Monday, October 13, 2008

Signed up for a chicken CSA

I went to the Carrboro farmer's market 2 weeks ago, and while purchasing a chicken, in talking with this particular farmer came to find out that they were opening a fall CSA for chickens.

If you don't know what a CSA is; it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. There are different kinds with different requirements. At their most simple, like this one, you pay for a "share" and then you get something (in this case, chickens) in return at some point in the future.

I had wanted to sign up for a vegetable CSA, but missed the season. You have to sign up early as they fill up quickly.

I had been getting my chickens from another farm at the Raleigh market, and they were both excellent chickens, but these will end up being a bit more affordable, and the pickup location is the Durham market, so it's nice and close. I'll still buy eggs, bacon and sausage from this farm when I'm at the Raleigh market. The plan is to rotate each week between the Raleigh and Durham markets.

I don't know how big they'll end up being, I read somewhere that the limit for slaughter was 4 pounds. With a large chicken we're able to get 3 meals out of them; breast meat for either stir fry, or something pounded like lemon chicken, then the rest of the meat for BBQ or a bastardized catchatorie in the slow cooker and finally a stock out of the carcass that becomes noodle or vegetable soup.

Other than getting really delicious chicken, and supporting small, local agriculture, the other benefit is not having to worry if the chickens are being de-beaked. This farm uses floorless coops that are moved to new pasture daily, and are free to eat insects, worms, grass, frogs, mice, clover or the antibiotic free, animal-by-product-free grain feed.

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