Hi, this is Janice again. If you have ever spent any time observing the behavior of chickens, you’ve probably noticed that they tend to scratch the ground alot. One of the main reasons is because chickens have the natural instinct to forage for their food. This pecking and scratching is done in an attempt to uncover the many insects and goodies that may be right under the surface of the ground. Chickens are omnivores, and the ability to have this fresh protein is essential to their healthy development. Likewise, in this journey, I too am just scratching the surface in my discovery of information that is essential to my development as a farmer.
A few months ago we started looking at potential properties. Before I started talking to my realtor, I was so sure of what I wanted. I wanted the biggest amount of acreage that I could afford, where the green grass grows all around all around…. ( I think those are the lyrics to a song). During the search I uncovered pieces of land that ranged from the most picturesque view you have ever seen, to some that looked like they would be great for a horror movie. I also learned that walking just 3 acres is not for the faint of heart.
We are planning for a farm in Southern Maryland. Since we are going to offer Agritourism events, the zoning for the land has to accommodate commercial as well as agricultural use. This process is full of so many discoveries. There are considerations such as whether the land is perked, is there a well, and how much of the acreage is cleared vs. wooded. How will we deal with potential foxes? Foxes! Nobody said anything about those! I just want the farm, hold the predators please! However, these are the many things to think about in order to bring our dream to fruition. We plan to to raise a nice flock of Rhode Island Red hens on pasture, so the space has to also allow us to rotate the chickens so they continually have access to fresh pasture. We believe this method to be superior to free range or cage free in both nutritional value and flavor. We can discuss the specifics about this choice along with why we are leaning towards Rhode Island Reds in a future episode. We just know that whatever we decide will have the ultimate goal of offering the healthiest, cleanest choice for our family and for yours.
Until we talk again.