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11545 Independence Road Southwest
Rochester, WA, 98579
United States

801.859.6598

August Farm is pasture based, diversified livestock and flower farm serving the Seattle and Puget Sound areas with humanely raised meats.

Journal

Marianne Copene

What a beautiful spring we're having in the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday we took our inaugural dip in the Chehalis River,certainly the earliest yet. Our weather guru, Cliff Mass says the warm weather is here to stay and that is fine with me. Although the pastures would like some more rain. The grass is growing crazy fast and so are all of our animals. Our lambing season wrapped up two weeks ago, with Augustine, our lead ewe, giving birth to the cutest twin lambs. Our first batch of piglets are growing fast and have already perfected lapping it up in the wallow, to beat the heat. The second batch will be here soon. We'll be back at the Olympia Farmers Market in a couple weeks with fresh chicken, flowers, sheepskin rugs and eggs.

 

You can find us every weekend at the Olympia Farmers Market

starting May 21st
We will be there with our pasture raised chicken, eggs and cut flowers all year. 

Summer chicken
deliveries start June 12th.
We are taking orders now for Chicken CSA shares, Bulk Orders and
Chicken Locker Packs

Summer Chicken CSA

 Choose between two and five chickens a month. We'll be making monthly deliveries to Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and East Seattle starting in June.

Summer delivery dates:
June 12th, July10th, July 31st

Chicken Locker Pack
and Bulk Orders

Our web store is full of great pasture raised chicken products.  We will be making monthly deliveries to all of our drop sites starting in June. Its easy to place a order and schedule a delivery. When you order a Chicken Locker Pack you will receive a variety of cuts as well as a whole chicken. Enough to keep you stocked up for a month or two's worth of delicious chicken meals.

We're still doing bulk chicken orders. When you order four or more chickens we take 50 cents off the market price and will deliver to any of our drop sites.   

Marianne Copene

The days are getting longer.

A chorus of frogs have returned, the greenhouse is filling up, a vase of daffodils are sounding their trumpets at me and eminent ewes tells me Spring has returned. August Farm has now begun it's fifth season.  As we enter into this season the familiar pace has a beat of its own to get swept up into. I am so grateful to feel strong and capable to farm after a very trying previous year. Every year we have been farming we have taken on a new project, this year, we are hoping only to refine the ones we have.
-insert sigh of relief here-

 

You can find us every Saturday 10-3 at the Olympia Farmers Market. We will be there with our pasture raised chicken, fresh pasture eggs and Icelandic sheep skin rugs until the end of March. 

Weddings and Events

August Farm specializes in growing an expansive array of cut flowers to style any type of wedding or event. Working with local, fresh flowers that come straight from our fields, ensures that your special day holds its own unique hallmark of time and place.We offer 3 different options; Bulk Flowers, Design or Design and Install. We are currently taking reservations for July through October. Contact us for further information or to book your event.

FLOWER CSA

The greenhouse is beginning to fill up and we are so excited to dive into another season of flowers. Flowers feel like the magic of the farm. We both get so excited about them. We are excited to announce that for Olympia members we are going to be hosting a weekly POP UP downtown at BAR FRANCIS. We also deliver to NE Portland. The CSA season is 12 weeks and is $180.00. It begins end of June and runs into September. You can sign up here.

Icelandic Sheepskin Rugs

We just got our sheep skins back from last Fall. It always blows my mind how incredibly special these are. In our home I am constantly moving them around; sometimes they are thrown over chairs as my perfect reading companion, pulled onto the bed on cold nights and of course the cats favorite area rug. You can find an assortment of them on our website for sale. We also, have been brining a few with us to the Olympia Winter Farmer's Market on Saturday's.

We are Hiring

Every year we have the incredible fortune of having amazing interns working along side us. We are seeking an intern for 2016 farming season to help with the day to day operations of the farm and monthly chicken slaughter. Please spread the word and get in touch with us if you are interested.

Every year we continue to farm I can't believe how lucky we are to have such amazing customers. We look forward to another season. 

 

 

Winter Chicken CSA Shares Available

Marianne Copene

The warm drawn out Fall came to an abrupt halt.  Sideways rain for days and days. In the past two weeks we've had two floods and now a few hard frosts. With October being so dry and warm and our pasture grass bouncing back from the summer drought I was imagining grazing our sheep out there for weeks to come. But the reality of winter is setting in now with large swathes of our pasture under water. So the sheep are tucked into their winter accommodations, our barn and adjacent barn yard to graze. We'll feed them hay now until February or March when we move them back out to the pastures. 

You can still find us every weekend at the Olympia Farmers Market. We will be their with our pasture raised chicken through the winter. 


A Winter Chicken CSA share would make a fantastic holiday gift for that someone who is invested in nourishing their body with ethically raised meat.


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Winter Chicken CSA
We are excited to be able to offer a Winter Chicken CSA this year.  It has been our goal since we started the CSA to have it run year round. With our production increase this year we finally have enough chickens! The Winter CSA will run from December through February. The chickens will be delivered frozen. You can choose between two and five chickens a month. We'll be making monthly deliveries to Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and East Seattle. 

Chicken Locker Pack
and Bulk Orders

Our web store is full of great pasture raised chicken products.  We will be making monthly deliveries to all of our drop sites this winter. Its easy to place a order and schedule a delivery. When you order a Chicken Locker Pack you will receive a variety of cuts as well as a whole chicken. Enough to keep you stocked up for a month or two's worth of delicious chicken meals.

We're still doing bulk chicken orders. When you order four or more chickens we take 50 cents off the market price and will deliver to any of our drop sites.   

Since we have been farming the Winter months have shifted from something I once dreaded to a welcomed opportunity to slow down, enjoy our family, friends and recharge for the upcoming growing season. We hope you also get the opportunity to restore and enjoy things at a slower pace this Winter. Happy holidays.

 

 

Its Time to Stock Your Freezer

Marianne Copene

Things are really starting to slow down on the farm. We have our last batch of chickens on the pasture now. I always have mixed feelings this time of year. A big part of me is relieved that the hard work is almost over. But another part of me is sad to have it coming to an end. Fall inevitably sweeps in when you least expect it, causing a dramatic shift in gears. In total we raised 2,250 chickens this year. Thats a lot of chickens! Its been fun, overall a success. We're always learning and trying to do better.  In a couple weeks we will process our pigs and lambs, leaving just the ewes and laying hens out on the pasture.  Then we will start planning and taking action on the the big changes coming to August Farm in 2016.

Our last batch of chickens will be processed on October 17th.  You can still order bulk chickens and Fall Chicken CSA shares.  Next weekend is your last chance to order fresh chickens, after that all of our chickens will be frozen. 

We continue to go to The Olympia Farmer's Market on the weekends.  There you can get chicken, eggs and until the frost comes, custom made bouquets. 

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Whey Fed Pork
Now is the time to stock your freezer with delicious pasture raised pork. We have whey-fed pork available now, you can order a custom cut half or whole pig. Our heritage breed pigs are raised on pasture and fed only locally grown, GMO free grain.  Our butcher shop does all natural curing for the bacon and ham. They do not use nitrates.  The pork will be ready in early November. Delivery to Portland, Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle available.  

Grass Fed Lamb

We still have a few lambs available. Our Icelandic sheep are 100% grass fed and finished. Place an order now. The lamb will be ready on October 18th. 

Fall Chicken CSA Starts September 27th

Marianne Copene

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Fall Chicken CSA

August Farm's Chicken CSA is the most convenient way to eat pasture raised chicken year round. Our Fall Chicken CSA starts Sunday September 27th.  We have drop sites in Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and Redmond.     

Stock the Larder

The shift from summer to fall has been abrupt this year. The mornings are cold and foggy down here next to the Chehalis river.  We've never been so excited about fall and winter.  Its been a long, hot summer and the shorter days of September are very welcome around here.  Nows the time to stock your freezer with your winter or years supply of meat.  We still have pork and lamb shares available.  You can order our pork by the half or whole and we have whole grass fed lambs.  

Find us at the Olympia Farmers Market

You can find us every weekend at the Olympia Farmers Market from 10am-3pm. We will have fresh cut flowers for another month or so (until the frost wipes them out).  We also have our pasture raised chicken and eggs.  You can get whole chickens or by the part.  We have soup packs and chicken feet for making chicken stock.  

Flower CSA Starts Next Week

Marianne Copene

FLOWER CSA

Weekly Deliveries begin this Tuesday! Pick-Up locations in Olympia, Portland and Rochester.

Every year we fantasize and brainstorm about how we can revise our systems. Sometimes that information comes to us like divine intervention out in field, typically, after tripping over the same thing one too many times and a series of cuss words have been shared. During this rare moment of reflection a better way is born. With the flowers, still so new to us, this whole process feels so very thrilling. Agriculture and art collide. Conducting variety trials out in the field allows us to assess growth habits, vigor, possible pests and diseases and harvest methods. Once they are cut a whole new set of observations take place; vase life, workability and of course beauty.
 
We have been introducing soo many new varieties this year feels like a major expansion of my social circle. Early this spring all these new personalities began showing up in the greenhouse. They all have their own ways of interacting with the world and it is our job to figure out how to best support them in being the strongest most vibrant version of themselves. As they begin to mature I get to see how they get along with others and what I can do to illuminate and honor the plants essence in an arrangement. To be honest it feels a little bit like falling in love. Everyday Liza and I are having conversations about the intoxicating scent of one or the first emergence of another like giddy teenagers. Who knew that flowers could be so completely spellbinding? I for one know my life will never be the same. This Tuesday is the beginning of our flower CSA. It's not to late to get to experience a weekly bouquet of the most stunning plants our farm has to offer.

Flower CSA shares lasts for 12 weeks and costs $144. You can place an order on ourwebsite.


Spring Newsletter

Marianne Copene

For the past two months I have been healing from knee surgery. Nothing gives you perspective like being in an extended recovery during a period of time you are accustom to snapping into gear. Having this down time while the sap is moving, grass is growing, sun is shining and animals are being born has flooded me with a renewed appreciation and a deepened gratitude for the life I live. I cherish my time outside, feeling strong in my body and my incredible farming partner and wife now more than ever. Spring holds it’s own special magic and, this spring is no different.  This year it’s early and holds a vibrant vigor to it.  Many times I have found myself lying in bed visualizing the very life force that is raging outside replenishing me along with everything else. 

Our goal has been to slowly expand the business every year.  And, of course this season is no exception.  Expansion can be a very tricky thing, a balancing act, between figuring out how to refine current systems and integrate new ones.  It has been an exciting process to increase our livestock production and introduce flowers to the farm.  Integrating flowers allows us to utilize the land in an alternative way. This is key in cultivating a dynamic farming system on a smaller piece of land.

 
Starting in May, August Farm will be a new vendor at the Olympia Farmers Market.  Having enjoyed going to market for years for Wobbly Cart Farm I am now particularly excited to go and represent August Farm.  To start we will be bringing pastured raised chicken (whole and parted out), chicken hearts and livers, lambskins and our fresh cut flowers on Saturday and Sundays. Beginning in June we will continue to offer our quarterly Chicken CSA for folks. And, in addition, we will be offering a 12 week Flower CSA. Please keep us in mind for weddings and special events for locally sourced flowers and design.

 
Another new addition for us is our new website, complete with our own online store! Check it out www.august-farm.com.
In July we will have our first harvest of pork. Now is the time to reserve your lamb and pork, it is going quick.  Well I better wrap up this moment of leisure and get down into the greenhouse to address some up potting. Happy Spring I hope to see you at the market.

 

OLYMPIA FARMERS MARKET

Olympia Farmers Market in downtown Olympia. From June through September on Saturday and Sunday's.  Selling chicken, fresh cut flowers and lamb skins rugs.

10AM-3PM      
 700 N. Capitol Way

 

 

 

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Spring is Almost Here

Marianne Copene

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Flower CSA Shares Available

An August Farm Flower CSA would make a great Valentines Day gift for your sweetie.

We'll give you a gift certificate to give to your valentine and they will enjoy your beautiful gift all summer long. They will receive twelve weeks of gorgeous, locally grown flowers arranged into beautiful bouquets, from mid June to mid September. 

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This winter we have been keeping busy with projects around the farm. We spent a day a few weeks ago trimming sheep hooves. This chore always lends to serious quality time with the sheep. They'll be getting shorn in couple weeks to prepare for lambing season in March. We've expanded our flock this year. And nothing is more exciting than the thought of over twenty baby lambs bouncing around the pasture this Spring. 

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We've been enjoying this slow, foggy, grey winter to rest and rejuvenate and spend time with close friends. Now that we're past the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox the days are getting longer and we can't ignore the signs of spring's approach. We can now start to implement what we've been dreaming about for the coming season. This year we're excited to announce that we're adding pastured raised eggs!! It will be only a matter of time before the brooder will be chirping with baby chicks.  

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We have installed new hoop tunnels in the field to extend our flower season. So far we have one tunnel planted with ranunculus and anemones. The other tunnel will be planted with icelandic poppies, stock and campanula. The flower seeds have started arriving in the mail. In the coming weeks we will be prepping the propagation house to start cranking out seedlings for the field. We're applying to the Olympia Farmers Market.  We expect to be there in May with fresh cut flowers, pastured chicken, and eggs to follow later in the summer.

Equinox Picnic Soiree

Marianne Copene

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We will be celebrating our abundunt harvest and welcoming in the cloak of fall. Come join us and leave with a deep Summer flame in your belly and your own handmade, ceramic dish set. Come out and enjoy tea, small plates, cocktails and some fancy desserts. The cost is $65. We think it's going to be just lovely and we hope you can make it. Sunday September 21st at 2:00pm at August Farm.

September Newsletter

Marianne Copene

Wow, the month of August really just flew by.  We named our farm August Farm for several reasons, one being that August is one of the busiest, most abundant times of the year for us. In what feels like a blink of an eye, its past us now and we are steadily moving into September and soon fall. We had the good fortune this month to actually go on vacation. With so many folks living at our farm this summer, we were able to get all the chores covered for a few days so we could get away. We went camping on the Olympic Peninsula. A big part of why we were drawn to farming is to foster a daily relationship with the earth. But getting off the farm and into the wilderness is a good reminder that farming isn't the only way we can connect with this beautiful place. It was much needed down time for us and we came back feeling rejuvenated.

We are in the middle of canning season at our house. Canning and preserving is a big deal for us. We really try to put up as much food as possible to get us through winter and spring. This week has seen our pantry fill up with beautiful jars of summer's bounty. I have a pot of tomatoes on the stove right now and jars of pickles, dilly beans, romano beans, blackberry jam, and blueberry jam tucked away.  

Its not officially fall yet, even though the tell tale signs of its approach are all around. But the first delivery for our Fall Chicken CSA is just a couple weeks away. The Fall Chicken CSA runs September through November, with three monthly deliveries. Deliveries start on September 14th. You can place an order on our website, just click the link on the side bar.

Looking to stock your chest freezer with meat for winter?  You can order bulk chickens from us. Our last two processing dates of the year are Sept 13th and Oct 11th. There is a four chicken minimum order. They are $6 per pound and weigh around four pounds each. Place your orders now before they're all gone. We also have pork available by the half or whole. It will be ready in November, but its selling fast so place an order now to reserve yours. 

Summer at August Farm

Marianne Copene

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July is here and we are busy as ever.  We are doing our best to make time to pick berries, swim in the river and stay up late enough to watch the sunset.  Along with the daily chores of moving the chickens and sheep around the pasture and scratching all the pigs' bellies when we go out to feed them.

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We are excited to be harvesting our first cut flowers of the year! We had our first market at the West Olympia Farmers Market last Tuesday evening. 

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We still have Summer Chicken CSA shares available. We've already delivered the June chickens, but if you'd like to sign up for July and August we can pro-rate the shares. The next delivery is Sunday July 13th, so get your orders in now. You can also buy bulk chickens. We ask for a minimum order of four chickens. This is a great way to buy if you have a chest freezer and want to stock up. Our pasture raised chicken is $6 per pound and they average around four and half pounds. They are fed certified organic, non-GMO feed.  We deliver to Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and East Seattle.

Chicken CSA and Pork Shares Available

Marianne Copene

Leaves on the trees, apple blossoms, the sweet smell of lilacs, diving swallows, longer days, warm sunshine and crazy down pours. Spring is a transitional season on the farm. We have shifted from slow, dark, introspective winter to the nurturing of baby chicks, piglets, lambs and seedlings.  Our strength and energy has been increasing along side the daylight hours. Now we must move fences fast enough to keep up with the ever-growing grass.  

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In addition to keeping up with the pasture and animals, we have two new big projects keeping us very busy this spring. We are adding cut flowers to our production this year, so we've been preparing the ground, starting seeds and planting out seedling during the pockets of dry weather. We are also in the process of building a WSDA inspected poultry processing facility. We are partnering with Kirsop Farm to convert an old dairy parlor building at the new Scatter Creek Land Trust into our new chicken processing facility. This will allow us to increase our production to keep up with the ever growing demand for our pasture raised chicken and expand our marketing to farmers markets. We are also trying out raising meat ducks this year.   

Flower seedlings ready to transplant.

We are very excited to be growing cut flowers this year. Starting June 17th we will be selling at the West Olympia Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoons from 4pm - 7pm. You can also get our flowers through our Flower CSA. Shares will start in mid-July and last eight weeks.  The cost is $96 for 8 beautiful bouquets.

We are striving to make buying pasture raised meat as convenient as possible for our customers. Our Summer Chicken CSA starts on June 14th. We have five drop sites located in Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and Redmond. With monthly deliveries you don't need a chest freezer to store your supply of chickens. We will bring them to you, super fresh and ready to cook or put in the freezer. You can chose between two and five chickens a month. Follow the link in this email to our web store to place an order. 

With Summer BBQ's around the corner we will have pasture raised, whey fed pork available in July! We got the piglets earlier than in previous years and put them right to work 

preparing

 and fertilizing the ground for the flowers.  The 

pork is 

available by the half or whole. You will need a chest freezer for this one, but the quality of this pork is incomparable to anything you'll find in a grocery store. Our pigs are raised outside, on pasture. They are fed certified organic feed and locally grown wheat, in addition to whey from Black Sheep Creamery. A half pig yields about 80 pounds of meat in your freezer. That much pork would fit into a standard refrigerator freezer. We ask for a $100 deposit to reserve a half pig. You can order and pay on our web store.  

Liza and the pigs.

Spring!

Marianne Copene

Daylight savings came with a burst of much needed sun, baby lambs and some quality time in our new greenhouse!!  Here the first signs of spring are the singing of the chorus frogs in the stream and ponds and the emerging of the nettles. The frogs are so loud these days that we can hear them in our house at night. The nettles have perfect timing as our kale and radicchio plantings have dwindled to almost nothing, and we need something green to eat. Another sign of spring is the birth of the first lambs.  We had three lambs born in less than 24 hours over the weekend. Quite exciting and cute!

Winter was good to us. The long nights left us rested and rejuvenated.  We are excited to be producing even more delicious and humanely raised meat for you and your family this year. We are also excited about a new addition to our production at August Farm, cut flowers. The seeds are ordered, a new greenhouse is constructed and our first batch of piglets have been busy rototilling and fertilizing our future flower field. Stay tuned for where to buy some beautiful bouquets.

We are taking orders now for our Summer Chicken CSA. Deliveries will start on June 15th. We have drop sites in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and East Seattle. Our first batch of pork will be ready in July. We are taking deposits now for half and whole pigs. This year we are raising berkshire cross pigs.  Berkshire pigs are a heritage breed. Their meat is prized for flavor, tenderness and being heavily marbled. You can find more information about our farm and all of our products on our website.  The links to the right will take you to our web store.  

For those of you on Instagram, follow us at you are majestic (all one word).       
 
 

 

Fall is Really Here

Marianne Copene

The last few days of heavy rain feels like we skipped right past crisp Fall weather into Winter.  I'm refusing to let this rain rob me of of the season I love most.  

The best part about Fall is the harvest.  This time of year there are so many delicious vegetables and with the sun setting so much earlier and the weather changing, what better thing to do than stay inside and cook delicious food.  I find myself craving soups, stews and slow cooked roasts filling the house with incredible smells.  Now is the time to stock your freezer with delicious pasture raised meat, to ensure delicious meals. 

Lucky for the pigs we are not the only ones that get to relish in this seasonal shift.  They get to be on the receiving end of wind fall Liberty apples from the orchard and bruised winter squash. 

The Icelandic sheep are not phased in the slightest by this torrential down pour.  Bred over a thousand years in harsh climates they seem to be taking to the rain like ducks.

Thank you so much for your support.  We feel lucky to be able to raise your food.

 Fall Chicken CSA Shares Available

Delivery starts next Sunday Oct 6th. Sign up for a Fall Chicken CSA share and you will receive your choice of between two and five chickens a month, for October through December.  We have convenient drop site locations in Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and East Seattle.
 
Whey Fed Pork
Our Fall pork will be ready mid-November.  Orders need to be placed by October 26th.  We just a few left, so place your orders soon.  
Grass Fed Lamb
We are also almost sold out of lamb.  To place an order follow the link to our web store.  
 
Heritage Turkey
Don't forget to reserve your Thanksgiving turkey.  We are raising a mix of heritage breeds.  We'll be delivering them to our drop sites on November 24th.  

 

 

The Dog Days of Summer

Marianne Copene

The earliest memories I have of the thick of summer are filled with me pleading with my mother to turn on the sprinklers so I could rehearse my cartwheel routine. When I wasn’t successful I would trawl the neighborhood in my bathing suit in hopes of finding another suitable venue for my show. 

I can't help but get flashbacks during these hot and sunny days watching the pigs run around under the sprinkler. They get hot and unlike us they are unable to sweat.  So instead they lap around in the mud to help cool them off.  As soon as they see us coming to turn it on they come running with enthusiasm. And then once under the sprinkler they become stars. At least in my eyes.

There is still plenty of green grass out there for our sheep to eat and the crickets that usually come out in August are bouncing around in the grass with chickens chasing after them.  I love to watch when a chicken finds something delicious in the pasture like a cricket or a slug, they’ll have it in their beak and will parade it around. In response, the other chickens will chase them around trying to get a bite.  It’s really funny.  

Our first batch of pigs is getting big.  Lately, they have been eating lots of lettuce, swiss chard and zucchini from Wobbly Cart Farm and cherries, nectarines and apricots from the Olympia Farmers’ Market fruit vendors; in addition to whey from Black Sheep Creamery and organic grains.  Feeding our pigs a varied diet including whey and fruit means their meat has a more complex, rich and creamy flavor.  We still have pork available.  We sell it by the half or the whole and use a local butcher (that does not use nitrates) to custom cut your pork to your request.  They are scheduled to be harvested on our farm on August 25th.  We will be delivering the pork to Portland, Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and East Seattle on September 15th. Contact us to place an order or go to our website.   

Chicken CSA Shares Available

Marianne Copene

Things are in full swing here at August Farm. We have 150 broiler chicks in the brooder, getting ready to go on the pasture next week, and then another 150 will take their place in the brooder.  Thirty-five heritage turkeys also in the brooder, a couple more weeks for them and then they will also go out on the pasture.  A week ago we brought home ten adorable piglets. The ten piglets we got back in March are no longer piglets, they are growing fast and they are big.  They are doing a good job of rooting around in the pasture and consuming as much whey as we will give them.  Our sheep were having a hard time keeping up with the incredible pace at which our grass has been growing.  So I got out there last weekend with the brush hog and mowed it down.  They much prefer the shorter, new growth on the grass, as it has much more nutrition than when the grass elongated and begins to flower.  We are keeping busy tending to all of these animals and preparing for all of the chickens we'll be raising this summer.  We raising a couple hundred more than last year, which means we need more coops.  I started working on the turkey coop today and  I have four more chicken coops to build.

Chicken CSA Shares AvailableAugust Farm's Chicken CSA program is the most convenient way to eat pasture raised chicken year round.  We offer monthly delivieries to Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and Bellvue. You can register for between two and five chickens a month. The shares last for three months.  We have Summer Chicken CSA shares available with delivieries starting in July.  

We raise slow-growing broiler chickens. Our chickens come from breeding stock imported from France.  The genetic stock comes from the heritage breed of chicken that was developed to meet the highest standards of theFrench Label Rouge free-range program.   

Our chickens are grown to an age between ten and twelve weeks.  The more natural growing period results in superior, old-fashion tasting chicken with a deep, rich flavor our grandparents would recognize.  Because our chickens grow slower they do not suffer from the numerous health problems that Cornish Cross chickens(the grocery store standard) experience.  Cornish Cross are bred to reach market weight in just 6 weeks.  Read the Animal Welfare Approved article, "Why Good Breeding Matters," for an explanation of why growth rate is a key welfare issue for poultry and this organization's decision to prohibit use of the Cornish Cross breed for their certification.

Our chickens are hand-raised in small flocks outside in floorless mobile chicken coops surrounded by electric fencing, so they can free range and are protected from predators. Their coops are moved every other day to ensure they always have access to fresh, clean pasture. They forage on green grass, dandelions, clover and bugs in the sunshine.  Our chickens are fed only certified organic, corn and soy free feed.  Which guarantees that the grains are non-GMO and are raised without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Our chickens receive no hormones or antibiotics.

 

Spring at August Farm

Marianne Copene

Spring is here and things are about to be in full swing at August Farm.  We feel rested from the long nights of Winter and ready for the long days of Spring and Summer.  The grass is growing fast, the maples are blooming and the cottonwoods are leafing out.  We've been enjoying the craziness of Spring weather in the Pacific Northwest: rainbows, hail, sunshine, beautiful pink, orange, purple sunsets and of course rain.  Spring in Independence Valley is quite a sight and experience for all the senses, the dramatic weather passing by, the sounds of the songbirds and frogs, the smell of the cottonwood trees when the wind is blowing in the right direction.  It all makes me want to get up early and be outside preparing for the hundreds of baby chicks coming, the lambs being born and the piglets already rooting up a storm around our barn.

I just finished building a new brooder for our chickens.  We are raising more turkeys this year, so they are taking over last year's chicken brooder.  And we're moving the chicken brooder into the main part of our barn. We receive baby chicks from the hatchery when they are one day old. In nature the mamma hen would keep them tucked under her feathers nice and warm.  Our brooder is designed to do the same thing, keep the chicks warm.  For the first few days the chicks want to be at  90 degrees.  And then slowly we can lower the heat until they are three weeks old, at which point they can tolerate temperatures as low as 32 degrees.  

I decided to go with a design I've been looking at for years, but never got around to building.  It's called an Insulated Electric Lamp Brooder, and the plans come from a 1942 Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station bulletin. This old technology is among many poultry raising techniques that were lost after factory farming replaced small diversified farming practices.  It is designed to conserve energy and rely on the baby chicks ability to adapt themselves to their heat requirements.  
 
This is a picture from the original Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station bulletin. The chicks are grouped together under the brooder keeping warm.
We are excited to be expanding our production this year.  We will be raising more of everything and adding grass fed lamb to our list of delicious products.  We're also excited to be partnering with Helsing Junction Farm, our pasture raised chicken is an add-on to their vegetable CSA shares.  We're continuing to partner with Wobbly Cart Farm this year as well, you can find our products in their online store.
 

We are raising two batches of pigs this year.  We've already got ten and we're getting ten more in a couple weeks.  We love raising pigs, they are a lot of fun and our customers love our pork.  The combination of being raised on pasture and whey fed makes the meat moist and tender and super tasty. Plus we know that our pigs were raised humanely and had a good life.  Our first batch will be ready in September and the second in November.  We ask for a $100 deposit to reserve a half and $200 to reserve a whole.  If you're interested in reserving one, now's the time.  The deposits (especially this time of year) help us with start up costs like buying feed, which is our biggest expense.

We offer a super convenient and delicious Chicken CSA with monthly deliveries to Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle. You can choose from two to five chickens a month. Shares last for three months.  Check out our website for more information and to place an order. 

 

Winter Newsletter

Marianne Copene


Happy New Year from August Farm.  We are thick in the throws of winter out here in Independence Valley. Slow mornings drinking lots of coffee in front of the fire, waiting for breaks in the rain or the ground to thaw out so that we can work on projects around the farm.  The landscape out here changes quite dramatically in the winter. Flocks of Canadian geese are wintering over in the seasonal lakes that have filled up in our and our neighbor's pastures.  The sun, when it's out, barely makes is over the trees to shine on our house, as we are perched on the north side of a hill.  We had a mini flood back in November.  The small creek that cuts through our property turned into a small river across our driveway, but then quickly receded back into it's banks. We have been looking back at our records from 2012 and planning for the coming farming season, crunching numbers from last year and exploring options for this year.  

We are excited to announce the newest addition to our farm, two beautiful Icelandic ewes.  We bought them from our friend Olive a couple weeks ago.  They are happily and safely tucked into our barn eating hay for the winter.  They came all the way from the Okanagon were it's been quite snowy for months now.  They were surprised to see green grass and immediately starting chomping away when we unloaded them from the stock trailer.  They are bred and we are expecting lambs in a couple months.  We are hoping to get a couple more ewes to add to the flock this winter.  We won't have very much lamb for sale this year.  So if you're interested in buying some, let us know now because I expect we will sell out quickly.    

As many of you know grain prices have been on the rise.  With last summer's drought through most of the country and an increasing demand for certified organic grain (for animal feed), meat and dairy producers have seen a huge spike in organic grain prices.  Last year our feed costs increased 20% by the end of the farming season and they are likely to continue increasing this year.  Because of this we've realized that in order to stay viable as a business we will need to increase our prices this year.  We are also looking to add grass fed animals to our farm, hence the sheep.  We are raising the price to match the increased grain price.  The price for our chicken, starting with this Summer's first batch will be $6.00 per pound, our heritage turkey will be $9.00 per pound and our whey fed pork is $5.50 per pound.  

We offered a chicken cooking class through the Olympia Food Co-op last Fall and it was such a success we decided to do a Winter cooking class series.  We are teaching three classes over the next two months.

Bone Broth February 16th - Bone broth is a traditional food consumed by cultures all over the world. Broth or stock contains minerals in a form that the body can easily absorb. It also contains collagen, which is the building block of cells to bones, ligaments, cartilage and the brain. And it is the perfect base for homemade soups and stews. In this class we will show you how to make bone broth and a couple great winter time soup recipes. "The prolonged cooking of bones in water results in a broth rich in nutritional constituents that promote strength, tonify blood, nourish in times of sickness and rehabilitation, and help to prevent bone and connective tissue disorders."

How to Prepare a Whole Chicken March 23rd - Wondering how best to prepare a whole chicken with skill? Come learn how to roast a whole chicken to perfection. We will explore three recipes, one from Julia Child, another from Mark Bittman and an August Farm original to compare the benefits of each.  We will also demonstrate techniques for cutting a whole bird into parts.     

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas March 30th - Pork Carnitas is sometimes referred to as Mexican pulled pork. Learn the art of slow cooking and the delicious results of fall apart tender meat. We will compare two methods of slow cooking: crock pot vs. the oven. We will discuss which cuts of meat work well for slow cooking and how to get the most flavor when you braise meat.

Go to the Olympia Food Co-op website to find more information and register for a class.  All classes are $5.00 and are held at the Grub Farmhouse.

One of my favorite things about winter is cooking.  There seems to be so much more time for cooking delicious meals when the sun sets at 5:00pm.  And it's a lot of fun when your freezer is stocked with pasture raised chicken and whey fed pork.  Here's a couple recipes we've been enjoying this winter.    

Braised Chicken with Capers and Parsley (from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, minced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup salted capers, soaked well in several changes of water
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cups white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer onion to a bowl; wipe skillet clean.
  • Add 2 Tbsp. oil to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Season chicken with salt. Add chicken to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 10–12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add reserved onion, 1/2 cup parsley, and capers to skillet; cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth and vinegar. Add chicken with any juices. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 1 1/4 hours.
  • Transfer chicken to a large platter. Season sauce in skillet with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken; garnish with parsley.
Pork Chops with Leeks and Mustard Sauce (from Bon Appetit)
Ingredients
  • 4 1 1/2- to 2-inch-thick bone-in heritage pork rib chops
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 large)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Preparation

  • Pat chops dry with paper towels. Mix 2 teaspoons coarse salt, thyme, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning mixture on both sides of chops. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 2 hours or wrap and chill up to 1 day.
  • Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until crisp and lightly browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chops to skillet. Sear until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to small baking sheet.
  • Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from skillet (or add olive oil to make 3 tablespoons). Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add brandy, then broth and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return bacon to skillet; add sage and stir to blend.
  • Nestle chops in leeks in skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer 3 minutes. Turn chops over. Cover; simmer until thermometer inserted into thickest part of chops registers 140°F to 145°F, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm.
  • Spoon off any fat from cooking liquid in skillet. Boil until all liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Whisk in mustard, then crème fraîche; do not boil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chops.