Archive for the ‘Heritage Turkeys’ Category

No Turkeys This Year, But We Can Offer a Pork Chop Recipe

In Chickens, General Farm News, Heritage Turkeys, Recipe on July 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

A couple weeks ago, we had a predator problem with the laying hens.  After a few night of successfully Hav-a-Heart trapping barn cats, we nabbed huge raccoon. But last night while Myles was putting the hens in for the night, he saw a skunk in the barn.  We set the Hav-a-Heart again.  Skunks love to dine on chicken breast and whole fresh chicken eggs.  No cats or skunks in the trap this morning.

Speaking of eggs, we usually have farm fresh chicken eggs available at three of the four farmer’s markets that we attend.  If you think that you’ll be looking for eggs, and want to make sure that we’ll have some available at the farmer’s market, give us a call and we’ll bring some along for you!   Myles will be at the Tuesday Bernardston Farmer’s Market today from 4-7, with our freezer stuffed with USDA inspected whole roasting chicken, cuts of our heritage breed pastured pork, rose veal, and hamburgers. Can’t make today’s market? Try to find us Thursday in Conway and in Northfield, both from 4-7, or in Charlemont Saturday from 10-2.

It is probably as good a time as any to officially announce that we will not be offering Thanksgiving turkeys this year. This means that all of our returning customers will need to find alternate turkey farms.  There have been many good ones that have started up in the last year or two. If you would like a recommendation, I can point you in the right direction.  Please be aware that many farmers are already nearing being sold out of Thanksgiving turkeys (yes, in July) as they only raise “so many” extra, non-reserved birds in anticipation of last minute sales. We are awfully sorry to inconvenience you in this way, and offer our sincerest apologies for deciding to not raise turkeys this year.

Pecan Crusted Pork Chops

Prep Time: 20 Min  ~  Cook Time: 25 Min  ~  Ready In: 45 Min
Serves 6


2 cups pecans
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
6 (nice and thick Wells Tavern Farm) pork chops
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Italian flat leaf parsley

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the pecans on a baking sheet, and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set pecans aside to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees (190 degrees C).

Chop pecans finely, and then combine in a shallow bowl with the salt and pepper. Place the flour in another shallow bowl. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs together until well blended. First dip each pork chop into the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the chops into the egg, and finally into the finely chopped pecans.

In a large oven-proof frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Arrange the pork chops in a single layer in the pan. Cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total.

Place the frying pan in the preheated oven, and bake until firm to the touch and pale pink when cut in the center, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not allow the nut coating to burn. Transfer the pork chops to a warmed platter, and garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve immediately.

This Week on the Farm

In Chickens, General Farm News, Heritage Turkeys, Pigs on April 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

This week on the farm was completely exhausting, but not wholly through the “fault” of the animals.

On two separate nights, each of our boys managed to “be sick” in the middle of the night, thus reducing the farmer’s sleep and patience for the next day.

Astute neighbors have noted that our sheep have disappeared from the pasture — which they did — in anticipation of lambing, which will come at some point within the next three weeks.  Apparently there is a greater chance of the Border Leicester to lamb on the New Moon or (second best shot nearer to the) Full Moon. That was advice from a local shepherd who has gone through lambing thousands and thousands of times.

Piggies are all happily outside and looking forward to slightly less damp weather, so that the snowmelt mud will turn into grass and they can have soething more substantial to root up with their little piggy snouts. The youngest of the piglets are still safely housed with their moms.

One change to our recently available infusion of meat and new price list is that kielbasa is now sold out. The full list can be seen here.

We are looking forward to ordering turkey poults this year for raising for Thanksgiving. After many attempts at making costs break even with raising Lilac Turkeys for Thanksgiving Dinner and charging $4.50 a pound, we just can’t offer them this year. We WILL be offering Heritage Breed Turkeys this year, just a different feather color, and slightly plumper breast, and still charging $4.50 a pound.  Why the change, you ask? In a nutshell: Lilac’s top out at 16 or so pounds no matter what you feed them, if they are raised in a non-confinement operation. They also take a minimum of nine plus months to meet that poundage. That is a lot of feed.

So, the things that we will not change or amend in order to sell turkey: We will not raise turkeys unless they are in a non-confinement situation. We will not sacrifice feed quality.  We talked a lot about this, and despite other local farms’ charging up to $7.50 a pound for turkey, we will not.  But at the same time, we are not making any money on any other product enough to allow us to subsidize a loss on the turkeys.

Bottom line: We will use our trusted hatchery in Pennsylvania and obtain heritage breed turkeys poults for us to raise for Thanksgiving, and they will make the much anticipated weight and flavor benchmarks in less time and with less food then the Lilac’s — but will enjoy the same quality of life — outdoors life, high-quality grain and free-range foraging, and a steady price point at $4.50.