Back in the bush

Grimm close-up

Grimm close-up

This has been a pretty open fall for us, weather-wise, this year and our Tamworth boar, Grimm, has been more than happy to take advantage of it.

We opened all the field gates for now to give the cattle a quick once-over of the stockpiled back pasture fields before the snow comes to stay.

Dexter catttle in the fog

Dexter catttle in the fog

For the past two months and until just recently, Grimm has been choosing to spend most of his time in the bush at the rear of the farm. He will gorge himself all day on all the mast – fallen apples, beechnuts, acorns, and so on. With a lot of pretty warm nights – and all that backfat for protection – he has been sleeping back there too.

This is his favourite spot, on a flat, sunny location up from the banks of Mink Creek. I took these photos about 10 a.m. one foggy morning a few weeks ago. He was sound asleep. He awoke to the sound of the dog and I; he grubbed around for about 10 minutes and then went back to sleep.

Farm dog May in the bush

Farm dog May in the bush

With snow and cooler temperatures this week Grimm is back sleeping in the main barn.

Tamworth boar Grimm rooting for nuts and apples

Tamworth boar Grimm rooting for nuts and apples

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First crop of free-range chickens arrives June 28

Just like with the release of Beaujolais Nouveau — the third Thursday in November when winemakers in France release the current year’s vintage of beaujolais, meant to be consumed immediately — on Tuesday, June 28 the  gates of Lover’s Creek Farm swing open for pick up of our first crop of 2011 pasture-raised chickens.

chickens under pear trees

  • That means you can get your flavourful chickens just in time for barbeque and smoking season.
  • There’s nothing like the taste of one of these birds barbequed or roasted with a the skin crisped up with an oil and herb rub coating.
  • Or, use the old standby beer can chicken method. Any way works great.

Conditions for raising our chickens have been perfect this year — lots of rain early on, followed by warm conditions to keep pasture growing yet giving the birds mostly cooler conditions in the evenings. They’re grown out really nicely.

As always, we sell our chickens whole. If you’d like to buy yours fresh — allowing you the chance to take them home and cut them up yourself —please RSVP.  You’ ll have to pick up fresh birds between 7 and 9 p.m. on June 28. Otherwise they’ll be frozen down.

This year’s price is $3.75/lb for whole chickens that will weigh about 5 to 6 lbs., processed.

For more details and to order, contact us today.

Remember that we have lots of free-range Tamworth pork and large brown eggs on hand too. Just ask!

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Tamworth pork back in stock just in time for summer

These are actually our twin boars -- the Brothers Grimm. Grimm #2 now resides in Harrow, Ont. and Grimm #1 is happily grazing our springtime pastures.

Our freezers are bursting with fresh Tamworth pork cuts. We picked up the sides from our processor last week.

Now in stock as frozen cuts are such delicious treats as:

  • Loin chops
  • Wood-smoked bacon
  • Wood-smoked ham roasts
  • Three kinds of sausage: Italian, Santa Fe and Garlic
  • Loin roasts
  • Spareribs
  • Smoked hocks

Sorry: Tenderloins, butt roasts, shoulder and back ribs are already sold out.

These are all available from the farm (call ahead) or, starting June 24, Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Dalston Eco-Farmers Market.

Countdown is now on for our first batch of roasting chickens — they’ll be available in early July. Reserve now for a delicious taste experience.

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Snowy day in Grenfel

not really our farm

The final batch of roasting chickens we’re raising for this year sure didn’t appreciate the dumping of heavy wet snow overnight here at the farm.With Georgian Bay still so warm from our hot summer, the cold wind blowing over the lakes last night brought tons of white stuff. Trees were bent over, and the electric netting that protects the chickens was weighed down with snow. Luckily, a quick shake over each section took care of most of the problem.

The birds through, hardly wanted to leave the coop this morning, even for their feed. By noon though, things had warmed up and they were back poking around through the grass, happy as ever.

Thanks to everyone for your loyal support with Thankgiving turkeys again this year. Glad to hear everyone enjoyed their birds so much!

Now’s time to start thinking about pre-ordering sides and wholes of our Tamworth pork. We’ll have seven pigs from this litter ready in the spring. Remember, the Tamworth breed is especially renowned for the loin, as well as spectacular smoked bacon and hams.

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Order your Thanksgiving turkey now

It’s time already to place your order for one of our free-range turkeys, just in time for Thanksgiving.

The big white birds are currently foraging under the pear and apple trees in the orchard/overgrown section of our vegetable garden. Safely hemmed in with portable electric fence, they’ve having a great time.

Your turkey will be available whole, frozen only, for $3.50 lb, the same price as last year. Call or e-mail today. (See our contact information here.)

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On the Culinate trail

Culinate readers: Hope you enjoy your online visit to our farm.

The celebrated Seattle-based online food magazine is featuring some of Mark's farm writing this month.

"At Culinate we’re engaged in an ongoing conversation about eating well. Our content — articles, cooking tips, interviews, recipes, podcasts, food news, blog posts — helps people put real food at the center of their lives."

Don't forget to read about raising goats in the latest issue of Edible Toronto. And check out a Day in the Life of a Happy Turkey from the fall 09 issue too. And poke around this blog for more details of life on our pasture-based farm near Grenfel, Ontario, Canada.

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Spring pics

More signs of spring here. Beatrice with her (second) litter out in the back ravine for some sunshine, pasture, rooting and mud bathing.

Also, here are the Brothers Grimm, Tamworth boars (one is for sale!) eating in tandem in the front pasture field. Dexter cattle are in the middle field last night before sunset.

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