Thanks to much positive feedback from our 2015 Poultry CSA members and our customers at Farmers Market of the Ozarks, we are again offering a Poultry CSA for the 2016 season. We have changed things up a bit this year. First, we are now offering multiple shares for you to choose from. Our aim is that this will better allow you to select a share based on your own consumption patterns and one that best fits your budget. Second, we have added two new pickup locations for your convenience. Third, rather than aiming for a certain poundage each month, we are focusing on filling shares with a certain number of birds–though we give target weights of each. We are working with living creatures, after all, and we simply can’t guarantee that the birds will be at a certain weight at a time ordained by us. Fourth, we have done away with the discount for signing up for a CSA share. We came to realize that offering a discount was simply not financially viable for us. We set our prices based on our costs of production and a reasonable return on our time, not based on what “the market” might bear, and in the end we just have no room to reduce our prices. After all, our need to earn a modest living becomes no less just because our customers pay for their goods in advance. We thank you for understanding.
We are limiting the total number of birds of each variety we are raising this year, as we are a small farm and our commitment to providing the best food possible requires that we produce it in small numbers. It is therefore to your benefit to get your order in as soon as possible to guarantee your place in one of our CSAs.
About our Poultry
At Providence Farm we raise exclusively heritage breeds of poultry. There are myriad reasons why we have selected these breeds, but the long and short of it is that our heritage birds are healthier, livelier, and in the end just plain better tasting than any others you will find locally. Of this we are confident. Our slow-growing birds are raised on fresh pasture, allowed to forage freely and supplemented exclusively with freshly-ground non-GMO grains, then are hand-processed in small batches on our farm. This ensures that the utmost care is taken from start to finish, resulting in a truly superior product.
Our CSA shares are designed for the adventurous eater and cook. By participating, you will receive a variety of poultry species in a variety of ages and sizes, giving you the opportunity to experience first-hand the seasonality of meat production and allowing you to consume poultry the way very few people can nowadays. Where once meat birds were prepared using different cooking methods at different times of the year to reflect the inherent differences in the birds, in today’s world of industrial sameness and cheap throwaway commodity poultry such differences no longer existexcept with our old-fashioned heritage breeds.
Why a CSA?
There are many advantages of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model, a few of which we will briefly touch on. One, it facilitates seasonal production and consumption, which is the backbone of good land stewardship and sustainable farming, and consequently sustainable cultures and communities. This benefits everyone. Two, more directly, it is mutually beneficial for farmer and consumer alike. We, the farmers, receive capital for our production up front, at the beginning of the season, allowing us to produce good food without going into debt and without the persistent worry of finding a market for our products. You, the consumer are assured your share of delicious, sustainably-produced food from our farm. Three, it initiates a definite relationship between farmer and eater, providing a direct connection to the farm–indeed, to the land itself–and giving a more in-depth look at how your food is raised. Our goal is for this to be the beginning of a lasting farmer-eater partnership, not a mere business transaction.
The Birds through the Year
The season starts in May with our tender and delicious poussin, or “spring chickens.” You can think of these as “Cornish hens,” though we prefer the French term to further differentiate them from what you’ll find at the supermarket. The poussin (pronounced “poo-SAHN”) are 8 to 9 weeks in age and weigh approximately 1 lb. each, a comfortable serving size for an average adult.
In June the remaining chickens will have roughly doubled in size, and are now young “broilers” harvested at around 12 weeks of age and weighing in the ballpark of 2 lb. each. The term “broiler” hearkens back to the days before the advent of industrial chicken production when birds of this age were deemed perfect for hot, fast cooking under the broiler or on the grill.
By July the chickens will be at their prime, ready to be put to a myriad of delicious uses. These would be best known as “fryers,” weighing around 3 lb. each at 16 to 18 weeks of age.
The chickens in the August would be known as “roasters,” the last stop in seasonal chicken production. These birds will be approximately 20 weeks old and will weigh in at about 4 lb. each, the perfect centerpiece for a classic Sunday roast.
September will feature our beautiful dark-meated guinea fowl, a relative of the pheasant with a rich, full flavor reminiscent of game birds. Our chickens are delicious, but you might forget them entirely after a taste of guinea.
By October colder weather will be on its way, the perfect time to enjoy our always-popular Muscovy ducks. Muscovies are known for their robust dark meat, more akin to beef than poultry, and make beautiful charcuterie (such as duck leg confit or duck breast prosciutto).
In November you will feast on one of our beautiful, old-fashioned, slow-grown heritage turkeys, featuring breeds such as Bourbon Red, Blue Slate, and Norfolk Black. These are the birds of yesteryear and are about as far from a Butterball as one can get. You’ll never look at turkey the same way again.
What better way to celebrate in December than with a pasture-raised heritage goose as the centerpiece to an old-fashioned Dickensian Christmas? These birds graze our pastures from mid-spring through late fall before being plumped up on non-GMO grains in preparation for holiday feasting.
Weights and Availability
|Poussin||1 lb.||May 14|
|Broiler chicken||2 lb.||June 11|
|Fryer chicken||3 lb.||July 9|
|Roaster chicken||4 lb.||August 6|
|Guinea fowl||2.5 lb.||September 17|
|Muscovy duck (hen)||4 lb.||October 15|
|Muscovy duck (drake)||6 lb.||October 15|
|Heritage turkey (hen)||7.5 lb.||November 22|
|Heritage turkey (tom)||13 lb.||November 22|
|Goose||8 lb.||December 22|
*Please note that the available dates given are only approximate, and may vary a week or two in either direction; we will contact you when your birds are ready.
The Share Options
We have three options for you this year: (1) The Poultry CSA – Half Share, (2) The Poultry CSA – Full Share, and (3) The A La Carte CSA.
· The Poultry CSA – Half Share & Full Share ·
The Poultry CSA is ideal for those who want to enjoy the full breadth of the seasonal poultry offerings from our farm. Each month’s share will come complete with a newsletter containing information on the birds offered that month, photos, cooking tips, and other interesting bits. Amounts included in the Half Share and Full Share are as follows:
|Half Share||Full Share|
* The Half Share includes one drake (approximately 6 lbs.) and one hen (approximately 4 lbs.). The Full Share includes two drakes and two hens.
† The CSA price is based on a hen turkey averaging 7.5 lbs. in weight. If you prefer a larger bird, you may upgrade to a tom turkey averaging 13 lbs. for an additional fee of approximately $20-30, depending on actual weight.
The Half Share is priced at $315 for the May through December season.
The Full Share is priced at $495 for the May through December season.
If you find that the number of birds in either share isn’t enough for your expected needs, you can upgrade to a larger share (if applicable), purchase a second (or third, etc.) share, or add the specific birds you’d like a la carte (see below).
· The A La Carte CSA ·
In an effort to simplify our marketing and to better ensure that our regular customers are able to purchase the poultry they want, we are instituting an a la carte ordering scheme this year. Though the structure is a bit different, we like to think of this as fitting firmly within the CSA concept, just a more relaxed version. The A La Carte CSA allows you to customize your share, omitting birds you may not want and stocking up on birds you are particularly looking forward to, while also allowing you to spread the associated costs throughout the year.
The Poultry CSA – Half Share and Full Share members can order a la carte any number of any variety they like, with no minimum. For those signing up for only The A La Carte CSA we are requiring a $150 minimum total order. Average weight, price per pound, availability dates, and required deposit are included in the attached form.
Here’s how this works: You print the attached form and fill it out with the number of each variety you would like and send it back to us with the appropriate down payment. The balance for each bird will be due upon pickup, with the exact final cost depending on the actual weight of the birds.
What if I don’t want an entire CSA share?
One of our primary goals as a small farm is to establish real, lasting relationships with our customers, the eaters of the food we produce. The CSA concept is not the only way to achieve this, but it is a great way, and it is our preferred method. If you only want a few birds per year, we encourage you to explore The A La Carte CSA and crunch the numbers to see what happens. For example, you can reach the $150.00 minimum with an order of four poussin, one fryer chicken, one roaster chicken, two guinea fowl, and one tom turkey; or with two broiler chickens, four fryer chickens, one hen duck, and one hen turkey.
If you still wish not to participate in any of our CSA options, you may yet have a chance at scoring the bird or birds you’d like. Any remaining poultry not distributed through the three CSAs will be sold as available on a first come, first served basis.
Pickup Locations & Payment Info
We are offering four pickup options this year:
- On-farm. This will not be on any set day of the week, but will be flexible to best fit your schedule. We are located approximately 35 minutes from east Springfield, easily accessible from either I-44 or Hwy 60. The on-farm pickup option gives you the opportunity to witness changes on the farm throughout the season, watching the birds, calves, and gardens grow, and gives you first-hand insight into exactly how we produce your food.
- At Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Pickup will be on Saturday mornings, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. This should be convenient for many of you, and gives you the opportunity to simultaneously support other local farmers.
- At Millsap Farm. Pickup will be on a Tuesday afternoon each month, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, to coincide with the Millsap Farm veggie CSA pickup. This location is intended for those of you who are Millsap Farm CSA members. A $40.00 delivery premium applies. (November and December pickup will be at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.)
- At Urban Roots Farm. Pickup will be on a Tuesday afternoon each month, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, to coincide with the Urban Roots Farm veggie CSA pickup. This location is intended for those of you who are Urban Roots Farm CSA members. A $40.00 delivery premium applies. (November and December pickup will be at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.)
Please remember that pickup dates are not set ahead of time, but will depend upon the state of the birds as they reach the desired weights. We will contact you each month when your birds are ready for pickup.
For The Poultry CSA – Half Share and The Poultry CSA – Full Share members, payment is due in full before the beginning of the season. Your spot is not secured until payment is received. For The A La Carte CSA members, the relevant deposit is due with your order. See the attached form for details.
To sign up, simply print out the attached forms, fill them out, and mail them back to us with your payment.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CSA shares, please call us: (417) 840-5093. We will also respond to e-mail, but our response will not be as timely.