Tag Archives: chickens

Jeff-Leen Farm

Ok, I know I have neglected this blog for a loooong time.  My apologies.  But you know how it goes; work, work, more work, family, friends, hobbies, school, etc.  Actually, I have quite a backlog of material for blogging, but let me start with this.

Jeff-Leen Farm

Jeff-Leen Farm

For the past several years I have been purchasing meet during the summer at farmers markets.  I have settled on ground beef and chickens from Jeff-Leen.  You see, Jeff has a different breed of cattle, it’s not Holsteins, it’s Piedmontese.  The breed originated in the Piedmont region of France and is naturally very lean.  Actually, Jeff has a brochure that compares various meets with this partucular type of cow.  Since I am not willing to give up beef for a healthier lifestyle, I figured I should try this since it’s so low in all the “bad” stuff.

I also purchase their summer sausage with garlic almost weekly.  It’s a great snack and doesn’t spoil eaisily.  I’m sure I’ve tried their eggs too.  Delicious.

But about the chickens.  So worth every penny.  They’re fresh, tender, and succulent.  It’s orders of magnitude better than a fresh Sendik’s chicken, and I know I’ve made my best roast chicken with a fresh Jeff-Leen chicken.  But, they go quickly, so if you want one, it’s a good idea to get to the market early or even call ahead.

So Cute!

So Cute!

Chicken Coup

Chicken Coup

Knowing that farmer market season is nearly over, I asked Jeff what’s the best way to get his products during winter.  He said that they can drive it down and meet at a park-n-ride or other such location so you wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Random Lake. But I would recommend the drive. It’s not that far and it’s an absolutely gorgeous area.

Band for Customer Appreciation Day

Band for Customer Appreciation Day

Jeff-Leen also has an annual Customer Appreciation day at his farm.  This year it was in early September (I told you I have a backlog) and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  There was a band, great food (duh!), a hay ride (I’m lucky I’m not allergic to hay); got to see the chickens and the cows.  It turns out that the real Piedmontese cows have black circles around their eyes.  And the chickens get moved around at least once a day to a new piece of pasture so they get fresh grass and bugs to pick through.  But they are confined in their coups and there are about 100 chickens or so per each coup.  It was great to visit the farm, try out some other foods (I didn’t even know that they have hot dogs until I tried them at this event and they were really great), and just generally spend the day relaxing in a beautiful setting.  There were also lots and lots of prizes, but unfortuntaly, I didn’t win anything.  😦  Oh well.

The cows roam around and looked very calm and peaceful.  I was surprised at how it didn’t smell of the typical “Wisconsin Dairy Air”.  Walking round the farm I noticed how clean it is.  As a customer, it makes me feel better knowing that the products I buy are from animals that are well taken care of and that they’re in a clean environment.  Jeff and his family are really friendly and are ready to answer any question.

Cows in the field

Cows in the field

Piedmontese Cows

Piedmontese Cows

See the black around the eye?

See the black around the eye?

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Grassway Organics Farm

Kay and Wayne Craig

Kay and Wayne Craig

Living in the city, we often forget where food comes from.  Yes, it comes from the store, but where does it come from before the store?  We all know that milk comes from cows and eggs come from chickens, but when was the last time you actually saw that chicken lay an egg?  Put on your comfy shoes and head to a farm to help you remember and to see the farm animals many of us see only on TV or in pictures. So on a recent weekend, I (and some friends) made the trip to Grassway Organics in New Holstein, WI.

Calf looks like a deer to me

Calf looks like a deer to me

There we were met by Kay and Wayne Craig who were the most gracious hosts.  Kay told us some pretty interesting information about the farm and how they got into farming and Wayne showed us around.  So with cameras in hand, we set off to take the tour of the farm.
We walked to see the calves that are absolutely adorable and look a little bit like deer.  Then Wayne showed us the calves that were already weaned.

Chickens and Eggs

Chickens and Eggs

After that, we walked across the road to the field where the chickens were.  Boy were they loud!  Lots of clucking and noise-making by the roosters and chickens.  The chickens run around to their heart’s content, plucking away at the grass and the feed that they’re fed a few times a day. Wayne lifted the side of the cart where the chickens hang out and the chickens that were inside laying eggs protested the intrusion quite loudly.  But we got to see the eggs right there. Of course, I couldn’t pass up eggs from free-range chickens so I picked up a dozen at their store. My family and I found the eggs to be quite tasty, even my dad commented on how much he liked them.

Cows at Grassway Organics

Cows at Grassway Organics

Then, Wayne took us to see the cows that were grazing in a different part of the farm. He said that the cows are milked twice a day (6 AM and 4:30 PM, if I remember correctly). The cows are also moved to different pasture land every 12 hours or so, ensuring plenty of grass for them.

We also so the place where the cows are milked. It looks so clean, like it’s never been used. Gives me reassurance, since Grassway Organics contributes milk to Organic Valley (a brand of milk I often purchase).

Chicks

So cute! Chicks

In addition to all that, Wayne showed us the cutest goslings and chicks ever. They’re so cute. Definitely brings back memories of growing up with chicks and chickens, even though I’ve always lived in the city. Hmmm…. I wish I could raise chickens where I live now, but I think the condo association would have something to say about it…

Check out a different review and more pictures from Yulinka Cooks.