Of all the animals we raise, the most gratifying for our Livestock Manager, Craig, is the one is that represents gratitude: Thanksgiving turkeys. After all, at the end of the harvest season, many of the 300 turkeys we’re tending will become centerpieces at family feasts. And, because of our mission, many more will be served at neighboring soup kitchens, feeding families who may otherwise go hungry.
November feels far away, but this year’s turkeys already have us busy. We’re raising four types– the broad-breasted white that has become the Thanksgiving go-to, as well as three heritage types—Black Spanish, Standard Bronze, and Bourbon Reds. The heritage turkeys grow more slowly, yielding a smaller bird with dark, delicious meat. But no matter the breed, all our turkeys get to act out their natural instincts: they live out on pasture, feast on certified organic grain and grasses and insects, and even get to roost, which is their favorite way to sleep. When the leaves fall and the wind blows, they’ll be big enough to harvest—ready for lots of neighbors and cousins to pile up their plate, and not leave room for pie. And if you’re lucky enough to buy one of our birds, you help us serve those who are not so fortunate.
We are thankful for all the animals we raise, and the foods they provide. Whether eggs for breakfast, honey on toast or beef at dinner, every meal is an opportunity to make choices that are good for animal welfare, human health and the environment. But for over a century, turkeys have been the annual entree over which we count our blessings—and, when possible, share our cornucopia with neighbors in need. Here at CFF, we work hard to give our turkeys a great life and are humbled to know that, come November, hundreds of families will gather together, clasp hands, carve into these birds and give thanks.
Warmer weather allows for more time to be out in our beautiful fields. Come join us every Wednesday and Saturday!
When: Every Wednesday and Saturday morning in season
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: 6127 Mechanicsville Road, Mechanicsville, PA 18934
Please wear comfortable clothes and appropriate footwear. Be prepared to get a little dirty! We provide tools, gloves, and beverages. Please Note: Minors 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
The CFF farm stand is set up outside of Max Hansen’s Carversville Grocery from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday until Thanksgiving to sell our nutrient-dense Organic produce, swag, and more! Come see us, say hi and feel good knowing that all proceeds from these sales are put directly back into feeding the needy in our own backyard. Feed Your Neighbor, Feed Your Soul!
When: Every Saturday until Thanksgiving
Time: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Outside Max Hansen’s Carversville Grocery
The harvest continues to flow in, with hundreds of pounds of beets and our first harvest of Chinese cabbage! Kale, spring garlic and salad mix have been plentiful as well. Tomatoes are just about here as we can see the first sun gold cherry tomatoes beginning to ripen, along with several of our heirloom varieties. This week our watermelons are going in the ground. We planted half of our watermelon crop so far, and are excited for the sweet bounty to be had in late summer.
|Heritage Turkeys||6 pounds|
|Goat Meat||192 pounds|
|Ground Beef||52 pounds|
|Bok Choy||133 pounds|
|Garlic Scapes||194 pounds|
|Hakurei Turnips||112 pounds|
|Hinona Kabu Turnips||39 pounds|
|Salad Mix||160 pounds|
|Spring Garlic||149 pounds|
|Swiss Chard||280 pounds|
|Winter Radish||10 pounds|
|GRAND TOTAL||1,691 pounds|
1. How long have you been in farming?
I’ve been farming for just over a year now.
2. What made you want to go into farming?
I had been cooking at a whole animal/farm to table restaurant called Underbelly in Houston, meeting a lot of local farmers over the years. I really bonded with this one farmer named Ernest of Knopp Branch Farms. I expressed an interest in taking a break from cooking and he offered me a place to stay on they’re farm in South Texas. I wwoofed with them for 6 months then packed up my car and hit the road. Wwoofing my way across the states until I settled in Pennsylvania!
3. What is something you have experienced here that you never expected?
The size and scale of the mushroom operation! I’m very interested in mycology and the first sight of the mushroom forest nearly knocked me over. I’m excited to be working on such an ecologically diverse farm.
4. What is your favorite season and why?
I’m from Texas… what are seasons?!?! Really anything but winter. Summer produce is by far my favorite, fresh melon, peppers, tomatoes!
5. What is your typical day for you at CFF?
Strong coffee, marching orders, enjoy the work, interface with nature, listen to the birds, accomplish our tasks and have fun doing it. Rinse Repeat
6. How do you unwind after a long day at the farm?
Sit on the front porch steps with my banjo, pot of farm fresh goodies on the stove, reading, fishing, day dreaming.
7. What is something you can’t wait to make using ingredients from our farm?
Now that zucchini and peas are here I’m excited to make molé amarillo, hopefully we’ll get some peppers soon, I love all the beets and greens coming in now too. I’m really excited for tomatoes to start popping any day now.
8. What’s a quote you live by?
“Nature loves courage. You make a commitment to it and nature responds by removing impossible obstacles.” Terence McKenna
9. What advice would you give to someone thinking about going into farming?
If you feel that you want to be challenged mentally, physically and spiritually every single day, you’re going to love farming. It’s a beautiful life expanding experience that teaches so many valuable lessons.
10. If you had to pick, whats your favorite piece of equipment we have?
The paper pot planter. I’m a little weary of too much technology dependence in general but I think Carversville has found a really nice balance by implementing intermediate tools along side higher technology. The paper pot transplanter is an elegant, well designed really ingenious way to plant a ton of veggies quickly and effectively. I will definitely have one on my farm someday!
Within the hay/cover crops department, we cycle between three types of tasks: harvesting, maintenance, and planting. These past few weeks have included all three. We have made hay, lubricated the equipment that we used, and planted a warm season mix for the animals to graze on during the upcoming warmer months. All this work requires long hours and a lot of dedication. It requires different implements and tractors, all of which will have to be used again in a couple of weeks. We rely heavily on this equipment to work efficiently so that we can stockpile forage for our animals to eat during the winter, and to care for the land that will be grazed before then. After using equipment heavily, we then spend the following days doing maintenance so that when the time comes (typically in the next couple weeks) it’s ready to go.
Warm weather is finally here and so are CFF T-shirts! Sizes range from Small to X-Large. Sweatshirts are $17.50 and we accept cash, check, or credit card. Merchandise can be purchased directly from the farm by contacting Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, 100% of the proceeds go to feed the needy in our own backyards.
By partnering with several Bucks County food pantries, Broad Street Ministry, Coalition Against Hunger, Cathedral Kitchen and Face to Face, people throughout the Philadelphia area are benefiting from our nutritious harvest.