Fresh Eggs available at the Petersham Country Store

Heritage breeds make different colors and sizes of eggs.

Heritage breeds make different colored eggs.

         

Our heritage breed eggs are now available at the Petersham Country Store in downtown Petersham. Our chickens are raised with “beyond Organic” practices (a term coined by farmer legend Joel Salatin) including the best organic grain we can buy, sourced as locally as we can find it. Our standards are higher than the government’s regulated standard and since we primarily sell directly to local buyers who can see our hens’ quality of life for themselves, we have not sought organic certification. Our flock has more outdoor space with constant access to forage plants and bugs, room for socializing, and they are handled with respect. You are welcome to come by to see what we do, just call ahead!  We have been told many times from larger organic farms that our eggs are the best tasting in the region. We’ve pleased the toughest critics, the farm workers. A big shout-out and Thank-you to all our customers for your patronage and enthusiasm for our eggs.

Kent

Word.

Order mushrooms with your MHOF CSA pickup

Grace Note Farm, located in Petersham Massachusetts, produces two types of culinary mushrooms: Shiitakes and Winecaps (stropharia), grown from mushroom spawn that we plant in our woods and in the orchard. They fruit sometimes during a rainy or cold spell, and sometimes in the heat of the summer: their timing is a bit unpredictable, so we have to watch and be ready to harvest them when they choose to come out. We do not use any artificial herbicides or pesticides anywhere on our property, and the mushrooms are grown in hardwood and organic hay/straw, which has not been treated with any artificial chemicals. My previous blog posts describe how we produce shiitakes and winecap mushrooms, and how to cook with them.

This order form is for shareholders of the Many Hands CSA in Barre to order mushrooms that will be delivered at the CSA distribution on Fridays in Barre. Our mushrooms are harvested as they fruit, and can be purchased either dehydrated in quarts, or fresh as supply allows.

Order your mushrooms by Wednesday midnight for pickup that Friday. We will update this page weekly to reflect availability for that week’s delivery. Payment is made directly to Grace Note Farm using the Paypal shopping cart ‘Add to Cart’ button below, using either a credit or debit card, or your paypal account balance if you prefer.

What kind of mushrooms Delivery Date Price Buy
Fresh Winecaps
need to be cooked within a few days of harvest, so if you’re not sure when you will use them, order the dehydrated ones.
Available later in the season. $25 / 2 lbs Check again later.
Dried Winecaps
A quart of dehydrated mushrooms contains approximately 2.5 lbs of fresh mushrooms.
Friday, May 27 $28 / quart
Fresh Shiitakes
will last up to a week in the refrigerator, stored in a paper bag with a damp towel or paper towel to control moisture.
Available later in the season. $27 / 2 lbs Check again later.
Dried Shiitakes
A quart of dehydrated mushrooms contains approximately 2.5 lbs of fresh mushrooms.
Available later in the season. $30 / quart Check again later.

Petersham Friday Market

The historic Petersham Common will be hosting a Friday Market from June 3 to October 15, featuring all things Petersham. Food, crafts, treats, services, and other items will be for sale. If you have a local business in Petersham or a local food business in an adjoining town, please sign up to be a vendor at the market. The fee is only $5 for the year. Grace Note Farm’s Farmer D is on the coordinating committee for the market.

To register as a vendor, email your completed vendor sign-up form to fridaymarket@petershamcommon.com. You can pay the $5 fee either by mail (see instructions on the form), or with your paypal account or a credit or debit card, using the “Add to cart” button below. The shopping cart will be displayed, with a button to complete payment on Paypal.

Petersham Market Day Vendor Fee $5.00

Satisfy your localvore cravings in Waltham, May 14

iris Summer is just around the corner now, and Farmers Market season will be in full swing before you know it. This month, our local food delivery offers more of the things that are still difficult to find in the Boston area: grains, dried beans, eggs from pastured chickens, cheese, and humanely raised meat. Once again, we are so glad to be part of the Good Food fight, helping you buy ethically grown, local food from small family-owned businesses.

We’ll be bringing a delivery of locally grown, mostly organic, always delicious food to the Waltham Fields Community Farm, 240 Beaver Street, Waltham, MA on Saturday, May 14 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM. While you’re at Waltham Fields, you can also buy garden plants, flowers, and seedlings to give your home garden a kick-start. The varieties on sale have been selected by the Waltham Fields farmers based on exceptional performance at Waltham Fields Farm, so you can’t go wrong.

Our team is looking for other locations to continue making deliveries around the Boston area over the summer. If you have a neighborhood group, workplace, school, or faith community that might be interested in being a delivery point, please send us an email to discuss details.

Use the buttons below to put items into your shopping cart, and press the appropriate button depending on how you want to pay. You can pay either online with Paypal (using your paypal balance or a credit or debit card), or you can bring a check/cash with you at pickup time. Paypal orders incur an additional 2% fee. As always, please feel free to email or call us if you have any questions about the growing conditions or animal husbandry practices for any of the products on the order form.

Orders for the May 14 delivery will be accepted up until Sunday, May 8 at midnight. But please order by May 2 if you’re getting dried beans. I’ll need to get them on the truck by Wednesday May 4. You can always enter a second order with additional purchases if you need more time to decide.

Description Source Price WANT!
Eggs
Eggs from pastured, humanely treated, heritage breed, organically-fed chickens Grace Note Farm $7.00/dozen
Certified Organic, Fair Trade Coffee
Dean’s Beans 5 lb bag whole bean coffee
Choose from a selection of organic, fair-trade coffees, sourced by Dean and roasted right here in Central Mass.
Dean’s Beans in Orange, MA. $43.75 / 5 lb bag

Choose your roast :
Pantry
Maple Syrup
Nothing says New England like pure maple syrup. Crafted locally in North Brookfield, MA. This year’s harvest.
Warren Farm $21.75 / quart
Organic Vanilla Extract
Made from certified organic vanilla beans and certified organic Rain brand vodka. Terrific for baking! (along with your Grace Note Farm eggs, of course) Can be refilled up to 3 times to make more extract.
Grace Note Farm $9.75 / 5 oz bottle
Certified Organic Vanilla Beans
Though this is not a local product, it sure makes baking with your local, wicked fresh eggs, wheat, and milk more enjoyable. Beans will keep for a long time in the cupboard (they don’t need to be refrigerated).
some very nice people in New Guinea $20/ 10 beans
Cayuga Organics , just over in New York State, produces the tastiest beans I’ve ever had. The difference from grocery store dried beans is phenomenal. So flavorful because they’re so fresh when you get them. You won’t believe you can get this excited about beans.
Certified Organic Black Turtle Beans Cayuga Organics, Brooktondale, NY $14.00 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans Cayuga Organics, Brooktondale, NY $16.00 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Pinto Beans Cayuga Organics, Brooktondale, NY $16.00 / 5 lbs

There is a big push recently among small farmers to increase regional grain production. We’re very excited about being able to source our grains from local growers. We have grains available from our friends at Misty Brook Farm in Hardwick and Lakeview Organics, a predominantly Amish collective next door in New York. It’s all certified organic, of course!
Certified Organic Corn meal Misty Brook Farm $5.00 / 3 lbs

Certified Organic Wheat Berries: Soft White Winter Wheat Lakeview Organic Grain $5.00 / 5 lbs

Sorry, sold out!
Certified Organic Wheat Berries: Hard Red Winter Wheat Lakeview Organic Grain $5.00 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Spelt Berries Lakeview Organic Grain $7.50 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Rye Berries Lakeview Organic Grain $7.50 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Stone-ground Wheat Flour: Soft
Flour will be freshly ground just before delivery to you.
Grown by Lakeview Organic Grain, ground at Grace Note Farm $9.00 / 5 lbs

Sorry, sold out!
Certified Organic Stone-ground Wheat Flour: Hard
Flour will be freshly ground just before delivery to you.
Grown by Lakeview Organic Grain, ground at Grace Note Farm $9.00 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Stone Ground Spelt Flour
Flour will be freshly ground just before delivery to you.
Lakeview Organic Grain $12.50 / 5 lbs

Certified Organic Rye Flour
Flour will be freshly ground just before delivery to you.
Lakeview Organic Grain $12.50 / 5 lbs

Cheese, please!
Everyone loves cheese, and Massachusetts cheese makers produce some of the best cheese in the country. We hope you’re as excited about these local cheeses as we are!
Berkshire Blue Cheese is an award-winning, handcrafted raw milk cheese, made from all Jersey milk in Great Barrington, MA. Aged 60 days.
Berkshire Blue Cheese Berkshire Cheese $7.99 / 5 oz package

Westfield Farm in Hubbardston has been producing award-winning farmstead goat cheese since 1971. Although not organic, they use all local goat’s milk.
Plain Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $6.50 / 8 oz package

Herb Garlic Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $6.50 / 8 oz package

Chive Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $4.50 / 5 oz package

Capri Package
One each of 5 oz plain, herbed, and wasabi capri.
Westfield Farm $13.50 / 15 oz total

Robinson Farm is a multi-generation, certified organic, licensed raw milk dairy in Hardwick. Their artisanal raw milk cheese is made using their own grass fed organic cow’s milk.
Robinson Family Swiss (Certified organic)
Made with whole, unpasteurized (raw) milk, resulting in a smooth, buttery, paste with a sweet, nutty flavor and many pea-sized eyes. Aged 4-6 months.
Robinson Farm $9.25 / 8 oz package

Robinson Farm Tekenink Tomme(Certified organic)
Made with Robinson’s unpasteurized (raw) milk. Old world rustic, simple, delicious flavour, slightly saline. Aged 3-5 months. Grace Note’s Farmer D thinks this cheese is reminiscent of Spanish manchego.
Robinson Farm $9.25 / 8 oz package

Robinson Farm Cheese package
Two each of Swiss and Tekenink (2 lbs total)
Robinson Farm $34.50

Smith’s Country Cheese in Winchendon, MA makes their farmstead cheeses using freshly drawn milk from their own herd.
Sharp Cheddar Smiths Country Cheese $4.50/ 8 oz package

Naturally Smoked Cheddar Smiths Country Cheese $4.75 / 8 oz package

Naturally Smoked Gouda Smiths Country Cheese $4.75 / 8 oz package

Plain Gouda
An excellent dessert cheese, it is also great for cooking and melts beautifully.
Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package
Dill Havarti Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package

Creamy Havarti Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package

Smith’s Smoked Cheese package
1 each Smoked Havarti, Smoked Cheddar, and Smoked Gouda
Smiths Country Cheese $13.00

Smith’s Cheese variety package
1 each Dill Havarti, Sharp Cheddar, and Plain Gouda
Smiths Country Cheese $12.00

Meat
Misty Brook Farm in Hardwick, MA raises their certified organic meat animals on pasture, and their beef is 100% grass fed. They are one of only 2 certified organic pork producers in Massachusetts. All meat will be delivered frozen.
Sweet Italian Sausage links
Linked sausage starts with Misty Brook’s certified organic, pastured meat, with non-organic spices and sausage casings used in the final product. Ready to fire up the grill? Try some of this delicious, local sausage.
Misty Brook Farm $13.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Hot Italian Sausage links
Linked sausage starts with Misty Brook’s certified organic, pastured meat, with non-organic spices and sausage casings used in the final product. Terrific by itself or as an addition to sauces or casseroles.
Misty Brook Farm $13.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Certified Organic Ground Beef Misty Brook Farm $15.00 / 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Ground Beef super saver family pack Misty Brook Farm $138.00 / 20 lbs
Certified Organic Stew Maker’s Special Package
Approximately 7 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef stew cuts. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $45.00
Certified Organic Beef Package
Approximately 10 lbs of pastured beef cuts, will include a roast and steaks (may include short ribs). No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $90.00
Certified Organic Pork Package
Approximately 10 lbs of pastured pork cuts, will include a roast and chops. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $70.00
Certified Organic Veal Package
Approximately 7 lbs of pastured veal cuts, will include a roast and chops. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $70.00
Certified Organic Steaks and Chops Package
Approximately 15 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef steaks and chops.
Misty Brook Farm $150.00
Certified Organic Meat Package Deal: Stock your Freezer
Approximately 25 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef cuts. No ground meat. Contact us with any special requests. This package can be made pork-free.
Misty Brook Farm $195.00
Certified Organic Beef Marrow Bones
The best chew toy ever.
Misty Brook Farm $6.50 / 3 -4 lbs (frozen)
Hey, where are the chickens? Pre-order now for summer delivery
Body Care
Localvore Lip balm:
A rich, moisturizing balm good for lips or hands. Made from 100% local ingredients. Contains: certified organic sunflower oil from Vermont, locally produced, natural beeswax.
Grace Note Farm $3.45 / .3 oz tube
Localvore Lip balm pack of 3 tubes Grace Note Farm $10.00 / 3 .3 oz tubes

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2011 Pastured chicken pre-order

Grace Note Farm chickens are legendary for superb flavor and for excellent, rich stock. Our chickens are raised outdoors on pasture so that they get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, which makes for tasty and healthy chickens. Being outdoors also allows them to eat a healthy balanced diet of fresh greens and bugs, supplemented by certified organic grain grown right next door in New York State. These roasting chickens typically weigh somewhere in the 4 – 5 lb range.

If you’d like to experience the amazing taste of humanely raised, organically fed New England chickens, place your order for chickens for a specific date below. By ordering chickens for a particular date, you’ll be able to take home a fresh, never-frozen bird for your table. Also, by buying at the beginning of the season, you provide us with needed cashflow to cover the expenses of feeding and housing chickens over the summer. You can pick up refrigerated birds within one or two days of slaughter, otherwise birds will be frozen and ready for you to pick up at your convenience.

How much do they cost?

We only sell whole chickens, and encourage customers to use every bit of the bird. The total cost of each chicken varies based on a price of $5.95/lb. The deposit of $10 per bird will reserve chickens for you for a particular date.

How to Order

Hit the ‘add to cart’ button below, then update the quantity of birds in your cart. Then press the ‘checkout with paypal’ button to pay your deposit with Paypal using either your paypal balance, a credit, or debit card. You’ll receive a confirmation of your order, and we’ll reserve the chickens for you. About one week before the birds’ expiration date, we’ll send you an email to arrange pick up of your birds.

If you’d rather send us a check, you can use the alternate ‘submit’ button to let us know that your check is on the way, but your birds will not be reserved until we receive your check. Make checks payable to Grace Note Farm. See our ‘contact us’ page for the address.

Date Order
Reserve chicken(s) for pick up on July 2, 2011
Reserve chicken(s) for pick up on August 11, 2011
Reserve chicken(s) for pick up on Sept 6, 2011

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April local food delivery to Waltham

Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms will be here soon

The signs of Spring’s imminent arrival are starting to appear out here in Central Massachusetts, and let me tell you, it can’t come soon enough! The first harvest of the year (MAPLE!) is well underway, new baby kids and lambs are making their appearances every night, and farmers are getting busy starting seedlings, pruning, and everybody’s favorite New England tradition: Picking stones out of the field. Our Grace Note Farm foragers have been busy finding the best locally produced food to bring to you and your family. This month we have Maple Syrup from the new crop, several new varieties of cheese, as well as our staple certified organic meat and grains. Also, we’ve expanded the delivery schedule to 3 different locations on 2 days. Hopefully one of these new places/times will be convenient for you.

This order form is for the delivery at Waltham Fields Community Farm, 240 Beaver Street, Waltham, MA on Saturday, April 16 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM. While you’re at Waltham Fields, you can buy garden plants or cold-tolerant seedlings to give your home garden a kick-start. The varieties on sale have been selected by the Waltham Fields farmers based on exceptional performance at Waltham Fields Farm, so you can’t go wrong.

If you’d rather pick up your goodies on April 21, either in downtown Boston or Cambridge, use the other order form.

Use the buttons below to put items into your shopping cart, and press the appropriate button depending on how you want to pay. You can pay either online with Paypal (using your paypal balance or a credit or debit card), or you can bring a check/cash with you at pickup time. Paypal orders incur an additional 2% fee.

Please feel free to email or call us if you have any questions about the growing conditions or animal husbandry practices for any of the products on the order form.

Orders close Sunday April 10 at midnight

Description Source Price WANT!
Eggs
Eggs from pastured, humanely raised, heritage breed, organically-fed chickens Grace Note Farm $7.00/dozen
Certified Organic, Fair Trade Coffee
Dean’s Beans 5 lb bag whole bean coffee
Choose from a selection of organic, fair-trade coffees, sourced by Dean and roasted right here in Central Mass.
Dean’s Beans in Orange, MA. $43.75 / 5 lb bag

Choose your roast :
Pantry
Maple Syrup
Nothing says New England like pure maple syrup. Crafted locally in North Brookfield, MA. This year’s harvest.
Warren Farm $21.75 / quart
Wildflower Honey
Medium Amber. A blue-ribbon winner.
Warm Colors Apiary, Deerfield Ma $13.50 / 32 oz jar
Wildflower Honey
Medium Amber. A blue-ribbon winner.
Warm Colors Apiary, Deerfield Ma $28.00 / 5 lb jar (about 1/2 gallon)
Organic Vanilla Extract
Made from certified organic vanilla beans and certified organic Rain brand vodka. Terrific for baking! (along with your Grace Note Farm eggs, of course) Can be refilled up to 3 times to make more extract.
Grace Note Farm $9.75 / 5 oz bottle
Certified Organic Vanilla Beans
Though this is not a local product, it sure makes baking with your local, wicked fresh eggs, wheat, and milk more enjoyable. Beans will keep for a long time in the cupboard (they don’t need to be refrigerated).
some very nice people in New Guinea $20/ 10 beans
Certified Organic Corn meal Misty Brook Farm $5.00 / 3 lbs

Certified Organic Whole Wheat Flour
White Winter Wheat flour
Grown and ground by Upinngil farm $9.00 / 5 lbs

Cheese, please!
Everyone loves cheese, and Massachusetts cheese makers produce some of the best cheese in the country. We hope you’re as excited about these local cheeses as we are!
Berkshire Blue Cheese is an award-winning, handcrafted raw milk cheese, made from all Jersey milk in Great Barrington, MA. Aged 60 days.
Berkshire Blue Cheese. Berkshire Cheese $7.99 / 5 oz package

Westfield Farm in Hubbardston has been producing award-winning farmstead goat cheese since 1971. Although not organic, they use all local goat’s milk.
Plain Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $6.50 / 8 oz package

Herb Garlic Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $6.50 / 8 oz package

Chive Capri Chevre Westfield Farm $4.50 / 5 oz package

Capri Package
One each of 5 oz plain, herbed, and wasabi capri.
Westfield Farm $13.50 / 15 oz total

Robinson Farm is a multi-generation, certified organic, licensed raw milk dairy in Hardwick. Their artisanal raw milk cheese is made using their own grass fed organic cow’s milk.
Robinson Family Swiss (Certified organic)

Made with whole, unpasteurized (raw) milk, resulting in a smooth, buttery, paste with a sweet, nutty flavor and many pea-sized eyes. Aged 4-6 months.
Robinson Farm $9.25 / 8 oz package

Robinson Farm Tekenink Tomme(Certified organic)
Made with Robinson’s unpasteurized (raw) milk. Old world rustic, simple, delicious flavour, slightly saline. Aged 3-5 months. Grace Note’s Farmer D thinks this cheese is reminiscent of Spanish manchego.
Robinson Farm $9.25 / 8 oz package

Robinson Farm Cheese package
Two each of Swiss and Tekenink (2 lbs total)
Robinson Farm $34.50

Smith’s Country Cheese in Winchendon, MA makes their farmstead cheeses using freshly drawn milk from their own herd.
Sharp Cheddar Smiths Country Cheese $4.50/ 8 oz package

Naturally Smoked Cheddar Smiths Country Cheese $4.75 / 8 oz package

Naturally Smoked Gouda Smiths Country Cheese $4.75 / 8 oz package

Plain Gouda
An excellent dessert cheese, it is also great for cooking and melts beautifully.
Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package
Dill Havarti Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package

Creamy Havarti Smiths Country Cheese $4.25 / 8 oz package

Smith’s Smoked Cheese package
1 each Smoked Havarti, Smoked Cheddar, and Smoked Gouda
Smiths Country Cheese $13.00

Smith’s Cheese variety package
1 each Dill Havarti, Sharp Cheddar, and Plain Gouda
Smiths Country Cheese $12.00

Meat
Misty Brook Farm in Hardwick, MA raises their certified organic meat animals on pasture, and their beef is 100% grass fed. All meat will be delivered frozen.
Sweet Italian Sausage links
Linked sausage starts with Misty Brook’s certified organic, pastured meat, with non-organic spices and sausage casings used in the final product. Ready to fire up the grill? Try some of this delicious, local sausage.
Misty Brook Farm $13.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Hot Italian Sausage links
Linked sausage starts with Misty Brook’s certified organic, pastured meat, with non-organic spices and sausage casings used in the final product. Terrific by itself or as an addition to sauces or casseroles.
Misty Brook Farm $13.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Certified Organic Beef Ribeye Steaks Misty Brook Farm $37.50/ package (about 2 lbs)
Certified Organic Beef Kabobs Misty Brook Farm $25.00 / 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Ground Beef Misty Brook Farm $15.00 / 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Ground Beef super saver family pack Misty Brook Farm $138.00 / 20 lbs
Certified Organic Stew Beef Misty Brook Farm $16.00 / 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Ground Pork
Make your own pork dumplings
Misty Brook Farm $15.00/ 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Pork Shoulder
Great for barbeque or pulled pork
Misty Brook Farm $25.00/ ~3 lbs
Certified Organic Pork Chops Misty Brook Farm $7.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Certified Organic Pork Liver Misty Brook Farm $6.50/ package (about 1 lb)
Certified Organic Pork Trotters Misty Brook Farm $6.50/ package (about 2 lbs)
Certified Organic Ham Hocks Misty Brook Farm $9.50/ package (about 2 lb)
Veal Chops Misty Brook Farm $24.50/ package (about 1.7 lbs)
Certified Organic Ground Veal Misty Brook Farm $15.00/ 2 lb pack
Certified Organic Veal Liver Misty Brook Farm $7.50/ 1 lb pack
Certified Organic Beef Marrow Bones
The best chew toy ever.
Misty Brook Farm $6.50 / 3 -4 lbs (frozen)
Certified Organic Stew Maker’s Special Package
Approximately 7 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef stew cuts. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $45.00
Certified Organic Beef Package
Approximately 10 lbs of pastured beef cuts, will include a roast and steaks (may include short ribs). No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $90.00
Certified Organic Pork Package
Approximately 10 lbs of pastured pork cuts, will include a roast and chops. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $70.00
Certified Organic Veal Package
Approximately 7 lbs of pastured veal cuts, will include a roast and chops. No ground meat.
Misty Brook Farm $70.00
Certified Organic Steaks and Chops Package
Approximately 15 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef steaks and chops.
Misty Brook Farm $150.00
Certified Organic Meat Package Deal: Stock your Freezer
Approximately 25 lbs of pastured pork, veal, and beef cuts. No ground meat. Contact us with any special requests. This package can be made pork-free.
Misty Brook Farm $195.00
Hey, where are the chickens? Sorry, sold out until this summer
Body Care
Localvore Lip balm:
A rich, moisturizing balm good for lips or hands. Made from 100% local ingredients. Contains: certified organic sunflower oil from Vermont, locally produced, natural beeswax.
Grace Note Farm $3.45 / .3 oz tube
Localvore Lip balm pack of 3 tubes Grace Note Farm $10.00 / 3 .3 oz tubes

* Grace Note Farm is not certified organic, although we do practice ‘beyond organic’ growing methods. Our animals receive only certified organic feed, with no GMO’s or animal byproducts or antibiotics.

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How much pork is in a pig?

Tamworth pigs December 2009

This page is meant to answer the question: how much pork do I get if I buy a whole/half pig, and how much will it all cost? That depends, of course, on the size of the pig at slaughter time. We try to raise the pigs to around 250 pounds of live weight, although one year the slaughterhouse had some delays which resulted in our pigs being a bit larger. Our largest pig so far was 260lbs pounds of hanging weight, and the smallest was 180lbs. The table below shows the yield we got from those two pigs. If you get a half pig, you would take home 1/2 of the amount shown here (about 2 coolers of meat).

Cut Size on 260 lb pig Size on 180 lb pig
Ham 34 30
Shoulder 20 18
Bacon 29 19
Head 17 13
Trotters
If kept separate, or they can be ground
13 8
Ground Pork 15 6
Chops 34 17
Loin Roasts 8 7
Butt Roasts 24 16
Ribs 15 11
Fat 20 13
Organs: heart, liver, kidneys 3 2
Tail 1 1

For a visual of the finished cuts, I refer you to Sugar Mountain Farm’s post, with alot of helpful details:
http://flashweb.com/blog/2006/07/what-is-a-half-pig-share.html

What is ‘hanging weight’

If you buy a whole pig, your cost is determined based on the ‘hanging weight’ of the pig, which is the weight of the pig as recorded by the butcher, after the inedible parts are removed. You loose around 5 -10% from that weight to the total weight of cuts you take home, due to some trimming, bones, etc.

Learn to grow your own mushrooms

shiitake logs

Shiitake logs

Grow your own gourmet mushrooms
Workshop at Grace Note Farm
66 N Main St., Petersham, MA
Sunday, May 25 2014 1:30 – 4:30 (subject to weather)
Co-sponsored by the Petersham Local Food Group

Mushrooms are a great crop to extend the repertoire of home food production for the backyard gardener or homesteader. They are easy to produce, requiring minimal maintenance after you’ve done the initial inoculation process, and nothing beats the flavor of mushrooms grown outdoors on real wood. Do you have a spot that’s too shady for fruit or vegetables, but that you’d like to use for food production? That’s a perfect spot for growing mushrooms.

Come learn about growing culinary mushrooms from Kent Byron of Grace Note Farm. Kent has been producing culinary mushrooms on his farm in Petersham, Mass for 6 years. At this workshop, you’ll learn about mushrooms, inoculate oak logs with shiitake spawn, and tour the mushroom operation at Grace Note Farm. Each participant can take home an inoculated log to start their own shiitake farm.

Cost to participate in this workshop and take home one log is $40 per student ($55 for multiple members from the same household), or if you’d like to attend just to learn about the process and you’re not quite ready to take home a log, the cost is $30. Supplies will be provided (shiitake spawn, beeswax, power tools), but please bring your own work gloves, ear and eye protection, and wear sturdy shoes for outdoor work.

The class is scheduled for Sunday, May 25, but will be rescheduled for the following Sunday if the weather is wet. We need dry weather for the logs to be inoculated and capped properly.

Space is limited to 12 students. Please email us to reserve your spot.
You can pay either in person at the class, or pay online via paypal.

Grace Note Farm is sustainably powered

As a Christmas present to ourselves, Grace Note Farm now gets 100% of our electricity from New England-based hydro and solar installations, thanks to the Greenup option from National grid. I sure hope it’s legitimate and not just greenwashing.

We make every attempt to be very strict with our electricity use, but our usage is probably still a little higher than an average household. The electric fence is necessary or the chickens would get taken by predators, and there are times when more than one freezer is placed into service to store frozen meat while it awaits a buyer. That’s one expense we hope to eliminate over time, as we build up a client base and can sell batches of chickens or pigs as soon as they are available.

Knowing what environmental devastation takes place in order to produce electricity from coal has been a burden on my heart for many years. I’m glad we’ve taken this small step to convert to more environmentally friendly inputs. Maybe some year we’ll have a solar panel of our own.

Tamworth pork pre-orders

Happy Tamworth Pigs at Grace Note Farm


In 2010, we sold out of pork by mid-summer, and had so many more requests for this delicious pork than we could fill. We are heartened by the interest expressed by potential customers who want to buy humanely-raised animals, and would like to be able to supply more customers with pork in 2011. So we are polling our readers now to gauge the interest in heritage pork for next year. If you think you might want to order a half or whole pig in 2011, please send me a note in the comments section (there’s no commitment in this option, just a ‘maybe’). If you are ready to place your order now in order to get a pre-order discount, see the instructions below. If you’re hoping to find someone to split a half-pig with, leave me a note in the comments box and I can try to play match-maker. To learn more about the pigs we raise, and why they sell out every year, please read on.

About our Tamworth Pigs

Here at Grace Note Farm, we believe that animals deserve to have a happy life, even if they are destined for your freezer at the end of that happy life. Unlike commercially raised pigs that are raised indoors in tight confinement, the pigs we raise at Grace Note Farm roam in large fenced pastures and get rotated onto fresh ground every few weeks. They eat, nap, romp, play together, and socialize as their natures direct them, outdoors in the fresh air when they want, or lying about indoors on a pile of hay if they prefer that. They also eat a varied diet of plants and animals as they forage on the land (pigs are omnivores), supplemented with free-choice certified organic grain. This is good for the animals and good for our land as well.

We raise Tamworth pigs, a heritage breed that is prized for its tasty meat and good lean-to-fat ratio. Tamworths do well on pasture and are listed as a ‘threatened’ food animal. They are social and smart and we enjoy having them on our farm. We use them as ‘brush hogs’ to clear and prepare areas for future plantings. We buy piglets from breeders who feed only certified organic grain to their breeding stock and to the piglets once weaned. Tamworths have a reputation as the tastiest breed of hog. See this testimonial to the Tamworth on Chow Hound. It is reported on the web that Bristol University carried out taste tests using both commercial and rare breed pigs in a scientifically controlled experiment, and the Tamworth was judged as having the best tasting meat.

How much meat is in a whole pig?

A pig includes: bacon, head, 4 trotters, two hams, chops, ribs, fat, two shoulders, about 9 roasts, soup bones, organs (if you want them) and ground pork. You don’t have to take home the ‘exotic’ bits if you don’t want them. Trotters will be made into ground pork if you don’t want them to be kept separate. A half pig is about 2 coolers worth of meat, and a whole pig is 3 or 4. Our pigs have averaged about 175 pounds of meat each.

There is an excellent and detailed writeup on the Sugar Mountain Farm website that shows how much meat is in a half a pig .

How much does it cost?

For orders received by January 31, 2011, we will charge the same price as our 2010 price: $6.50/lb for half pigs or $6.00/lb for whole pigs (price based on the hanging weight). The ham, shoulder, and bacon can be smoked for an additional $3.00/lb. This discount represents our appreciation for helping us with advance planning and providing up-front cash for our 2011 growing season. Orders placed after 1/31/2011 will be subject to 2011 prices, which will likely be slightly higher.

When would I receive my meat?

Pigs will be slaughtered some time in the Fall. Typically September to November timeframe. Smoked meat takes an additional 3 to 4 weeks to process. The meat will be frozen and available for pickup on the farm, or with delivery priced at $0.85/mile ($50 minimum).

How do I order?

To reserve a 1/2 or whole pig, you should first call us to make sure there are still pigs available, then pay the $250 deposit. You can pay the deposit via check or electronically with either your paypal account or a credit or debit card (electronic payments incur a 10% surcharge).

Still have questions? Call us!

Pay deposit electronically


*Hanging weight
is the slaughter weight of the pig ‘on the hook’, before it is butchered into individual cuts. Expect to loose 10 – 20 lbs of weight per half pig between the hanging weight and finished cuts. GNF2009Summary21

Grace Note Farm wish list

If you have any of these items laying around the house, we can put them to good use any time:

  • clean egg cartons
  • white printer paper, in good enough shape to feed through the printer again, with one side printed on
  • Do you have a large glass or plastic (clear) candy jar, like you would get if you bought a gallon of Twizzlers at BJ’s? (I promise not to tell anyone). I need a couple for point-of-display bins for my homemade chapstick.
  • paper handled grocery sacks (like you get at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s)
  • a large portable cooler that we could use for meat deliveries
  • cat food for barn cats
  • Ball/Kerr/Mason canning jars (certain store-bought salsa and pasta sauces are packaged in reusable mason jars).
  • clean non-rusted wire-bail top jars
  • canvas tarps or used sails.
  • wire fencing: square grid wire mesh is constantly put to use in the barn. Even small pieces are useful. Large pieces of wire fencing that could be put up to keep chickens out of our gardens are also useful. Wire only needs to be in serviceable, but not brand new, condition.
  • plywood, any thickness: If you have a stash of reusable plywood lying around in your garage, call us. We may be able to come pick it up. Large pieces are particularly appreciated.

Larger items, just in case someone has these things laying around and wants to re-home them (hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right)? We would be interested in bartering meat for these items.

  • wine/beer bottle washing dohicky that goes on the kitchen faucet, and a cork-inserter for wine bottles
  • heated honey uncapping knife

Chicken tractor engineering 101

Chickens in portable pen

Chickens enjoying a sunny day

Rotating chickens onto new pasture frequently is good for several reasons. First, when chickens are confined to a specific area rather than free-roaming, they pretty quickly dig up all the grass, as they scratch for bugs and take dust baths. They like to eat fresh greens, though, so they appreciate being let out on new green areas so they can browse. With a portable chicken pen, also called a chicken tractor or chicken ark, the chickens can have new green area frequently and they can also contribute fertility to different areas of the farm. Continue reading

Shiitake time!

Yes, you have to do your hammer-time dance when the shiitakes start to flush.

We grow shiitakes on oak logs back in our woods. Getting the spawn into the logs to make mushrooms grow is an arduous process that I promise to photograph at some point. Kent planted his first set of logs in 2007 and ads to his collection each year. The oak trees have to be felled at just the right time of year, the crown and all the limbs removed and the trunk cut into 4-foot sections. Larger is better, to prevent the log from drying out before the mycelium takes hold. Then you shlep the logs over to the workbench and drill a whole bunch of holes all over the trunk, insert the mushroom-spawn-sawdust into each hole, and paint over the hole with melted beeswax to keep the moisture in. Then take the innoculated logs into the woods and set them into position and WAIT. A year. Or two. The logs Kent prepared in Spring of 2009 will fruit this autumn for the first time. It makes me tired just writing all that down.

But all that effort is worth it when the logs miraculously begin to fruit. Kent’s shiitake logs seem to be really happy in the spot he picked for them, because they have fruited several times this year. The mushrooms grow in that pith between the wood and the bark. Here’s a photo where you can see the mushrooms breaking through the bark.

shiitakes

Shiitake mushrooms emerging from log (click to enlarge)

The shiitakes are so lovely when they are growing. Our logs produce a couple of different strains.

Star crinkles on shiitake

Shiitakes with smooth top

Some have star-shaped grooves on the top Some are smooth on the top with more pronounced white lacy markings around the bottom

Cooking with fresh mushrooms is such a treat. Just like anything else, freshly picked mushrooms have a terrific flavor that cannot be matched by store-bought mushrooms that were harvested god knows how long ago. So far, my favorite mushroom-enhanced culinary creations have been:

  • scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fresh peppers
  • American style cream of mushroom soup
  • French style mushroom / leek / potato soup (more butter, less flour than the recipe above)
  • Mushroom ravioli
  • Mushroom cream vol-au-vents

a teenie shiitake

Gourmet Mushrooms

winecap mushrooms growing by a blueberry bush

One of the techniques we’ve learned from studying permaculture is to try to find ways to make our farm resources serve two purposes. Here is one example. Fruit trees need lots of mulching or they do not produce much fruit. Our fruit orchard contains 30 or so different kinds of fruit trees that we mulch with a very thick apron of hardwood chips. Hardwood chips make great mulch because they break down slowly, providing good moisture retention and slow nutrient release to the fruit trees, and they are sustainably harvested from tree-pruning activities in our woods and the surrounding area.

Wood chips can also serve double duty by providing habitat for certain kinds of culinary mushrooms. Last spring we planted winecap mushrooms (sourced from Field & Forest) in a dozen or so of the woodchip aprons. I typically think mushrooms want to grow in the woods, but I guess these mulch aprons provided a similar habitat: moist and shaded. Mushrooms are fickle and you really don’t know when you plant them if you will get any harvest at all. So we were really thrilled to see winecaps emerging in mid-August. They seem to fruit whenever the weather changes (a sudden rain storm or especially cold night will bring up mushrooms). Now we will see if the presence of the mushrooms helps the fruit trees themselves get stronger.

Our wood-cultured mushrooms grow at their own pace outdoors, and we do not do anything strange or un-natural to encourage them to fruit faster. Since we provide them with a mineral-rich growing medium, they have a terrific, intense flavor. Some store-brand dried shiitake (so I hear) are grown indoors on paper, so they do not have any way to develop their flavor. I suppose they look like a mushroom but taste like paper.

Winecaps have their pros and cons. They emerge all of a sudden and grow quickly, so it’s easy to miss them. They can be past the stage where you’d want to eat them before you even notice they’re there. For this reason, I’m glad ours are planted in the orchard, which is right by the house and we walk through it every day. Other mushrooms, like shiitake, grow a little more slowly, so we can grow them back in the woods and only check on the logs a couple of times a week. Compared to shiitake, one downside of winecaps is that they do not keep well once you pick them. They need to be cooked the same day or the day after picking at the latest. Shiitake, on the other hand, will keep in the refrigerator a few days longer. Also, fewer people are familiar with winecaps, unlike shiitakes, which practically sell themselves. But the taste of the winecaps is really exquisite. Having never eaten them before this harvest, we are so pleased with the taste. And the smell of the house when mushrooms are dehydrating is like heaven.

Chicken tractors

Feeding chickens in chicken tractor

Feeding chickens in chicken tractor


Chickens like to be outdoors on pasture, eating bugs and fresh grass. They quickly pick over what they can reach, however, and need to be rotated onto fresh grass frequently so that the pasture can rejuvinate itself. The portable chicken coop is a great solution to this problem. Chickens are moved onto a fresh grazing area each day, and they apply their manure to different areas of the farm without any need for human or machine labor to spread it.

Our broiler chickens are raised in these portable pens. Each morning we move them onto a fresh plot of ground and they get very excited about having new green forage to eat. As these photos show, they come forward when the pen starts to move, as soon as they can see the yummy new grass to eat.

Moving chicken tractor Kent feeding chickens Kent feeding chickens

Our pens are built for fewer chickens and are smaller than the chicken tractors made famous by Joel Salatin. His 10×12 portable pens are typically moved by a tractor or other vehicle and house 100 birds in each tractor. Ours can be moved by one person, and have a narrower footprint so that we can move them around our orchard, where the paths are planted in clover (one of the chickens favorite treats).

Why is it called a chicken tractor?

The chickens scratch up the surface of the ground looking for bugs, and take down any plants growing there, so having the chickens on a plot of ground for the day is a little like running the tiller. In this photo,

Chicken scratch

One day of chicken damage

you can see the difference between the perimeter area that is still green grass, and the ‘tracturd’ left by chickens from the day before. The grass is effectively mowed, but will grow back.