We raise pastured chickens, pastured pigs, pastured turkeys, grassfed cows and grassfed sheep. All animals are raised humanely with permanent access to pasture.
We raise Cornish Cross chickens on pasture. For the first two weeks they are carefully protected in a brooder area in the barn. This allows us to give the young, fragile birds optimal temperature and moisture conditions. Then we move them to portable pasture houses. These houses protect them from predators, such as foxes and hawks, and provide shade and shelter from wind and rain.
Twice daily, we move the chickens to a fresh spot on pasture. The chickens enjoy constant access to new weeds, seeds and insects, which make up about 30% of their diet. The pasture diet is a valuable source of vitamins and minerals necessary for strong immune systems, which is evidenced in their bright orange feet and red combs.
The rest of the chickens' diet is custom-mixed grain from a local mill. It consists of organically-grown corn, oats, and soybeans (all locally-grown) plus a balanced combination of natural minerals from Fertrell.
Our chickens thrive on a varied diet and a healthy environment. Their meat is tender and flavorful, with yellow-tinted skin and fat due to the increased vitamin A content. Chicken for the CSA will be whole chickens (for the full and medium shares) or half chickens/pieces (for the small share). At farmers market we have whole as well as cut up chicken available in boneless, skinless breasts, tenderloins, legs, and wings.
We sell our eggs during CSA deliveries and at farmers markets.
Our eggs come from our flock of Rhode Island Reds. Our hens live in our pasture next to the Eggmobile (pictured above) with constant access to live grass and vibrant soils. They are in a rotation that puts them three days behind our cows and sheep. The rotation gives the hens a steady diet of grass, seeds and insects. This diet gives the eggs lots of nutrients, and a balanced ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s. Our eggs are rich and flavorful, and the yolks are bright yellow in color.
We supplement our hens' diet with a combination of organically-grown grains: corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. This mixture is balanced with sea minerals.
We raise a variety of heritage breeds of pigs on pasture, including Tamworth, Yorkshire, Berkshire and Large Black pigs (really, "large black" is a breed of pig). Each of these hog breeds have been selected over centuries for their foraging abilities, which means they are constantly rooting and grazing, looking for their next meal. Tamworths are reddish-brown and Yorkshire are pinkish-white, but both Berkshire and Large Black pigs are black; you can tell the difference by how a Large Black's large floppy ears cover its eyes.
We feed our pigs whey from a local grass-fed cheese operation and supplement their diet with a ration of organically-grown grain from a local feed mill. Raising pigs on pasture not only allows the animal to fully express its instincts to root and forage, but it also changes the fatty acid composition of the meat.
We've started making nitrate-free cured meats from our pork. We only use the meat, Himalayan sea salt, and spices to cure the meats. They are salted for a week or two, then transferred to a drying room where they hang for one month up to a year. This process creates new flavors, different for every locale where meats are cured. Traditionally, these meats were cured in winter for consumption throughout the year, with no need for refrigeration.
Like our chickens at North Mountain Pastures, these turkeys begin their lives in our barn, protected from the elements. When they are big enough to be safe from predators (i.e., hawks and owls) we move them out to pasture. There, they have constant access to grass, weeds and insects. The balance of the turkeys' diet is custom-mixed at a local mill. It consists of organically-grown corn, oats, and soybeans (all locally-grown) plus a balanced combination of natural minerals.
Order a turkey for the holidays! Turkeys will be available for Thanksgiving 2013.
Our beef cattle are Herefords, Devon cross and Angus. The cows are pastured and 100% grass-fed and certified organic.
The grass for the cattle is grown without the use of fertilizers, pesticides or other chemicals. The cattle are raised without hormones or antibiotics. Beef will be a mixture of ground, roasts and steaks. Approximately half of all of the beef will be ground (reflecting what comes off the animal).
Grass-fed beef tends to be leaner and needs to be cooked a little differently than typical corn-fed beef. See the recipes page for more information.
We raise registered Romney and Katahdin Hair Sheep at North Mountain pastures. They are pastured and 100% grass-fed. Like our cows, these lambs are not fed hormones or antibiotics. Lamb is available through our CSA in our everything share .