The next step was to introduce broilers. We eat a lot of chicken in our household. A lot. Disturbing enough, this is one of the most adulterated meats that we were eating. We set out to raise a bird that could act like a chicken should. A chicken that was not debeaked, (like the industry does) could scratch around on fresh grass, eat bugs, and breathe fresh air. Most importantly, a chicken that was not supplemented with vaccinations, antibiotics, hormones, or processed by machines and chemical cleaning. Chicken like our creator intended.
We believe that you should know where your food comes from and the people that grow it. Eating is one of the most intimate things we do on a daily bases. When you have a relationship with your food you can enjoy it, you can love it!
Our farm is an evolving process. Our vision is to expand to offer honey, beef, rabbits, and turkeys. Let us know if you would support these types of products by contacting us.
Our goal is to reduce the tillage and chemical fertilizers used in big-agriculture farming. With the application of managed rotational grazing and composting we let the animals take part in the stewardship of the soil. As we move the different species across our property we are keeping the grass cut and adding wonderful nutrient-rich fertilizer to the soil. We were amazed late in the summer at the variety difference in lush grass types that had germinated where we previously moved our portable chicken house over the previous spring. These grass seeds were there all along, they just did not have the nutrients needed to germinate and the disturbance to get them going from the scratching of the chickens. Grasses less than a foot away were sparse and lacked variety.
Treating animals humanely from birth to slaughter is of utmost priority. We want our animals to live a stress-free, happy life and just have one bad day. We believe that a pig should be able to act like a pig, a chicken act like a chicken, and a cow act like a cow. What does that mean? We do not subscribe to confining animals without room to move and keeping them away from fresh air and sunshine. Pigs should be able to use that shovel on the end of their nose and root around . Chickens should be able to scratch around for bugs and dust themselves. Cows should be able to eat grass, not chicken litter or dead cows as part of a confinement poultry house or concentration feed lot feeding operations. Many of the antibiotics that industry uses are required because of the high concentration of single-species in one location. By moving low number, multi-species across pasture this does not allow pathogen buildup and is what allows us to raise livestock without pharmaceuticals.
Transparency is important to us. We want you to know how your food is produced so that you can make the most informed decision. We are keen to answer any questions you might have. Farm visits are welcome.
Open communication is important. We invite questions, comments, suggestions and concerns. Furthermore, we will do our best to let you know about any changes to production practices or availability along with other farm news.
Purchasing food from local food producers is different from going to the grocery store. Likewise, selling food directly from the farm to the end-user is different from selling through brokers and middle people. One component of being part of a local food community is understanding seasonal variation. Also, unforeseen events can mean changes in production and food availability. We will do our best to keep all of our eaters up to date on the farm happenings.
We encourage you to eat from your local food community. We support an open and inclusive local food system. If you are looking for something that we do not have, or are not satisfied with our food products we will help to direct you towards alternatives.
Pump Branch Farm is owned and operated by first generation farmers Adam and Michelle Pickering. When we started this endeavor our goal was to produce a better quality of food for our family while improving the soil on our farm through sustainable farming practices. We were just not satisfied with the products we were buying out of grocery stores. So, in the beginning, we started with our own pastured eggs and were delighted with the firm deep orange yolks and freshness. The flavor is outstanding and brought us a new affinity towards omelets! Next we added pigs raised in woodlots. Again, we were blown away with the flavor and freshness.
Pump Branch Farm