Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food Safety bill: Take action now!

I want to make you aware of the current deliberations in the Senate on a food safety bill. This bill stems from legitimate food safety concerns such as E. Coli. in peanut butter or on vegetables. Unfortunately, the Senate has taken a one sized fits all approach to food safety. The current bill does little to differentiate industrial agriculture systems producing thousands of animals in houses or hundreds of acres of one vegetable from small diversifies farms like ours. The bill has the potential to force regulatory burdens on small farms that we cannot afford or comply with. This will have the exact opposite effect of what is intended. Instead of small, diverse, healthy farms you can come walk around on food production will become ever more consolidated as fewer big companies are able to comply with the increased regulation. If you value Bluebird Farm and all other small farms producing food that you can actually see please follow this link, read this article: http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/blog/?p=209 and call our senators. Thank you for your support of Bluebird Farm and all small farms,

William Lyons and Marie Williamson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jeepers Sheepers II


Misty meets the sheep

Misty and a lamb try eating together

The sheep do some stealth sniffing

Every body loves grass!

In which Misty meets the sheep and decides that the sheep are not alien creatures, and that she doesn't mind sharing pasture with them. I think she will change her mind if there was another horse around.

Beautiful garden

More great photographs from our neighbor Leann. She captures the early morning so well!


Some of the lettuce that's in season at the farm, ready to harvest for markets this week.



Meat chickens eating grass, peas, and vetch in the pasture.

Here's Petunia doing her day job, protecting young meat chickens. Most mornings she comings running up to the meat chickens when we feed them, because they squawk so much. She gets very disturbed when her chickens make a lot of noise. In the evenings, she goes for another romp and later she wanders up to the sheep fence for her night job.


Here are the pigs clearing brush and stumps in a paddock. We cut out the overgrown trees around the pastures for firewood and the pigs love digging out around the roots; eating pieces of root and leaves.
They takes lots of breaks from digging. Pigs are always the last animals sleeping in the morning!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pastured Pork Available!

We will be taking 4 more pigs to the butcher on the 26th of April. We are offering our Pork Family Packs again for a discount over retail prices. A pork family pack is a great way to stock up your freezer for summer grilling. Our packages are sized at 20 and 30 lbs to easily fit in a standard freezer. You can read more about the pork packages on our website:
http://sites.google.com/site/bluebirdfarmnc/home/products/pork/pork-prices


Our pigs are raised without the use of antibiotics. They spend their entire lives outdoors. Outside on pasture they can express their natural behaviors; rooting and enjoying fresh grain, roots, grass, and hay. These pigs are Yorkshire hogs born at Warren Wilson College so you know their mothers were raised outside eating organic grain. You can read about our forest pigs on our blog.




Whole or half hog

If you own a chest freezer or are considering buying one for vegetable preserving and meat storage now is a great time because we are offering substantial discounts on half or whole hogs (over earth day weekend there is a rebate program on all energy star appliances). You can also get it cut exactly how you want.

Small Family Pack

Contains a variety of cuts totaling approximately 20 pounds* of pork. Stock up and “shop” from your freezer-you’ll have all the common cuts of pork to make delicious meals. Try the pork chops for pan-frying, roasts for hearty dinners, ground country sausage for quick savory meals. The Small Family Pack will fit in your refrigerator’s freezer with plenty of room to spare! Sold at a 5% retail discount.

Large Family Pack

The Large Family Pack contains a variety of cuts totaling about 30 pounds* of meat. A great variety pack with all the common cuts including more sausage and pork chops! See details here. If you have a little more freezer space in your refrigerator’s freezer this is a great way to stock up and “shop” from your freezer for months. Sold at an 8% retail discount.

* Family Packs are based on the approximate weights of listed items- each cut of pork is unique!

Retail cuts

Available by the pound at farmers markets.

You can find us at the following markets
Catawba Valley Brewing Company: Fridays March 26-May 7th 4pm-6pm
Morganton Downtown Farmers Market: Saturdays May 8th-October 8-noon
Hickory Downtown Farmers Market: Wednesdays April 28th 12-5:30 pm
Conover Farmers Market: Saturdays April 24th 8-12:30

Ordering

Contact us or print and mail order form to reserve your pastured pork! Your order is not final until we receive your deposit.


*Please make all checks payable to Bluebird Farm

Mail non-refundable deposits to:

Marie Williamson
4178 Bluebird Dr.
Morganton, NC 28655

Thank you for the support and encouragement everyone has offered.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jeepers Sheepers!

Well, our pasture mowers have arrived!
Thanks to our neighbor Leanne for these beautiful pictures!
Our flock of sheep are waiting a few days in the corral, 'til they accustomed to the place. Misty, the horse, must be thinking "Jeepers, Sheepers!" She's not quite sure about these creatures that have landed in her world. But- she decided she would stand near them and meet them in exchange for some grain and alfalfa treats. Misty will be hopefully grazing in the same paddocks as the sheep. We'll see if she decides that they are NOT aliens.

They are a great addition to the farm, since they are the only animals besides Misty, the old grey mare, who can eat grass exclusively for their feed. Of course sheep can eat grains, but just like cattle, it isn't very good for them. Sheep, cattle, and other animals like goats,alpacas, and camels are ruminants with a multi-chambered stomach (aka "4 stomachs") Ruminants have this wonderful place in their stomach called...the rumen! This is a special place to digest the tough, fibrous lignins in grasses and forbs, but it's not meant to digest grains. Ruminants' natural diet is 100% greens...grasses, sedges, and forbs- maybe a mouthful of woody shrubs thrown in here and a mouthful of fresh oak leaves there.


So for lamb, beef and chevon (goat) "grain-finished" is not a good thing for the animal's health or the health of the humans that eat the "grain-finished" lamb and beef. Haven't you heard to cut back on red meat? Well, that's because it's "grain-finished" not "100% grass fed" or "grass-finished." But, that's a different story!

For those of you who are noticing how delightfully cute the lambs are- don't worry! Bluebird Farm's lamb is not "spring lamb" or "Easter lamb." Spring and Easter lamb are those babies in the pictures. Don't worry! Bluebird Farm's lamb is older- young animals that aren't babies anymore!

And for those of you that have heard that lamb is tough and chewy or strange- there was a time when "lamb" was really "old sheep." That is what hamburger in the grocery store is- "old cow" and 1 hamburger patty from the grocery store these days contains pieces of meat from hundreds of cows. How about that for food safety?