Chicken Snobs

Regional farm partnerships are so dang cool. We are bursting at the seams to tell you more about what we have been working on and why you are making a huge difference for our family farm and our partner farm, Justice Homestead.  

First, a quick bit of history. We have offered pasture-raised chicken from the very beginning. When we FIRST started, we were tiny and only offered it to friends and family. We would have our big harvest day here on the farm and invite folks to help and in return take some chicken home. That feels like a lifetime ago. 

Fast forward several years… we raised chickens here on a slightly larger scale and had our certified organic chickens processed in the closest USDA-inspected and organic-inspected plant up in Burlington, VT. We were proud to have certified organic chicken for you but it was clear that we were outgrowing the process and it was a long drive for the chickens. 

We heard from you over and over how much you loved having an alternative to store-bought chicken. You shared that there was no comparing the flavor and quality and we knew that the environmental impact of pasture-raised chickens supplemented with certified organic grain was something we were proud of, rather than horrified by (like even the organic options in the store!) And you also shared that you trusted us. If we needed to drop the certification, you weren’t going anywhere. You trusted that our standards wouldn’t change, and you were right. 

But here’s the plot twist... Our fields are not ideal for raising chickens in this beautiful way. Ideally, there are long stretches of flat ground to pull the chicken tractors across. In our system of small hilly paddocks, we needed to turn around every few days, and swerve to dodge rocks,  not what these innovative coops designed for fresh air and health were meant to do. 

So we went back to the drawing board. Do we stop providing you with chicken? Could we find another farmer as dedicated to humane and environmentally sound practices as us? We searched for over a year and kept coming up short. Apparently, we’re pastured chicken snobs. :-) 

Then we met Tyler Justice and we were amazed. He had the same impeccable standards as us, the ability to humanely and ethically raise chickens at a larger scale and long stretches of flat fertile land. Hallelujah!  A local delivery company had recently downsized and dropped their contract with his family farm and they were facing a hard season ahead. They were just as happy to hear from us as we were to find their sweet family farm doing it right. 

A partnership was budding. We discussed terms and even have signed affidavits attesting to the practices outlined in our discussions. And together we are keeping two New England family farms thriving this season. It felt like a miracle to find a like-minded family farm to join forces with and icing on the awesome cake to learn that it would make a big difference in their year. 

So this season, rest assured, your farmers are working together with fellow farmers to create a thriving local food system. 

Feeding you and your family is our honor and privilege. We take it very seriously and are thrilled to share the ins and outs of local farming with you! 

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