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All,

Well its been a while since I posted but wanted to make a quick update. While we are out of beef for the year (there is a possibility of a small supply in December) and eggs (due to a quick but extreme predator issue), we have added pigs to the farm as an intrigal part of keeping the farm sustainable, and thus have pasture raised pork available now.

So, a little about the pigs and the how they’re raised:  We use only animals that are born and raised on pasture and are fed from the day they start eating solid food, a non-gmo feed ration . The breed(s) we use is a cross of Tamworth (known as an outstanding “bacon pig”) and Berkshire (an excellent “small farm pig” known as a forager and for its outstanding meat flavor (Berkshires have won a vast majority of tastes test performed by a national pork producers association). As with all of the animals we raise, we take pride in knowing that we raise our pork by placing animal husbandry and their welfare as a priority. The pigs spend their entire lives outside soaking up sunlight and feeding themselves tree-nuts, grasses/legumes and naturally occurring nutrients they can only obtain in a free range environment. As for processing we use only USDA, Animal Welfare Approved processing facilities that ensure any smoking and/or further processing of meats is done without the use nitrates/nitrites.

Our prices are listed under the “products and prices” (https://southchestnutfarmcsa.wordpress.com/pricelist-2/) tab of this page, feel free to contact us (southchestnut_farm@att.net) with any questions or requests.

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Beef and chicken

We presently have 100% grassfed beef for sale as well as non-gmo fed free range chicken. We will also be harvesting our last set of meat chickens in a few weeks. Let us know if we can help you in any way.

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Hope everyone is well and enjoying the cooler weather. I have to admit, this is my favorite time of the year, even though by normal standards this was a rather mild summer, it was still  hot enough.

We will be harvesting our last steer and our chickens toward the end of October. If interested in either, please let us know soon.

A little back ground on the chickens we’re finishing:  they are of course “free range” and are living on our 1.5 acre vegetable garden area (getting it ready for next spring). The poultry breed we are using is known as “Red Rangers”. These birds have an excellent reputation as meat birds and are very suited for “free range living”. Being very good grazers, they  grow at a slightly slower pace than the Cornish Rocks. While being slightly more active and physically well balanced, these chickens are very robust and are immune to the health problem of some of the other breeds of meat birds.  This set of meat chickens is being finished on non-gmo derived feed. (I won’t feel this space with reasons for using non-gmo feed, but feel free to ask any questions about it).

Our final steer of the year is being finished on the last of the summer forages we have  (perl millet). The steer is in very good shape and I expect the  beef to be of very good quality.

We will be getting our new layer chicks in early November and hope to restart egg production in the March timeframe next year.

Hope everyone has a good autumn,

Roger

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All, thanks as always for reading. Here’s some updated info for this spring and some info on chicken feed that I would welcome feedback on:

Beef: We will have fresh beef around the 20th of May. This is the first steer to be processed this spring and it looks to be of really good quality. If interested in special cuts or larger “packages” of beef let me know soon.

A possible switch to non-gmo chicken feed: Presently we are using chicken feed that is composed of 100% plant based ingredients (no animal by-products). However,  two of the main ingredients in chicken feed (and most food animal feeds) are corn and soybeans of which 88% and 94% respectively are GMO (genetically modified organism) derived [http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/28/gmo-questions/1658225/]. While there are strong opinions for and against GMO derived products, I thought it would be nice (and in keeping with our farm philosophy) to offer the option of non-gmo eggs . I have located a source for “non-GMO” feeds … while this feed is not certified organic, it is more “natural” than the GMO  feeds typically sold in stores. It is somewhat more expensive than the feed we are using presently and there are no distributers with in a 75 mile radius. Adding the transportation cost and the increased cost of the feed would probably mean a  25 cent/dozen increase in the cost of eggs.

Pastured raised meat chickens: We are presently considering adding meat chickens to the farm. These would be raised on pasture in much the same way as the layer hens are. As above, the feed would be non-GMO sourced if that is the consensus.

Your thoughts and opinions are greatly valued … please feel free to post or email me at southchestnutfarm_csa@att.net with your opinions and/or feedback.

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We have just restocked the freezer with the first harvested steer of the spring. All cuts mentioned on the web page are available. We have sampled one NY strip and one ribeye and thought both were very good. One thing of note about the beef in this steer is that the cuts are smaller, most steaks are in the neighborhood of 8 ounces (with the exception of the sirloins which are around 1 pound) and most roasts a little less than 2 pounds . These smaller cuts are a reflection of the smaller size of the Dexter breed … however, the flavor is very good.

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