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Four Fields Blog
Posted 2/10/2017 2:23pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Hopefully everyone's doing well with our random weather from this past week- it was 55F on Wednesday, then 15F and snowing 24 hours later!  Wednesday was a flurry (sorry for the pun) of activity for us, getting ready for the storm- nothing like a foot of impending snow to get one motivated!

First up was a 'pallet palace' for the sheep.  We have a source for free pallets in town, and have been meaning to build a shelter for lambing this Spring, so we can now check that off the chore list.  We also topped up everyone's feed and water, got the tractor ready for plowing, and picked up a pile of DVD's from the library. 





The toughness of these sheep never ceases to amaze me- you can see where one of them bedded down in the snow for the night, even though there's plenty of room and fresh bedding in their palace 10 feet away.  And the warmth of their coats is to be envied- these girls are hardcore, especially considering their a month away from giving birth!

The pigs, on the other hand, are a bit more sensible- much like us, they stayed in their house until the storm blew over, looking at me every time I checked on them from the warmth of their shelter as if to say, "Do I have to come out?"  Once the snow stopped, they were all out romping and playing in the snow!

















We have our bi-weekly deliveries to Washington on this coming Saturday, and to Chester on Sunday- both between 10a-Noon.  Put your order in online, or email us with any questions or special requests. 


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 1/25/2017 4:35pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Just a quick reminder that we have our deliveries to Washington & Chester this coming Saturday & Sunday respectively.  All pork & lamb cuts, whole chicken & duck, and free range eggs in stock, no minimum order, & membership required.  Get your orders in, and we'll see you this weekend!

Even though it doesn't feel like winter, in any shape or form, today, it has been a busy winter for us at the farm.  We just picked up our first batch of 3 little piglets last week, and they are settling in very well into their new digs, including an actual straw house- good thing we don't have wolves...

The sheep are doing well, and their bellies are starting to grow quite a bit- we are expecting twins from our older ewes, and those little lambs take up a lot of room.  Lambing should start in mid-March, and we are extremely excited about that, since it's our first foray into delivering lambs!  Fingers crossed we won't have much to do as Katahdin hair sheep are known for being stellar mothers.

With the slowly increasing daylight hours & warmth comes more eggs.  Slowly but surely, the girls are ramping up their production.  December & January are usually the slowest months, meaning we get 20 a day, but now the girls are averaging nearly 30, and production should hit nearly 60 eggs a day by the Summer.

Liz has been posting great pictures & vides on our facebook page.

Thanks for your support & be well!

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 12/16/2016 9:17pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

If you haven't guessed it by now, we're going to cancel our deliveries to Washington on Saturday due to the ice/snow storm moving through the area.

Sunday is still on for our Chester orders at Perry St. from 10am-Noon, so see you then.


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Posted 12/15/2016 10:58am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Hopefully you're indoors & toasty warm- cause it's freakin' cold outside!  With a high of only 24, and 30mph gusts today, we thought it was best if we canceled going out the the Long valley farmer's market today.  Nothing like a little frost bite to start off the Holiday season, right?

As for the online orders this weekend for Washington & Chester, we'll keep a close eye on the weather, which also isn't looking too good for traveling.  We'll make a decision by Friday night, and will let you know then if we are canceling those too. 

You can always place an order online for a farm pickup if you have Holiday food needs, and stop by when the weather is more friendly.  We have plenty of eggs for eggnog, lamb & pork roasts, stew meat, fresh kielbasa, and we just got 500 pounds of pork back from the butcher, so we're fully stocked!  We even have two 9-pound turkeys for your Holiday table. Remember- there's no minimum order or long term commitment that you have make.

The animals are doing well- we only have 7 sheep & 55 laying hens to look after for now.  The sheep have been moved into the woods for the winter, where we've built a few shelters & windbreaks for them, and the chicken coop has been buttoned up for the winter as well.  I'm amazed at the thickness of the ewe's winter coats, they are so well insulated that snow falling on them doesn't melt- they simply shake it off!  Also, with temperatures like this, we have to collect eggs a few times a day to keep them from freezing in the nest boxes.

We are ready for the small barn construction to begin in January, we spent 2 days last week with me on the tractor and Liz working a compactor to spread the 44 tons of gravel for the foundation, just in time before the ground froze solid.  This will be for grain storage & chick brooders, so we don't have to use our front porch anymore!

Overall, now's a good time to work on inside projects!


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 12/1/2016 1:50pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Happy December!  Hopefully everyone has recovered from the Thanksgiving feast, and had a great Holiday.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we are helping out at my brother's Christmas tree farm, which is just a few miles from our farm in Great Meadows.  It's a great cut-your-own family run operation- and it's chemical free!  It might come as a surprise to you that a typical tree farm uses a LOT of pesticides and herbicides over the 7 years it takes to grow a typical Christmas tree- nothing like decorating a chemical soaked tree for the holidays, right?!  Not so much.

This picture is from last year- there is currently no snow at the farm...There's a great selection of Frasier & Concolor firs, as well as Blue (Colorado) spruce for the traditionalist, trees range from 3-15 feet.  Free hot chocolate and marshmallows to roast at the bonfire!  5 Tree Farm is open Saturdays & Sundays, 10am-5pm, located at 4 Morris Lane, Great Meadows NJ 07838.

Liz and I also bring a few coolers of meat and eggs for purchase too, as well as honey & garlic- one stop holiday shopping!

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 11/3/2016 10:16am by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

The Farmer's Market in Long Valley has been extended 3 extra weeks, running up to Thanksgiving.

It's a great local market, other vendors including fresh pasta & ravioli, local vegetables, baked goods, empanadas, pickles, and more.

We will have coolers with all of our meat cuts, eggs, honey, and heirloom garlic.  

The next 3 Thursdays, Nov. 3rd, 10th, & 17th, from 3pm-7pm.

See you there!


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 11/1/2016 5:15pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

Just a quick note to clarify what we used to call the "Buyer's Club" as we got a lot of questions about how it works.  Hopefully, the new name "The Web-Store" will help clear up some confusion.

The web-store is:

  • Simply online shopping that we deilver to either Chester or Washington (you choose) once you place your order.
  • We have set delivery dates and times that you also choose for your convenience.
  • There is no membership, long term commitment, or fees.
  • There is no minimum order- if you only want 1 dozen eggs, no problem!
  • It's a simple single purchase, online shopping way to get our products, just like shopping at a farmer's market.

Our Washington (Saturday the 5th) & Chester (Sunday the 6th) deliveries are this coming weekend, from 10am-noon.  So, if you want to purchase some locally raised meat, eggs, honey, and garlic, shop our online store- we're fully stocked with all pork cuts (bacon, ribs, pork chops), lamb, duck, and chicken.

Don't forget about daylight savings ;)

Finally, if you're thinking of getting a turkey from us, we only have a handful left, and we expect to sell out soon.


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 10/19/2016 1:28pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All-

It's been an exhausting few weeks at the farm, but I'm glad to say that we are fully stocked again!

Pork- We just picked up nearly 500 lbs from the butcher, and somehow fit everything into the freezers.  Roasts, chops, spare ribs, breakfast sausage, pork belly for braising- and 2 news cuts!  We now have pork stew cubes, as well as a fresh (unsmoked) kielbasa, with plenty of garlic and black pepper flavor.

Lamb- Fully stocked in all lamb cuts- 100% pasture reared lamb chops, roasts, cubes and ground meat.

Duck- Pekin ducks, rich flavor, and surprisingly easy to roast in the oven.  We sold out in a week over the summer, so don't miss out on this delicious treat!

Turkeys- We still have a few heritage Turkeys for the Holidays.  Pay a deposit now to reserve your bird before they sell out.

Eggs- The girls are still laying eggs, and they're available on a first come, first served basis.


This weekend is our first Buyer's Club delivery to Washington & Chester, so be sure to get your orders in before Friday!  Shop online and only pay a $20 deposit, after you pickyou delivery site and date: we'll weigh your order and email you an invoice that you pay when you pick up your meat.

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 10/10/2016 5:36pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

It seems that Fall is officially upon us with the first frost on it's way tonight!  The summer Farmer's Markets have come to the end of the season, and most of them are closing.  You'll still be able to buy responsibly, raised local meats from us throughout the coming months. 

Simply go onto our website, to the "Turkey & Buyer's Club" section, place your order there and pick you delivery option.  You'll only pay a $20 deposit online, as we will weigh you order and send you an invoice.  We will have deliveries to both Chester (Sunday) and Washington (Saturday) twice a month, and you can always pick up at the farm at your convenience.

We will be fully stocked next week- lamb, pork, duck, chicken, and eggs

Read more about shopping online here

We are also taking Holiday Turkey reservations on a first come, first served basis.  We raised a very limited number of heritage birds this year, and there's more information on them here.

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 9/23/2016 5:30pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Just a quick reminder that our Open Farm Day is tomorrow, Saturday Sept. 24th, between 2-6pm.

We'll be doing tours of the farm, animals, and equipment as well as some refreshment from local establishments: Man Skirt Brewing (English bitter, porter, and Octoberfest beers!) and Best's Fruit Farm (fresh pressed apple cider).

129 Alphano Road, Great Meadows, NJ 07838

See the invite here

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