Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Why We Raise Pastured Certified Organic Chicken and Eggs
Blue Heron Farm is a small diversified certified organic family farm in Grand Isle, Vermont surrounded by Lake Champlain. Our farm has always been certified organic since its conception in 2004- vegetables and animals- including our eggs. We are a mama and a daddy raising our children and farming. Our family, including our young daughters, eat all of our food and other local farmers' food - and they know where all their food comes from. We want to grow clean food for their little, growing bodies - food that is free of synthetic fertilizers, harmful pesticides, genetically modified organisms (gmos). The animals on our farm are treated with respect and dignity. They get to be the animals they are to their fullest potential.
Our chickens get to graze - get to be a true chickens - out running around the tall pasture grasses, dust bathing, eating bugs, worms, occasionally a field mouse-being the true omnivores that they are and eating clean certified organic grain. These chickens are a vital part of our farm, working as mini tillers in our pastures, waking up pasture grasses and tilling in nutrients. When the chickens, are done with an area we move them to the next pasture in their refurbished travel trailer where they lay their eggs.
We believe we are what we eat: We don't want our children to be the guinea pigs for GMOs.
We eat these chickens and these eggs - so why wouldn't we want them to have clean feed - free of pesticide residues, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified corn and soybeans (which is in all conventional feed)? Studies are still out on what exactly GMO's will do to our bodies and our children's developing bodies .
We make choices each and every day on how we feed our family and what we spend our limited resources on. When we buy organic feed, we know exactly what is in there and we are supporting other organic family farms. People ask if we make a lot of money off our egg sales. Currently, we have about 170 layers, 2 roosters, Rocket and Ramone. We certainly make a much slighter profit on our eggs as a trade off for sticking with certified organic feed, but the tradeoff is worth it. Many local organic farms have split operations - they have organic vegetables but not organic chickens. Organic Chicken feed is expensive - it is more expensive than conventional feed - that is one of the big reasons why local organic vegetable growers will produce eggs with pastured hens that eat non-organic (conventional) feed.
We have partnered with City Market to make local, pastured, certified organic eggs available here for you. We hope you enjoy our chickens' eggs and know that we are grateful that our family is one of the many local farmers on your table feeding you and your family. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback. We do farm tours, have a farmstand, have a CSA with pickup on the farm and with dropoffs in Essex, Colchester, and Winooski (including chicken and egg shares), at the Champlain Islands Farmers Market in Grand Isle and South Hero.
Christine Bourque, Adam, Sadie and Delia Farris