Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fresh Chicken Day 2010

About a week ago we had the farm's fresh chicken day(s) for 2010. These are our meat (broiler) chickens that are raised on pasture and without drugs.

I meant to, but I did not get out to see the chickens this year after going onto pasture or help with chore time at all....I think this is a first.

I thought I'd share with you what happened through some of this process.......

At first, (when I saw the picture) I thought we had a density stocking problem out there as things looked really crowded. After asking Nathan, he said that every day when he would go out to feed and move them, they would crowd to the front of the pen. The reason-- because they knew shortly that he would be moving the pen forward to new grass..... and they wanted to be ready for it. Sooo...this is basically crowding in the lunch line.

After the move..... and looking for goodies.

When chickens are aloud to live outdoors in the sunshine, move, jump and fly around like chickens are suppose to, they will have less fat, calories and cholesterol in them for you to consume. No 'couch potatoes' here!

This pic says it all! You can see the 'trail' that the pen leaves after its been moved to fresh grass. it's not trampled down grass either, it's cut short grass. They do a great job of mowing..... and fertilize while doing it. All this grass in the belly makes for a bird that is higher in omega-3s (60% of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s), beta carotene and Vitamins A & E.

It's been estimated that only 40% of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Of the 60% that are low, 20% have blood levels so low it can't be detected. Switching to grass-fed/pastured raised animals is one way to restore this vital missing nutrient back into the diet.

On to chicken pick up day.......

Nathan chatting with Trish (from Oberlin). And Liz (Grafton), with little one in toe.

A table full of chickens (and some other farm items) ready for take home.

I think Doris (Oberlin) was just as excited about getting our last 50 cent tomato than she was about getting her chickens. Doris was also picking up things for Anne (Oberlin)....that was nice of her. Janet & Richard (Wellington) and Karen (Parma) wait patiently for their items.

I wanted to get more customer pics but with me getting the orders ready and ringing things up, I forgot about it most of the time until it was too late.

We would like to thank all those that supported us this year in our fresh chicken day 2010!

Raising chickens can be a lot of work but when you hear comments like:
"This is the way chicken use to (should) taste."
"They looked and tasted wonderful--nothing compares.",
it makes it worth the work to give the birds a happy, good life so you can have good, healthy food.


If you're just finding this and would of liked some fresh chicken, but you missed out this year, please contact us so you can be added to our spring mailing list for when ordering time begins again next year.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wellington Cheese Festival 5K run

This post doesn't have to do with the farm directly but indirectly as it deals with farming, Wellington, and staying fit and healthy.

This past weekend (the 3rd weekend in July) Wellington had it annual Wellington Cheese Heritage Festival. You may be wondering what cheese has to do with Wellington. Well did you know that......

Wellington’s Cheese Heritage Festival celebrates our village’s history as the “Cheese Capital of America” back in the mid to late 1800s, when northern Ohio was prime dairy farm country and the railroad provided access to the larger world. At its peak, the Wellington’s cheese factories shipped over 6 million pounds of cheese around the world and during that time the town's population doubled to 2,210. Most of Wellington’s picturesque downtown and the grand Victorian homes on Main Street were built during its prosperous heyday when cheese-making was the major industry of southern Lorain County and many of the brick building were built to house the cheese. At one point in time, there were more than 40 factories converting milk into cheese in and near Wellington.

Wellington's most famous dairy cow was Molly Baun. Molly, a Holstein-Friesian cow, was purchased in Holland by Charles W. Horr, founder of Horr-Warner & Company, a leading manufacturer of cheese at the time. At three years old, Molly produced 17,000 pounds or 1,977 gallons of milk compared to the 3,000-5,000 pounds that other Wellington cows were producing. Everyone wanted a Molly Baun! She was the first purebred cattle in Ohio and was the start of the State’s breeding program. I think she was the first Holstein in the US and sadly this might of been the beginning of the mega-producing cows we see today.

It's kind of sad though, for as long as I can remember, there are now no cheese factories left in the area. How can you have sooo many then and have none now?!?! Not sure why as cheese is still a pretty popular item but it could be that when refrigeration came into being, there wasn't a need to preserve all the milk like they had to before then.

Some of the events that happen at the festival are:

-cheesecake bake-off with auction
-mac & cheese bake-off & an eating contest
-cornhole & Texas Hold 'Em tournaments
-Ohio wine tasting
-Colgate Country Showdown talent search
-live music/entertainment
-cheese and other booths
-5K/10K run

The boys decided a few months ago to start running to help get them into better they thought they were getting out of shape since they are now out of school and not playing sports like they use to. After starting, I mentioned to them that the cheese festival has a 5K so they decided to go for it and have been training since.

The race was Saturday morning at 8:30a. (I guess I won't be running in any 5K as that's way too early for me to be putting out that much effort--I was able to drag myself out of bed to see them run though.) They had check out times from last year and had been keeping track of their times while running so they thought they would do OK but today would be the first test. This was their first time ever doing any long race like this.

Both at the starting area (which was by the Middle School) getting ready. Nathan was stretching when I saw him but when I got close enough, he stopped.

'Lined up' and waiting for the say so to begin.

And their off

This picture was suppose to come later down the page...after the next 2 pictures.... but I realized later it was out of the line of events but by then it was too hard to I'm leaving it.
I took this while we (me & Jessica) waited for them to come into the stadium to finish.

Back to the race.... Here is Chad running by where Jessica was watching. You can see Nathan not too far behind.

Nathan finally gets closer. You can tell it's still at the beginning of the race as he's still got enough energy to smile for the pic.

Chad makes it onto the track first. He was one of the earlier ones to finish. I wanted to get a picture of him crossing the finish line but the camera was slow to cycle so I missed it. His time was 19.45. This was better than any time he had practiced.

Nathan makes it across a bit later. His time was better than he had practiced too. He didn't run beforehand as much as Chad (his lower legs can bother him some) but I also think Chad is a bit better built for longer distances.

Jessica (Nathan's personal cheerleader) with Nathan and Chad while they rest and wait to see if they get any of those prizes. Even though it was still early, it was starting to get hot and humid outside.

They didn't get any of those nice shiny things this time but did get a parting 'gift' of water and a cheese stick.....hay it's a cheese festival after all. They were both pleased with their times and are thinking of running again in the 5K in New London on Labor Day weekend. I'm glad they are out moving and keeping themselves fit and enjoying a sport together.

While I was uptown for the race, I decided to stop into the square to check out the sights of the festival and see what was happening.

They had t-shirts for sale. I thought about getting one but yellow isn't a good color on me so I just took a picture.

This is a shot of one end of 'booth row'. I know it looks like no one is at this thing and at this time, no one was. It was early and some were still setting up. The start was in a few hours.

Some of the things kids can enjoy.

Some of the things adults can enjoy. I wouldn't recommend enjoying this too much though.

They only had the tent up for the Wine Tasting and nothing else so no picture of that and not much else was happening as of yet so I went home.

If you missed it this year, hopefully next year you'll be able visit Wellington during it's cheese festival.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Honey is one of the farm products that we offer in addition to the others we carry. It is a healthy natural food that has been around since the beginning of time.

Our honey is raw (not pasteurized like the stuff you get in the store), unprocessed (not like the the super fine filtering you get from the store stuff). The only filtering that is done, if it's needed, is to screen out all the junk that can come with the honey after honeycomb peices, bee parts, etc. All the pollen is still intact---it's what some call 'really raw'.

I thought I would share some fun facts about honey......

Honey (along with fruit) is one of the earliest forms of sweetness know to man.

In ancient Egypt, taxes were paid with it, while early Greece and Rome it symbolized fertility, love and beauty. To the ancients, honey was a source of health, a sign of purity and a symbol of strength and virility. In Greek mythology, it is said that cupid dipped his arrows in honey to fill the lovers heart with sweetness.

In the Bible, honey is mentioned 56 times in the King James version. For a time John the Baptist lived on a diet of just wild locust and honey. It was prophesied (in Isaiah 7) that by the time Jesus was old enough to eat curds and honey, that he would know enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong.

In the time of the ancient Olympics, athletes were reported to eat special foods, such as honey and dried figs, to enhance their sports performance.

Democritus (430-370 BC), Greek philosopher and physician, chose a diet rich in honey and lived until he was 109 years old.

In the first century AD, Apicus, a wealthy Roman gourmet, wrote a series of books in which more than half the recipes included honey.

HONEY 101:
Honey never spoils. No need to refrigerate it. It can be stored indefinitely at room temperature in a dry cupboard. It was found in the tomb of King Tut and was still edible.

Due to the high level of fructose, honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar.

Honey comes from the nectar of the plants. It has different flavors and colors, depending on the location and kinds of the flowers the bees visit. The lightest colors of honey have the mildest flavors, while the darker colors have the fuller flavors and usually a the higher antioxidant content to them.

The honeybees has 4 wings and the wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz, and it flies at a rate of about 12 miles per hour.

Bees communicate with one another by 'dancing'.

80% of the pollination of the fruits, vegetable and seed crops in the US is accomplished by honeybees.

A Cornell University paper released in 2000 concluded that the direct value of the honeybee pollination to the US agriculture is $14.6 billion annually.

The honeybee is not born knowing how to make honey, the younger bees are taught by the more experienced ones.

A bee visits between 50 to 100 flowers during one collection flight from the hive gathering nectar to make honey. There are other bees that collect just pollen.

In order to produce 1 pound of honey, 2 million flowers must be visited. A hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey and one bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year. Now that's a lot of flying--no wonder they need 4 wings!

It takes 35 pounds of honey to provide enough energy for a small colony of bees to survive the winter.

Research has found 165 ingredients in honey-- it has enzymes, minerals, amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants (the antioxidant call 'pinocembrin' is only found in honey) but is fat, cholesterol and sodium free, it has proline (amino acid) in high amounts, proline is the main component of collagen.

Honey was the most used medicine in ancient Egypt. Of the more than 900 medicines remedies, we know about for that time, more than 500 were honey based.

As recently as the WWI, honey was being mixed with cod liver oil to dress wounds on the battlefield. Modern science now acknowledges honey as a antimicrobial agent, which means it deters the growth of certain types of bacteria, yeasts and molds.

A Russian study of the inhabitants of the province of Georgia, where many live to 100 years old and a few to age 150, revealed that many of these centenarians were beekeepers who often ate raw, unprocessed honey.

Honey is nature's energy booster! It provides a concentrated energy source that helps prevent fatigue and can boost athletic performance. Honey supplies 2 stages of energy. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost. The fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. Recent studies have proven that athletes who took some honey before and after competing recovered more quickly than those who did not.

Suffer from seasonal allergies? Honey has pollen in it and by consuming the pollen, the body builds immunity, which in turns causes less allergies. The honey to use should be from a local source as it will have the pollen in it that's from your area.

As good as honey is, it is recommended that infants under the age of 1 not consume honey.

Enjoy some honey today....your body will thank you for it!