Greetings from Schacht Farm! Everyone is in a better mood around here with the cooler days. How do we know this you may ask? Each species has its own way of letting us know when it is happy. The pigs play tag, running up and down the hill chasing one another, the hens lay more eggs, and the cattle kick up their heels. What about the turkeys? Well, they beat their own drum; they don’t mind the 90-degree temperatures.
Seasons of Eggs- With everything that has been in the news recently about confinement poultry operations- I am presenting another way of caring for laying hens. Everything you ever wanted to know about pastured hens can be found here. With markets throughout the year in Bloomington and Indy, folks in those cities have an opportunity each week to purchase our eggs. For our Louisville customers visiting us bi-weekely at the Bardstown Road Market this winter, we will again be giving you the opportunity to reserve your eggs ahead of time. Matt will have order forms available at market beginning this weekend.
Open Farm Day- We get many requests from folks wanting to visit the farm, but unfortunately with everything that needs to get done in a day…we simply don’t have the time to honor these requests. Instead, we set aside a few days each year when folks can explore the farm, see the animals, and ask questions about how we care for them. Fall Open Farm Day is scheduled for Sunday, October 17th from 1-4. Directions can be found here. We ask that visitors leave their dogs at home and be mindful that electric fences are in use on our farm.
Turkey Update- The birds are growing beautifully and seem to be enjoying the presence of grasshoppers on the farm. We continue to rotate them to new pasture as needed, which produces a juicy bird, full of flavor. We have checked in with Strangers Hill Organics, and they report that the herbs we will be giving to folks with the turkey they ordered are also growing well. If you have not yet ordered your Thanksgiving turkey…now is the time. Information can be found here.
Holiday Hams-We are now taking orders for holiday hams. With a diverse diet, our hogs produce rich-flavored pork you can’t help but want at the center of your holiday feast. Details can be found here.
Bloomington Community Market: Every Saturday, April 3rd through November 27th, 8-1.
Bloomington Winter Market: Every Saturday, December 4th through March 26th, 9-12.
Bardstown Road Market (Louisville): Every Saturday, April through December, 8-12. Note: We plan to have product available through the winter months from 10-12 at the same location on the following dates: 12/11, 12/18, 1/8, 1/22, 2/12, 2/26, 3/12 and 3/26.
Broad Ripple Farmers Market (Indianapolis): Every Saturday, May through November 6th, 8-12:30.
Indianapolis Winter Market: Every Saturday, November 13th through April, 9-12:30.
CSA Update- Starting with only 4 shares in March, the CSA has grown steadily this year to include 45 shares. Let us know if you are interested in being contacted when more shares become available. Interested in learning more?
Holiday Gift Ideas- Giving food as a gift has always been the norm in our family. Whether it is brought back from a special place visited by the giver or made with love and care, the giver is sharing a part of something that matters to him or her. We have been amazed over the last few years at how many new customers find out about our products through their friends and family. Of course, it does make sense; they find something good that they enjoy and want those they care about to enjoy it as well. To allow folks the opportunity to share the gift of good food, we are offering gift cards in $5 increments that can be redeemed at any of the markets we attend. Gift cards may also be applied to bulk purchases or CSA shares. We will begin having gift cards available at market in mid-November.
Stewing Hens- Later this fall we will be butchering those older hens in our flock who are no longer good layers. With their diverse diet these birds take on a rich flavor, making them the perfect addition to all those cold weather, slow cooked comfort foods such as chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings. For those who know what a culinary treasure stewing hens are, we are happy to reserve 5 or more for those wanting to "stock" up (pun intended). Send us an email telling us how many you would like and we will add you to the list and contact you once they are available. Birds not reserved will be available at the various markets we attend. Each bird weighs 2.5-3 lbs. and is $2.85/lb.
Continued Growth- We are often asked by customers how much land it takes to raise all the animals that produces the products we sell. Since we began farming 5 years ago, everything has been raised on the back half of a 54-acre farm just outside of Bloomington, land that is owned by Mandy’s family. We were so fortunate to be able to start out on this land, without a farm mortgage hanging over our heads. Access to this land allowed us to dip our toes into the world of farming, direct marketing, and business ownership before diving in head first. It offered us some opportunities to struggle and fail…and other opportunities to enjoy and thrive. In hindsight…I believe all were necessary to refine our desire for this life and work. Five years later, we have learned a great deal about how to care for our animals. We know what species we most enjoy raising…and those that we don’t. We know more about direct marketing our products and have a better understanding of what our customers are looking for. We recognize the blessing of an ever-growing group of folks who support our efforts. It is through that support that the farm has grown beyond the land we are currently caring for. We are in the process of purchasing a 60-acre property thirty minutes southeast of Bloomington. It is exciting that as customers invest in us and our products, we can invest in land that will allow us to increase our flock and herd sizes to better meet the future needs of our customers. Seriously….how great is that!! Thanks so much for your part in helping us grow.