Here’s a short list of some of the most frequently asked questions we get about our farm.
I’m interested in buying ‘something’ from you, how do I get it?
Because we are an all natural farm we sell only what’s produced in season – naturally. If you are interested in seeing what we currently have and more importantly how do you get some of it – visit our ordering page, find the product you are interested in, and see what the status is. It’s pretty simple and located right here – Ordering.
Do you use antibiotics, hormones, and other “stuff”?
No – we avoid “stuff” and antibiotics and hormones. The way we raise our animals in all natural settings lets us avoid all the “stuff”. We can let the low stocking number of animals keep nature involved and in general that keeps everyone happy and healthy. We will leave the overuse of antibiotics and the associated resistance to drugs to the big farms and people who go to their Dr. for a pill for every viral cold they catch. We are very anti-antibiotic.
We get asked about our animals diets a lot… frankly, our chickens eat a little bit of everything. By nature chickens are tropical foragers that have been domesticated over many many years. We provide them with a ration of “feed” that’s all locally grown and milled right up the road in Lyons NY. The mixture has some soy, some corn, some wheat, barley, oats, black sunflower seeds and other things…
Now – if you are talking about our egg layers – they get a 15% protein mixture of the above feed AND lots of pasture that is frequently rotated via electric fencing for fresh greens, bugs, tender shoots, grit and whatever else they scratch up.
With regards to the broiler chickens – they need more protein because of their meat ratio and growth speed so it’s the same feed – just different ratio of components to get the higher protein they need. In addition to that the broilers are put on pasture at 3 weeks of age (until 8 weeks when they are harvested) – there they are moved every day to fresh pasture consisting of clover, grass, alfalfa, field peas and whatever else is grown. That includes as many insects and critters as they can find.
Chickens that are touted to be raised on a vegetarian diet are not being raised the way a chicken wants to be a chicken. Same for a diet of any fixed individual grain or legume… lots of choice in their diet is what chickens naturally do. Come out and watch them forage sometime… we use a feed mixture that lets them do what they naturally want to do!
Will you be certified organic?
Probably not until pigs fly. Organic certification is a cumbersome process that we feel is not altogether necessary in order to market our products successfully. We are a grass-based farm, which means that all our animals eat grass and other forages on the land. Some animals, like chickens, require more than what the grass alone can provide, so we supplement them with organic or non-medicated feeds from local sources.
What is organic certification?
Here’s a great primer I wrote a while back – it’s 2 parts – here.
Will you PLEASE do everything organically, I read this book and it says organic is the only answer…
Here’s the deal – we eat everything here that we grow or raise. We started down this path to achieve a much healthier source of local food and we have been lucky enough to have people like you that want to consume our “products,” which is amazing. All that said, we do not feel the need to categorically abolish everything that modern agriculture technology offers. A great testimony to “certified organic farming” is the published fact that some farms that have been using copper as a pest and fungus control, now have heavy metal issues in their soils. We DO NOT spray, dust or flood crops or animals to “prevent” things from happening, but may use different tools to fight an outbreak – typically reaching for the “certified organic” solution first. Bottom line on the “organic” approach – we eat it all – we have no closed doors and openly show you everything we do.
Will you be certified humane?
Not likely. The more we have learned about these certifications the more obvious it becomes that the people who wrote them have not spent a lot of time around animals in a natural environment. We will, without a doubt be a humane facility to the highest degree, but don’t need bureaucrats and academics looking out their windows and telling us what’s “right”.
Will you be certified ANYTHING?
If we could – we would be certified “OPEN” - certified ”TRANSPARENT” - certified ”CONNECTED WITH THE CONSUMER”… Really – we only want to be certified by the people who come here, see our practices, looks us in the eyes and say “yup – I’m comfortable with how they do things.” We are not going to pay for any piece of paper to hang on our products that funds an organization solely to “certify” people of things that are never enforced.
But aren’t you certified “Pride of New York”?
Not really certified – more along the lines of we sent New York a $20 check that puts us in their database of New York farms. That money also goes towards educating New York consumers about New York farming. It helps get the word out about local food.
Why do you want to be in farming?
Ha! The answer to this question could go on for pages. It’s something we are constantly surprised by. The short answer is that we have cultivated a love of food and a love of land throughout our lives. We love to work with our bodies and minds together, and we are constantly amazed, in awe, and humbled by nature. It makes us happy and we feel good doing it.
Can I come visit the farm?
Absolutely! Just give us a call or drop us an email. We love visitors and kids (assuming they are old enough to know it’s not as much fun mashing plants as it is growing plants). Come spend the day or just an hour, bring a picnic. Better still, come on a volunteer day and help us weed whack, build a garden, plant some seeds, or clean chicken houses. . .
Can I bring my (insert pet here)?
On the four legged friend topic - although we absolutely love dogs (and have one) – outside furry visitors are not the best idea. We have found that our guy likes to play and is good at getting ANY new friend cranked up… which results in trampled plants. Another issue is lots of breeds pray drive and chickens… like, for instance, our Terrier… Also – “worldy” travelers are also really good at brining undesired “stuff” to the farm on their feet (paws) – so, we kindly ask that four legged friends visit us through the web site and your stories.