Loving Animals, Eating Animals Recently at Shelterbelt Farm, we harvested our first beef. The two steers were shot on-farm, which avoided all the stresses of transport. They lived the high life until the very last minute, content to graze with their herd, free to do as they pleased. But I have had several people express … More Loving Animals, Eating Animals
“If you have livestock, you’re going to have dead stock,” a wise farmer friend told me when I was getting started. This depressing statement has repeatedly proven accurate. In our first year on this land, we were trying to beat back the brush that had encroached over 3 decades of neglect, and then use the … More Circle of Life
Reserve your tasty, local, pastured, organically-fed chicken! Our bronze Freedom Ranger chickens have been fattening on pasture plants, orchard pests, and organic feed ration, and will have their “one bad day” on July 14th. We expect them to be in the 4-6lb range, and will sell whole fresh birds through July 18th, and whole frozen … More Get Your Pastured Happy Chicken While Supplies Last
The livestock and farmers at Shelterbelt Farm can sleep a little easier at night knowing that Derin is here to protect them. Derin is a 2.5-year-old Akbash dog who has been guarding poultry in Virginia. Akbash and other types of guard dogs–the most common are Great Pyrhenes and Maremmas–have been bred for the purposes of … More Predators Beware
We have decided not to raise meat chickens this year, and here we attempt to explain to our supporters and customers why we’ve made this choice. There’s a lot for a farmer to love about broiler chickens: they are ravenous insect-eaters who can decrease pest pressure in orchards and pastures, their back-end output fertilizes soil, … More Why No More Chicken?
This year’s turkeys have been fattening up and scratching studiously, and will soon be ready for your holiday feast. Our broad-breasted bronze birds free range within the protection of a portable electric net, and we supplement their greens-and-bugs diet with a non-GMO ration made from squash seed meal and organic corn. They will be ready … More The Turkeys Will Graduate Soon!
We’re raising two batches of chickens this year. Both are now fattening nicely on a diet rich in bugs, greens, organic corn and squash seed meal. They’ll be processed in mid-June and late July, and available for pick-up fresh from the farm on Sat. June 16th or Sat. July 28th, or frozen any other time. … More Get Your Fresh (or Frozen) Chicken Here!
Night temperatures have been dropping into the 20’s, and we got 5 inches of snow last Sunday, April 22nd. So it feels like February. But the sun is setting around 8pm and there are leaves on most of the trees. April? Talk about confusing! We’re not sure what to make of it all, but despite … More Spring Pushes Ahead Despite Weather Chaos