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Old Pine Farm

The farm

I am a member of the Frog Holler Organic  CSA (community supported agriculture). I’ve posted about CSAs before so you can search my blog more more information.
I will post my farm share here every other week, with a link to the Frog Holler Organic Farm blog and their weekly newsletter. I signed up for the biweekly farm share and so, I receive two heaping boxes full of fresh picked produce and herbs twice a month from this local organic farm.
I am also a member of Old Pine Farm a meat CSA. Information about Old Pine Farm in in my previous CSA posts or you can check out their website. I pick up a share once/month of 15-18 lbs of meat (chicken, emu, bison, pork, beef, lamb). I toured the farm 10JUL2011 and really got to see everything in action. This is a REAL FARM. I know my farmer, Kris, she grass feeds the beef and sheep, the chickens are free range, the pigs are on organic feed. She uses heritage breeds whenever possible. It’s how a farm should be when you picture it in your mind. Her farm is almost identical to Polyface Farms and Joel Salatin the farmer at Polyface. Joel has been mentioned in several books and literary magazines including the famous book: The Omnivores Dilemma (by Michael Pollen). He has also written several books himself and sells them on his website. He is “the man” of local organic farming. I’m not talking about giant ‘organic’ farms that sell meat and produce to Whole Foods. I’m talking about small local farms that sell food to their communities. This is something everyone should be educated on, whether or not you decide to participate in a CSA. Anyway, the photos from the farm tour are below.
If you drink milk and live in Michigan you should also check out Calder Dairy. They have a delivery with a milk man who brings you milk in glass containers. The glass bottles are recycled and the milk is local, hormone free and very fresh. Check out their website for more information.
 Fresh seasonal food is delicious, so good for you and the local economy. If you are interested, check out Local Harvest website, click on the CSA tab, put in your zip code and it will pull up a list of CSA’s (vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood etc..)  in your area. Email me if you have questions; if you are in Michigan I can send you in the right direction.
July 9, 2011: Old Pine Farm Tour Photos
Old Pine Farm
The breeding cattle grazing in the pasture. These are the cows that they farm keeps year to year. They give birth to calves that grow up in these fields along side their mothers and then are transferred to another pasture in Jackson to live out their days before slaughter.

Laying chickens! The farm does not raise laying chickens for the CSA. These chickens produce eggs just for the farmers family. The farm works with another organic farmer who does raise laying chickens that provides my CSA with as many eggs as you want.

The steer peaking it's head around the cow here is a long horn that is spending this summer in the barn to keep the pregnant cow in this picture company.

This is Wilbur, the pot belly pig. We don't eat him 🙂 He's just for giggles

 

Wilbur will sit on command
…..for a cookie of course
 
This is an Emu. I had a very good Emu burger from last month’s share. The farm only has one of these now.
 
This is farmer Kris with one of the baby lambs. Look at that long tail! Reminds me of the nursery rhyme.
 
The farm raises 200 “eating” chickens a month. That’s 2-3 chickens per share. These are the baby chicks in the barn. In one week they will go to the coop where they will be free range for several weeks until they are big enough to slaughter. The life span of these chicks is ~8 weeks.
 
Baby chicks eating organic feed (no corn)
This hunk is the bull. An impressive beast.
 
Pig Pen! It was ~90 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday and these pigs were just loving their mud hole
A few of these pigs are the heritage breed “red waddle” named for the turkey like waddle on either side of their neck.
 
For the pigs that don’t want to “chill” in the mud there are covered areas for them to get out of the sun.
 
Their organic feed and water are on command. The pigs are smart enough to push levers that release food and water whenever they want. They eat organic oatmeal and grains and get the leftover whey from cheese making at a local dairy. This pig and a few of the others will be in next months share.

 
I caught a photo of one of the chickens as it ran by. They really are free range. This chicken is a heritage breed.
 
It was ~90 degrees are most of the free range chickens were hanging out under this tree to catch a bit of shade. These chickens will be in next months share.
This is the mobile chicken coop. The free range birds spend the night in here to be protected from local predators like the fox. The chicken coop is pushed around the farm so that is stays clean and fresh (no excrement build-up underneath )
 
A few of the chickens caught some shade in a less crowded area near the pig pen
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