Back in 2011 I decided that I wanted to try growing turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Over the years customers had been asking where to get them and I thought it would be a great sideline to the vegetable business. Little did I know that this would be the catalyst to our poultry business. 2012 we raised the first meat chickens and 2014 was the beginning of the egg layers.
But if you’re going to sell poultry you’re going to need to get them processed.
I was eager to raise them but wasn’t ready to start processing them. After talking around I was recommended to a Mennonite family in the Penn Yan area. That fall of 2011 was the beginning of a long friendship with the Hoover family. We had been no strangers to Mennonites and had done business with different families before that. Since the beginning we had built a strong friendship and began to watch our families grow. His kids where starting to get married and ours were just starting. Even though we came from different up brings we still had many common interests including Kubota Tractors!
Unfortunately the Hoover family was dealt a devastating blow Wednesday afternoon January 30, 2019. A small fire started in their woodworking shop and quickly spread to the rest of the barn, including the horse stalls, buggie garage, and poultry processing area. All the horses, buggies, and small animals made it out safely. No one was hurt and their house was unaffected (thank goodness).
It’s truly amazing how fast the community comes together to help someone else out.
But the truly amazing part is how the Mennonite Community comes together to help out a family in a time of need. The fire was Wednesday and next day a whole crew was clearing the debris away, making the plans, and had already started to rebuild. By Friday afternoon they were ready to set trusses and by Saturday night the building may be closed in already. Mennonites don’t believe in insurance but rather they pay into a community fund that is managed by the church. Then when a crisis happens the church steps in and helps the family out.
It’s truly amazing how fast the community comes together to help someone else out. I hope that everyone can take a step back and take a macro perspective.
Too often we are so concerned about the little things in our own life and we too easily forget about everything around us.
I’m very sad that The Hoovers will not be able to process our poultry for a little while but they recommended an Amish family that can get the job done.
Even in the winter it’s business as usual on the farm. Even in these cold temperatures we still have to tend to our land and animals, although there might be a little more argument on who goes out to feed the chickens!
We can’t stress enough how much we love our job. There’s always parts of the job that we don’t like, and there’s probably parts of your job that you don’t like either, but we take a lot of pride and joy out of our work. Getting up and being at your job might sound terrible to some of you, but for us it’s a dream come true.
Our sincere enjoyment is yours actually. We have many repeat customers and many new customers who come to us for the food that helps sustain their family, themselves, and their friends. There is no greater feeling in the world than a job well done and when we hear the success stories of the dishes you made that your family and friends loved with our products it gives us true joy.
Winter on the farm is a bit slower than in the spring, summer, and fall. It’s certainly a lot darker (although that’s slowly changing) and much quieter. But this time is essential for us to plan out our crops, spend some quiet nights with our girls, and think about spring!
We’re ready for it some days and other days we’re glad we have a few months. We hope this year is a good growing one not only for our crops that we bring to you but also for our three most important crops, our girls!
For the next few months you can find us at the Rochester Public Market and the Brighton Winter Farmers Market.
Everyday we are so happy to do what it is we do. Farm life for us isn’t just a job but it’s our identity and our way of life. Growing takes a lot of patience and time, sometimes a little luck, and a deep understanding of the land and the crops. It’s not meant to be completely cerebral but a combination of established practice, research, and accountability.
It some ways, it’s much like raising children and sometimes we see our kids walking through the crops, amazed at how fast they’ve grown, how quickly they adapt, and how much more they know than we can account for.
Our family farm is just that, a family farm. And it sounds simple and looks simple in words but honestly it couldn’t be any simpler. We would never feed our family something that we wouldn’t sell and we treat our poultry with the same careful persistence as our kids.
We like to share news and pictures with everyone because if you shop with us it’s like your part of the family too. Our ties to the community can only feel stronger when we are recognized at one of the markets we attend!
Rochester is an awesome city with a great group of people living in it. The Rochester Public Market is one of the most amazing places we’ve ever been and studies have shown that its one of the most multi-cultural meeting places in the northeast. Up there with Chicago city markets and New York city!
We couldn’t be happier to be at any of the markets we attend. And we also have on farm pickup on Wednesday’s from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. So stop on by! We’re easy to find and we’d love to have you.
Here’s a recent gallery of pictures from the farm!
That’s right! We’re taking over! Marty’s Birdland Food Truck will be at the Brighton Farmers Market on Sunday August 12th for an amazing meal made with what we grow. We’re so excited for this event and we really want to make sure everyone is there!
Don’t miss this event because it is only happening once! The menu is set and everyone is ready to go, now we just have to wait until Sunday August 12th so we can EAT.
We will still be at the market that day with our tables ready with your weekly local groceries but make sure to come to the market this day hungry.
In other news, we have a new video that was just released. Check it out!
Before you stop reading because of what the headline is you should read this.
Chicken hearts can be delicious and they are nutritious. High in protein, iron, and Vitamin B-12, they can provide you with an awesome snack or on top of a salad for a complete dinner.
Now most people will never even try them but before you write them off forever you might want to give this recipe a whirl. Hearts have a strong flavor like liver, but not as strong and a good marinade and a hot grill can take care of that. If you do enjoy liverwurst, fried liver, or pate and you haven’t tried chicken hearts yet, what are you waiting for!
Chicken Heart Yakitori
Yakitori is Japanese for Chicken Skewer. It’s usually a simple dish that is grilled over charcoal and served basted with a soy based sauce. For the recipe that we got from a friend of ours who is a retired chef (she didn’t want to be mentioned but you know who you are!) she used a combination of things for the marinade.
1 package of Fisher Hill Chicken Hearts (we don’t always have them at market but send us a message if you want them!)
1 green pepper cut into chunks
What you’ll do:
Combine everything in a bowl except for the skewers the teriyaki sauce and the chives. Cover and let stand in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.
Take the hearts and place them on the skewers with the peppers. Grill until they are done all the way through. Charcoal or wood gives a really nice flavor but there’s nothing wrong with propane either.
After grilling through, place on a plate and drizzle with teriyaki. Finish with some fresh chopped chives.
It goes well with Sauvignon Blanc or an ice cold ale.