When we started the farm, we wanted to provide the highest quality eggs we could find. We quickly realized that in order to provide our members with a reliable supply, we would need to raise them ourselves. In 2013, we started a modest egg layer program to meet this demand. 50 turned into 150, 150 to 800 and in 2015 we plan on raising 1600 laying hens.
We built a new henhouse for the new arrivals this winter, bought another egg washer and hired Kristen to help handle the load of eggs. The new batch of poulets (young hens) arrives this Saturday.
We like to eat ducks, so last year we decided to raise a small number of pastured Pekins. They were so delicious that we have continued our program through the winter. We found a number of restaurants in Winston-Salem and Charlotte eager to feature them on their menus. Next week, our first batch of 300 are out on pasture. You may buy them on the farm, at the Cobblestone Farmer’s Market, or at our monthly on-farm Meat Round-Up the first Saturday of each month, beginning May 2nd. You may also enjoy them on local menus at The Honey Pot, Willows and 1703, just to name a few.
This year we are raising pastured pigs. The first 6 will be taken to the processor in April and we will start selling our meat soon. We are excited about this venture as it furthers our objective to complete the circle of life, using our veggies to feed our pigs, using our pigs to plow and glean the fields and enjoying our own, pasture raised, antibiotic and hormone free pork.
Breaking New Ground
Three years ago we purchased a property for further expansion and up until now have used it mainly for our animals. Last fall we broke ground. The first four acres have been turned over, the first time this land has been farmed since it supported a tobacco crop way back when.
Smack in the middle of the largest field is a flat stretch of rich loam, which is a favorable mix of clay and sand. In these parts it is rare to find such a soft textured soil. To say we are excited is an understatement. We installed an irrigation system and think this will be some of the most productive land on our farms.
We planted 300 blueberry plants in 2009 but discovered it is not enough. This spring we are planting almost 300 blackberry plants for production in 2016. In addition, this Fall we plan to plant additional blueberry bushes for future production.
Any amount of steady rainfall can ruin this sensitive crop as we witnessed on a large scale in 2013. As little as 25% of tomatoes grown in the field make it to our processing table. Compare this with 90 percent of tomatoes grown in our hoop house. To meet demand, we have built another hoop house and this spring plan to grow even more.
We believe in local, naturally raised food and we are committed to growing as much of our own family's food as possible. Join us in providing your family with the same delicious veggies and meats through the CSA program, farmer’s market and by dining with our restaurant partners.