We produce three types of pastured poultry. Broiler Chickens, Stewing Hens and Holiday Turkeys. All of our pastured poultry have access to grass, bugs, wild forage, and sunlight. We use a combination of mobile chicken coops, small pens with open floors, and electro-net fencing to keep our animals safe from predators and give them access to fresh pasture. Raising animals in this way has the added benefit of concentrating impact and fertilization where it is most beneficial, restoring pasture, and building topsoil.
We use mobile chicken coops to follow our cows and sheep three days after they have grazed our fields. Our chickens free range from these coops, secured by electro-net fencing. The hens provide the benefit of sanitizing our pasture by spreading the manure left behind and eating the bugs attracted to the manure. The by product of this is nutrient dense eggs with creamy yokes incomparable to anything found in a supermarket.
We grow high quality breeds of varying hair sheep from all over Vermont. We co-graze our sheep with cattle as part of our practice of Holistic Management, maximizing the forage consumed and reduces parasite pressure on the Lambs. We move our lambs everyday to fresh pasture using electro-net fence so the sheep stay on fresh pasture year round and help build our soil.
NO TILL VEGETABLES
We have taken a no till, no tractor, hand powered approach to our vegetable production. We use a 30 inch permanent raised bed system and densely planted crops. In conjunction with a broad fork for deep aeration and de-compaction and high quality organic compost we are able to increase soil fertility and grow high quality, nutrient dense vegetables. We believe our no till approach promotes healthy soil, and lower instances of pests, diseases, and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels. While our vegetables are not certified organic, we do not use pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.
At Black Locust Farm we have a small heard of beef cattle that are co-grazing with our sheep. Following nature's patterns, we prefer to have diversity in our herd. Animal diversity insures pasture grasses are not indiscriminately selected for by one particular ruminant species. This maximizes the growth and regenerative state of our pastures, improves the forage quality, and builds top soil. Currently our beef is for our own consumption, but we are looking to increase the size of the heard in 2019 and provide offerings to customers.
Forest raised pork
We use heritage breeds and crosses for our pigs, mostly Tamworths and Berkshires. We keep our pigs in the woods and rotate them through our forest paddocks over there life. The forest rotations give the pigs access to wild forage, greens, bugs, and nuts that develops an incredible flavor not found in conventional pork.