News and blog

Four Fields Blog
Posted 10/18/2018 5:30pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Happy Fall!  Funny that it finally feels like the season has changed, half way through October- and the sun has decided to make a guest appearance, I was getting worried that it was on strike as I haven't seen it for quite a while!  We have some 'Fall Goodies' in stock- Hickory smoked bacon, hocks, and hams (large and small).  Perfect for stews or split pea soup! 

I have set up our off-season market on the website, including two new delivery sites in NJ, one in Madison & the other in South Orange.  We deliver to Chester, NJ every other week, and to Madison & South Orange once a month.  I set the dates through the end of December, and will post the rest of the winter dates after the New Year.

  • Follow the "shop online" banner on our website for each category of chicken, pork, lamb, and eggs.  
  • Orders are taken on a first come, first served basis- orders must be in at least 24 hours before delivery date!
  • Pay nothing at check out online- it's easier for us to write an invoice as we pack your order with balance due on pickup.
  • Choose the delivery location and date.
  • Meet us at the location and pick up your order.

We do our best to update the inventory as we get more meat back from the butcher, but if there's something you're looking for that you don't see, let us know and we'll get back to you.

Don't forget that we offer farm pickup as well, with a 5% discount- simply contact us to set up the date and time that is convenient for you.

You can email or call/text in your order as well after checking the inventory online or with us, and we'll enter it into our system for you.

 

If you're interested in a bulk pork purchase, now's the time to put down a deposit and submit any special butcher requests, we are processing 8 pigs first week of November.

Email us with any questions you have, we're happy to help! 

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 10/5/2018 8:57am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

We hope you can make it out to the farm this Saturday, October 6th, for our 2nd annual Fall Farm Potluck!  2pm-6pm, we'll have farm tours, beer from Manskirt Brewery, and fresh apple cider from Best's Fruit Farm, and potluck goodies from everyone.

Potluck- bring something if you can (it's not mandatory at all!), either food or beverages, enough to share with 4-5 people will be plenty.

A few other notes:

  • Boots!  it's been an obscenely wet year, and the farm is quite muddy, so if you plan on going on a farm tour, boots are a must- or a change of dry socks and shoes...
  • No dogs- we love them to pieces, but please leave your pooches at home for this event.
  • If you feel like playing music, by all means, bring an instrument!  We are playing Pandora this year on the stereo, so if you want to spice it up, we encourage that ;)
  • It's a very laid back event- if you just want to come and hang out/take a nap in a lawn chair, that's fine by us!

 

129 Alphano Rd., Great Meadows NJ 07838.  Ryan's cell is 970.946.6377 if you need extra directions or have questions.

Liz will be at Monroe farmer's market Saturday morning (Chester, NJ market is closed for the season), between 8-Noon as well.

Have a great weekend!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 9/21/2018 6:08pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

It's beginning to feel like Fall- oh boy!  Fall is one of my favorite seasons, between the cooler temperatures, earlier nights, leaf colors, there's much to enjoy!

One thing you can enjoy is our annual Fall Farm Potluck- a simple celebration of the farming year, and the people (that's you) who make up the community of local farm supporters.  Save the date for Saturday, October 6th between 2pm-6pm.  We'll have farm tours to see the animals, and mushrooms, and the husbandry that goes with each.  Our sow, Mrs. Hatterton, gave birth to 10 lively piglets, we have 230+ laying hens in their new and improved mobile coop on wheels, 30 sheep, a dozen other pigs of various sizes, 4 types of mushrooms growing.  There's lots to see!  Bring a dish or beverage to share if you can, we'll get some beer and local apple cider, and we're working on getting some live music again- if you're interested in playing, let us know!

Farmers markets are still happening this weekend- Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday between 8-Noon, and then over to Chester, NJ on Sunday, 10am-3pm.  

The last day of the Chester market is on September 30th, and we will be setting the dates soon for our winter deliveries to happen every other week, so you can continue to get our various products after the farmer's market closes.  More on that later...simply put, we deliver orders that you place with us to Chester every other week for you to meet us and pick up.

See you soon!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 8/31/2018 8:37pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

So much for Summer!  I don't think it's just me when I say that this past Summer really flew by, right?  

The farm life keeps going, no matter what the season, though it does change a bit.  The fall is time to plan sheep breeding, start stacking hay bales, prep and seed fields that need pasture improvement, more mushroom harvests and so on...

We have a busy weekend of markets, in preparation for the upcoming Holiday weekend- Liz will be in Washington, NJ from 10am-2pm on Saturday, Ryan will cover Stroudsburg, PA from 8am-Noon on Saturday as well. Chester, NJ is Sunday from 10am-3pm- you'll have to wait and see which one of us (or both) you'll get there ;)

We'll be bringing extra sausage for your grilling needs, 7 flavors to choose from- Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Chorizo, Garlic, Sage, Bratwurst, and Maple.

Have a great Holiday!

Ryan & Liz

 

We're still taking signups for the Fall CSA season- learn more about it here.

 

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 8/31/2018 8:34pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

So much for Summer!  I don't think it's just me when I say that this past Summer really flew by, right?  

The farm life keeps going, no matter what the season, though it does change a bit.  The fall is time to plan sheep breeding, start stacking hay bales, prep and seed fields that need pasture improvement, more mushroom harvests and so on...

We have a busy weekend of markets, in preparation for the upcoming Holiday weekend- Liz will be in Washington, NJ from 10am-2pm on Saturday, Ryan will cover Stroudsburg, PA from 8am-Noon on Saturday as well. Chester, NJ is Sunday from 10am-3pm- you'll have to wait and see which one of us (or both) you'll get there ;)

We'll be bringing extra sausage for your grilling needs, 7 flavors to choose from- Sweet Italian, Hot Italian, Chorizo, Garlic, Sage, Bratwurst, and Maple.

Have a great Holiday!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 8/8/2018 1:16pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Now that the flood waters have receded a bit (4" of rain overnight!), I can take the time to let everyone know that Fall Traditional CSA signups have begun for the September-December season.

You're probably familiar with how a vegetable CSA works- pay a farmer at the beginning of the season for a weekly box of groceries.  Our meat & egg CSA is the same, just that we do a once a month delivery to a site of your choosing.

 

CSA is great for you:

  • Many folks just want to experience truly fresh food and have an appetite for a variety not available at the supermarket
  • To some families it’s about interacting with nature, visiting the farm and experiencing life on the farm and helping children learn how their food is grown 
  • For some it’s about reducing the amount of food miles your food travels, and the amount of fossil fuels that is used to transport your food, (your average vegetable travels over 1500 miles before it’s consumed).
  • Transparency: you get to meet the farmers producing your food. You can ask questions about how it's produced, or visit the farm to see for yourself.
  • Many of our families enjoy the community environment where like-minded people share recipes, ideas and experiences.

 

CSA is great for the farmer:

  • Farm finances are tight by nature, so having some cash flow from CSA members in the season is vital to many farmers.  Raising animals on pasture takes time and is an big investment before you get a single cut of meat back from the butcher- an average pig eats 600 pounds of grain before going to freezer camp!
  • It helps reduce waste as we know in advance how much to produce, keeping our costs down, which we pass on to you in savings.

Read more about of share options and sizes here, as well as our monthly delivery sites.  As always, 5% for farm pickups with no set date, for your added convenience.

We also offer a farm credit account, for more shopping options and delivery choice. 

Email or call us with any questions you might have, we're here to help!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 7/26/2018 1:31pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

In our efforts to bring more bacon (Nitrate-free, of course!) into the universe, we just got back our first batch of "English" bacon.  

"What on Earth is English bacon?" you might ask.  Think of it as a cross between Canadian (cured & smoked pork loin), and American bacon (cured & smoked pork belly).  You get the meaty portion of the loin, and the succulent fatty portion of the belly- it's the best of both bacon worlds!

We also got a small batch done of Guanciale, or jowl bacon- cured & smoked pork cheeks, as we have had numerous requests for this hard to find cut.

We have ham steaks in stock again, and a new cut- small chunks of hams, which are great for a pot of beans or soups.

All of our cured products are made with only 3 ingredients- salt, sugar, and real hickory smoke.  No artificial preservatives, fillers, or flavors here!  We like to be able to pronounce the ingredients in our food...

I'll bring some of each to this week's markets at Stroudsburg on Saturday, 8-Noon, to Chester on Sunday, 10am-3pm, and to High Bridge on Wednesday 3pm-7:30pm.

By the way- We just finished unloading 600 pounds of pork- so we're fully stocked again with items that sell out quickly- Chorizo sausage, baby back & spare ribs, 1.5" thick chops.

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 7/24/2018 6:48pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi Gang,

Mother Nature wins this round (as shed does pretty much all rounds...), and we won't be attending High Bridge Market this coming Wednesday July 25th.  The forecast is calling for some pretty hefty storms to roll through the area right around market time, so we are going to sit this one out.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 6/29/2018 10:42am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Each season brings it's fair share of challenges- Winter is the cold & getting around in the ice and snow, Spring is the mud, Fall- well, Fall is pretty great! 

Summer- heat!  The hot weather, especially when there's little breeze, can be hard on the animals and the pastures.  Luckily, where we live, it typically cools off at night, so at least we get a little break.  The animals change their behavior to suit the hot days ahead- the sheep seek shade under trees or in their portable shade canopy, and sleep during the day, doing most of their grazing at night.  Pigs wallow in the mud holes we fill up a few times a day with a hose in the woods.  The chickens take it easy too- hang out in the shade & dig shallows holes in ground to bath in the cool earth.

The weekend markets are happing both this weekend and the next- High Bridge market, will be closed on this Wednesday, July 4th.

We are doing a special appearance at the Washington Market this coming Saturday, June 30th, 10am-2pm!  We hope to make it there once a month, last Saturday of each month.

Swing by Monroe Market on Saturday, 8am-Noon, or to Chester on Sunday, 10am-3pm, and stock up on those grill-ables for the holiday week, no need to fight the lines at the grocery store: what says 'Summer' more than going to the local farmer's market?  Fresh produce, cut flowers, meat, local beer & wine all in one stop!

 

 

 

Have a great 4th everyone!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 6/22/2018 3:31pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride here at the farm during the last few weeks, unloading & somehow fitting 4 tons of feed into our garage, dealing with extremely hot days, and getting ready for our newest arrival- a 3 year old, pregnant sow- all 500+ pounds of her!

In the middle of that, we managed to squeeze in a trip to the butcher's to pick up our latest round of lamb, including a custom recipe rosemary & garlic sausage.  Available both as loose or a single link, it's made with organic fresh rosemary and garlic, sea salt & black pepper- and our 100% grass fed lamb, of course.  We are also trying a few new cuts: a bone-in shoulder roast that's best cooked slow roasted in the oven or grill, and kabob cubes, cut from the rear leg, which are perfect for grilling on high heat.

We still have all the traditional cuts- loin and rib chops, leg roasts, plain ground & riblets.  These were large lambs, so the chops look especially nice!

 

We'll be at our usual markets this weekend: Monroe on Saturday, 8am-Noon, Chester on Sunday, 10am-3pm, and High Bridge on Wednesday 3pm-7:30pm.

It is a CSA delivery weekend for Chester, and it's never too late to sign up for the remaining 3 months of the May-August season.  CSA customers get a price break as well as priority on items that sell out quickly (bacon!), and there are dozens of combinations to choose from to suit anyone's locally & responsibly raised meat, eggs, and mushroom needs!.

See you out there this weekend & thanks for your supporting of local farms!

Ryan & Liz

http://www.fourfieldsfarm.com                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

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