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Four Fields Blog
Posted 2/13/2019 5:22pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Just a quick reminder that time's running out to get 5% off a Spring CSA membership- the early bird discount expires midnight of Feb. 14th- Thursday.

We've had a great response so far this month with CSA signups, helping to put the farm on track for the Spring rush of activity.  CSA memberships truly help farmers in the Spring, as a LOT of capitol gets invested in seeds, feed, butcher fees, and mushroom spawn long before anything can get harvested.  

Especially being a small farm, we couldn't do it without you!!!

So, put off that ice scraping and snow shoveling, and check out what we have to offer this year!

Signup Today!

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 2/6/2019 5:04pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Busy times!  The last few days of 60 degrees reminded us all that Spring is fast approaching, and we have much to do to get our ducks (literally) in a row before the season kicks into high gear.

We will have 100% grass fed lamb in stock again for this weekend's deliveries!  Check out our online store for the various cuts we offer.

Genesis Farm delivery is Friday the 8th (flexible time starting at Noon), South Orange (11-Noon) and Madison (12:30-1:30) are Sunday the 10th.  Lots of eggs available this week, as well as pork & chicken.

 

I have updated the CSA delivery dates, sites, and options for the new May-August season.  Some changes for this year:

  • New Sunday delivery sites to South Orange & Madison
  • We've added an egg only membership option
  • New mushroom add-on option
  • We're pairing with Let It Grow, an organic vegetable farm in Chester, NJ offering our meats for their CSA customers.
  • Early bird 5% discount runs until Valentine's Day- what better way to say "I love you"!
  • We're working on adding a cut flower add-on, more details to follow as the growing season progresses...

You can read about our Traditional CSA here.  Ready to sign up for a monthly membership, click here.

Any questions, let us know, we're glad to help!

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 1/31/2019 5:21pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

 

When it's -2F during morning chores, I try to think of warmer times on the farm, like this:

Yup, it's cold!  The animals are doing well with the temperatures: everyone has shelter, and we make sure there is plenty of dry straw for them to bed down in.

The sheep are fed a top quality hay for extra protein & energy.  One of the benefits of feeding a grass only diet is that they keep warmer, as their guts actually generate heat through the digestion of grass fibers.  

Amazingly, the chickens have actually increased egg production the past few weeks- their new winter greenhouse home is working out well.  Not a single frozen egg this year, and it was in the low 50's inside the greenhouse this afternoon, while there was a 0F windchill outside!

We have a Chester, NJ delivery coming up this Sunday, between 11-Noon.  Lots of eggs! Chickenpork and a few sheep fleeces available too.

We just dropped off lambs at the butcher today, so will have lamb available again late next week!  I'll send an email when I update that inventory.

 

Hope to see you soon & think of the warmer days to come ;)

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 1/16/2019 6:04pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,


Looks like it's finally going to snow, so we're going to switch this weekend's delivery to Chester to Saturday the 19th, 11-Noon.  No need to fight the grocery store lines to stock up on meat and eggs!

What better way to weather the storm than some hearty pork stew, slow roasted pork shoulder or ribs, roasted chicken- if you're stuck inside, you might as well eat well, right?  Rent a few good movies and cook up a storm!

Stay safe and shovel slowly ;) 

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 1/3/2019 5:05pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.


Happy New Year!

As we begin planning for the new year, we take the time to reflect on 2018, thinking of what worked well, what didn't, things we want to focus on.  I came up with some fun farm facts from 2018:

  • 1,585 dozen eggs packaged (that's 19,020 eggs!)
  • 56,400 pounds of chicken and pig feed gobbled up
  • 21,600 pounds of hay for the sheep this winter
  • New record for precipitation since record keeping began in 1895: we received 72.2", that's 2 FEET of extra precipitation this year, gross!
  • We've tripled the size of of egg laying flock last summer
  • Over 250 pounds of mushrooms harvested

As for 2019, we are planning on expanding our mushroom growing venture, will work on renovating our back 25 acres of pasture to get better grass and clover varieties, we're looking into growing cut flowers in our new greenhouse, and (as always) build more fencing so we can better utilize the land.  One of our main long term goals is to graze the sheep on our stockpiled pastures throughout the whole winter & become a hay-free farm!

I've set the delivery dates for a la carte orders for Chester (This coming Sunday, Jan 6th), South Orange, Madison, & Genesis Farm.  

We are no longer doing the indoor winter market at Stroudsburg, PA every week, but are looking into possibly once a month- more to follow on that.

We do have some sheep fleeces still available, both from long wool and short haired sheep.

 

Wishing you all a great 2019 & hope to see you soon!

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 12/20/2018 6:00pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Last minute stocking stuffers: tanned sheep fleeces!  

We recently got a beautiful batch back from the tannery, just in time for the Holiday!  In an effort to utilize the whole animal, we send out the hides from our sheep to a tannery in Pennsylvania- it takes them 4-6 months to tan, clean and brush the fleeces, but the results are well worth the wait.

Most of the fleeces are from our Katahdin Hair Sheep (right side of the photo)- a breed that sheds their coat as the season change, much like a dog.  These fleeces are from their summer coat, around 3/4" long, and

We do have a few from our neighbor's Icelandic Sheep flock (left side of the photo)- a special breed that produces beautiful colored and premium quality wool.  3-4" long wool, incredibly soft.

We usually sell out within a few days, so they really are first come, first served.  I've set up a new department in our store, with pictures and measurements.  We can also email you pictures and prices.

Pickup at the farm, or at the indoor Stroudsburg, PA farmers market this Saturday, or we can hold onto them for you for pickup at one of our other drop sites later in January.  We can mail them as well, though shipping is separate & not included in the online price.

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 12/13/2018 2:28pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.


Hi All-

Hope this email finds you all well, and getting ready for 2019- ready or not, it's coming fast!   I just read that we've had the wettest Fall on record- since 1895.  That's right, wettest fall in 123 years- good to know that we can deal with that much rain on the farm, but here's hoping for an 'average' year next time around ;)

We have a number of deliveries this coming weekend:

Friday: Genesis Farm, Noon-1PM

Sunday: - Chester, 11am-Noon
             - South Orange, 11am-Noon
             - Madison, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Stock up for your holiday visitors- 3 types of nitrate free bacon, 7 different kinds of sausage, roasting chickens, pork roasts & ribs...

Shop online for chicken, pork and duck eggs (superior for baking)- sorry, we're already sold out of chicken eggs.  The short daylight induces the hens to grow new feathers, devoting energy to that instead of egg laying, they deserve a break anyway!

 

Email or call with any questions.  If we don't see you before, have a great Holiday season and happy New Year!

 

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 11/30/2018 7:03pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends! We had a nice day with family, (all 38 of us!) and it was great to get away from the farm for a bit too ;) 

Been a very busy few weeks at the farm- 8" of wet snow really threw a kink in our farm plans, but we're catching up.  Our first adventures in pig artificial insementaion was unsuccessful- we misjudged the timing- but we'll try again in a few weeks when she cycles again.  The greenhouse, which we'll use for winter laying hen housing, is nearly finished.  A few more cords of firewood were split.  We've ordered 125 replacement laying hens for December, so hopefully we'll have more eggs in stock later this winter.

It's going to be a busy weekend for us- no rest for the wicked I suppose.  I'll be at the indoor farmer's market in Stroudsburg, PA from 9am-Noon on Saturday.  Then it's over to Chester on Sunday, from 11-Noon for our a la carte orders- be sure to get them in soon, either shop online or email/call them in by Saturday afternoon please.

Both afternoons, I'll be working at my brother's Christmas tree farm in Liberty, NJ- a great little family run cut-your-own tree farm.  A bonfire burning, smores, and hot chocolate: you can't go wrong.

Liz will be at the Hope Christmas Craft Market Saturday & Sunday, working a booth for Free Spir Chocolates, a local bean to bar chocolatier- fair trade, made from raw beans with a focus on quality and flavor.  From white and milk chocolates, to 85% dark, and dozens of flavors in between, there's something for every taste!

Hope you're all well & see you soon!

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 11/10/2018 12:17pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi Locavores,

If you haven't seen it on our Instagram page, we spent the better part of Friday afternoon unloading the 1,000 pounds of pork we just got back from the butcher!  That doesn't include all the smoked pork that we'll pickup next Friday...another 300 or so pounds.

I knew all those hours (days, more likely) spent playing Tetris would pay off eventually, fitting it all into our freezers was challenge I had been training for ;)

So, as you guessed, we are fully stocked in pork again: thick cut and regular chops, hickory smoked bacon (belly, jowl, and English cuts), fresh pork belly, roasts, smoked pork chops, cutlets, smoked hocks, ribs (spare and baby back), and so on.  These were very large pigs, so the meat is beautifully marbled for tender flavorful meat.

Our next a la carte orders will be delivered next Friday, November 16th to Genesis Farm, then on Sunday, November 18th to Chester, Madison, and South Orange (busy day!).  Please note that this will be our last delivery before Thanksgiving, so be sure to plan ahead- we have plenty of recipe ideas if you want to try something different this year: sausage stuffing, bacon wrapped anything, meatball appetizers, deviled eggs...

The Stroudsburg, PA farmers market has moved indoors for the winter, and continues through the New Year's every Saturday, from 9am-Noon, so you can see us there every week too.

Ryan & Liz

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

Posted 11/2/2018 10:55am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

A quick note to remind everyone that there is a Chester a la carte delivery this coming Sunday, between 11-Noon.  Place your orders online for pork, eggs, and chicken, and we'll meet you at the baseball diamond on Collis Lane in Chester NJ.

We also have a new delivery site for a la carte orders: Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ has generously offered us to use their farm for a pick up location.  They are a fantastic farm, celebrating their 30th anniversary of growing produce using organic and sustainable practices, a farm and community to aspire to indeed!

These deliveries will be every other Friday, from Noon-1pm, starting today.  I'll update the website to reflect the location and exact dates when we get them confirmed with Genesis.

The Stroudsburg, PA market has moved indoors for the Winter- to the Renegade Winery at 600 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA.  Note that the market runs from 9am-Noon.

Heads up that we have 8 hogs going to the butcher on Tuesday, so we will be very, very fully stocked with all manner of pork!  Regular and thick cut chops, English bacon, smoked chops, roasts, cutlets, fresh pork belly...I'll send an email when I've update the inventory as we get pork back from the butcher, all 1,300 pounds of it!

Ryan & Liz

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

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