How ya doin'? 

The Countdown to Summer is on! 

There are only 8 weeks left till our Summer Season begins on June 3rd. To celebrate the Countdown, we're sending out a little farming story each week till June finally arrives-- we can't wait to see you at the truck real soon!

As a reminder, with our summer season quickly approaching, we do still have open spots. Don't forget to reserve your spot today.  And please pass this on to a friend. 

Full information and registration available at 

The quick run-down if you are new to this eblast:  Fresh Fork Market is a weekly grocery subscription to local farms.  We call it a Farm Buying Club. Each week from June through October, our subscribers receive a fresh "grab bag" of local provisions, including fruits and vegetables, meats, cheese, eggs, grains, and more.  Omnivore, Vegetarian, and Vegan dietary plans are available and packages are either $25 per week (small) or $40 per week (large).  You pick the groceries up from one of our refrigerated box trucks at over 20 different area pickup locations.  
8 Weeks to Grow Out a Chicken

Did you know there is a season for chicken?  At least, when you raise them the way we do there is.

1-Week Old Peeps like to keep nice and toasty-- about 80 degrees.
They flock near the heat lamps in the early Spring to stay warm.

First, let's talk about the life of most commercial poultry: quick, confined, and indoors. Each bird has only about 1 sq. foot of space inside a large tin-sided building, a "Chicken Barn" that has vents and fans blow fresh air in and stale air out.  The birds may be cage free or even "free range," which means they have access to some outdoor space even if they never use it, but they definitely live inside. 

Another reality of life for the commercial broiler chicken (a chicken harvested for meat as opposed to a laying hen) is that life is short: they are carefully managed to grow rapidly enough that they can be harvested (sent to the slaughter facility) at 4 to 5 weeks of age.  The farmer then quickly cleans his shed before new chicks arrive and the aggressive cycle starts again. 

The poultry company owns the chicks, provides the feed, and guarantees the sale. The farmer is paid around $0.40 per bird for his work and attempts to turn 100,000 birds per batch.  That's a lot of chicken.

These Peeps are now 2 weeks old, and they are starting to stretch their legs and get a little curious about the camera.

Our farmers take a different approach to chicken. It takes us on average 8 weeks to finish out a meat bird.  Why so much longer?  It boils down to different genetics and lifestyle.

New Chicken Tractor Structures-- these chicken "mobile homes" will provide shelter for the chicks as they roam and forage.

Our birds live outside their entire lives in large mobile pens called Chicken Tractors. The Chicken Tractor is essentially a mobile shelter without a floor.  Each allows about 35 chickens (5.6 sq ft per bird) access to fresh grass, seeds and bugs in the soil.  It is moved daily to provide fresh grass to the birds and promote healthy pastures (for the beef later).

These 3-week old peeps have moved into their new tractor-home, which is insulated with plastic to keep them warm as they hunt for food.

Our birds receive only certified non-GMO feed and never any hormones or antibiotics. Chickens, turkeys, and other domesticated fowl are considered non-ruminant animals, which means they have a relatively simple stomach and cannot live entirely off of grass. In addition to the forage they find at pasture, they must receive some small grains in their diet.

Because our chickens do live entirely outside all the time, there is a season for chicken. We start our first chicks on pasture in the second week of April, just in time for harvest for the first week of our summer season (June 3 this year). In the fall when the weather turns cold, the birds spend more energy staying warm and we see a difference in quality. As a result, we harvest the last of our birds in early November to store away for our winter program.


Here are some of our almost-full grown broilers from last year.

You know what else is 8 weeks away? 
Our Summer Season! 
Click here to learn more & to sign up. 
Please pass this along to friends & family! 


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Or send us an email.


Read our 2015 Almanac here and spread it to your friends and family!


We offer dozens of pick up locations all over town. Click below to see where the trucks are headed!