We have prepared some Christmas tree ornaments that you can cut out. Feel free to print them in card stock, cut out and use as tree trimmings or tags for gift giving to family & friends. If you have a small homestead business, these tags can jazz up your holiday product packaging. Kids can cut them out and hang on the tree as something to do during the Christmas eve gathering. You can download the pdf version of the template below. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We are the first in Canada to offer something this unique for your palate. Our goal is to make this a tradition. Seriously, who is not burnt out on factory turkey anyways? We have selected about 100 of our popular Poulet de Delta (Canadian Bresse) and added a special treat to their diet for the holidays. Pumpkins! But not just any pumpkins and not any normal diet being these are raised as closely to the French standard as possible.
The pumpkins that we raise on the farm are a late 1800's variety of French heirloom pumpkins. It is not a coincidence that our line of heritage Poulet de Delta (Canadian Bresse) is noshing on these. It has taken several years of planning to make this all come together smoothly.
Very limited artisan poultry. Giblets excluded.
To know more about our chickens for the table, please visit our newly launched "The Chicken Shop" (meatshop) by clicking on the graphics below:
Fall, it doesn't have to be a four letter word!
Here are some handy tips, so you can keep gardening year round.
1. To avoid blight damage to tomato fruit you can harvest your tomatoes green, wrap in newspaper and place in a container in a cool location of the house. Check every 2 days and pick out the good fruit, toss the bad. Nothing better than fresh salsa from your own fruit in the middle of January. Still has that garden fresh taste too! We also suggest removing pears while green to avoid the marks caused by birds and bruising caused by wind and branches. They will ripen at a later date and look perfect for a fruit basket.
2. Use a cloche cover over rows of veggies as well as black plastic or raised beds underneath to draw heat in for veggies that don't tolerate cool nights. No one likes cold wet feet, especially plants.
3. Seeds planted now should be suitable for fall. Check the amount of time it will take to grow fruit. Look for names like winter density lettuce, January king cabbage, fall rye cover crops, winterkeeper lutz beets....there are many things you can plant in fall depending on your location.
4. Buy a greenhouse or a grow light garden to lengthen the harvest. Do not dig up and bring in veggie plants from the yard to the greenhouse in an attempt the save the last 5 pea pods or the 2 remaining unripe tomatoes. You may unwittingly track in a plant disease or non beneficial bugs that will have a better shot at surviving overwinter and wreaking havoc on your spring veggie starts.
5. Donate excess harvest to your local food bank.
6. Sprout seeds like curly cress, peas, or grow microgreens to stay healthy and busy at home this winter.
7. Sell or give early ripened fruit to those needing to substitute as fodder due to recent hay shortages. We suggest beets as an alternative crop for those who have livestock.
8. Store your potatoes in buckets full of good quality sawdust in cool area for fresh potatoes all winter long.
9. Start listing seeds for next year’s crops. Find a seed catalogue and thumb through it for your spring veggies. It can take a good gardener over 10 years to find the perfect veggie selection. Remember you only have one season to get it right per year! Have a plan to maximize your season!
I suggest open pollinated and non gmo to allow for seed saving with larger gardens.
10. Feeding your livestock doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Almost everything you eat out of the garden your animals will eat too! Did you know that if you feed your hens cabbages they will lay double yolkers? Be careful about doing it too much as it will stress your hens out laying all those big eggs!
11.Plant a child size plot later in the season. Children will be impressed with mini crops. Children should grow along side you. Jack be little pumpkins are a great starter. Corn and sunflower planted later season will reach child size height and they will be happily harvesting mini replicas at the same time as yours in the fall. Children want to be included in what mom and dad are up to. Sometimes we forget our priorities around planting and harvest. A personalized garden will keep them busy for days and give them a great sense of accomplishment. And if they choose to feed it to their rooster friends (as our daughter does) it wont affect your dinner this winter.
12.Be a rebel. Don’t follow planting instruction dates. The seasons have been so unpredictable in recent years. The worst that can happen is that your small investment of seeds won’t grow. Although disappointing, If it does you will be crowned king or queen of the garden! Our planting of pumpkins this year in succession (way beyond recommended dates) has allowed us to have an October harvest while most pumpkin farmers have harvested or are letting pumpkins rot and will turn them under in the fall.
Make rhubarb wine to enjoy next year when once again you are sitting around cussing the return of old man winter!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Moe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 10:55 AM
Subject: Hi grade eh farms
Hi grade eh farms,
I want to tank yous guys for your hard work raisin chikens. I was wonderin if yous guys shipped to Springfield? I own a bar here and was hoping to sell hot wings. Do yous guys breed those mini chikens or can get them? This guy homer that comes into my fine establishment eats them by the truckload. I only want the best ones from you and also I can call them imported. (Ya know because you are in Canada, arghhhh!) We will get rich! I also want a chiken companion. I have a portrait of myself and my dream chiken at the end of this letter. I think it will help my depression too. Hope to hear from yous guys soon! If I don't I'm going to kick the crap outta you, okay?
Have a great day.
I am very proud of our preservation efforts, more so this year than all the others. Yet another year of raising Spitzhaubens has almost gone. I suppose it would have, with or without me. But I like to think that I make a difference in people's lives as well as the chickens. I know that raising poultry has filled some of the gaps missing from years gone by for quite a few of us. It should be fun. Just like these birds. Sometimes that's easy to forget.
For one reason or another I've always disliked crested birds, I've selectively bred against it in Swedish Flowers, White Sulmtalers, and was hoping that Cream Uncrested Legbars would gain in popularity as the flocks gained in size...
It has taken a few years to finally realize how thoroughly I enjoy these Spitz. I've been swayed by their puffy cool forward raking crested mohawk charms that also serves to provide clear vision. I think I never really got into the crested Polish type birds for the reason that they can't see predators and are prone to suffer brain damage at the beak of other more aggressive breeds.
These Appenzeller Spitzhaubens definitely have a fight or flight mentality, we find this in about 50% of our birds. The other 50% are loving and good natured. Both have earned themselves a place here for life. What I really appreciate from this bird is their cleanliness, they are meticulous housekeepers always tidying the coops and on constant bug patrol. Rarely do I see a dirty egg from these gals. If you order hatching eggs I can prove that as fact. The medium to large chalk white eggs look like the classic white leghorn store-bought egg we have all become accustomed to finding on our grocers' shelves. We have refined our colour of eggs to the true white chalk colour that is representative of the breed. It was a challenge to trap nest the gals but we felt it was worth the time to ensure no more off white eggs made it into our breeding programs going forward. We are currently keeping birchen, silver spangled, gold spangled, blue, black, and other stunning blends of colour. You just never know what you will get when you order these. We hope that more people get involved in this enjoyable breed and the interesting colours. We don't take special requests for colours but you won't be disappointed with what you get.
Sustainable brooder to avoid chilling chicks. It's easy, washable, convenient and low cost. Anyone can do it with a few simple tools.
Poultry people come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, sooner or later you are going to cross paths with a difficult customer. I know first hand about difficult customers because, well, I am one. As difficult as I can be as a consumer, I do my best to remain logical and see both sides of the coin. Then, there are the others, oh man.....
Let us talk about situations that are beyond the control of a farmer: rain, frost, hail, drought, locusts, chicks hatching late etc.. It is a difficult job, compounded by the fact that everything is subject to the whims of nature. Recently we had an event where we set a date for pick-up and needed to cancel due to situations beyond our control. We made every attempt to contact the customer prior to coming to meet up. In most cases this would not be an issue. But she sent us a wrong contact number on her order form. In hindsight the Alberta number she gave us is probably not hers but my resume does not include detective..... When we could not reach her by phone, we also sent her an email the night before asking her to get a hold of us before leaving since we may have to make other arrangements in sending her the chicks. Unfortunately it was met with no reply. I have been thinking about how to respond politely since meeting up with her on Saturday when she bombarded me with profanity, allegations and even denied filling out and sending us her order form. I took full responsibility, and assured her we would remedy the situation. I have quietly taken in all her angry words. I found that the best decision given the strange behaviour was to refund her money. I explained to her that we made every effort to contact her the night before when I checked the hatcher and saw only a few of the chicks were out. I wish I had control over chicks hatching on time and intentions of others. If you are dealing with nature, animals and humans you just never know what you will get. I will continue to advise folks that they should talk to us before meeting up. I know how caught up people can get and it is truly exciting to get chicks. Just like you, I have waited excitedly for that long awaited phone call. Difference is that I don't make the long journey until the US post office confirms my chicks have arrived.
The reason I am writing about this now is late hatches frequently happen. We ask that as adults you refrain from making threats of slander and extortion should we miss your date. We will do our best to make it right.
Shipping chicks is tricky and even challenging at times and adding a demanding customer to the situation will make it even more taxing. Westjet or Hawkair usually have daily flights to the different destinations. But pick-up arrangements are trickier. For our customers with pending orders for pick-up, as usual we do request that you call us prior to leaving your home to make sure that the chicks have all hatched. If you do not hear from us right away do not make assumptions that they are ready.
We ask for understanding and patience from our future buyers as we are carefully tending to your orders. This means we may not be able to get to the phone or computer right away. For current as well as prospective buyers, we do make every effort to accommodate your preferred time frame but please keep in mind that we are not a hatchery, a fast food chain or a 24 hour operation like 7-11. We are a small family farm. Despite being a small operation, we do our best in caring for our chickens and others. We do not under any circumstance guarantee a perfect hatch. We do our best, that is all we can offer. You will come across people that will test you, prod you and bad mouth no matter what you do or offer. All I can say is don't give up! Keep moving forward! Customers like that are the rare exception.
This is my favourite production type bird at the farm. These are destined to be one of the most popular non hybrid layers in Canada. They lay blue and light green pastel coloured eggs like nothing else we have ever encountered. My hats off to Jill Rees, well done!
While they do have the potential to be flighty and the mindset to outwit Wile E. Coyote (without the use of explosives and anvils), we do hear from our backyarders that they also can be extremely loving given time and nurturing.
The genetics of this bird lends itself well to the addition to other flocks that may not be as strong as our Canadian Cream Legbar foundation stock. Normal issues that exist at most farms that could have the potential to wipe out a hatchery hybrid or broiler bird will not affect this chicken. It is my strong belief that they carry the genetic resistance to Mareks. Can you imagine having immunity to cancer and passing that on to your offspring! We are the only farm that has these and a breeding program large enough to continue producing good solid genetics. We are the original legal importer of this breed and can assist with any of your breeding questions if you have ordered in the past or currently. These have the added bonus of being an auto sexing breed of chicken. So... if you live in the city and want to develop a bond with a your flock younger that the allowed 4 months, I will personally guarantee that you will receive all females. If for some reason you accidentally get a male, I will give you a full refund whether you ordered 1 0r even four. I'm so confident that I will even pick up the rooster in person with cash in hand and deliver him to a good farm.
How fitting that a British foundation flock of Jill Rees Cream Legbars are now residing across the pond in British Columbia!
Cockerels that carry the beautiful blue egg gene $99.00
Pullets are $49.00 per chick.
Hatching eggs $200.00 per dozen.
Could the Ayam Cemani be the most coveted chicken on the globe? The boldly unique characteristics set them apart from all other species of the gallus family. This black bird is black, to the bone. Originally bred in captivity in Indonesia and only finding their way here a short while ago. It is documented that this Javanese fowl possesses many mystical powers and is used in ceremonial purposes. Last year we were the only farm to obtain and import them legally under the supervision of a USDA veterinarian. Our birds are a unique blend of several lines that we are adapting for our climate north of the border. Our breeding programs and partner farms will assist in producing some of the highest quality foundation stock for sale in North America. As a collaborative this will allow for import of other healthy birds and potential outcrosses such as the Kadaknath chicken. We cannot guarantee your hatch or the final distribution of the black pigmentation. We will guarantee fresh, clean, well packed hatching eggs, with extras if available. We have recently coined the term Cemani Scale for breeders to identify the colour of the breed. Our breeders range from 7-9. If you understand the Marans scale this should be simple, even for those who are colour blind.
Our Canadian Bresse coined as Poulet de Delta by Mark Schatzker in his finely penned article in The Globe and Mail entitled: Poulet de Bresse: The best chicken you’ll never have (in Canada)
Thanks for dropping by. I'm Matthew Nelson, farmer of Grade Eh Farms. I post on where my love and passion for life intersect with family, farming, food, & chicken for the soul.
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Below are links to websites that gardeners and chicken owners may find helpful and interesting:
Unique chicken coop for a small
Best source for backyard henhouses in BC. Locally-crafted chicken coops made of repurposed BC cedar:
Useful information on raising healthy, happy free-range hens:
A portion of our ordering policy was stolen from Legbars of Broadway. Thanks Philip. :-)