Home / Slow Food / Farm Update / Catching Up with the Chicken Farmer
Published on December 17, 2013, by in Farm Update.

I had the embarrassing moment the other day when I was checking in on the farm blog and realized that I had not updated the blog since earlier in the fall. Saying a lot has happened since then is quite the understatement. I have been doing a good job of keeping people up to date via my Facebook page and with my e-mail newsletter, but it is definitely time I put up some new photos on the blog here.

I’ll give you the “in a nutshell version” and then I’ll move on to some photos to help tell the story.

First and foremost our daughter, Mabel, is 5 months old, and quite amazing. I am very much enjoying fatherhood, and that little girl has changed my life in ways I never dreamed possible.

Kate and I moved from our apartment in New Milford, CT to Camps Road Farm in Kent, CT. I had been working with Camps Road Farm alongside FoodCyclist Farm this summer. FoodCyclist being my own operation an Camps Road a farm that hired me to work the land.

I fell even further in love with farming (who knew it was possible?) and for the 2014 season I will be operating solely out of Camps Road Farm. Long story short I became the head farmer here in Kent and will be running the show. I am combining FoodCyclist Farm and Camps Road so that I do not have to split my mental energy into two places. I plan on bringing the same dedication to sustainability and quality to Camps Road as I had with FoodCyclist Farm.

I am spending my time now taking care of our egg laying chickens and our greenhouses. As Camps Road is a relatively new operation there are a lot of loose ends to tie up and a lot of planning to make sure it has a bright and beautiful future.

A lot of my photos are from this fall. I’ll do a winter post very soon with some photos of the farm in its dormant phase. It’s snowing right now and it’s fun to remember that it’s not always this cold.

camps road farm

During the summer and into the fall we would sell our veggies and eggs at my chicken CSA pick-ups. Thanks to Kate for the artwork on our sign.

pastured poultry

Just like my broiler chickens, our egg-laying chickens live life out on pasture. They eat grass, find bugs, and enjoy the sunshire. They get lots of fresh air, and do their best to avoid predators.

pastured eggs

With the different breeds of chickens we have comes different color eggs. There is no nutritional difference in the different color eggs. A white egg is as healthy as a brown egg. The added health benefits come from how the chicken was raised.

baby chicks

Old laying chickens don’t stick around forever. To replace old layers and to increase the size of our flock we brought in 100 new baby chicks. Definitely different than the little yellow fluff balls I was used to getting, but definitely just as cute.

dog and chicks

Chicks on the farm catch everyone’s attention. Sadie looks on with curiosity as the little chicks learn to drink and instinctively start to scratch around. These babies are much more grown now and will start to lay eggs in the coming weeks.

organic lettuce

Egg and meat aren’t our only specialties. We grow diversified vegetables in a small scale on farm. We’re not certified organic yet, but we’re working on it. It’s no small feat, and tough to do right out of the gate.

planting lettuce

With seeds started in trays and winter approaching we needed a place where we could transplant all these veggies so they would be happy during the cold winter months. Of course we got to work in our greenhouses.

raised beds

We built a couple of large raised beds as well as planted veggies in pots. Our greenhouses have gravel floors which allows us to decide where and how we bring dirt in for planting.

farmers market vegetables

Vegetables were for sale through the fall months. As the days grew shorter so did the crops. We won’t have much until next spring, but that gives us ample time to plan.

pastoral farm

The property is beautiful all times of year. There are a little over 40 acres of farm here with an 8 acre pond. The land is very wet however as the surrounding hills drain into our property. There is still plenty of usable farm land.

grass whisperer

I was visited by a good friend Troy “The Grass Whisperer”. He took a look around the farm and gave me some great advice on pasture management.

eating grass

We take our pasture management very seriously. Every one in a while you have to put yourself in the chicken’s shoes and see what’s on the menu. That, and you can’t take yourself too seriously.

praying mantis

A healthy pasture is home to all sorts of wildlife. This praying mantis is perched on top of one of my chicken tractors, safe out of the reach of my birds. Always good to see a diversity of wildlife. That means you’re doing it right.

leaves change in new england near chicken tractors

The leaves change with the seasons and that marks the beginning of the end of the meat chicken season. Soon enough it’s time to retire the chicken tractors for the year.

chicken tractor

As the chicken tractors emptied out I moved them into the hop yard for the winter.

chicken tractor plans 3dI self-published a book detailing the designs and materials for my chicken tractors. It is for sale as a downloadable PDF through this website. So far it is doing pretty well and I have received only positive feedback.

The real pay-off will be next year when more photos start popping up online of people building my design. That means more chickens are being raised happy and healthy, which means more people are happy and healthy as well. After all, that’s my end goal with all of this.

Believe it or not there are a lot of things to consider when building a chicken tractor. I have spent countless hours pouring over and researching every detail. By the time I was done I had a design that not only made me happy, the chickens love it, and it constantly impresses my customers and fellow farmers.

Click HERE to hear more and to purchase your copy:

camps road farm crew

The farm crew at Camps Road Farm at the market this summer. Right to left: Noah, Yoni, Dan, David, Barry, Brian, John, Mabel, and Ralph from White Silo Winery

mabel suscovich farm baby

This little bundle of farm baby awesomeness is my inspiration for just about everything I do now. Like I said, she has changed my life in so many ways. I am happy that she’s going to grow up a farm kid.

farm baby

Seriously, this is a cute kid!

farm house

It is winter now and the snow is here. I took this photo one night walking back to our little house after checking in on the chickens to make sure they were all snug in their coops. Anywhere can be home in my opinion. But sometimes, there are places that are more home than anywhere else. I think we found that for us.

Thanks for sharing in my journey through life. While FoodCyclist Farm is going to operate under Camps Road Farm for the time being I am still going to maintain the blog to share more information about my pursuit of my passions and even more information on farming and chickens.

Life is a journey, not a destination. Even so, I like where I’ve ended up so far.