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Filtering by Tag: Kookoolan Farms

Vendor Profile: Kookoolan Farm

Sarah West

Farmers’ markets are a collection of businesses, a temporal grocery store where each shelf comes with a smiling face and a wealth of knowledge about the products they create and sell. We’re giving our vendors the spotlight to share more about their role in the Hillsdale market community.

By Sarah West

Hillsdale vendor since 2007, Kookoolan Farms has quickly built a name as the place to go for pasture-raised chickens and eggs in the Portland area. That same year, the farm was the first in Oregon to open a fully licensed on-site poultry slaughtering facility, allowing more vertical integration in an industry with notoriously low profit margins. Kookoolan has since expanded their product line to include pastured pork and lamb, grassfed beef, a vegetable CSA, and a year-round farm store. Oh, and for bonus points, they set up a kombucha and mead brewery, most recently opening their Mead Superstore and Tasting Room.

Just taking in all that is Kookoolan Farms requires a few deep breaths. The dynamic duo behind Kookoolan Farms, Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor, met while working as program managers at Intel (Koorosh still works there). The couple married and began dreaming a world outside of Intel where they could work together on a project that integrated their engineering skills with more personal interests: Chrissie was an avid gardener and cook with a passion for home mead making, Koorosh still harbored dreams of becoming a farmer he’d hatched as a child in Iran helping out with his parents’ poultry flock.

While Chrissie’s first entrepreneurial aspiration was to open a meadery, the couple also saw a need for local, pasture-raised chicken and eggs in the area, and set to work building a farm to fill that niche. The road was not without pitfalls or unexpected turns, but, within two years of founding the farm, the persistent couple was able to accomplish something out of reach to most small-scale chicken farmers since the rise of industrial agriculture: the ability to legally process their own flock on their own farm for sale to farmers market customers, restaurants, and grocery stores alike.

This may seem like an obvious direction for a poultry farm to grow, but the reality of achieving it was far more difficult than the Zaerpoors initially realized. Though regulations have changed somewhat since Kookoolan’s 2005 startup (especially for farmers with fewer than a thousand birds), the USDA has strict codes that make it prohibitively expensive for small producers to operate their own slaughter facility. Kookoolan persevered and became the first farm of their size in Oregon to accomplish this feat. As their processing ability increased, they realized that the five-acre plot they purchased in 2005 would not be sufficient to produce the flock sizes required to build a sustainable business.

The Zaerpoors began to see their Carlton-Yamhill neighbors as potential partners, carefully selecting farms in their area willing to adhere to the same meticulous standards as they did in raising their chickens. With careful planning, Kookoolan Farms became a cooperative of ethical meat and poultry farmers, greatly expanding their product line, and distributing the labor to a network of specialists. Chrissie remains the hub of operations, coordinating the farm’s wholesale distribution, farmers market sales, and, of course, quality control. The cooperative model finally freed up some of the Zaerpoor’s time, allowing them to expand their vegetable garden into a summer CSA program and giving Chrissie time to get back into mead.

The original Kookoolan Farm site still houses a portion of the farm’s pastured chickens, their poultry processing facility, a serve-yourself farm store, the vegetable rows, a small plot of pinot noir grapes, and the new Mead Superstore.Visitors are welcome on weekends (or during the week, by appointment) to browse their selection of over 150 different meads and taste Kookoolan’s own farm-made Elegance Mead, kombucha, and Vin de Noix. What about those pinot noir grapes? Well, they may just show up in the Kookoolan lineup soon in the form of a pinot-mead blend known as pyment.

Though Kookoolan has been selling their chickens through New Seasons for a couple years, they recently decided to pull out of the arrangement. In the context of a grocery store meat counter (even a grocery store with a reputation for higher-income shoppers), local, pasture-raised chickens separated from their farmer’s story, sitting next to temptingly cheaper alternatives, are a tough sell. New Seasons requested birds under four pounds, but Kookoolan can’t make a profit raising such small chickens. They’ve decided to stick with direct-market sales here at Hillsdale and (on alternate Sundays) the Hillsboro/Orenco market. That’s a testament to the power of farmers market shoppers, who make a significant contribution to the viability of even the most outwardly successful small farm businesses.

Find out more at: www.kookoolanfarms.com

Note: A fire broke out on Kookoolan Farms on the evening of March 18th. Two outbuildings were lost in the fire. Read about the fire here (link).

The Fat of The Land - Gilding The Chicken

Sarah West


Photo courtesy of Kookoolan Farms

I have grown used to berries that cost almost $4 a pint, eggs that teeter between $6 and $7 a dozen, ground beef or lamb that rings in around $5 a serving. I exclusively seek out (sometimes) pricy farmers market vegetables, not because of their expense or any illusion of status it implies, but because I so deeply crave their exquisite freshness I’m reluctant to settle for the same item from even the best grocery store. I’m not rolling in expendable income (I work for a farmers market!), but I choose to weave these sometimes-extra costs into my monthly budget, giving up other luxuries (cable TV, a car from the 21st century, good wine), for the ability to transform the abstract numbers of my bank account into the tangible wealth of authentic food.

For all my acceptance of higher food prices (which one could—and should—argue are closer to the real cost of food), I still gasp at the price of a pasture-raised chicken. Knowing that the chicken was happy and free, fed good food and allowed to nibble on forage and insects while roaming under the nourishing sun, that it was compassionately slaughtered and minimally processed to arrive in the cooler at my feet with as much flavor and nutrition as possible, just doesn’t completely remove the sting of its $30 price tag. I want to buy it, but the penny-pinching core of me rejects it, wonders why it costs so much and how it could possibly be worth it.

Life is about tradeoffs. Even within the terms we set for ourselves, we reach a limit to what we’ll accept: maybe pasture-raised chicken is mine, though I suspect it’s not that simple. Chicken holds tightly in our minds to its status as the everyman’s protein: healthy, abundant, and cheap. It has not, in recent history, held distinction in mainstream American culture, as does a prime cut of beef or a filet of salmon. Rather, low-priced chicken has begun to feel like something of a birthright to most meat-eating Americans, myself, apparently, included.

Almost all of the chicken purchased in the US is the product of factory farms, warehouses packed with upwards of 20,000 birds, too crowded to do much of anything in their short, filth-ridden lives than eat antibiotic-laced food that keeps them well enough to survive to a decent slaughter weight. In a factory farm scenario, it takes about two pounds of feed to produce a pound of chicken meat. Contrast that with the four pounds of feed (and extended growth period) for one pound of pasture-raised chicken meat, or the seven pounds of feed required for a pound of beef.

The motivation behind the last century’s unprecedented rise in mass chicken production is not difficult to see. Through factory farming innovations, chicken became a protein we could efficiently produce, that found the sweet spot every industry aspires to: good return on investment and a market demand that grew with production capability. As factory farms got better at churning out huge numbers of chickens, consumers were happy to buy them (and, because of their lean muscle, health experts were eager to advocate for them), driving the price of chicken staggeringly low (in the early 2000’s, the average price per pound was around a dollar, now it’s usually double that, still $3-$7 less per pound than its pasture-raised counterpart).

Cheap chicken production comes with hidden costs: environmental costs in the form of heavy pollution near factory farm sites, ethical costs when we must mistreat an animal in order to increase the economic return of raising it, social costs from the loss of family farm diversity and contracted workers tangled in a modern-day form of indentured servitude. And the chicken this system produces is dangerous. Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey that found raw chicken from all major brands had moderate to high levels of food pathogen contamination, including many strains known to be resistant to antibiotics. Even when properly handled and cooked, public health experts estimate that such chicken, still inside its packaging, can potentially transfer enough trace bacteria to make you sick (read more here).

Yet, fear and distrust of one product doesn’t necessarily create desire for another, as with my aversion to $30 chickens. I don’t buy the $8 chickens, either. Perception of value creates desire for a product, and that is a hurdle many well-meaning consumers still need to cross. For starters, we must forget almost everything we thought we knew about chicken—that it’s cheap and abundant and that we deserve it to be so, that its meat is soft and flavorless, that it comes in boneless, skinless segments from which we can no longer identify it as an animal.

We need to rediscover chicken as a whole-animal food, one with depth. Covered and slow-cooked, the firmer muscles of a pasture-raised chicken baste in their own nutritious fat, resulting in tender, flavorful meat and golden-crisp skin (if uncovered for the last ten minutes of its cooking time). The cartilage-rich carcass (especially the feet, if you’re not ready to eat them outright just yet) creates one of the most sultry broths known to the stock pot, rich in minerals and nutrients. All of the chicken’s major organs, save the liver (the bulk of which usually arrive in a neat, if mysterious, packet inside a good quality chicken cavity), enrich the broth or, if cooked as their own simple stock and added to the pan sauce, make delicious gravy.

What chicken needs is ceremony, the sort that changes how it appears to us at the market and on our plates. It comes out of a skilled cook’s oven gilded and steaming aromas as thick and rich as a velvet robe, right there before our eyes, but we have stopped recognizing its royalty. Maybe that $30 price tag is just the sort of stake we need in the game. Maybe less for more is also—when it comes to flavor, food and environmental safety, human and animal welfare—just plain more.

Sarah West is a gardener, eater and admirer of the agricultural arts. She gladly spends her Sundays as assistant manager of the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market, basking in the richness of its producers’ bounty and its community’s energy. Find archives and more at http://thefatofthelandblog.wordpress.com.

Kookoolan Farms Market Morning Update

Sarah West

Kookoolan Farms will be at the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market today 10am to 2pm, www.hillsdalefarmersmarket.com. While we are just about sold out of all chicken flesh meats even before arriving at the market today, we do have a larger than usual inventory of chicken feet, necks, heads, and backs for soup making, and a larger than usual inventory of chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards, plus duck livers. We’ll have these on special today since I like empty freezers after markets! Usually soup parts are $2.50/lb and organ meats are $3.50/lb (gizzards $5/lb; duck liver $6/lb) but today we will offer 25% off all the soup parts and 50% off all the organ meats. Our poultry is all pasture raised. We’re also happy to talk with you about 100% grassfed beef, 100% grassfed lamb, and pasture-raised Red Wattles pork. And our famous live kombucha is also available at the market. Thanks, Happy Father’s Day everybody, and hope to see you there!

Kookoolan Farms Update October 21 2012 Market

Sarah West

This week we will have:
FRESH or FROZEN 4-pack of jumbo pastured chickens, $3.67/lb, about $100 each, very limited, can also order for Nov 4th market.
FRESH pasture-raised ducks, $4.99/lb, about $25 each
FRESH Single hand-raised rabbits, $8/lb, about $20 each
FROZEN stew hens, just a few, $5.25/lb, about $15 each
Eggs from pasture-raised hens, $6/doz
Kombucha tea:  $4/22-oz bottle; $3/12-oz bottle; 10% case discount available
 
November 4th market will be the LAST chance to get chickens, ducks and rabbits.  Kookoolan Farms pasture-raises poultry only April through October each year.  After November 4th the only place to get Kookoolan Farms chickens this winter will be out of your own freezer!
 
We have fewer than 20 unreserved pasture-raised, Bourbon Red heritage breed turkeys for Thanksgiving still available.  Hens are $7/lb (about $70); toms are $6/lb (about $100), Nov 18 market pickup only.
 
Can also reserve beef as little as 1/8th carcass, or ½ pasture-raised pork.  Lambs are end of season.  “Pampered pigs” are end of season.
 
Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor
KOOKOOLAN FARMS
www.kookoolanfarms.com
15713 Highway 47
Yamhill, OR  97148
(503) 730-7535

Kookoolan Farms Specials for September 9th Market

Sarah West

We have two special items this weekend at the market:

We have a very limited number of pasture-raised, soy-free, corn-free, guaranteed gmo-free meat chickens this weekend (fresh, whole carcasses), $5.39/lb. People who are very sensitive to corn and soy to the extent that they cannot even eat the flesh of animals that have eaten corn and soy; some people with estrogen-seeking cancers who are therefore looking to avoid all soy in their diet; or people very specifically wanting to avoid having Big Agriculture get any of their food dollars, may be interested in this alternative chicken meat product.

Due to an overshipment of day-old chicks several weeks ago, we have a surfeit of finished meat chickens this weekend, making this the ideal weekend to stock up. These chickens were killed at ten weeks of age, meaning they have spent a full five weeks on the pasture, the most of any of our chickens all year. The pasture quality is ideal at this time of year, with many of our neighbors putting up hay right now. Although I don't have any lab numbers to back up the claim, these are certainly our highest-Omega-3, highest-CLA chickens of the year. They are large: 5.5 to 7 pounds each; the large chickens truly have the best eating attributes, with well-developed, firm flesh (not tough, but "al dente" -- our chickens do not get shreddy and mushy like industrially raised chickens do!). We have a stocking-up special of $3.67/lb in four-packs. We will NOT have the stocking-up special available in two weeks, and then will have it again in October. The season for our pasture-raised chickens is over at the end of October. The November 4th market is the last chance to buy our chickens until April 2013. If folks want to have our chickens over the winter, the only place to get them is out of your own freezer!  

Kookoolan Farms Newsletter August 22 2012

Sarah West

Kookoolan Farms is at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market this Sunday, August 26, 10am to 2pm, with fresh whole chickens, ducks and rabbits; frozen cut-up and halved chickens; a small inventory of frozen no-soy, no-corn chickens; fresh eggs from pasture-raised hens; our homemade Kombucha tea; and several people will be picking up reserved shares of beef and pork.  Thanksgiving 2012 turkeys are sold out.  At the farmer's market you can also talk with Farmer Chrissie about reserving beef, pork, or lamb shares, and sign up for any of our cheesemaking classes!  (We have fewer than 10 "pastured pigs" left for this year, and fewer than six lambs left for this year, reserve soon or you'll have to wait until June 2013!)

OUR CHICKEN SEASON RUNS THRU THE END OF OCTOBER
Kookoolan Farms poultry animals are raised outdoors on grass pasture.  Therefore our poultry is a seasonal product, not available year-round.  Our 2012 pasture-raised poultry season runs from the beginning of May through the end of October.  We will kill our last chicken on the year on October 30, 2012, after which no more fresh chickens will be available until approximately May 1, 2013.

STOCKING UP - DISCOUNT PACKAGES FOR BUYING BULK
Note that in order to have chickens for the winter, you’ll want your freezer to be fully stocked up before the end of October (September recommended as October chickens sell out quickly with people stocking up for winter.)  We offer a few different discounts for stocking up your freezer:

  • Our chickens are always buy ten get one free.  This applies to all fresh or frozen, whole or cut-up chickens, any combination.  Buy any ten packages and get an eleventh package free.  (10% off)
  • Our jumbo chickens, 5.5 pounds or more, in bulk purchase units of 24 chickens or more, are 20% off at only $3.67/lb.  This price is even lower than our 2007 first-season price!  Reservation and $50 deposit required, email kookoolan@gmail.com to reserve yours.  Available for pickup at our farm in Yamhill, at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market, or at Barry and Lauri Tauscher residence, as arranged at time of reservation, email kookoolan@gmail.com.
  • Limited quantities of "#2 cosmetically-challenged chickens" are available each week for $3.50/lb.  Generally these chickens have a broken leg, dislocated shoulder, or torn skin in the breast area.  As available.

WHAT MAKES KOOKOOLAN FARMS POULTRY SO SPECIAL?
Chickens and ducks on pasture at Kookoolan FarmsKookoolan Farms is coming up on our seventh anniversary in October, and has been a licensed and inspected poultry processor since July 2007.  We are one of only a handful of farms in Oregon with on-farm licensed processing.

All of our poultry is pasture-raised:  young chicks are started indoors until they are old enough to regulate their own body temperature and are a bit more robust against predators:  about 5 weeks old in warmer drier weather; about 6 weeks old in cooler wetter weather.  


Free-Range Poultry Housing
We start our young chicks indoors for about the first 4 to 6 weeks of their lives, depending on the weather:  longer early and late in the season, shorter in the warmest months of the summer.  For the last 2 to 5 weeks of their lives, our chickens live outdoors on fresh grass pastures.  We prefer to raise larger chickens: as is true with most species, larger chicken carcasses have superior flavor and texture.  Our chickens are slaughtered between age 7 weeks and 9 weeks, compared to age 45 days for most industrially-raised chickens.  Raising them to an older age also maximizes the benefits of pasture-raising, increasing the Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA's in the meat.  

The outdoors birds are a joy to watch. They require protection from predators (especially at night) and continuous access to fresh water and food, but these chores are completed twice a day, with more frequent checks on the very hottest days of summer or during periods of rainstorms or other harsher weather.

On hot sunny days, chickens need shade.  We have used portable tarps, portable hoophouses covered with shade cloth, and wooden portable houses covered with roofing.  Each of these structures is lightweight and portable, and can quickly and easily be moved from a “used up” section of pasture to fresh clean grass.  In this way, the manure load is spread over the entire pasture, resulting in lush, deeply fertilized pasture grass.  Each section of the pasture has a substantial rest period before chickens are returned to that section – this interrupts disease cycles and keeps our soil and poultry flocks disease-free.

Numerous studies have shown that birds raised outdoors on pasture have higher levels of Omega-3 compared to Omega-6 fatty acids; higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA, a cancer-fighting agent) and vitamins including Vitamin D which the chickens produce themselves when they are exposed to sunlight, just like we do.

Feeding -- Organic vs. conventional
All of our housing and raising practices qualify as certified organic; all of our slaughtering and packing plant practices are completely chemical-free and could be certified organic.  Our pastures have never been treated with any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.  Here the term "organic" really just refers to the absence of chemicals.

Chickens are omnivores, like pigs and humans.  Chickens cannot sustain themselves just on grass, anymore than you or I could sustain ourselves only on salad greens.  They require a balanced diet with a significant portion of protein: about 18% to 21% of their calories should be protein.

We have raised a few batches of chickens on certified organic feed, and a few batches even on soy-free, corn-free certified organic feed.  While these projects supplied food to a niche market who was willing to pay a premium, the size of that niche is too small to provide our family with an income.  And the more we dig into sourcing certified organic animal feeds, the more we became convinced that in general certified organic feed is actually NOT an ethical choice for us, even if more folks were willing to pay for it.   This conclusion surprised even us; let me explain.

Most commercial chicken feed is conventionally raised corn and soy, which means most of it comes from monoculture corporate-owned factory farms in the Midwest, using chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.  At best these are high-producing hybrids which require large amount of fertilizers for their high yields; virtually all of them now are GMO varieties.  The Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers drain the bulk of America's bread basket, pouring millions of pounds of chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico.  The unnaturally high levels of phosphorus cause algae to flourish, sucking oxygen away from native plants and animals and causing "hypoxia".  

"Organic" commodity grains are mostly imported into the U.S. rather than grown domestically; most come from China and Brazil.  These grains come to Oregon through the commodity market, using large amounts of fossil fuels for shipment by barge, train, and truck.  Chinese organic grains are of questionable certification and prone to containing unauthorized ingredients; Brazilian grains may be grown without chemicals, but the soil fertility comes from unsustainable slash-and-burn agriculture of the Amazon basin.  Also, "certified organic" just means the absence of chemicals; lower-quality certified organic grain by-products rather than higher-quality whole grains are often used in certified organic animal feeds.  Organic feeds can be as much as twice as expensive as conventional feeds, and not necessarily of better or even equal nutritional quality for the birds.  But even if there were a large enough market, we’re not happy with the non-transparency of origin, questionable labor and environmental practices, and high fossil fuel requirements associated with commodity grains grown on a different continent.

There exist the beginnings of locally grown, organic grains and poultry feeds which we are happy to see, and we use these on a limited basis as a portion of our poultry flock’s overall ration, mostly just to encourage the effort.  However these feeds are substantially more expensive -- 50% to 100% more expensive compared to conventional feed -- and until a larger fraction of our consumers are willing to pay that additional price, we are not able to use this fine local organic feed exclusively.  

 Our current feed is milled locally with ingredients that are preferentially sourced locally whenever available; it is primarily comprised of soy, corn, barley, limestone/oyster shell for calcium, and a vitamin/mineral packet.

Handling, Slaughtering, and Processing
At Kookoolan Farms, "trucking to slaughter" involves a 200-yard-long, two-minute tractor ride.  Our birds undergo minimal handling stress, are killed humanely and with respect, and are processed cleanly, chilled rapidly, and delivered fresh to our customers.  We handle our birds so gently that more than 90% of the chickens we process are sold as fancy-quality (absolutely blemish-free with no bruises, dislocations, or broken bones) whole broiler/fryers:  the evidence of their gentle handling is right there in the perfect carcass in front of you.  However, and this probably is not a surprise to any of you, killing chickens, burying their offals for compost, and cleaning the slaughterhouse are not our favorite farm chores.  So we only process 300 chickens a week, only one day a week, only five months of the year.  Other days we’re busy with milking cows, making mead and kombucha, growing and harvesting vegetables, and offering cheesemaking classes.  This balance of work is important for keeping our farm humanly sustainable for our family and our workers.

I know you’re tired of reading emails from me so this time we have Imogen Reed as guest essayist.  She wrote this piece especially for Kookoolan Farms.

Where do you Buy Your Chickens?
In times past, pasture-raised poultry would have been the norm. Until the 1960s, the intensive factory farming methods we know today simply hadn’t been heard of. Then, some farmers started to raise their animals intensively in order to increase output. To compete, others followed and the rest is history. Have we now reached a point where intensive farming is an inevitability or is it possible to turn the clock back and find another way? Some farmers have already done so. The difference in their pasture-reared poultry and the birds churned out by intensive, industrial farms is huge. Pasture raised poultry is tastier, more nutritious and of course, much more ethical.

Industrial Poultry
Industrial poultry is raised in huge-scale industrial facilities. They truly are factories, rather than barns or anything we might associate with traditional farming. They are concentrated in just 15 states, and there are only 27,000 producers of poultry in the whole country. That is a 98% drop from the number there were 50 years ago, when there were 1.6 million producers nationwide. The average broiler chicken sold in US supermarkets today will have come from a farm which raises around 600,000 chickens each year. Our appetite for cheap chicken is huge, with 9 billion being eaten a year, compared to 580 million 50 years ago.

What problems does farming on this scale and at these kinds of densities create? It harms both the birds and the environment around them. In order to meet our huge demand for chicken, industrial farmers have used breeding and growth drugs to help reduce the time it takes to raise a bird by almost half (naturally, it takes 84 days on average, now it is down to just 45 in confinement – 63 days at Kookoolan Farms). These drugs are harmful, giving the birds some nasty health problems, as their bodies grow faster than their hearts can support. They suffer chronic pain, leg defects and heart failure. The conditions they are kept in add to their problems. With only around 130 square inches each, they cannot move around properly and are subject to stress and disease; in confinement most poultry is treated with antibiotics, usually hidden from consumers by injecting a long-acting antibiotic into the egg the day before the chick hatches.

All those chickens in one place creates an awful lot of mess. That mess has to go somewhere. The manure and waste products from the industrial farms end up in the fields in higher concentrations than the land can absorb, and from there is washed into streams and rivers, polluting them.

Pasture-Raised Poultry
Portable pasture housing for broiler chickens at Kookoolan Farms Pasture-raised poultry is kept very differently. It is a natural, seasonal, ethical product. Chickens are raised on natural grass pastures, perhaps with barns or shelters that they are free to wander in and out of as they choose. They can peck, dig, scratch and generally do what chickens do. They are not forced to grow faster than their bodies can handle. They do not produce mountains of waste products: their waste is a natural part of the life cycle and is easily absorbed by the earth they live in due to lower stocking densities and periods of rest for the pasture between batches of birds. They will generally be fed on higher-quality grain rations, rather than on poor quality commercial feed mixes. They live as close to the way that wild chickens will live as possible.

Chickens raised like this cost more than those raised intensively, as do the eggs from chickens raised this way. These products are also not available all year-round. Chickens raised indoors in barns are not seasonal because their living conditions are removed completely from the seasons. Pasture-raised chickens are born over the spring and summer, although of course, they can (and should!) be frozen for use over winter. In the past, most food was seasonal. Just as certain fruits are only around during the summer months, so various meats are only naturally grown at certain times of year.

As well as being much more ethical, pasture raised poultry is healthier and tastier than industrial poultry. Both meat and eggs from industrial birds are lower in certain nutrients than those raised in pasture. They are often bruised and damaged from being kept in confinement, and can be prone to parasitic infection.

The industrial farming industry has removed most of us from the natural life cycles of our own foods. We can produce anything we want, whenever we want it. The question we should ask is whether the low cost of cheap chicken is worth the high cost in suffering, taste and sustainability.

Imogen Reed is a freelance writer from England who writes mostly about drug addiction facilities and resources. She also believes strongly in other good causes such as organic produce and has everything from an organic mattress to organic carrots at home.  She wrote this piece particularly for Kookoolan Farms.  Thanks Imogen!

Kookoolan Farms pasture-raised, hand-butchered chickens are available fresh weekly at our farmstore in Yamhill, fresh every Tuesday through October 31, 2012, and then frozen until sold out early in November.  

Available fresh weekly at all Oregon New Seasons Markets meat cases, fresh every Friday with final delivery of the season on Friday, October 26, 2012.  

Available fresh and frozen EVERY OTHER WEEK directly from Kookoolan Farms at the Hillsdale Farmers Market, Sundays 10am to 2pm, August 26; September 9 and 23; October 7 and 21; November 4 and 18, 2012.

Whole first-quality chickens are $4.59/pound (same price everywhere).  A note about pricing:  due mostly to the drought in the Midwest and the loss of an estimated 50% of the nation's corn crop, we have seen feed prices rise from $266 to $433/ton in the past four weeks alone.  All projections are that increases in meat and poultry prices of 33% to 50% are likely in 2013.  A freezer of meat and poultry bought at 2012 prices may turn out to be an excellent investment.


As always, we sincerely thank you for your patronage of our little farm.  Please feel welcome to email or phone with questions or to make a reservation.  We'll see you Sunday at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market!

Best wishes for your health,
Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor
Kookoolan Farms
Yamhill, Oregon
August 22, 2012

Kookoolan Farms June 3 2012 Market Newsletter

Sarah West

 

THE QUICK SUMMARY

Hillsdale Farmer's Market, Sunday June 3, 10am to 2pm, Farmer Chrissie and Heidi McKay are back at the market with Kookoolan Farms fresh chickens, fresh rabbits, fresh duck, fresh eggs, frozen heirloom-brred, pasture-raised pork available BY THE CUT!  lots of kombucha tea, and a sampling of our cheesemaking supplies.  This may be the last market at which we have rabbits for some time, due to Paulee Restaurant in Dundee opening next weekend and snagging essentially all our rabbits for the rest of the season (they'll also have our ducks, vegetables, kombucha, Vin de Noix, and meads!).  Sunday at the market you can also sign up for cheesemaking classes, and reserve beef, pork, lamb, or your Thanksgiving turkey (only 30 left).  We accept cash, checks, and credit cards at the market!

Our Kombucha Tea is now available several places around town:  Available now at Kookoolan Farms farmstore in Yamhill; at Mainbrew Beer and Homebrew Supply in Hillsboro, Lovejoy Bakery, Pacific Pie Company, The Warehouse, Harvest Fresh Grocery in McMinnville, and Lovely's 50/50.  More retail locations soon!  At our farmstore or at the Hillsdale market, a 22-oz bottle is $4, or case of 12 for $44.  NEW 12-oz bottle coming soon!  Buy Kombucha online, we ship anywhere!

Kookoolan Farms 100% organically-raised vegetables are available for individual families to purchase exclusively through four buying clubs:  Join Know Thy Foods buying club to get all our farm products (except raw milk, and including our organically-raised vegetables!) delivered in southeast Portland!  Connect2Fresh (neighborhood pickups on the west side); Rose City Co-Op (Beaverton), and Late Bloomer Productions (northeast).  Each club has an option for specifying produce from Kookoolan Farms.  Each program is different; for details directly contact the club in your area.


Look for us Sunday at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market!

WHAT WE'RE BRINGING TO MARKET THIS WEEK

Again this year, the Hillsdale Farmer's Market is the ONLY farmer's market we do.  Hillsdale is a year-round market that runs every week in the warmest six months of the year, but Kookoolan Farms' market schedule will be EVERY OTHER SUNDAY, May 6 through Nov 18, 2012. 


We will sell out this week.  Read more about what makes our chickens so special!  This week we have to offer:
Kookoolan World Meadery KOMBUCHA, ice-cold, 22-oz bottle $4.  Case of 12 -- $43.20.  Save your empty bottles, we buy them back for $.50 each!
Famous farm-fresh EGGS, $6/dozen.  Sunset loves us!  Read our special offer!
Whole or cut-up RABBITS, about 3 to 4 pounds each, $10.99/lb.  Ridiculously micro-scale agriculture, the total number of rabbits we butchered this week was 18, this may be our last week having rabbits available to individuals for some time.  But look for them on the menu at the new Paulee Restaurant in Dundee!
Pasture-raised Red Wattles heritage breed PORK for sale by the cut!  Frozen.  
Whole or half CHICKENS, $4.59/lb.  This week's chickens are BIG, about 5-1/2 pounds average weight for a whole carcass.  Half chickens are actually our best value because the backbone is removed, and are a great option if you're a smaller household and want something smaller to cook.
Breasts, limited quantity this week, bone-in, skin-on, 2 per package, wing and backbone removed, $5.50/lb
Hindquarters, thigh and drumstick attached, bone-in, skin-on, backbone removed, two per package, $5/lb.
Wings, approx 5-pound bags, $4/lb.
Gizzards, cleaned, $5/lb in one-pound deli containers
Hearts, $3.50/lb in one-pound deli containers
Livers, $3.50/lb in one-pound deli containers
Rabbit hearts and livers, $3.50/lb in one-pound deli containers
We will have very limited availability of soup parts, first come first served, no reservations.  You can buy stock made from our poultry, also buy our eggs and chickens (same price as from us), at Salt Fire and Time in Northwest Portland.

YOU CAN ALSO RESERVE BEEF, PORK, LAMB, OR TURKEY.  Click to read more, or talk with us Sunday.  Fair warning:  our famous Kookoolan Farms free-ranged, pasture-fed, heritage-breed Bourbon Red turkeys for Thanksgiving 2012 are almost sold out -- less than 30 left!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP FOR CHEESEMAKING CLASSES.  

PASTURE-RAISED, HERITAGE BREED "RED WATTLES" PORK
Congratulations to us!  We are very happy to report that on Monday May 14 we were granted a "meat re-seller's license" by the Oregon Department of Agriculture!  This means that in addition to offering our beef, pork and lamb as "custom processed" halves, we are now able to offer meats by the cut.  Our by-the-cut meats are processed at Mount Angel Meats, the only Animal Welfare Approved slaughterhouse on the West Coast!  This terrific operation is a USDA facility, with both carcasses and cuts USDA inspected.  This weekend we will bring 1/2 a Red Wattles pig, processed as individual cuts vacuum-packed and frozen.  Now you can try this wonderful pork without committing to such a large purchase.


Recommended additional reading:  “Righteous Porkchop” by Nicolette Hahn Niman.

See the Pork page of the Kookoolan Farms website.

Interested?  Try our pork!  You can now buy just a package of pork chops or shoulder steaks, or any of several other small cuts.  You really can taste and see the difference.  See you Sunday!


As always, we sincerely thank you for your patronage of our little farm.
Best wishes for your health and see you this weekend!


Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor
Kookoolan Farms
Yamhill, Oregon
May 31, 2012