bulk feed box in the back of the truck, the front steps all cleaned off, eggs washed and Avery's pigs taken care of.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ethel and a good friend

On Sat we tried again to catch the calf that was to be sold to a NY farm. We moved all our cars, trucks, trailers, the tractor and the chicken tractors all in place to form a "V" to get him into the trialer. Of course if we could afford metal fence sections or the wood to build a pinch shute we wouldn't have this problem...

Well, he broke through our fence 3 times and so I have more work to do to fix that mess but his mother walked in to the trailer to get the good hay and he followed her right in. He is in NY now and his Mother a bit lonely but she'll get over it.

My friend Wade stayed all day and used our tractor to level our parking area. This was high on Sheryl's list to get done so we really appreciated the help, Wade is a special guy who is always there when needed.

With all the farm work to do and land to clear I never get time to do the "honey do" stuff so Wade's help was GREAT !!

Ethel the young sow had her piglets Sunday night Monday morning. She made her nest way out in the woods so I brought her some hay. She had just 3 which is good for this time of year as any more would certainly have a hard time surviving out in nature.

We desperately need to make enough money this year to buy 8 porta huts for the pigs. They run about $235.00 each, are metal and will last a long time.

Found out that UConn has a poultry organization to support Connecticut's poultry and fowl farms. We have filled out all the application blanks and will send it in today.

The planning for the new Farmers Market at the Denison Homestead Museum is coming along good and hopefully the board will approve it so we can establish a long term premier market there.

Snow came early this year, we have had two storms so far this year, last year the first plowable storm was Dec 23rd.

All is well in pigville as I put all their houses together and then moved in a round bale, it was funny to watch all the pigs run around with mouthfulls of hay building beds...