Today we visited Deck Family Farm. We have been interested in joining their CSA for a while now, but we wanted to see their animals first. The farm is open to visitors every day except Sunday. You do not need to make an appointment. The entrance is closed so the animals don’t get away, but you can remove the latch pretty easily and drive on in.
The Deck family’s house. We spied employees preparing a wonderful-smelling community lunch in the kitchen.
We were welcomed by a few workers who were more than happy to answer our questions and show us around. The manager of the farm gave us a tour, but he said you can always visit the animals by yourself, if you want!
The first stop was the chicken house were this beautiful lady serves as the guard against wild predators. She was so excited when she saw new faces that she made flips in the air. We were told she is excellent at her job.
Between evidently grazing in the relatively large, open air pasture, the chickens are fed organic pellet feed.
These are layer-hens.
This room is where the chicks that are only a few weeks old hang out, while slowly being adjusted to the cooler, more erratic temperatures of the outside. It was a cool straw-bail structure, heated and lit from inside.
These are the pigs. Right after they are born, they are allowed to root around with their mama. However, these guys are in the “toddler” phase, so they kept running away and looking for mischief!
After they are weaned, they a separated in a larger space and fed lots of milk.
Yes, these lucky pigs drink raw milk!
We made some friends. They came up close and sniffed around to see if we were bringing them any food. When they reach adulthood, the pigs are allowed to root around outside.
They are fed hazelnuts and a mixture of barley, oats, corn, and mineral supplement.
They need lots of hazelnuts, since they slaughter about 180 pigs a year.
They have quite a flock of sheep also. This flock represents what our guide called “the small half”.
The sheep seemed curious but did not allow us to come too close to them. Our guide told us that people are not only encouraged to visit the farm but also to come for picnics. Maybe they will get to know us better eventually!
During the tour we were followed faithfully by these two beautiful hounds. I have never seen happier more relaxed dogs in my life!
These are the young bulls. They were rough-housing with each other when we arrived, just like the pups earlier. They look embarrassed that we caught them in the act!
The milking cows inspected us for a while with their matronly eyes.
We couldn’t get closer to the beef cattle because they were in a far off field and we were short-stopped by a fence. Both the beef cattle and the milk cattle are completely grass-fed.
Yes we saw lots of baby calves. I could barely drag myself away from them. We wanted to take them all home with us!
Our guide told us that this little guy was offspring from a dairy cow, but that no one could bring themselves to slaughter him! Now he’s maturing into a breeding bull.
This rooster escaped from the chicken pasture, which apparently happens periodically. He eyed us suspiciously.
These gals help with slug control on the farm.
They have 6 or 7 freezers stocked with beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. If you don’t want to buy a CSA box, you can always just stop by and purchase one of their meat products straight form the farm.
The eggs looked like they were from an Easter basket; all sizes, shapes, and colors.
The CSA box cost us $380. It includes everything listed above, x2! There is also a $150 option.
We got this box of meat, plus a dozen of fresh eggs. When we run out we get another box about the same size, included in the price. The total cost for us (since we split it) was $190. Some might claim that this is rather expensive. It comes to about $7.60/lb. When you take into account the the quality and variety of the cuts (steaks, ground beef, sausage, bacon, ribs, roasts, and more) – not to mention supporting a local farmer – the price is right.