Food is not always something that you put in your mouth and eat!

Going Back To The Future

As most of you know and saw in Food INC, after 23 years of raising chickens our contract with Perdue to raise chickens was terminated in July 2008. Since then the two single purpose industrial sized chicken houses on our farm have remained empty and we no longer raise chickens for the industry.

The greatest fear among contract growers is that their contract will be terminated and they’ll lose the farm that has been so heavily mortgaged to grow chickens for a company. Knowing that the contract may be terminated at anytime by the company they grow chickens for, has kept farmers silent.

We have been fortunate enough to make ends meet and keep the farm. Over the past year or so I’ve had the opportunity to see many different ways of raising chickens. My good friend Alexis Koefoed of Soul Food Farm in Vacaville CA inspired me by what she does on her farm.

There is much to consider when undertaking a new enterprise especially when the enterprise is to put the farm back into production. Farming is not easy and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Frankly it’s hard work every day 365 days out of the year.

The next step was to figure out how we would do it. It was a definite “no” to industrial production. The foremost reason was that we wanted to do something that we felt good about and we wanted to work for ourselves rather than the company dictating how we should raise chickens.

We’ve found several ways to make adaptations to our industrial sized buildings and are converting to a pasture based egg farm. I call it going back to the future because I’ve heard the whispers by some who say that we are going back in time. One could look at it that way, I suppose, however I see a future which I like not a past that I don’t like.

Our goal is to create a sustainable working farm raising hens for pasture based egg production. I hope this can also serve as a model for others and that they can use it to adapt to their own needs and desires of raising chickens in a better way.

Development of a local food chain whereby local farmers producing independently can connect with buyers and distributors is the ultimate vision of the new adventure. Keeping dollars local sustains communities!

In the following weeks I’ll be posting news about the progress of our “girls” so check back often and join me in our new adventure!

Comments on: "Going Back To The Future" (6)

  1. Craig Watts said:

    Carole are you doing just eggs or chickens for meat also??

    What are the processing options for chickens raised for meat??

    I have never wanted to relive the past but if there was one little moment back in about April of 1991 that I could change could you guess what that one moment would be??

    So back in time might be just what we need to do!

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  2. We are only doing eggs. There are no independent processing facilities here so meat birds were not an option. Bet you can’t guess who owns all of the processing facilities……..

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  3. Craig Watts said:

    I thought the farmer in Food Inc. that was dressing his own poultry was interesting..the USDA told him he “you can’t do that..not safe..blah, blah, blah” and his was much “cleaner” than what was at the grocer’s shelf. Bet that dude would be fun to hang out with. Do you know him??

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  4. You’re thinking of Joel Salatin in VA. Mobile processing or on farm processing is great on a small scale. In order to use an existing industrial farm and sevice the debt “small scale” won’t get it. I’ll talk about it in one of my future blogs however I’m thinking more of mid-size being an option for growers to keep the farm.

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  5. Hello Carole, i saw Food Inc. and I got an assignment to write to someone in the movie and pursuade them to do somthing. I was woundering if i could get your e-mail so we could talk and i could send you my letter.

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