2017 Poultry CSA

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White Plymouth Rock cockerel

2017 Poultry CSA

This marks our third straight year of offering a Poultry CSA.  We have again changed things up a bit, to offer shares that fit both the preferences of our customers and the requirements of our farm.  We keep records of each batch we raise, making notes on feed consumption, labor involved, ancillary expenses, and so on.  As a result we have had to increase prices on some items, while the prices of others have gone down.  On the whole, the average price per pound for the CSA share is lower than in 2016.   There are now nine pickup days, rather than eight, so that for the duration of the season—May through December—you receive a share every four to five weeks.  We are again offering a half share and a full share, as well as an a la carte option, to allow you to select a share that best fits your consumption patterns and your budget.  Along with adjusting individual product prices, we have changed our farm’s pricing structure to have definite and distinct wholesale and retail prices.  The CSA shares are now based on our wholesale prices, so that in effect you receive a discount off the retail price of each item.

As a diversified farm, we are careful to not be too dependent on any one segment, and so we put a limit on the number of birds we raise.  Moreover, a large part of our commitment as farmers is to provide the best food possible, putting a further, natural limit on the numbers we can produce.  It is therefore to your benefit to get your order in as soon as possible to guarantee your place in our Poultry CSA.

About our Poultry

At Providence Farm, we cut no corners.  Our methods are often costly and time-intensive, but they produce foods of unrivaled quality.  Our customers continue to reiterate this sentiment to us, and of it we are confident.  Our slow-grown heritage breed birds forage freely in the pastures and woods and are supplemented exclusively with locally-milled non-GMO grains.  They are allowed to behave in the manner that best suits them, which makes them healthy, happy, lively, and in the end just plain delicious.  Our birds are hand-processed in small batches on our farm, then are air-chilled for exceptional flavor and texture.  The utmost care and attention is taken from start to finish, resulting in a truly superior product.

Our CSA shares are designed for the adventurous eater and cook.  Each month’s offerings will be provided to you fresh, allowing you to enjoy the birds at their absolute peak.  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 exist—except 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, benefitting both mind and body.  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 transient business transaction.

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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 ours come from our old-fashioned heritage breeds so we prefer the French term to further differentiate them from what you’ll find at the supermarket.  The poussin are 8 to 9 weeks in age and weigh a little under 1 lb. each, a comfortable serving size for an average adult.  To start the season with a bit of diversity, this month’s share also includes one of our Pekin ducks.

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, whether fried, grilled, braised, or made into the best roast chicken your taste buds have ever encountered.  These would be best known as “fryers,” and will weigh in at around 3 to 3.25 lb. each at 16 to 18 weeks of age.

August features our beautiful dark-meated guinea fowl.  A native of the African savannah, the guinea is a relative of the pheasant with a rich, full flavor reminiscent of game birds.  Our chickens are delicious, if we do say so ourselves, but you might forget them entirely after a taste of guinea.  As a chef-customer of ours likes to say, “Guinea is what chicken wants to taste like.”

September brings two pickup days, one at the beginning of the month and one at the very end.  First up is the Pekin duck, which makes a beautiful and satisfying roast—unless you’ve got a craving for seared duck breast.  Next comes the second round of guinea fowl.  If you’ve eaten our guinea before, you’ll be glad for this second round.  If you haven’t… well, you’ll soon understand.

By October we will be well into fall’s cooler weather, which is the perfect time to enjoy our always-popular Muscovy ducks.  Genetically not quite a duck and not quite a goose, 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).  (Unlike in years past, this season the CSA shares will include only hens, not the larger drakes.)

In November you will feast on one of our beautiful, old-fashioned, slow-grown heritage turkeys, from breeds such as Bourbon Red, Blue Slate, Narragansett, and Norfolk Black.  These are the birds of yesteryear and are about as far from a Butterball as one can get.  Eating one of our turkeys, you are guaranteed at least one thing to be thankful for.

What better way to celebrate in December than with a pasture-and-pond-raised heritage goose as the centerpiece to an old-fashioned Dickensian Christmas?  Our Toulouse geese graze our pastures from mid-spring through late fall before being finished on non-GMO corn and wheat in preparation for holiday feasting.

Weights

 

Bird

Avg. weight

Poussin

14 oz.

Broiler chicken

2 lb.

Fryer chicken

3 to 3.25 lb.

Guinea fowl

3 lb.

Pekin duck

3.75 lb.

Muscovy duck (hen)

3.75 lb.

Heritage turkey

6 to 14 lb.

Toulouse goose

6 to 9 lb.

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We have three CSA options for you this year: (1) The Full Share, (2) The Half Share, and (3) A La Carte.

·  The Full Share ·

The Full Share is ideal for those with larger families and/or those who eat poultry relatively frequently, and 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 Full Share are as follows:

Month

Bird No. Bird

No.

May Poussin

8

Pekin duck

1

June Broiler chicken

4

July Fryer chicken

3

August Guinea fowl

3

September Pekin duck*

2

Guinea fowl*

3

October Muscovy duck

2

November Heritage turkey

1

December Goose

1

* The Pekin ducks will be available for the first September pickup (Sep. 2), while the Guinea fowl will be available for the second September pickup (Sep. 30).

The Full Share is priced at $435 for the May through December season.

*Important!* The price above covers only a down payment for November and December’s share.  This down payment covers the first 6 lbs. of your turkey and the first 6 lbs. of your goose.  The balance for each will be due upon pickup, based on the actual weight.   Depending on size, this will mean an additional charge of approximately $1 to $50 for the turkey and $1 to $15 for the goose, using a price of $6.19/lb. for the turkey and $6.05/lb. for the goose.  Please be sure to allow for this additional cost in your budgets!  (Upon signing up, you will be directed to indicate what size bird you would like; we will do our best to meet your needs.)

·  The Half Share ·

The Half Share is ideal for individuals or small families, and/or those who cook poultry less often but 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 are as follows:

Month Bird No. Bird No.
May Poussin

4

Pekin duck

1

June Broiler chicken

2

July Fryer chicken

2

August Guinea fowl

2

September Pekin duck*

1

Guinea fowl*

2

October Muscovy duck

1

November Heritage turkey

1

December Goose

1

* The Pekin ducks will be available for the first September pickup (Sep. 2), while the Guinea fowl will be available for the second September pickup (Sep. 30).

The Half Share is priced at $290 for the May through December season.

*Important!* The price above covers only a down payment for November and December’s share.  This down payment covers the first 6 lbs. of your turkey and the first 6 lbs. of your goose.  The balance for each will be due upon pickup, based on the actual weight.   Depending on size, this will mean an additional charge of approximately $1 to $50 for the turkey and $1 to $15 for the goose, based on a price of $6.19/lb. for the turkey and $6.05/lb. for the goose.  Please be sure to allow for this additional cost in your budgets!  (Upon signing up, you will be directed to indicate what size bird you would like; we will do our best to meet your needs.)

·  A La Carte ·

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 also offering an A La Carte ordering option.  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 option allows you to customize your share, omitting birds you may not want and stocking up on birds you are particularly looking forward to.

Those who have signed up for either the Half Share or Full Share can order additional A La Carte items in any number of any variety they like, with no minimum.  For those signing up for only the A La Carte option we are asking for a $150 minimum total order.  Target weight, price, and availability dates 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 payment.  As with the Full Share and Half Share, the balance for the turkey and goose will be due upon pickup, with the exact final cost depending on the actual weight of the birds.

What if I don’t want or can’t afford 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.  Even if you only want a few birds per year, we encourage you to explore the A La Carte option and crunch the numbers to see what happens.  For example, you can reach the $150 minimum with an order of two poussin, two fryer chickens, one Pekin duck, three guinea fowl, and one turkey.

If you would like to participate but cannot afford to pay in full at the beginning of the season, please contact us and we will be more than happy to work with you on a payment plan.

If you still wish not to participate in any of our CSA options, but don’t want to miss out on our delicious heritage poultry, you may yet have a chance at scoring the bird or birds you’d like.  Any remaining poultry not distributed through the CSA will be sold at our booth at Farmers Market of the Ozarks, as available, on a first come, first served basis.

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Pickup Locations, Schedule, & Payment Info

NEW!  This year we are offering you the option of receiving your birds over the course of two to three weeks rather than all at once, to allow you to enjoy them fresh over a longer period of time.  If this is something you are interested in, let us know when you sign up and we’ll send you a detailed list of processing days so you can customize your pickup schedule.  (This option is not available for the Millsap Farms pickup.)  The schedules listed below are for an all-at-once monthly pickup.

We are offering three pickup locations this year:

  1. On-farm. This will not be on any set day of the week, but will be flexible to best fit your schedule. (For approximate availability dates, see below.)  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.

Pickup Schedule:  Flexible, to fit your needs.

  1. At Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Pickup will be on Saturday mornings, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. This pickup location gives you the opportunity to simultaneously support other local farmers.

                Pickup Schedule:  May 6  ●  June 3  ●  July 1  ●  August 5  ●  September 2  ●

September 30  ● October 28  ●  November 18  ●  December 23

  1. At Millsap Farm. Pickup will be on Tuesday afternoons, 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 also Millsap Farm CSA members, though that is not a requirement.  A one-time $50.00 delivery premium applies to cover the cost of transportation.  (Note: November and December pickup will be at Farmers Market of the Ozarks.)

                 Pickup Schedule:  May 9  ●  June 6  ●  July 4  ●  August 8  ●  September 5  ●

October 3  ●  October 31  ●  November 18  ●  December 23

 

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 at (417) 840-5093.  We will also respond to e-mail, but our response may not be as timely.

 

 

2017-poultry-csa-order-form

2017-poultry-csa-a-la-carte-order-form

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