Small Farming? How Small?

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Not large, and kind of dinky. Our farm is small. We have about fifty acres of forested land with a fairly steep slope to it, and about ten acres of grazing pastures. There are under a dozen beef and milk cows, combined, and about a hundred turkeys, maybe a hundred chickens and meat birds, a half dozen pigs (the ladies have not yet farrowed) about twenty five ducks and a handful of geese.
Volume. There is a great volume of time daily devoted to caring for each of these species. Each has their own needs and every animal has an individual personality. Many of them, especially all of the cows (beef and dairy) have names. Many of the chickens and turkeys have names, and a few actually know their own name. What we don’t have is a volume of beef, or pork or turkey meat.
What we do is offer meat products from each of the the species, seasonally, in limited quantities.
High quality and low volume. We graze and pasture the animals on the same grass and in adjoining pastures. Everyone gets along and cohabits nicely. What that means for the land is that the grazing techniques of each of the species allows the land to provide differently for each. Cows rip up hunks of grass, sheep nibble, geese pick, chickens eat the tops off the grass, and hogs root up and/or nip off the tops of the grass.
There are other local farms who have the volume of single species to provide halves and quarters of beef and provide for some real volume purchases. Do I wish that we could do that? Yes and no. I know that our land cannot sustain the number of hooves that the other farms do. The neighbor farms acreage must be easily up in the hundreds of acres. With the luxury of hundreds of acres, I would raise more volume, but given our situation, we do what we can while attempting to not overburden the land.
Stewardship of what we have is important to us.  If we tried to raise too many hooves on the ground at once, we would be no better than the industrial farms out West — the ones that destroy the root systems of the grass, strip the nutrients from the soil and cause erosion and other environmental issues.

So we do what we can with what we have.  We offer limited quantities of seasonal meats of the utmost quality from animals who tread lightly upon our pastures.

What we have NOW:

Ground Beef in one pound packages, patties, steaks and some smaller roasts.

Frozen Young Duck and Stewing Chickens.

Fresh Chicken Eggs!

Reserve your family’s Wells Tavern Farm Thanksgiving Pastured Heritage Breed Turkey — fresh for Thanksgiving!  (Remember that we sell out early in the fall — reservations are limited.)

Next week:

Goat.  I have sold most if not all of this meat, but if you have a request for a specific cut, contact me before it is gone.

Mid August:

An extremely limited quantity of  Lamb.

Late August:

We are getting ready for pork chops, ham steaks, bacon, and sausage.  Products that will not be smoked are expected to be available in mid August. Smoked bacon and ham steaks will be early September, I believe.

Questions, custom orders, suggestions? send an email or call! Thanks.


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