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.
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.
This past Friday the Kiwanis (key-wan-is) club of Holt held a chicken barbecue at The First Presbyterian Church of Holt.
“We used to have to cook our own chicken,” Les Turner said a 50-year member of the club. Now the club has a company bring the chicken and cook them for the event. “This is our biggest event of the year,” Eric Grasse the President-elect of the club said. “About two-thirds of our business is through the drive-thru,” Grasse said, “Including Judge Alan a circuit judge.”
The average number for attendance for the past years is around 1,000 but this year the club expects about 750. There thinking is it is probably due to the economy.