Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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Hurricane Farm in a nice article from the HARTFORD COURANT

A link to a nice article about our farm in the Hartford Courant from October 14, 2010.

Click on the "Discover Windham" link...

 http://www.courant.com/about/special_sections/

 
 

Hurricane Farm and CSA's in the Newspaper

More people are buying a piece of their local farm

Willimantic Chronicle, 27 May 2010

By MIKE SAVINO

ABOVE: Erica Andrews, right, the owner of Hurricane Farm in Scotland with her husband Christopher, allows Jasper Cote, 2, to hold a baby chick­en.

BELOW: Andrews gives a steer named ‘Mert’ a rub on the cheek. The farm is part of an effort to increase commu­nity supported agriculture by allowing people to purchase a share of the crops at the beginning of each year.

WILLIMANTIC CHRONICLE, 27 May 2010

By MIKE SAVINO


Chronicle Staff Writer


With a shaky economy, people are looking for other ways to invest their money, ways that can get them more immediate returns.

In some cases, those returns are not cash — but food grown on local farms.

Many farms around the country, including some locally, are reaching out to residents for investments or volunteers, a collaborative effort known as “ com­munity supported agriculture” — or CSA.

In a CSA, supporters typically provide funding to farmers in exchange for food. Some farms also welcome people to work on the farm a few hours a week instead of investing money.

“Every CSA is different, and it’s up to the farm,” said Erica Andrews, who owns Hurricane Farm in Scotland along with her husband, Christopher
Andrews.

Andrews said she and her husband starting seeking investors last year and were able to purchase a grain bin for Hurricane Farm, which offers grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, maple syrup and other products to its customers.

She said the farm had 13 investors in the first year, but that number grew to 20 this year — including four who work two hours a month. She still has a waiting list.

“Lately, the curiosity has been growing, growing, growing,” Andrews said.

Steven Preli, owner of West Green Farm in Lebanon, said the idea is “just starting to catch on” in Connecticut, but other states have embraced the idea for years.

Preli, who also said he started selling shares last year, said he listed his on a web site www.localharvest.org pro­moting small local farms.

Local Harvest claims its data­base of CSAs — which also includes Hurricane Farm and Bird Song Farm in Hampton — has more than 2,500 farms across the country that engage in some form of a CSA. Investments typically are under $500.

Bruce Kittredge, owner of Bird Song Farm, said his farm is not a “classical CSA,” though, and he instead uses the site to help cul­tivate a list of customers who can purchase produce before he sells his produce elsewhere.

He said people can become “ overwhelmed” by farms send­ing the same item on a regular basis and he sends out newsletters notifying them when produce is available for purchase.

“This way here, they get what they want and pay for what they get,” he said.

Kittredge said he strives for diversity among the fruits and vegetables on his farm, which is no more than 3 acres.

He said a typical CSA would produce too much produce to focus on quantity and diversity.

Preli said a CSA is not a good approach for all farms, but he said he strives to avoid boring his investors by also planting a vari­ety of fruits and vegetables.

“That box will be filled with what’s in season,” he said about his deliveries to shareholders.

Andrews, meanwhile, said far­mers need to ensure they have enough products to meet promises to shareholders and other buyers, even if the farm experiences dif­ficulties.

“I want room for failure,” she said. “I want room for that fox that takes out half my turkeys.”

Investors do risk purchasing shares during a bad year, which means they might not get back the produce or meat they expected.

But Andrews and Preli said they limit the number of shareholders to ensure they can meet, and even exceed, those promises.

They also said those invest­ments, when collected in the win­ter, can provide money for sup­plies during the growing season.

Without CSAs, farmers need to focus more on budgeting their money throughout the year.

“It gets you income at a time when your not really getting any,” Preli said.

The town of Lebanon has even starting encouraging residents to invest by securing grants and dividing them up for residents to purchase shares at local farms.

Lebanon Town Planner Phil Chester said the conservation commission recently awarded two $500 grants and is in the process of looking for more grants.

“ I hope it’s the way of the future,” he said, adding a CSA helps farmers because it “takes away the middle man.”

He said investors benefit, mean­while, because they can know get to know their farmer and know how their food is produced.

Preli, Andrews and Bruce all agreed they have seen an increase in consumers interested in know­ing where their food comes from, whether it is at farmers markets, smaller grocery stores or through CSAs.

“I would say the number one selling factor is that they know the farmer,” Bruce said about his customers.

 
 

Holiday Meat CSA - Shares Now Available

Hurricane Farm in Scotland, CT is currently offering a Holiday Meat CSA. 

Many people inquired about and have been on a waitlist for our Summer Meat-Based CSA.  We are now pleased to be able to expand our CSA to a second season and we welcome new members.

Members have the opportunity to get fresh meats straight from the farm.

 

Each member's share will include the following: 

End of October: 
Pork Chops ($9/lb)
Sausage ($9/lb) 

Early November:
Nitrate Free
Bacon ($11/lb)
Ham ($11/lb)

Thanksgiving:
Turkey 20-30lbs ($100)

Early December:
Grass-Fed, Dry Aged Beef ($7-20/lb)

Plus:  Eggs, Swiss chard, Spinach, Lettuce, Peas & Kale

CSA with Turkey: $300
CSA without Turkey: $200 We are now accepting a $50 deposit with 2-3 weeks to pay the remaining balance. 

Get involved with your food and get it straight from the source!

Contact us at:
hurricanefarmmama@gmail.com or 860.465.9934

 

 

 
 

Your Turkeys!

Lots of folks have been asking about our (their) turkeys.  It must be coming to that time of year when summer starts to end, fall is almost here, and thoughts of Thanksgiving start emerging from deep within.

This year we decided to raise more heritage breeds and scale back on the conventional giant whites.  This decision was in part due to customer demand, but also due to the ability of the heritage turkeys to free-range.  The giant whites are allowed pasture space, yet they seldom wander far.  The heritage turkeys, on the other hand, roam far and wide throughout the farmyard.  They even find their way atop the farmhouse, from time to time.

Here are some Narragansett and a Bronze "picking" raspberries.

In the distance are some pastured turkeys.  The whites never leave the fenced in area, while the heritage turkeys rarely stay within.

And there you have it...Your turkeys!

 
 

Expansion

It seems like our farm grows a bit more by the day.  Last week, we had a conversation about sugaring with some folks who have 100 acres on the opposite side of town.  Yesterday afternoon found us setting 50 taps in their pristine sugar bush.  We are now up to about 150 taps and the sap is flowing.  The new evaporator resulted in the best and clearest batch of syrup that we've ever made!  We bottled on Monday and we're set to start boiling again this weekend.

We've completely sold out of full CSA shares and have a waiting list for next year, so it seems.  We may have a couple of half shares left, but the response to this endeavor has been stunning.

Orders for chicken coops for Spring delivery are rolling in and we are thinking of taking in more hogs as demand for our pork keeps coming in.

Speaking of expansion...We've been eyeing several fields at the end of our road as well as across the ajoining road.  We are hoping to be able to come to some arrangement to perhaps lease the land, rent the land, or put in an offer to buy some of it outright to expand the farm.  Of course, the sort of capital needed to buy a field is not easy to come by, but there are at least opportunities for our farm to grow right here in the local area.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=65+kasacek+road+scotland,+ct&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=19.588751,36.5625&ie=UTF8&ll=41.719984,-72.09044&spn=0.008969,0.017853&t=h&z=15

Here is a link to the Google Maps Satellite image of our place.  Our place is marked with the bubble "A."  The fields in question are an inch or so to the North and East.  Much of these are for sale. 

 
 

Some Animals in the Barn

How can one not love such a face?  The newest hog trio has a new game:  destroy the feed sack.  See, here are the easy rules...

1.  Pretend to eat your feed.
2.  Quickly sneak out of the gate as your water is being changed.
3.  Seek out nearby sack (either feed or wood-shaving, it does not matter).
4.  Proceed to rip it to bits while running up and down the barn.
5.  Smile as in above photo.

I can't tell if the pig is gloating or apologizing.  Your thoughts?

These sheep are about to give birth to winter lambs any day now.  We are hoping that all four of our ewes are expecting.  We'll be cleaning out and setting up seperate stalls this weekend to house the moms and their newborns.  We'll post pictures as this progresses.

This last one is one of the cattle.  Perhaps Mr. Greenshoes.  I am not sure which one this is.  We have eclectic names for our livestock, it's true.  But that is some of the fun.  We have had many rabbits named after characters from the Simpsons.  We had one trio affectionately named Patty, Selma, and MacGuyver. 

 

 
 

CSA openings for 2009 Season

We are now accepting new customers for our 2009 CSA.  We currently have only a few openings, so please contact us ASAP to reserve your space.  Pick up's will be monthy from June to November, and there are two price levels.  Hurricane Farm's CSA is meat-based, and includes:  cage-free chicken; grass-fed beef; heritage breed pork; heritage and conventional breed free-range turkeys.  Other farm items such as eggs, maple syrup, and breads will be offered as well.  Please call the farm today at 860-465-9934 to find out more about our program.  Farm tours are also welcomed and encouraged.  See you at the farm!
 
 
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