Have you visited a local farm lately?

Every other Wednesday Caleb and I head over to South County to spend the day with my parents. Near their house a kids resale clothing store opened up last spring. I was so excited to have something so close to them to buy cheaper baby clothes for my new baby! Yesterday we drove past the store to find it was closed. Do you know how many times I shopped at that store in the year it was open? None. How many times did I talk about stopping in? Every time I was over there. Every other week for an entire year.

Now I know I’m only one person, and the few visits I would have made likely weren’t going to keep the store open, but how many other people were just like me and always talked about going in but never actually did?

This is why you hear us say “support your local farmer” so often. Did you know that in the month of March, two other pasture based farms in the St Louis area announced they’re closing their doors and selling their operations? Now more than ever is when you need to be visiting your favorite farms! Don’t assume that everyone else is, because they might be thinking the same thing about you.

Our on farm store is open three days a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1pm-5:30pm and Saturdays 9am-3pm. We’ll also have eggs and produce at the Millstadt Farmers Market from 3pm-6pm every 1st and 3rd Friday starting May 6th. We hope to see you at one of these locations soon!Are you supporting your local farm?

Support Your Local Farmer

You have likely heard the phrase or seen the signs or graphics shared on Facebook, emails, and newsletters, “Support Your Local Farmer”. Before we opened FPF over five years ago, we did a search of the St. Louis area and could find no one raising chickens, turkeys or hogs like we set out to do. We had recently been to a tour of Polyface led by Joel Salatin and looked to incorporate much of what he was doing in the Shenandoah Valley here in the Midwest. The local movement has caught on more in recent years and we have watched many small farms pop up around the area.

Local can mean locally owned and operated by family farmers, some for generations. Their farming practices may not always fall in line with what we value here at FPF. Nonetheless, many of them are supporting their families and living a passion to provide quality food to the St. Louis community. In that respect we are the same.

What else do we have in common with these farmers? We need your support! As the summer season approaches and lives get busy with graduations, parties, picnics, backyard BBQs, beach vacations, ball games, college prep time, and more, please know that your local farmer sacrifices many of these activities to care for their livestock and land each and every day. It’s a choice we, and they, have all made. We do so, willingly, and love the special moments as farmers we get to experience: glorious sunrises, heavy dew sparkling on grass and fence lines, roosters crowing before dawn, hens cackling as they announce to the world they’ve laid their eggs, tiny yellow chicks scampering about the brooder seeking their first drink of water and nibble of food, as well as dust-laden sunsets that cover our fields with warm sunlight leading into cool darkness as the farm quiets and goes to sleep.

The hours are long and the work is hard. Our muscles get sore and bodies tired. Yet, we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. However, to sustain this and keep it all going each and every year, we all need your regular support. Product raised and grown needs families willing to take a trip to a market or farm to make the purchases. We understand everyone is busy and we do not take your support for granted. We know each of you has a choice as to whether to come to FPF, another local farmer, or the local grocery store. Lives are busy, choices are made, and each day someone is affected by them.

As a nutrition coach, I learned that the choices we make each day affect us physically, spiritually and emotionally. A holistic lifestyle filled with nutrient dense foods take commitment – from the consumer and from the farmer. We recently had a couple drive 3 hours from Piggott, Arkansas to purchase 15 chickens from us! They had searched and could not find anyone who raised chickens like we do, so they pre-ordered and drove here. “Just a hop, skip, and a jump”, they said! Now THAT’S committment!! We are committed to growing and providing you with the best chemical-free produce, eggs, poultry and pork we possibly can. And we count on you to support us so we might continue doing so. It takes a partnership and we deeply value yours!

Thank you for being here for us and for recommending us to your family and friends.

Harvest Season 2014 Kicks Off

The first chicken harvest of the season is one filled with lots of activity and anticipation. We have raised our first batch of broilers and they have now reached maturity. This is the first batch of broilers we have raised using our new non-GMO, corn-free, soy-free feed ration. We are pleased to see they have responded well to the new feed and have loved being on pasture, even with our cool Spring weather.

Beginning a new harvest season involves setting up all our harvest equipment and processing tent. In 2013 Norm added in some plumbing pipe to make it easier for us to have hoses positioned at each station. It worked well. This year he built a wooden platform for us to stand on and used a new type of waterproof paint. This should make it more comfortable to stand upon and maneuver around, plus make clean up a little easier.

Our first harvest is sold out and our upcoming May 17 & 24 harvests will soon be. There are still some chickens available for these dates, as well as all our harvest dates.

Time to get busy getting all the rest of our equipment and preparations made. A 4:00 a.m. start comes early and there is much more to do. Have a blessed day and we’ll see you in the a.m.!

FPF Starts Blogging!

FPF is starting a new weekly blog! Each week will be written by a different person impacted by the farm. We look forward to sharing with our readers about life on the farm, the things we see and hear, and events that affect FPF, for both us and our customers!!

Primary writers will be Wade, Sandy and Jaime, along with many others who will help us blog throughout the year.