Outdoor chickens stronger, healthier, small farmers say

By KELLY VANFRANKENHUYZEN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Poultry farmers increasingly raise chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese in environmentally greener and healthier habitats, according to the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. “The concept is to provide good pastured poultry practices,” said Roy Ballard, a Purdue University Extension educator. Pastured poultry is raised in open fields rather than indoors. Corinne Carpenter, a small poultry farmer in Webberville, said, “As birds are raised outside, they are stronger and have less need to be medicated than birds indoors, which can be overcrowded and stressed.”

Carpenter, owner of Break O’Day Farm, raises both pastured and free range poultry. With pastured poultry, hens roam without fences, she said.

Swallowtail Farm open through winter

By Cameron Dunlap
The Mason Times

With the hot summer days behind us, Swallowtail Farm of Mason isn’t going to let the upcoming cold weather put a damper on its business. After becoming certified through the Michigan Department of Agriculture to begin production of preserves for distribution last year, Swallowtail decided to add a large hoop house to extend its growing seasons. Swallowtail, known for its U-pick raspberries plans on having a selection of salad greens including lettuce, spinach, pepper, Asian greens, baby kale, cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, butternut squash and even eggs for the winter. All vegetables are free of synthetic chemicals

Pumpkins come in various sizes for all carving, decorating and eating needs, with prices ranging between $2 and $5. Butternut squash is 50 cents a pound.