Is Pasture Raised Chicken More Nutritious?

A look into the state of published nutritional research data available on Pasture Raised chicken.

Pasture Raised vs Free Range

Sometimes I hear people refer to our farm as a free range farm, and I’ll admit that it makes me wince. Clearly there is a of confusion when people have trouble distinguishing between Pasture Raised and Free Range. Both terms sound similar, but in terms of the work that is done on the farm there is a world of difference. What do we mean when we compare Pasture Raised vs Free Range? Is one better than the other? These are important questions. They get to the heart of what I think is… Read More

Peripatetic Pastoralism

It doesn’t have the current buzzword recognition like “regenerative” or “pasture raised”, but I like talking about our farm as a Peripatetic Pasture Farm. The biggest problem with the word peripatetic is that most people don’t know what it means. Here’s the definition, if you haven’t encountered it before: Peripatetic (adj): Traveling from place to place, in particular working or based in various places for relatively short periods. If you watch wild animals you’ll notice that they never stay in one place for very long. The twin pressures of finding the next… Read More

Compost Mentis

Compost mentis: Pseudo-Latin for having compost on one’s mind. A common condition among farmers and gardeners. With the help of a well-equipped neighbor, we were able to spread some compost yesterday. We worked through about 130 cubic yards before breaking a link on the chain that drives the augers on the spreader. There’s a truism in farming that spreaders never break when empty. Repairs always involve a lot of shoveling to dig down to the rock or frozen chunk that’s causing the problem. At least we weren’t dealing with a spreader full… Read More

I Need More Customers (But Not For The Obvious Reasons)

I need more customers.  But not for the obvious reason.  I need more customers because something remarkable is happening on the land and in the soil here at Wrong Direction Farm.  Our farm is waving its leafy appendages at us, asking for more cattle. Before we moved here in 2011, all the ground that wasn’t swampy or tree-covered had been cut for hay year after year. Making hay just involves mowing the grass, drying it in the sun, and baling it up.  Haymaking as a practice is fine in itself, but when… Read More

Farmer to Farmer Pasture Walk at Wrong Direction Farm

Wednesday July 21st, 7PM until Dark Wrong Direction Farm 431 Seebers Ln, Canajoharie, NY 13317 Upcoming farmer-to-farmer event here at Wrong Direction Farm. On Wednesday, July 21st we’ll be hosting a pasture walk, focusing primarily on pasture management in our context for our chickens and turkeys. We raise Certified Organic, pasture raised poultry on our farm, along with grazing a herd of grass fed beef cattle. We sell a portion of our meat directly to customers, and a growing portion of our business is partnering with other farms to provide them chicken… Read More

Making Meat, Part Two

[Here’s the link to Part One.] I don’t intend to harp on lab-grown meat and meat substitutes indefinitely, but if you’ll indulge another week’s posting on this, I think it is important to look at the food system that these food technologies require and promote. Oligopoly Matters We can start off by acknowledging that commodity meat is a mess, particularly because of the relentless pace of consolidation. Most of the meat industry (indeed the entire food industry) is run as an oligopoly. Each industry segment is concentrated to just four enormous companies… Read More

Thoughts on Making Meat

As a livestock farmer, I’ve been listening with interest to interviews with influential investors and activists representing plant-based and lab-grown meat replacement businesses. With their stated goals of collapsing the meat industry, of course I have a vested interest in the topic that puts me opposite them. If you’d like some samples, I’d suggest Pat Brown from Impossible foods interviewed by Guy Raz, Sam Harris interviewing Bruce Friedrich and Liz Specht from Good Food Institute, or another Bruce Friedrich interview with Steve Levitt. These three podcasts are all well-articulated discussions, providing sufficient… Read More

Up Goes the Feed Bin

This week we set up a new feed storage bin. As interest in pasture raised poultry has increased, our flocks have grown and we found we needed a bigger bin for all the organic chicken feed we’re using. Having a second bin also allows us to keep two different feed mixes on hand so we’re better able to adjust the diet as the chickens and turkeys age. (Don’t tell the turkeys this because they might be offended, but after we start them on a turkey-specific feed, they transition to eating chicken feed… Read More

Ten Years of Wrong Direction Farm

This week marks ten years for WDF. We moved to this farm in June 2011 full of ambition and eager to work. As I look back, I can trace a meandering path of trial and error that has gradually led us to the place we occupy today as a functional, self-sustaining farm. While many of our specific ideas turned out to be imperfect, the general principles behind those plans have proven to be a solid foundation. We have managed to integrate family life into the life of the farm. We’ve been able… Read More