Hello from the Alger Family,
Thank you for your past business. Our family of ten looks forward to serving your needs again this year. We currently offer pasture raised chickens, turkeys, grass fed & finished lamb & beef and freshly made whole wheat bread. We will continue to sell our all-natural home made soaps this year as well. Eggs will be on an as available basis.
We will be doing something new this year. We are going to incorporate some of the principles of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) into our farm. The beginning of the year is always risky because we have to come up with several thousand dollars to purchase and feed the chickens before you come and purchase them beginning in May. We are going to make a membership available. This is just an option and is not required to purchase from us. Your membership fee/deposit will be used to pay for your purchases so in reality it is just a partial payment up front. In return for joining, members will receive a discount of 5% on all products except beef & lamb as those already require a deposit and are priced accordingly. Several options for membership will be available. If you are a small family and place smaller orders, then the $25 deposit per order may be right for you. If you order quite a bit each year, The membership fee/deposit of $100 is probably how you will want to join. Examples for $100 membership: If you place orders across five dates, $20 will be applied to each order. If you order across four dates, $25 would be applied to each. Deposits due by If you wish to participate, no later than March 21, 2013. For those of you who order a turkey every year but get your chickens from a farm closer to you, if you would like the 5% discount on your turkey, you may submit your turkey order with a $10 deposit, no later than June 30, 2013.
As always, our animals always have access to fresh air, sunshine, and pasture. Our lambs and calves are not weaned early as they are on most farms. That way they are able to nurse as well as get plenty of green grass and other plants to eat. They are never fed any grain. Grass finished meats have been shown to be much higher in necessary Omega 3 fatty acids. We never spray herbicides, pesticides or any other chemicals on our pastures, nor do we use chemical wormers. Our cows and sheep do get a high-quality mineral supplement for their good health. This makes our animals healthier and will make a more delicious, nutritious meal for you. We downsized our sheep flock due to the drought and cost of hay for winter feeding, so we will have a limited number of lambs available this year and some are already sold.
We butcher your chickens and turkeys here at the farm and you pick them up the same day. The lambs and beeves will be done at a local, family-owned butcher. Bread and soap is available year round. Bread must be ordered in advance as we bake each loaf fresh for you. Eggs are available whenever we have enough extra to sell so call ahead to make sure we have eggs.
At this time, we are planning six chicken and one turkey butcher days. Prices are set based on a feed quote we received January 21st. If the cost of feed goes up between now and when we actually purchase it, we may have to revise them. If feed prices escalate later this year, we may have to increase our prices as well. Please know that we will always do our best to keep any price increase minimal if needed. We sold out early last year. We are not increasing the number of birds we are raising this year and do anticipate an early sell out again, so make sure you reserve your chickens & turkeys early so that you will not be disappointed.
The organic feed that we started using last year has had a 50% price increase, due to the drought, no doubt. The price was stable most of last year with an increase towards the end of 2012, which we chose to eat and we maintained late 2011 prices all of last year. This year, we will use as many organic ingredients as possible and what is not organic will be GMO-free. The initial feed will be 100% GMO-free and approximately 70% organic. That way, we can keep the price increase minimal.
We have cut back on our layer hens as we were losing money selling eggs the last two years. Unfortunately, the heat and drought causes chickens to lay a lot less eggs, but they still need to eat. Having to feed a large flock without having any eggs to sell all summer and early fall ended up costing us $1.25 more per dozen than we were selling the eggs for after we factored in how much it cost to feed the hens all year vs. how many dozen eggs we sold. We will be experimenting to see if starting a batch of chicks in the early spring which would cause them to start laying at the beginning of the summer works to keep the egg production stable in summer months. We will probably have eggs in early spring as we always have too many at that time and if our experiment works, we may have a limited number later in the year as well. It will be a limited number as our experimental flock is going to be 25 birds. If we do have eggs to sell, we will announce it in each reminder letter. But we will not be taking orders for eggs in advance this year.
If you want healthy food instead of factory produced food, you have found it. You are always welcome at our farm to meet us and see how we raise our animals, the old-fashioned healthy way. We look forward to providing you with healthy, natural food.
The Alger Family