Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fall 2008 Chicken CSA Newsletter #2

Hi folks! The chickens sized up nice this time. I upped their feed intake a bit in the last week and I think it really made a difference. The processing was also done a bit more nicely this time, although they got some of the prices wrong, but that's only a concern for us at market, not our CSA. We charge $4.25 per pound for whole chickens and want to be sure you get at least that value or greater.


I meant to send these out the first time. Cutting up a chicken is so easy. I wish we could sell all whole chickens at market - it would save us money at the processing plant - but people have become accustomed to buying something already prepared by someone else. For the first time this year we have sold boneless, skinless breasts, but I'm not sure if we're going to continue doing that next year. Chicken is far superior with the bone in and the skin on, and I think in general it's a good idea to be reminded that meat comes from an animal, as simple as that sounds.

The folks over at have the most concise directions I could find for cutting up a chicken. This is a skill that was probably second nature to most of our parents or grandparents.

It's as simple as it can get. Using a sharp knife is very important. We got a little plastic handheld knife sharpener down at our feed store for $10 and it's worked for us for over a year. And remember to keep everything clean. Even as our birds are healthier than the ones from the big chicken houses, you still need to take the same precautions.


We'll be going to the processor 2 weeks in a row coming up here. So be sure to have enough space in the freezer if you don't plan on eating all your chickens.

  • On Farm: Wednesday December 10, 4pm-7pm
  • RTI Dreyfus Lot: Thursday December 11 , 4pm-6pm
  • Carrboro Farmers' Market: Saturday December 13, 9am-noon
  • Durham Farmers' Market: Saturday December 13, 10am-noon (note winter market hours)
  • On Farm: Wednesday December 17, 4pm-7pm
  • RTI Dreyfus Lot: Thursday December 18 , 4pm-6pm
  • Carrboro Farmers' Market: Saturday December 20, 9am-noon
  • Durham Farmers' Market: Saturday December 20, 10am-noon
Those picking up at Carrboro Market - we may not be in our usual space in the field, so look for us under the pavillion.

Those picking up at Durham Market - I don't have a permanent spot but I'll most likely be somewhere under the pavillion.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall 2008 Chicken CSA Newsletter #1


For those of you who elected to receive giblets with your order, some of you had feet included with those. Some did not get feet with the rest of the giblets. Feet are great for stock along with the rest of your giblets. They are completely sterilized in the processing plant and ready for your chicken foot enjoyment. Many cultures, basically everyone but us, use the feet. Just throw it in the stock, it's awesome.


Since the size of our birds was smaller than expected we included extra legs in a few of the bags we handed out if you were more than a dollar or so below the average cost per pickup. We're hopefully going to balance this out with larger bird sizes in the next 3 pickups, but if not, we want everybody to get their money's worth at market prices.

  • RTI Dreyfus Lot, Wednesday November 26, 4pm-6pm
  • On Farm, Wednesday November 26, 4pm-6pm
  • Carrboro Farmers' Market, Saturday November 29, 9am-noon
  • Durham Farmers Market, Saturday November 29 *I'll email the Durham folks to let you know where and what time we'll meet.
Please contact us about anything, and thank you for eating Castlemaine Chicken!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our trip to a farm in Italy

A bunch of us farmers and chefs from the Piedmont of NC visited a farm/butcher shop in the Piedmont of Italy. There will be more on this later...