The weather, mosquitoes, and spirits of all who attended all cooperated to make for a fantastic field day.
We started our time together with a feast of fire grilled, pastured broiler chickens (slaved over by our own Chef Kyle of Pristine Farm) prepared on the biggest BBQ grill I have ever seen. This delicious dining experience was accompanied by fresh zucchini and yellow squash, a savory corn-slaw salad, followed by summer’s first strawberries over Chef Kyle’s world famous skillet shortcake. It truly was a treat to share this meal, and great conversation with all who attended.
After our meal, the group embarked on a grand tour of our pastured poultry operation.
Our first stop was a tool shed, turned brooder house where 270, week old Cornish-Cross chicks were residing. When we pried back the sliding door we witnessed a chirping delight of yellow fluff balls eating, drinking, and running around this space like a group of first graders at recess on the first nice day of spring. Kyle and Derek answered many great questions about the feed given to the chicks, the time it takes for these birds to grow and the benefits of a brooding house to healthy birds. The kids had a chance to hold one of our golden fluff balls, giving moms and dads a chance to capture a special gentleness between young ones.
Moving from the brooder, our group hopped onto a hay trailer when we traveled down a short gravel road to the pasture where our broiler pens were hard at work. Our Family farm and Pristine Farm are in cahoots to finish 3-4 week old Cornish-Cross chickens in an environment we feel allows for these birds to live a very healthy and natural life as they mature to a butchering age of 8 weeks old. We were met with more great questions about predators, the 10’X12’ “Salatin” style pen we let the birds inhabit, and the amount of grass chickens eat.
Perhaps the most exciting part for Kyle and Derek was the stroll down memory lane (the tracks left behind as we moved the pens one full length, daily). One of our main goals as farmers is to heal the land, and our group was able to witness the healing process as we walked back in time to see how delicious tufts of thick, green grass were breaking through what the chickens left behind. It was amazing to compare the beautiful grass breaking through the manure-matted spaces from a few weeks prior, to the grass just outside of the pen’s occupied space. There literally was no comparison in grass health. It was an impressive testament!
We finished out time together with a romantic walk through the green-grassy rows of Pristine Farm’s burgeoning blueberry fields. It was the perfect finish to an already sweet time together. If you are a person who appreciates this blue fruit, make it a point to find your way out to this 2-acre patch to fill your pails with some of summer’s best offerings. Perhaps we will see you out there.
Our Family Farm and Pristine Farm extends a warm THANK YOU to all who helped make this day a huge success, and everyone else who found their way out to the farm to learn about, and witness the work going into raising some of the best meat in Oregon!