Frequently Asked Questions
We’re always happy to talk with you about how we raise your food. Our aim is to be as transparent as possible by sharing what we do.A few of the most common questions we receive are answered below. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for here? Please email us.
What do you raise?
We raise chickens, cows, goats and sheep. Our farm products include cuts of beef, chicken, goat and lamb as well as eggs, broths, pates, sheepskins and goat hides.
Where are you located?
Our farm is located in Bowdoinham Maine.
How can we buy your products?
You can find us at farmers market in Brunswick Maine each week, year-round. Check our contact page for market schedule by season. You can also order online for pick-up at any of our 3 weekly pick-up locations.
We live out of state, can you ship to us?
We do not offer shipping at this time. To find your local farmers and explore the seasonal offerings in your area, visit localharvest.org or eatrealchicken.com
What types of payment do you accept?
We love cash and checks! We also accept credit cards. Join our Market Share CSA for up to a 10% discount on your purchases.
How do we shop online?
Visit our online store and click “Register” to create an account or choose to check-out as a guest. Browse the store, choose your items and select a pick-up location. You can pay online or bring payment to pick-up (All orders for pick-up at Merry Meeting Kitchen must be paid prior to pick-up).
We keep forgetting to order! Can you help us?
Sure can! We have a “text club.” It is free to join and once you do, you will receive a brief reminder each week the night before the order deadline with a direct link to our online store.
Do you have fresh chicken year-round?
Nope, we only offer fresh chicken on a weekly basis from Memorial Day through Labor Day.Our butcher only processes poultry on a seasonal basis which aligns with the growing season. We bring fresh chicken to market each week and freeze the remainder for sale through the Fall and Spring.If we’re out of chicken, it’s because you can taste the difference between our pasture-raised chicken and chicken that’s been raised in another way. To stay in-the-know about fresh chicken, subscribe to our newsletter.
Can we ever buy fresh beef, goat or lamb?
It is uncommon for us to have cuts from beef, goat or lamb available fresh.Our processors generally harvest and process animals after hanging for the appropriate time (at least 2 week for beef, 1 week for goats & sheep). After hanging the processor cuts and packages product. Once everything is packaged and frozen they will call us to pick-up. In general, we do not have capacity to pick-up, transport and store the quantity of meat we’re getting back fresh. It is much more economical for us to have the processor freeze it for reliable transport and storage at the farm.
When will you have “_______” back in stock?
Many of our products are harvested on a seasonal basis. For a visual representation of what’s available and when, check out our “What’s in Season” blog post.Visit our online store to see our current inventory or check out our product list for everything we sell. Subscribe to our newsletter to be in-the-know about when we re-stock items.
Do you sell shares of animals?
Nope, we sell all our products by the cut. We offer a Market Share CSA which offers a 10% discount on products. See our CSA page for details.
Do you sell wholesale?
If you’re interested in purchasing our products to resell, please send us an email.
Can we visit the farm? Can we bring our dog?
Yes, we offer on-farm pick-up at the farm each week. Order online and select “Sunday On-Farm Pick-up.” As a working farm, all other visits must be scheduled in advance.Each year we participate in the state-wide Open Farm Day generally scheduled for July . Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of this year’s date. We ask that you leave dogs in your car or at home for their safety, and that of our animals.
What do your animals eat?
All of our animals are raised outdoors, on pasture. Our cows, goats and sheep are 100% grass-fed and finished. Our laying hens and broilers (meat chickens) are pasture-raised and their diet is supplemented with certified organic grain from Morrison’s Custom Feed in Vermont.
Do you feed soy?
Yes, our poultry (egg layers and meat chickens) are supplemented with a certified organic grain mix that contains soy.Soy is currently the most efficient and economical source of protein available to us. If you’re concerned about eating our chicken or eggs because of a soy allergy we encourage you to speak with your health care provider about these concerns.
Is everything you sell organic?
Nope, we produce both grass-fed and organic meats.Some of our products use non-organic ingredients or meat from animals that were not certified organic. Our products are clearly labeled to indicate those that are certified organic. Products with multiple ingredients will identify organic ingredients.
What IS certified organic?
In a nutshell, it means we use preventative practices instead of chemical wormers or antibiotics. It means we feed certified organic grains and manage our hay fields and pastures organically.
The term, certified organic is verified by the National Organic Program, NOP. A set of rules is managed by the NOP which all certified organic farmers must follow. These rules dictate practices and products that are allowed (or not) on organic farms.
For our farm being certified organic means verifying that our animals are managed organically from birth to harvest.For instance, that means managing the health of our ewes for at least the last four weeks of gestation without using any chemical wormers or antibiotics. Once a lamb is born, it will remain organic unless we need to feed it milk replacer or treat it (or its mother) with any prohibited substances such as chemical wormers or antibiotics. Our desire to ensure the health of our animals overrides organic management, so if an animal falls ill we will seek veterinary advice and care. If using prohibited substances is what is needed to save an animal, then that is what we’ll do. We practice preventative management and are students of homeopathy.
Is your farm regenerative?
Yep! Regenerative agriculture is focused on leaving the land in better condition than you found it, this means improving soil fertility and increasing carbon in the soil.We utilize a variety of regenerative practices- all of which are based on indigenous land management. These practices include the following; stacking functions (i.e. grazing the roadside to control invasive species of plants and provide feed for our goats), rotational grazing (i.e. moving all animal species through pastures), fertilizing the land (i.e. moving our poultry daily to spread manure), forest and wildlife stewardship (i.e. using our goats to control underbrush and “prune” trees), natural control of invasive species (i.e. all our animals eat invasive bittersweet)
Do you harvest your own animals? Do you process on-farm?
Nope, we are fortunate to farm within 20 minutes of several state inspected processors and a USDA poultry processor.We have harvested chickens on the farm in the past and are very appreciative of the work our processors do and how their work allows us to focus on growing and marketing our products.
Do you wash your eggs?
Yep, we do.Using only water we follow the recommendations provided by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to remove dust, debris and dirt from the exterior of our eggs before packing. We do not use any soap or detergents as to maintain the integrity of the “bloom,” the natural coating on the eggshell to maintain freshness.
Can we return our egg cartons?
Yep! We accept clean egg cartons for reuse at all of our weekly markets and local food retailers.