Living in the suburbs of Rochester years ago, we had a very large garden. Every year we would grow more and more but always felt like we could use more space. That draw to a rural life found us moving to the farm in June of 2007. Even before unpacking, Andy disappeared outside and planted a series of tomato plants, peppers and eggplants – because we were NOT going to be without a garden – no matter how late it went in.
From that first planting on the farm, we began to look at ways to increase the quality of our own food and decided that we would begin to heal the land around us and produce as much of our needs as we could. That decision in a family meeting in January 2008 started us down the path towards raising broiler chickens on pasture.
As friends and family would come over and share in our fresh chicken and vegetables, we quickly discovered that the although we had intended for our farmstead to mainly a supply healthy, natural, local food to our own table the demand for our chickens and produce quickly outstripped our supply. We found friends (and their friends) clamoring for the extra we produced, so each year we have offered more selection and quantity. We also found people everywhere we went who were interested in supporting our efforts by making their meals local. And so Chicken Thistle Farm was born.
Focusing on pasture raised chicken and pork, open range eggs and a small subscription CSA effort full of heirloom and Ark of Taste varieties, we are continuing to grow.The philosophies of our operation are to use as many all natural solutions as we can, while keeping production of animal products as humane as we can. There is a powerful bond between the farm and the soil and we are always seeking to share that magical connection with customers who are interested in discovering its wonders.
What’s in a name?
The name comes from chickens – the first farm animal we had out here. No matter where we go – there will always be chickens. The thistle part of the name comes from the land and our philosophy. We are reclaiming farmland plow furrow by plow furrow that has laid fallow for years. On this land there are clumps of thistles. To us - rather than consider the thistle a bad weed it’s more symbolic of the co-existence we have with the land. Thistle plants have very deep root systems that reach down and pull up extra good nutrients in the soil that makes our crops and our grazers happy and healthy.
To that end we are expecting to try raising several products over the coming years as we search for the right combination for our personalities as well as the land we live on. We are always looking at new animals and farming methods to restore the land and promote good health across all the species we are responsible for.
We are always looking for people to sell our farm fresh products to – right from the field or pasture… it’s far healthier than store bought items and helps keep the local community empowered.
Providing locally grown CSA shares, chickens, pork and eggs for the people who want to connect with a local small scale farm, our operation is transparent. We love visitors to see how and why we make the choices we do and how they effect the products that they consume. Perhaps most importantly, we eat what we grow. So – Live well and eat well - Pasture to Plate!