When Bad Things Happen to Great People

Fisher Hill Farm Blog Post

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.

Phillip

 

Photo for this post by Walter Adam

 

Winter on the Farm

Fisher Hill Farm Winter

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.

Shoppers at the Brighton Winter Farmers Market

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.

Check out our Farmers Market page for information and directions. 

It’s not too early to start thinking about our CSA either!

See you at the market!

Crop Report: All About Sweet Corn

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn

This week summer will be in full force. Sweet corn is finally ready and let me tell you it is amazing. We had an exceptionally cold April and an unusually warm May and that cold April kept us out of the field for an early corn planting.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Sweet Corn

But when you look back at May we never had a frost. How unusual is that? Many years we struggle to keep early plantings alive and this year we could have planted frost sensitive crops even earlier.

But I digress, back to sweet corn. This week’s variety is called ‘Sweetness’ and its nothing short of that. Usually, to grow early corn we have to sacrifice a few things to get the corn on the table so soon, such as ear size, flavor or height of the plant. Sweetness is a very good eating corn but it is a smaller ear. But don’t worry as the season goes on the corn will get larger but it will always be better than you can find in a store!

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn 2
Fisher Hill Farm -Sweetness

 Deer Report

The fences seems to be holding them back. We have one last field to fence in this week and after that the deer are out of luck. Hopefully they will find some other place to call home. Next week I hope to share some pictures of the fence itself and the solar powered fence chargers that keep the fence hot.

Fall Planning

Last week we planted more beets, chard, a mega planting of kale (for winter harvest), broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, and melons. We have since had a nice little rain shower to set the plants in but definitely could use some more. Hard to believe that it’s time to think about late fall and winter kale. But we need to have the plants well established and full of greens by fall. After mid October plants don’t grow much and we need to have all that foliage banked up and ready to harvest.

Currently Available

Garlic Scapes

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Head Lettuce

Cucumbers (slicing and pickling)

Sweet corn

Chard

Kale

Radishes

Spring onions

Scallions

Green garlic

Beans (flat, fava, green, yellow)

Sweet yellow onions

Bunched beets (red and gold)

Shoots and microgreens

Potatoes, New (red and white)

Carrots

Shallots (storage)

FRESH chicken
Free Range Eggs (chicken & duck)
Red Jacket juices

Fisher Hill Farm - Bristol NY
Fisher Hill Farm – Bristol NY

What Our Chickens Mean to Us

Fisher Hill Farm Chickens

We raise chickens. The eggs are sold regularly at market and so are the chickens. We get a lot of questions about it from our customers, friends, and from interested folks at the markets we attend. A locally sourced chicken means a lot to our customer base, including the chefs and restaurants that have put a strong focus on finding ingredients that are close to home.

We use locally milled small batch feed for our chickens. They do not receive antibiotics or hormones and grow as naturally as possible. The feed is also non GMO. In short, we love our chickens and raise them that way. Our farm is our means of raising our kids, including eating our own food that we grow. We would never sell anything that we wouldn’t eat ourselves or serve to our friends and family, including our three beautiful girls!

Throughout the summer, we will have fresh chicken at the markets we attend. Fresh chicken tastes awesome and because it is only coming from our farm in Bristol, NY, our carbon footprint is small.

Fisher Hill Farm Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm Poultry

We put a high priority on our animal welfare. Everything we do on our farm is meant to treat our product and the earth as best as we possibly can. Without the earth we wouldn’t have all the great produce and poultry and we firmly believe that each of our animals deserves the utmost respect and dignity. They, after all, are part of our every day livelihood.

The basic business model to our farm is a simple one: Serve our community with food that we would serve our family. In a way, every one of our customers are our family. Keeping this in mind every day helps us to bring you the best, freshest, and admirably raised produce and poultry as possible.

Thank you for your business.