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Four Fields Blog
Posted 6/15/2019 8:19pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-


Just a late night (for farmers), quick
note to let everyone know that the Chester Farmer's market is opening tomorrow, Sunday June 16th, 10Am-2PM. We'll be there every Sunday until late September, along with 10 or so other vendors.

It's a great, off street location, at Gazebo park in Chester- a nice grassy park, so come and spend some quality time there with Dad.  Dad's love that kind of stuff- take him shopping at the market.  Plenty of parking, new vendors including an empanada truck and an organic vegetable farm out of Flanders, NJ.

We'll be bringing a selection of our forest raised pork and chicken, eggs, and mushrooms.  Lots of mushrooms!

See you tomorrow and happy Father's Day!

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 6/7/2019 8:19pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.


Hi All,

It's looking like a beautiful weekend is in store for us- we've had a pretty good run on nice weekends, given the crazy weather we've had lately!

The Saturday morning market in Stroudsburg (8-Noon), has been great so far this year- fantastic music, special events each weekend, and a few new vendors, including a homemade ice cream stand!

There will be an al la carte delivery to Chester this coming Sunday, June 9th 11am-Noon: there will some mushrooms available for this delivery- yellow oyster and grey oyster.  As we ramp production up for the Chester market (starting Sunday, June 16th- a perfect Father's Day gift!), we will have over 8 varieties through the season available at different times.  

The mushrooms have been a huge hit at Stroudsburg so far this market season, so much so that we are usually selling out in a few hours.  We'll keep you posted as our production and varieties increase.

Have a great weekend!

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 5/23/2019 10:05am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Greetings from a soggy farm!  This Spring has proven to be an actual Spring- cool temperatures and heavy rains, which is abnormal for NJ-  I feel that we typically go from 50 degrees in April to the 80's 2 weeks later.  But, all the rain and cool is great for growing grass- much of our pastures are up to our hips- so tall that the sheep disappear when you rotate them to a new paddock!

We just got back from a quick vacation- that's not a typo, farmers do occasionally get away from the farm ;)  We had a great trip to England for a family wedding & many thanks to our farm sitter who single handedly ran the farm for the week.  Huzzah for Tim!

But- vacation's over!  We have our first round of CSA deliveries this weekend, as well as drop offs to 3 of our a la carte sites, plus the weekly farmer's market in Stroudsburg, PA.  If you are signed up for a CSA, you should have already received a reminder email- let me know if you think you were missed...if you still want to sign up for a CSA, you can join here.

A La Carte on Sunday, May 26th:

Chester: 11-Noon

South Orange: 11-Noon

Madison: 12:30-1:30pm.

 

We're processing chickens tomorrow, so there will be cut up chicken breast available again!  Get your orders in early, we're sure to sell out quickly.

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 5/10/2019 8:53pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-


Just a quick reminder that another 2 weeks have gone by already and it's time for another Chester a la carte delivery this coming Sunday, 11-Noon.

What says "I love you , Mom" more than a nice roasted chicken or grilled pork chops?  Right?  Nitrate free, hickory smoked bacon?  Maybe a CSA membership?  ;)

Shop online or email/text/call in your orders.

Happy Mother's Day!

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 4/26/2019 6:55pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Hope you're enjoying the beautiful Spring that we're having so far!

As we plan for the upcoming farm market season (Stroudsburg opens May 4th!), Liz and I were thinking about the ever present question at a market- paper or plastic?  After reading that the US uses 100 Billion plastic bags a year (yes, that's 100 Billion), we did some research...

 

Each option has it's up and down-sides, this poster sums it up very well.  Paper is from a renewable resource, and is more readily recyclable into other products, but takes much more energy to produce and transport than plastic bags.  Plastic, on the other hand, has a much smaller carbon footprint than paper bags to produce, but take 500-1000 years to break down, and in the meantime wreak havoc in the oceans and on wildlife mistaking them for food. 

The short answer we came up with after reading lots of articles, is, "How about neither?"  The main theme we saw over the various articles was that the best way to minimize your impact is to bring your own bag- be it plastic, paper, cotton, basket, box, crate, backpack...each time you reuse a bag prevents one from going to a landfill, ending up in the ocean, using energy and resources to make a new one or recycle and old one.

Reusable tote bags are great- they can take the weight, and condensation so won't rip.  They're also much more durable than either paper or plastic bags, so you can load them up with all your fresh goodies from the market.  

You can reuse T-shirts by making them into your own tote bag, no sewing machine or skills required!

We already take any and all (paper and plastic) used 1 dozen egg cartons from our customers to reuse for our chicken and duck eggs, and will continue to do so.

Moving forward, we will only purchase recycled paper bags to use for customers, but strongly encourage you to bring bags to markets and deliveries.  We will, however, take any and all used paper & plastic bags that you might have laying around your house that you want to donate to the farm!  The more we reuse those bags already made, the less impact they have on our environment.

 

We do have a Chester delivery coming up this Sunday, April 28th, from 11- Noon. Shop online, email, text, or call in your orders soon.

Thanks for pitching in and helping us farm in a more sustainable way, every bit helps!

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 4/10/2019 4:05pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Ahh, the greening of grass in Spring!  While this image might bring dreadful thoughts of having to mow the lawn, we at Four Fields Farm are really excited!

True, farmers might not have the most glamorous of lives to be excited by grass growing, but it is something we look forward to every year.

It's great for the farmers- winter is finished, no more schlepping hay bales around the farm, frozen water buckets, putting on 10 pounds of clothes to go outside...

But it's even better for our animals & land- fresh, lush pastures for eating (our nursing ewes need the extra nutrition), more diversity in the animals' diets (wild flowers, multiple species of grasses, fresh shoots off bushes and shrubs), and soil building through allowing pastures ample rest between grazings.

We'll be getting everybody out onto fresh pastures this week, as we like to give the grass a head start before the sheep chow down. 

The wild birds have come back to nest in the dozens of nest boxes we've put throughout our pastures- bluebirds, swallows, wrens, and chickadees.  We give them a dry house and predator protection, they help us keep our fly populations in check around the livestock- no need for chemical pesticides!

It is a delivery weekend to Chester (11-noon), South Orange (11-Noon), and Madison (12:30-1:30) this coming Sunday, April 14th.  We just got back a few hogs from the butcher, so we have all chops, bacon, and sausage in stock.  We also have a limited amount of lamb left, if you want any for the upcoming Holidays.  Finally, the ducks began laying again, so we do have some duck eggs in stock!

Please note that next month's S.O. & Madison delivery will be later in the month, on May 26th- we have to shift the delivery to accommodate our Summer markets.  Please plan ahead for that in this month's order if you need to stock up on extra items...

 

Now go watch the grass grow! 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 3/29/2019 6:28pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.


Hi All-


As usual, it's been busy on the farm the past week- I know, it's sort of redundant saying that about a farm in Spring ;)

We got our first delivery of mushroom blocks for our indoor growing chamber. The first few weeks will be fairly experimental, as we get out settings just right for growing top quality mushrooms- humidity, air flow, light- it's all a fine balance when growing indoors.  Growing indoors will hopefully allow us to grow mushrooms year round!  We'll keep you all posted as to how they are coming along, and when we'll have them ready for sale.

Lambing is going well with 5 new additions so far, and we're expecting at least 10 more to come in the next week or two.  If you haven't been following them, Liz is doing a great job with posting pictures and videos of the Spring babies on Instragram and Facebook!

The piglets have emerged from the security of their nest, and are following their mom around, wrestling with each other, and starting to root & forage for goodies.  Very cute to watch- a 600 pound sow with an entourage of tiny ones scrambling behind her. 

 

We do have a Chester delivery coming up this Sunday, from 11-Noon.  Be sure to plan ahead for Easter if you want some of our 100% grassfed lamb- roasts, chops, and ground.  

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 3/15/2019 4:40pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Not something I'd expect for mid-March: I'm outside, doing chores in a t-shirt in 70 degrees, and it starts to sprinkle a little rain. Then, WHAM, lightning strikes a few hundred yards away and scares the living daylights out of me and the dogs- we were inside a chicken coop at the time, keeping out of the rain.  

It's not often you see a farmer run, and it's not a pretty sight, believe me ;)

So, it's a good time to come inside and email everyone that we have a Chester delivery for a la carte orders this coming Sunday, March 17th, between 11-Noon.

Pork, chicken, eggs and lamb (St. Patricks day!).

We are also continuing to take on CSA memberships for the May-August season.  We have already tripled the number of members compared to last year!  New delivery sites in NJ to South Orange and Madison, mushroom option, egg only option as well.

Ready to sign up?

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 3/7/2019 6:14pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Thinking Spring thoughts (and looking at the weather forecast...), helps get me over this last round of 7" of snow & plowing & ice.  I did learn my lesson from the last 3" to fully plow the driveway- the last one only melted half way then re-froze into a 2" sheet of ice.  Not so much fun as I slid off the car off the driveway onto the front lawn...March has a funny way of remind me every year that winter isn't quite over!

But- the next few weeks will also remind me that Spring is really just around the corner.  The first batch of chicks arrive, lambing begins, our sow is due to farrow (a fancy farmer word for pigs giving birth- your next scrabble word!), mushrooms logs will be cut and inoculated, maple trees will be tapped for syrup making.  The layers are starting to ramp up egg production too, as the daylight increases- we're up to 100 a day on average & are aiming for 180 a day during the peak summer season!

We have our monthly South orange delivery this coming Sunday, March 10th from 11-Noon, then on to Madison from 12:30-1:30pm. Eggs, chicken, lamb, and pork are all in stock.

See you soon!

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 3/1/2019 5:58pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-


Just a quick note before I collapse onto the couch (it's been a loooong day!) to remind everyone that the next a la carte delivery to Chester, NJ is this coming Sunday, March 3rd from 11-Noon.  

Skip the trip to the grocery store before the snow storms hit and stock up on some local goodies.

Plenty of eggs, 100% grass fed lamb, pork and chicken available!

 

Thanks and hope to see you soon.

Ryan & Liz

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

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