Hello again friends and family!
We never finished writing about how our chicken slaughter and processing went. Overall, it was very successful and we will definitely raise broiler chickens again. There were a few hiccups on slaughter day– we weren’t able to pick up the rental plucker on time, and we had to change locations last minute. Once we got going, though, everything went smoothly and we ended up with 50 beautiful, delicious birds! Their mean weight was 5.5 pounds. We have gotten lots of positive feedback from friends, neighbors, and family who have been enjoying them throughout the fall and winter. We had tons of help from folks on slaughter day: Sidney’s cousins Rachel, Dave, and Ely; our friend Chris, friend of the family Ulrick, and of course Brian’s moms Jean and Briana.
Since we returned from Europe at the end of August, I (Brian) have been working at Pomykala Farm, a family vegetable farm in Grand Isle VT. I got to work on a much bigger farm than I have before, drove all sorts of new tractors and other machines, learned a ton about fixing equipment. Although I’m very excited for Natural Roots, I’m definitely going to miss the Pomykalas and the other folks who I worked with. Sidney has been working at the kitchen of a local health-food supermarket, expanding her kitchen skills, bringing home lots of yummy food, and meeting lots of new friends.
Starting at the beginning of March, Sidney and I are going to be living and working at Natural Roots Farm in Conway Massachusetts. We will be there for the entire growing season, through at least December, learning draft horse skills, farm planning and management, and lots and lots more! We are planning on updating the blog every two weeks or so, depending on how busy we get.
Natural Roots Farm is a vegetable CSA, like New Beat and Luna Bleu, but unlike the others, they do not sell any produce at farmers markets or to wholesale accounts. They also raise chickens for eggs and a few pigs. Natural Roots has six draft horses who do all of the tillage, cultivation, and port-harvest transport around the farm, and we will be focusing much of our time on the horses. We will also be making loose hay (as opposed to baled), which we have never done before. We are especially excited about their well-structured and teaching-focused apprenticeship program. Natural Roots is run by David Fisher and Anna Maclay, and we will join their team along with one other apprentice.
We look forward to sharing the upcoming season with all of you! Thanks for reading.