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Four Fields Blog
Posted 4/21/2017 4:33pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

This is Tomlyn, the adorable lamb in the photo.  I really hope you get a chance to to come out to the farm this weekend to celebrate Spring & Earth Day with me and meet all the bouncing, rooting, and scratching animals here- and some other humans too ;).

It's between 2-5PM this Saturday the 22nd, the weather should be great, but do dress appropriately if you plan on taking a farm tour- close-toed shoes/boots, long pants.  If you just want to hang out and have a beer (we're getting an English ale from Manskirt Brewry), then no worries!  Please, no dogs for this event.

The information's all here on the website.

We are having our regular morning deliveries to Washington on Saturday, and to Chester on Sunday- so you can still get some local food goodies even if you can't make it to the Farm Day on Saturday.  You can check out our online store here.


Hope to see you Saturday!


Tomlyn the Lamb

(and Ryan & Liz)                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 4/12/2017 6:32pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you know that our first Farmer's Market is starting tomorrow, Thursday April 13th.  We'll be participating in the Long Valley Green Market again this season- it's a really great spot with loads of vendors, including a wide variety of ready to eat foods (pickles, raviolis, fresh mozzarella, empanadas, organic dinners & dips), you'll find what you're looking for.

We'll have most of products- pork, lamb, duck, eggs, and honey.  Sadly, we're sold out of chicken until mid-May.

Located at 20 Schooleys Mountain Road in Long Valley, from 3pm-7pm, it's just a hop skip and a jump from Chester.  There's even a hiking and bike path (don't worry, it's flat), and a local microbrewery!

Hope to see you there!

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 4/6/2017 2:36pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

In celebration of the arrival of Spring, pastures that are starting to grow, and general customer appreciation (we couldn't be farmers without you), we're giving away some eggs!  

Each person that comes to one of our drop off sites this weekend in Washington on Saturday, and Chester on Sunday gets a dozen eggs for free!  No purchase necessary, one per household.  It's our way of saying thanks for your support.

As for the online store, we are having deliveries this weekend.  Place your order online here for pork, lamb, chicken, and eggs (if you want more than 1 dozen).  We do have a limited number of bone-in, leg of lamb roasts, and our chickens are nearly sold out until late May.  The bone broth was a huge hit, and we only have a few left while we are waiting for our chef to make more.

Just a heads up that we are planning to have an open farm day on Earth Day, April 22nd from 2pm-5pm- we had such a great time last fall with the open farm day, we're doing it again!  Come see the critters on the farm, we'll have a lot of Spring babies- chicks, lambs, piglets, ducklings & goslings- meet other local food supporters, ask us any question about the farm, or just go for a nice walk.  More details to follow. 

Signups for our Spring CSA subscriptions continue, with various size options, drop off locations, and payment plans to suit any household.

Happy Spring!

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 3/23/2017 5:42pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

As per usual, Spring (though it may not feel like it...) means things at the farm really start to ramp up.  While we haven't seen any actual ramps (the vegetable) just yet, we have chicks and ducklings under the brooder, vegetable seedlings under lights in the basement, and our first lamb was born the other day.  Liz has been posting loads of photos & videos of him, and the rest of the farm, on our Instagram and Facebook pages**.

A quick reminder that it's time for another weekend delivery to Washington on Saturday & Chester on Sunday.  Place an order through our online store, and we deliver it to the same location as our Summer farm markets for you to pick up between 10AM-Noon.  Remember that Easter is fast approaching, and we do have a limited quantity of 100% grass fed, pasture-reared lamb roasts and chops available.

It's also the last weekend for our Early Bird CSA discount- sign up by Sunday night for a CSA subscritption for May-August, and receive a 5% discount.  CSA purchasing is arguably the best way to support local agriculture.  CSA members always get priority on our products that frequently sell out at farmer markets since they purchased in advance.

Learn more about our CSA offerings and drop off locations. 

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz


** Yes, I know the photo here is a piglet- 'cause he cute too!!

Posted 3/18/2017 3:35pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

CSA subscription signups have begun for the May-August season. Receive an automatic 5% discount if you join before next Sunday, March 26th.  Returning members get 5% off no matter when you re-join, as a thanks for your ongoing support!

Get a free chicken!  We'll give you one of our pasture raised chickens as a thanks when you get one of your friends or family members to join as a new CSA member.

Some new additions and changes for this Spring:

  • Popular pork cuts: Receive only our greatest sellers each month: pork chops, bacon, & pork sausage.
  • Flexible Payments:  You can choose to pay your invoice all at once, or pay 50% now, and 50% mid-season.  We can also set up other payment plans at your request
  • We have lengthened the season to four months instead of three
  • Panther Valley residential pickup for those living in that development
  • We had to cancel the Crewe Hill drop site- We encourage those members to select Chester

Things we continues to offer:

  • Numerous share sizes to choose from: options for a single cook to a family of 6
  • Nitrate-free Bacon add-on: choose 1 or 2lb a month to an existing meat share
  • Raw Honey add-on: choose 8oz or 1lb a month added to an existing meat share
  • Flexible farm pickup with 5% off: you pick the date & time

CSA membership helps both the customer, you get local and ethically raised meats with minimal effort & shopping time, and the farmer, paying for your order in advance significantly helps farm finance!  It's a great way to invest in local food and community.  CSA members get priority on our products- you get first dibs on eggs, bacon, and other common items we sell out of at farmer's markets.

Learn more about:

Any and all questions are always welcome, we're glad to help as we know that CSA purchasing might be new to many of you.

Purchase Here

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 3/9/2017 5:11pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

  I know i say it every time, but I really can't believe it's been two weeks already!
  With this obscenely warm and nice weather we've had, Liz and I have been obscenely busy at the farm, chipping away at projects that we don't have time for during the real busy season.  Clearing fallen trees and seeding clover & oats to give the pigs more pasture to nibble on, getting prepared (as much as we can be...) for lambing next week, and setting up the brooders for ducklings &  chicks.

  One of our new items is bone broth- we partnered with a local chef with the skills and know how to make some tasty organic bone broth with the pork bones and trotters from our forest raised pigs.  Sold frozen in quart, glass jars, the bones were roasted and then simmered for 24 hours with organic carrots, onions, and cider vinegar, with no salt added.  Drink a little bit each day for the health benefits of bone broth, or use it as a rich stock for soups or risotto- a little goes a long way..

As usual, we'll be doing online orders in Washington on Saturday between 10a-Noon, and Chester on Sunday from 10a-noon.  LOTS of eggs, pork, lamb, chicken & duck- though we're almost sold out of duck since they were a huge hit at a local restaurant, James on Main.  This will be our last delivery before St. Patrick's day, so plan accordingly.

One special new item (we only have 4 available), are sheepskin fleeces from a friend's flock, that we had beautifully tanned by a local tannery.  They are $100-$110, depending on the size, and are great for floors, draping on a bench or chair, or gifts.  Email us for more information and photos.

If you have any questions, about placing an order, our products, or how to cook a particular cut, let us know, we're happy to chat.


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

Posted 2/23/2017 5:19pm by Ryan Lacz & Liz Balchin.

Hi All,

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks already, but it's time for another round of deliveries from our web-store.  Get your orders in for eggs, pork, lamb, chicken & duck for delivery to Washington on Saturday, and to Chester on Sunday, all between 10A-Noon.

We've been super busy on the farm, with the recent crazy warming spell we've had- it was nearly 70 today.  I've (Ryan) been cutting maple trees getting ready for our venture into mushroom growing- shiitake & oyster.  Yum!  The only thing is that log-grown mushrooms, though they taste better, take time: we won't get our first harvest of oysters for 6-8 months, and shiitake take over a year for the fungus to colonize the logs.

We decided to get into mushrooms to diversify our farm a bit, and to use the logs we already thin from the woods for timber management, rather than simply burn or chip them.  We have a patch of tall pine trees which we weren't sure what else to do with, so we will use it as our mushroom growing area- dense shade, humidity, low wind.

We'll post more as we progress- and will certainly keep you up to date as Spring comes! Ducklings, lambs, chicks, piglets, goslings, bees...oh my. 

Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

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.


Ryan & Liz                Contact Ryan                     Contact Liz

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