Grassroots Farm is a delightful place to grow up, hole up, stop by, fly through, build a nest, or even set-up camp for the long run. Whether you are an 85 pound pooch, a 200 pound hog or a virtually weightless barn swallow, we’ve got habitat and friendly accommodations to suit all needs.
CHICKENS AND EGGS
Our pilot year (2013) raising meat chickens was a total success! Grassroots Farm will be once again offering pasture raised chicken, raised by us from day-old-chicks for the 2016 season. We will be maintaining last years numbers with a total of 3 batches of 50 birds throughout the 7 month growing season. Our pasture-raised chicken is unlike all commercially produced chicken (and much of the locally produced organic chickens, as well!). Conventional and organically raised chicken available at your grocery store is usually grown from a breed called “Cornish-Rock Cross”, a hybridized chicken with an extremely quick growth rate and a disproportionately large breast. These birds must be butchered at 8-9 weeks old, or they suffer from a naturally occurring heart attack, thanks to the traits caused by hybridization. Most are butchered at 6 weeks. Our birds are a more natural breed, called “Red Rangers”. This breed finishes at a long 12 weeks and thrive on pasture, and come complete with natural traits insect hunting, dust bathing, and predatory awareness. Red Rangers may have a slightly smaller sized breast and a slower growth rate, but we choose them for their natural behavior and superb flavor, our top two priorities as poultry producers. We find this to be the most ethical breed choice available, and also believe it to be one of the tastiest chickens you can find!
We feed strictly locally sourced, certified organic feed, providing round-the-clock access to fresh pasture and water, shelter from the elements, and an abundance of grubs, ants, worms and beetles. Although our birds themselves are not certified organic by the USDA, come see for yourself that our practices are as clean and natural as possible. Birds will be available for sale mid-summer. Need a custom order of fresh or frozen chickens? Let us know if we can help.
Available all year, fresh rainbow eggs will be produced from a happy flock of free-range hens, raised from day-old chicks right here at the farm. Our Rhode Island Red, Black Star, Auracana, Barred Rock, and Plymouth Rock breed hens eat only locally-sourced certified organic feed, although we chose not to include the eggs from these birds in our official organic certification this year. Let us know if the additional assurance is important to you. These hens are truly free-range, as they roam our 1.25 acre protected and partially wooded homestead. We call our Winter layers our “homeflock” and they are numbered at a small family of 36 birds.
During the pasture season, our homeflock moves to the Farm from April to November. Here our hens are placed either in our roving wagon coop, to graze the open space with our cattle, or up in our chicken yard, where the stands of motherwort, perennial grasses, and mulberry trees keep them safe and well-fed.
Hatched in the Spring of 2014 at McMurray hatchery and sent to us the very next day, we are happy to announce our 2 remaining Embden Geese will be with any luck breeding this Spring. We will keep a watchful eye out for any revealing behaviors or egg spotting. Not sure we have a breeding pair, but do enjoy their company nonetheless.
Our Geese are processed at Me-Kong Fresh Meat in Mosinee, Wisconsin, a state inspected processing facility.
Grassroots Farm pork is of the highest quality, best tasting, and most humanely raised available. We pasture our hogs and give them full access to shade and fresh water at all times. We raise our hogs in batches of no more than 8 per year, to keep conditions safer, healthier and more spacious. Certified Organic, locally-grown, complete hog grain ration and pasture forage make up the rest of their well-balanced diet. We have used AJ’s Lena Maid Meats and Sorgs’ Farm Processing in Darien, Wisconsin for our processing needs. We are very happy with the quality of cuts and all smoked cuts and sausages are nitrate-free. At this time, 2016 pork is available in very limited quantities by the cut, as much of it is distributed through our Winter Meat and Egg Share. Contact us for availability and See our 2014 meat price list here.
New in 2014! Due to our abundance of pasture, we have decided to raise our own lamb right here on the farm. We plan feed an exclusively grass-based diet to finish our lamb at 9-10 months of age. We have kept back 4 ewes which we plan to breed this upcoming Fall. Stay tuned for 2016 lambing!
This 2016 grazing season we will be Summer pasturing our bred cow Gillian and two yearling steer calves Buddy and Otis, as well as our future milk cow Fiona.
After a hugely successful grass and bug eating batch of white and bronze breasted turkeys raised here on our farm in 2014, we have found the “sweet spot” and have plans to stick with the magic number: 50 turkeys. We will however be expanding our turkey product to include a couple dozen birds to be sold fresh, never frozen, raised on the land at our house. Our poults are hatched locally, in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and come to us at just one or two days old. As with all of our pastured meat products, we choose not to include them in our organic certification, but we are absolutely committed to feeding our livestock only locally-sourced certified organic feed and access to our certified organic pasture and hay. Feel free to contact us as we still may have a few of our delicious on-farm raised whole turkeys available for sale.
Our four-legged farm helpers..
Ryegrass and Colby-Chevre are the first to greet all farm visitors, first to volunteer to help with meal preparation, and the first to fall asleep for the night… often by 7 p.m. We believe our lack of deer, mole, and bunny issues in the garden are a direct result of the world-class perimeter control by our canine farm team. Our dogs have been taught to roam the perimeter of both farm and field, however keeping paws out of our vegetable ground.
Harvey, who joined us in February 2015, is a top of the line goofball and front seat riding friendly high energy pit bull. He lacks the natural instinct to hunt, unless you count slippers, but makes up for that with his relentless positive attitude.
For the grazing seasons of 2011-2015 we have been joined by a quiet, grass munching herd of Kinkoona Farm’s sheep. We look forward to their quiet company on pasture again in 2016.
In the Spring of 2013, Grassroots Farm adopted two donkeys, both geldings, Jones and Zorro. Found stray or in less than favorable conditions, these boys are happy to call our valley their permanent home. We hope to train our donkeys to someday put in an honest days work pulling a wagon or carrying a few fencing tools. For now, frequent brushing and apple bribes make up most of our relationship to these friendly and quiet fellas.
Yes, Grassroots Farm is the new permanent home of “T.C.” Monroe residents may know him from his past post at the Green County Landfill, where he was a professional Trash Cat. Now he is our informal mascot. A full conversation can be had with T.C. at almost anytime, and he rarely misses an opportunity to say hello to any creature within 30 feet of the barn.
Alongside T.C. is an ever-plumpening Zipper. Zipper is more dog than cat, and loves to help out and talk shop, especially during chicken chores.
And Our Wild Creatures (with Assorted Legs and Even No Legs)
Expect to see bluebirds, swallows, rare or endangered butterflies, REAL ladybugs, wooly bears, a selection of moths, garden and wolf spiders, goldfinches and to hear a cardinal or see a woodpecker in one of our many ancient black-walnut trees. If you are lucky, you may see the occasional red-tailed hawk, wild turkey, oriole, woodchuck, skunk, bull snake (and rattler!), or even a pair of Sandhill Cranes passing overhead. On a day worth noting, you may have the privilege to connect with a bald eagle soaring above, a grey wolf on the horizon, a pheasant in the brush, a praying mantis draped over a cabbage plant, a hummingbird’s quick glance, or even a rare ichneumon wasp, curled against the bark of one of our “break-room” shade trees.