News and blog

Posted 4/4/2017 8:54pm by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

 

Do you know what April showers bring? Mud,mud mud. Not my Favorite but when you get half your spring in February this is the price you pay.

Alan and I were talking tounge in cheek the other day and we decided that if global warming brings a shorter winter and more grazing we are fine with it. Actually we agree that the weather is becoming more extreme and what we are doing to make the farm more sustainable will help our farm weather the storm so to speak.

We have started planting and have about half the oats and peas planted and one field of just peas for seed next year already planted. This is a picture of one of the peas that had germinated, with it bing so cold growth has been delayed some.

Soon we will have some 60-70 degree temps and things will really start growing.

Jeremy is feeling mostly better, thanks for your concern and prayers.

Cherie and Barb will be doing the run to Downers Grove, Elgin and Arlington Height this Saturday so please get your orders in SOON.

We are getting very low on chicken, that will be the case for a while.

Thanks so much for continuing to help us farm the right way.

Jeremy, Cherie and the rest of the farm

 

 

 

Posted 3/9/2017 9:35pm by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

This newsletter has been on my mind for some time. We will see how it translates to a screen.

Last month I asked what is the most important thing we raise on the farm? The answer is our family. I know it is the most important thing in your life too. Your family and their health. 

You also know that we have been looking for the right help to join us on the farm. Well as of right now we have not found them. With a new growing season upon us we have decided to make some changes. I (Jeremy) won't b doing the Green City Market once it moves back outdoors in May. Eight years is long enough I guess. Around 40 Saturdays a year. There were too many things not getting done the right way and the farm was not flourishing the way it should.

We will still have plenty of cattle and likely hogs, although they may be marketed to a more wholesale customer, like 1/2's and wholes. We wont raise as many meat chickens and we have fewer laying hens this year. Cherie and Barb will still be doing the Downers Grove, Elgin, and Arlington Heights second Saturday delivery. My deliveries to Bloomington and the Quad Cities won't Change for now.

I can see before the problem arises, the result of not getting something done all the way or done correctly on the farm. Might be a problem with the electric fence or weeds going to seed and i know I will have to just deal with it later.  As the kids are getting older they are able to help more on the farm. Nearly every week they get to be part of the egg washing crew, without a choice, and iI love that they are learning to work. But the marketing and delivery the way we have been doing them is compromising the time we need to spend as parents.

The market still remains good for commodities such as corn, soybeans, and black beans so we will help meet those demands by the market place. I am interested in raising food rather than commodities so we will move in that direction. Livestock is part of the way I understand the organic system to work, so they will always be a part of what we do. Who knows I even told my Dad I missed the milk cows the other day.  

We would love to stay your farmer. But if the changes that come about make it impossible find another good farmer and support them 100%

For Saturday's delivery try to get your order in before 9am. tomorrow so Cherie and Angie can get it packed.

If you need Azomite make sure and order it.

Place orders on the store tab on the website meadowhavenfarm.com

If you are a Green City Market customer I"ll be at the museum through April. We possibly will do a monthly delivery at Chicago Primal Gym depending on the interest.

Thanks from the farm,

Jeremy and Cherie

 

 

 

Posted 12/7/2016 9:43am by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

 

This will be a short newsletter as we have been busy and honestly I'm not great about doing computer stuff.

There is still time to place an order for this Saturday's delivery in Elgin, Arlington Heights, and Downers Grove if this applies to you. Order at meadowhvenfarm.com on the store tab.

Harvest has wrapped up. Chores have gotten tougher with the mud and cold. I will clean some black beans for Cherie's deliveries this weekend, she will have what I get cleaned with her.

We are a little short on beef and out of ground beef. Should be ok on pork except bacon. The locker and I still haven't been able figure out how to work together smoothly yet, new ownership at the locker almost two years ago.

For the most part I've been very happy with how the farm is progressing in terms of soil health and yields. I still have things to work on like controlling weeds and grazing pastures when they are ready. While marketing has me drained.

I have been working on a year end summary in my head and sometime soon it will make you inbox.

Thanks for helping your farm grow,

Jeremy

Here are some good pictures,

Posted 11/4/2016 11:13am by Jeremy House.

Thanksgiving is at our door,

Last year literally this was the case as the turkeys free ranged into our yard. This year they are doing a good job staying in their pasture. Which continues to be very green and actually growing, due to the warmer than normal weather and rain.

If you haven't ordered a turkey and want one please order soon, as we already have stopped the ordering for the smallest size. We will likely run out of turkeys this year. 

Order from the STORE tab at the top of the website meadowhavenfarm.com

With the warm weather and rain the last few Wednesday's harvest of the black beans and corn still are yet to be completed. The weather looks nice for the coming next week so we should be able to wrap up soon. Then the growing season starts for the following year as we will apply chicken litter and other amendments to the soil, and in some of the fields we will be planting them just a day or two after harvest.

Here are some pictures of the newest farm we are transitioning to organic, a three year process. the first is a picture of worm castings (the perfect soil), the second is a pheasant, the third is a deer track.

Life begats life. We try to bring life to a farm and once it takes hold get out of the way, because nature and life know what they are doing better than we.

With Thanksgiving at our door i will take a moment to be thankful for my wife Cherie. She has supported me in many ways. More than carrying her share around the farm. She and Angie, her cousin, do many of the daily chores, put orders together, keep the farm picked up helping whenever asked. They are the reason you have Meadow Haven meat and eggs available for your family. And Cherie is the glue that keeps our family together.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving

Jeremy and Cheire and the rest of Meadow Haven Farm

 

 

Posted 10/3/2016 11:31am by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

The whirl wind of the field day has blown over. If you missed the field day it was the perfect weather and we had lots of things to see.

These were some who had a chance to ride the tour. Some of the highlights we saw and talked about were: our crop/grazing rotation and why we want something growing everyday of the year, also the new farm we started in transition to organic last fall.

We also talked about our need for additional help on the farm. We are looking for a person or couple, who in time would become a partner with us as we continue to grow the farm and raise great food.

The turkeys are really starting to grow and graze

If you haven't ordered already it would be good to do as we don't have as many as last year.

Order at meadowhavenfarm.com under the store tab and the the turkey option. Size is just a request we cannot guarantee that is what you will get.

Also now is a great time to fill your freezer with a 1/2 or 1/4 of a beef or a whole or 1/2 hog those can be order through the online store as well.

Deliveries for October will be on their scheduled days this month so that will be nice.

Cherie and I want to thank you for making our farm part of your family's meals. The difference we are able to make in this world by farming organically is only possible with your support and telling your friends and family about us.

Thank you very much,

Jeremy and Cherie

Posted 9/7/2016 11:14am by Jeremy House.

Howdy again,

We had a very nice time as a family and now with being gone in the middle of the year it is time to hit the ground running.

Monthly deliveries will be as follows:

Elgin, Arlington Heights, Downers Grove this Saturday the 10th

Bloomington, Peoria Monday the 12th

Quad Cities Tuesday the 13th

Please get your orders in as soon as possible. meadowhavenfarm.com

Saturday 9-17-16 FARM FIELD DAY 11am-3pm Tickets available on the store page.

The summer growing season is coming to an end with the last of the heat likely gone this week. Now the fall growing season will get underway. The grasses in pastures will make one last flush of green growth for the year. Soon it will be time to plant the winter wheat, trititcale and rye. Harvest is just around the corner as well.

So we will be busy getting the farm ready for visitors finishing up weeding and also building fence.

As far as the position on the farm; the person we are looking for is someone who is interested in a full time job. It will be about 75% marketing and delivery with 25% farm work. We are looking for someone or a couple that would one day be partners with Cherie and I. One of the hang ups is that farming is a business that is cash poor, after the bills are paid. Long term however it is equity strong. It just takes a while to get there.

Specials:

Case of eggs flats $50

Case of Eggs carton $60

Turkey is still on sale $2 off per pound

Order you Thanksgiving turkey too.

if you ordered before the prices were lower on the eggs just let us know and we will adjust you payment at pickup.

meadowhavenfarm.com

 

Thanks for being a part of our farm.

 

Jeremy and Cherie

 

Posted 9/3/2016 6:48am by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

This will be the abbreviated version as our family is away over the Labor Day weekend. (Maybe one of the few times in my life I won't be "laboring" on Labor day.) 

Our field day is September 17 please make plans to join us. More details are on our facebook page. 

We have two good friends and their families helping us out by getting the truck to the Green City market today. 

Bloomington's delivery will be postponed to the second Monday of the month. 

All other deliveries will be on the regularly scheduled day. 

Have a great weekend and maybe we will see you at the farm this month. 

Jeremy

Posted 8/10/2016 8:59am by Jeremy House.

Another Month is upon us,

A few reminders

CSA sign-up for August -October is now open

The Field Day is September 17th.

You can order your Thanksgiving Turkey now

A special Thank You! to Cherie and the rest of the people that keep the farm running. Elijah and I were at camp last week and everyone did a great job while we were away. After a week of eating food from a sysco truck I appreciate Meadow Haven Farm food even more. At camp I would eat till i was stuffed but never felt full. Good food satiates my tummy and for that I am thankful. 

The small grain harvest is finally finished and the pasture seeding that was planted with the small grain look great. The wet weather, both rain and high humidity, made for smaller harvest windows. The new, to Dad, draper header (there is a video on the farm's facebook) really helped speed things up when conditions were good enough. I will have some oats for sale in the future and possibly some soft red winter wheat. Two kinds oats will be available. One is called beta-gene where through natural breeding the oat is about 2% higher in beta-glucan than regular oats think heart healthy. The other is a hull-less oat that doesn't have to be hulled and can be used straight from harvest. I may have some cleaned and bagged for next months delivery.

This summer the growing season started off kinda of dry but since the middle of June has been on the wet side. I don't grumble about mud too much during June, July and August. so with adequate moisture and warm temps things have really been growing. The corn looks really good. The dry beans need to be weeded but look good as well. If you would like to help weed the beans let us know through email or call Jeremy 815-303-6223. We haven't set any times due to weather  both heat and rain. I bet you'd get a great lunch with the worlds best pie for your effort.

One area where we could use some help, and have been praying for for sometime, is we could use some good help with the marketing and delivery. We have known from the beginning that the farm was a full time job and the marketing/delivery was another full time job. As the farm has gotten bigger the need has intensified. So if you or someone you know likes hard work on the farm let us know. Alan and Jeanne taught us so much about farming in a way that we give back more than we take. They also helped grow the farm to what it has become. We now want to be able to do some of the same things for someone else.

Requirements for the job:

Share our belief for how good food is produced

Good worker 

Someone who is able to learn quickly

Passionate about food that is healthy

Place orders throught the website meadowhavenfarm.com                                    Specials this month:

Hotdogs $9/pack

Turkey Italian Sausage $12/ Pack

Turkey Breakfast sausage Link $12/pack

Ground Turkey $10/pound

Deliveries may be a little jumbled up for the midweek deliveries due to Jeremy's softball schedule. Bloomington/ Peoria will be 8-8-16 instead of today. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The layer flock out one evening

Thanks so much for being a part of the farm,

Jeremy, Cherie and the rest of Meadow Haven

 

 

Posted 7/4/2016 10:20pm by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm from the sleepy farmer,

We have been hard at work planting, weeding, haying, and keeping up with the daily in and outs of the farm. Most of the hay has been made for the winter and all the main crops have been planted for this growing season. The Black Beans have been a learning experience, but they will be a viable crop in the future. Planting the second crops of the season include the sorghum sudan that will follow other crops and Triticale to be planted later in the fall we definiatley making progress.

Rains have been adaquate but we could definately use some more. Weeds are starting to really grow in the soybeans, so that will be one of our main focus until we get them under control. Walking beans is not a lot of fun but it is a good way to learn that life isn't always fun and sometimes we just have to do what needs to be done.

Deliveries this month will be on the regular day except Bloomington will be on the 11th as their delivery would have been on thew fourth. This will be the last CSA delivery for this signup time, so the next season will be open soon.

Specials this month:

case of flats 15 dozen $50

whole chickens $4 off per bird

Now is a good time to get a 1/2 hog or 1/4 as we may be able to get it to you this month

Place your orders on our website meadowhavenfarm.com Anyone can order not just CSA members and it v=can be as little as just one pound or a dozen eggs.

Here are some pictures from this past month

 

Posted 5/2/2016 1:13pm by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

The farm is springing to life. The early warm temps mixed witht the recent rains has everything green and growing. Another of my favorite non-holidays has come, that is the day when pastures are growing faster than the cows and everybody is eating them, which was one of the days this past week or so.

This is from this morning. I went out and moved the wire so this group could graze fresh grass. This has to be done more often during periods of wet soils, as they don't mow nicely from one end of the pasture to other.

I have been keeping you updated on one of our fields. It along the road to the east. One the map from the facebook post a few months back it is field A. Here is a picture of the roots from the triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) planted the day after soybean harvest last November 

Notice the soil sticking to the roots. This shows a many things but a couple are: Where the soil is clinging to the roots shows the aerobic zone (oxygen present). While I'm always looking to improve this it is at least 4" and I think will get deeper as the season goes along. More importantly it shows the plant is translocating sugars to the roots where the biological life can really flourish. There are more microbes, in number, in that root ball than humus on this planet. So one of our main goals is to give them as much to "eat" as they please, this will result in building more humus. We are turning carbon di-oxide into "soil" and storing it there. At the same time we are grazing the triticale so we benefit from the forage and the manure helps build the soil as well.

Our special this month is going to be a little different. We no longer have a egg shortage. So we will give a dozen of the pullet eggs (from the new chickens) to every new customer and to every customer who sent someone new our way. Just have your friends order from the website meadowhavenfarm.com on the store tab. (Payments can be done by paypal or at pick-up, we accept cash, credit or checks). During the checkout process there is a section for notes just have your friend put your name and that this is their first time ordering.

Also the CSA is open for signup or renewal. It gives a really good value 12-15 pound of meat generally, for $110 per month for three months. It is a good mix of the pastured pork, chicken,turkey and grass fed beef. More details online. Other than buying the meat in bulk, like 1/4's or 1/2 beef or 1/2 or whole pig the CSA is the best value we have. Signup is on the CSA tab at meadowhavenfarm.com for the CSA and the bulk options are under the beef or pork section on the store tab. Pickup times and locations are listed there as well.

Something for our customer who shop the Green City market. Harvest Runner will be offering home delivery within a 3 mile radius of the market. There will soon be an app with which orders can be placed and delivery will be done by uber delivery or a service similar. So if the weather stinks or you cant make it out to the market for some reason we can get your meat and eggs delivered. The facebook page is up and running HarvestRunner. Website is harvestrunner.com with an app soon to follow. This is still very new to both of us so we may have a few bugs to work out but we are excited to offer a new way to shop.

Peoria customers we are working out the details for this months drop. Info coming soon.

One last picture of one of our best helpers. Not many of you probably read the Hoard"s Dairyman but they use to carry a cartoon of a husband and wife. The wife was a skinny little thing in oversized boots, this picture reminds me of it.

Someday this kid may be running the show around here.

Thanks for making our farm yOUR fam,

Jeremy and the rest of MHF