Our CSA: Customer Reviews

Fisher Hill Farm CSA

We had some past customers post last year about what they thought of our CSA. It means a lot to us to hear how happy people are with their share. We work hard to make sure that every year is a great one and we want nothing more than to see people use our produce.

One of the best parts for us is learning about our own produce from the folks who use it! We love hearing about recipes, family secrets, different methods of cooking things that we’ve never heard or thought of. It’s a perk of this job and one that has certainly kept us entertained under the tent and at our dining room table.

The relationships that we’ve built with our customers have helped us steer the farm in different directions, allowing us to help serve the community as best as we possibly can. We look forward to going to the markets to see the familiar faces every week and it’s nice to hear that many people feel the same way about us!

The term CSA means Community Supported Agriculture. But it extends beyond just buying a share that helps us get seeds in the ground. It quite literally helps in building a community around the bounty, solidifying a connection between food and people, a kind of formal bond that is very strong.

We are so lucky to have such a supportive community in Rochester. The markets, the people, and other farms and farmers have pulled together such a tightly woven fabric that really covers everything!

2021 is going to be a great year. Mostly because of the people who surround us that make every year a little better than the last.

Thank you.

Buy a Fisher Hill Farm CSA Share Today.

What Does a CSA Look Like?

Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 12

With us, every CSA looks different. We don’t hand you a box of veggies but rather let you choose what you want at pick up time. It makes for a unique experience and one that allows you to choose what you’ll use! We don’t want to see you get something that you don’t like.

So it’s hard to say. Some people add chicken and eggs to theirs. Some just eggs. Some people get lots of crunchy veggies, some stock up on lettuce. Others still use it as an opportunity to take what they love and try something new.

A few years ago a friend of ours (Thanks Ansel!) took pictures of every share he brought home. We were lucky enough to have him share those with us. This was the regular share, so if you have a large family don’t worry, there’s one that’s larger. But looking through this gallery will show you how it changes with the seasons.

Interested to know what you’ll find on our tables?

Interested to know more about our CSA.

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  • Fisher Hill Farm CSA Week 1

We’re not quite ready for CSA 2021 information yet but we are working on it and as soon as we have our ducks in a row we will let you know. We love CSA for so many reasons, but most of all it’s great to develop new relationships with customers and learn what you do with our products. There’s always room to learn more about what you do, that will help us in what we do.

Thank you!

The 7 Things You Should Know About the Farm Right Now

There’s just so much going on right now, at the farm and in the country, that we wanted to make sure you knew all that we had going on at the farm so you can, at the very least, plan what you might have for dinner over the weekend (if nothing else!)

Below is a list with some helpful links for the 7 things we have going on right now that you might want to know about heading into the holidays.

  1. Thanksgiving Turkey Still Available – We have sold out of organically raised turkey but there are still conventional turkeys left, but they are going fast! If you need a turkey for Thanksgiving you can still order here: THANKSGIVING TURKEY
  2. Farm Pre-Order Pickup Wednesdays – From now until 12/23 you can pre-order your groceries and pick them up at the farm on Wednesday nights from 3pm until 6pm. Submit the order form by Tuesday of each week and we’ll be ready for you. IF you’re interested click here: ORDER FORM
  3. The Brighton Market will Continue OUTSIDE – The Brighton Farmers Market will be outside with regular hours from now until Thanksgiving and then have reduced hours but remain outside until Christmas. For more information click here: BRIGHTON FARMERS MARKET
  4. Stewing Hens are Back! – The hens are back and just in time to make soups, stocks, and hearty dishes with them. If you are not familiar with our stewing hens, check out the following for ideas and recipes: CHICKEN STEW, CHICKEN RAGU, CHICKEN TACOS, CHICKEN POT PIE
  5. Our Partnership with Flour City Bread Continues! – Our online pre-order grocery pick up is still ongoing! And, they are offering to cook you Thanksgiving dinner this year too. Check out all the details here: FLOUR CITY BREAD
  6. Christmas Turkeys will be available – We will have turkey for Christmas dinner this year. Details to follow. We have ducks available too!
  7. Rochester Public Market – Here every Saturday as well as a special pre-Thanksgiving pick up day on Wednesday 11/25. We will also bring produce that day as well.

Well that’s a lot! We hope that helps you plan your holiday! See you at the market!

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken at Home

With the fate of the New York State Fair still waiting to be determined we got thinking about the great food that will be missed out on. You can keep deep fried Oreos, what we’re thinking about is the chicken!

There’s something that just tastes better in that chicken. You can go purchase the State Fair Sauce marinade but it just never comes out the same. So we tried a few things and came up with this recipe. The marinade is important, but what’s even more important is the smoke and heat. But don’t worry, we used a simple Weber grill with some store bought charcoal and a piece of maple wood.

First you’ll need a marinade. We made our own Italian Dressing but after trying this out a few times we realized that the marinade isn’t as  important as we thought. So if you want to skip this part and purchase an oil and vinegar based Italian Dressing that will work fine. We chose to make ours because it’s pretty easy and won’t contain any preservatives.

Basic Italian Dressing for Marinade:

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of the following: Dried Oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

(Optional is fresh thyme and mint, rough chopped)

If you put all of this in a jar or tupperware you can give it a good mix. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour. We made double this recipe to use what we didn’t pour over the chicken for a pasta salad as a side.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken

The Chicken Part

Cut a whole chicken in half. Don’t trim any skin or fat it’s not necessary. Just split it in two and put it into a one gallon ziplock bag.

Pour in enough Italian Dressing marinade to almost cover the chicken. Then arrange the two halves so the bag can lay flat. This will effectively submerge half of the chicken at a time. Put it in the fridge (*pro tip: put the plastic bag into a tupperware or on a sheet tray just in case someone accidentally pokes a hole in the bag. You and your fridge will thank us later!)

24 hours in the marinade is what the goal is. Flip the bag over to submerge the other side of the chicken every 8 hours.

The Grill Part

Get your charcoal started by a chimney and let them get hot. Once they’re red hot, place them on half of your weber grill. We got a large piece of maple from a neighbor and used that. We butted it up against the coals to provide extra smokey flavor. But if you don’t have a large piece of maple, you can purchase smaller ones. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.

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Once the coals and wood is in place, rotate the grill so the part that was over the coals is now not over the coals. Once you take the chicken out of the marinade, let it drip dry while you get the fire going. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill skin side down, but NOT over the coals. Make sure the damper is wide open and close the lid.

Keep close. With the oil and fat with the chicken there’s always the chance that it’s dripping on the coals and you need to put it out. You can always put a tin of water underneath the chicken to make sure it doesn’t catch. But if you don’t line it up right it can catch anyway.

At the 30 minute mark, flip the chicken. Put the lid back on and close the damper half way. Let it go for 45 minutes.

Open up the lid. The wood should be burnt out and the coals should be hot but not red not anymore. Put the chicken directly over the coals skin side down and put the lid back on for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and open the dampers. Let it smoke another 30 minutes.

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The best way to know if your chicken is done is to use a thermometer and get an internal temperature of 165 degrees. But once the meat starts pulling away from the bone it’s usually close.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes if not longer before eating. We served our with pasta salad. It’s really good that day. But somehow ten times better the next day, cold out of the fridge.

 

What Does a Chicken House Look Like?

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry

We have three almost identical houses that the laying hens live in and they have a few key features that make them unique. 

First they need a place to lay their eggs everyday. We use community style nesting boxes that are about four feet wide and one foot deep. They have a slanted floor that rolls the eggs to the front of the box where we collect them. The really nice part about these boxes is that the eggs stay really clean and the chickens can’t get to them. Once in a while you can get a hen that likes to eat eggs and not only does that hurt your production numbers but it makes a big mess.

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Another advantage of this style nesting box is that the eggs are easier to collect and much faster. The red flaps on the front give the hens a little privacy and that encourages them to lay in the boxes. 

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

The house is also where the hens get all their food and water. The water will only freeze when the temperature falls in the low 20’s. All the chickens give off enough body heat that keeps it really cozy even in the dead of winter. The red waterers in a bell shape work off a low pressure system that keeps them full of fresh water all the time. Every morning the chickens get about six five gallon buckets full of fresh non-GMO feed. That works out to about a quarter pound of feed per bird per day. The goal is to give them enough so they don’t waste it and that the hens don’t get over weight. Also the feed formulation changes as the birds get older.

We work directly with a poultry nutritionist that comes up with the best formulation for their age and dietary needs.

Another key feature in the chicken house are the lights. Hens require sixteen hours of daylight every day to keep laying. In the summer that isn’t a problem. But come fall and winter when the daylight is shorter we have to supplement light on either side of the day. It doesn’t take much but just enough to keep them laying strong all year long.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

The basic structure itself is a greenhouse frame that a Mennonite in Penn Yan built for us. It is covered with a single layer of white plastic to help keep it cooler in the summertime. Also in the summer we remove the metal skirts on the lower three feet of the house allowing air circulation on all four sides. It can get hot in the summer so we have added a large fan for cooling. 

Lots of pasture is available year round.

We can rotate fencing around the house giving the chickens fresh grass and letting other sections rest and regrow. We have portable fencing that allows us to move them to new areas as needed.

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

This house has been empty since the end of November and while it was empty we made a few improvements. We installed a new water hydrant because the old one would no longer shut off. No fun having hard well water that wrecks all your plumbing! We rebuilt the door and added metal siding on it so hopefully it will last longer and looks nicer too!

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry

Last, we made a huge door  (5 foot by 10 foot) on the other end that serves a couple different purposes. First it will allow more air circulation in the summer and a nice shaded patio on the hot days. Second it will allow us to back the manure spreader inside so we don’t have to pitch the manure all the way across the house.

We are refilling this house next week with young hens to meet the early springtime demand of eggs. Once Easter hits and the weather gets nicer that demand just grows and grows.

I hope this was helpful and if anyone ever has a question don’t hesitate to ask.

Phillip

***WONDERING ABOUT OUR CSA? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!***

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Chicken and Poultry
Fisher Hill Farm – Local Chicken and Poultry