September 27, 2016 - NO BEEF RE-CALL 9/23/16 AT WHIPPOORWILL
WHIPPOORWILL FARM IS NOT PART OF BEEF RE-CALL. Yes, but it feels like a close call. All our beef is butchered at Adam's Farm in Athol, MA, the source of the September 23, 2016 USDA beef re-call. But thanks to good bookkeeping and labeling practices, we know for a fact, that Whippoorwill Farm beef is not included in the re-call. If you feel unsure with any beef you have purchased from us, please do not hesitate to be in touch. Here is the USDA announcement... http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/FSIS-Content/internet/main/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-087-2016-release ... all Whippoorwill Farm labels are printed with a 'lot number'. None of our lot numbers are listed in this announcement. We have great faith in Adam's Farm, and thank them for their diligent labeling and record keeping. We are sorry for this scare and hope you will take comfort and continue to enjoy Whippoorwill beef. Thank you, Allen and Robin
June 8, 2015 - JUNE 2015
YES.. we are open, well stocked, going strong and SO bad about keeping a chatty thing going on this 'What's New Page. (and Facebook too) Let's just say... we are working hard and always here providing you with well stocked freezers of grass-fed beef. Our prices are so fair, that they have become LOW by grass-fed standards. We have heard it over and over that Whippoorwill Beef is so much better than other grass-fed beef. Of course we think that is true, but it is always nice to hear it confirmed by our customers. It is stunningly beautiful this time of year as natures regrowth erases the scars of a challenging winter. The cows have shed their rough winter coats for shiny healthy hides. They are happily grazing the intense green of the surrounding pastures. The Whippoorwill Burger is now available at The White Hart Inn just a few miles away in the center of the town of Salisbury. We are VERY happy about that, especially because we were chosen in a blind taste test. We hope you will visit soon, Allen and Robin
July 5, 2013 - July 2013
Happy 4th! Hopefully everyone is surviving the heat. My name is Emma and i am helping Robin with the Whippoorwill website as she says she isn't a very good blogger. The weather is gorgeous, despite the heat, and the store is stoked with delicious meats so please stop by!
January 7, 2012 - 2012
It is warm and sunny and hard to believe it is January.
But it does feel like days are getting longer.
Allen was asked to be on a NPR radio show last week.
July 8, 2011 - SUMMER 2011
We are not very good bloggers, we would rather sit with a beer at the end of the day watching the fireflies in the valley. The mist will roll in after the sun sets and settles along the river. The air and light is in constant flux which changes the scene minute by minute.... but that being said, IT IS SUMMER! Allen has been on the constant job of making hay for the winter. It is a good hay year. "Rain in May fills the barn with hay" the saying goes and it DID rain! We will be having a wedding here in 2 weeks for our son David. We are planning quite a country bash. We are working with Jeremy Stanton of FireRoastedCatering. He is an amazing chef who does a beautiful outdoor grilling presentation. (photos to follow) We will still be open with some help in the store. Hope to see you all soon.
June 18, 2011 - hay/grass
Wow, what a season. the grass is very thick and i have put up an incredible amount of feed, somewhere around 500 1500 lb bales of grass silage bales. A lot. On Wed I mowed what seemed like a fair amount, maybe a tad ambitious, but not too crazy. Oops, it was a little more than I estimated. Jeff baled from noon to 4. Robin baled from 4 to 9, while I wrapped them . when I caught up I took over baling till 11:30, then up at 4 am to wrap the last of them. 150 tons of baled grass silage, nice feeling to be ahead that much. I haven't even started on dry hay yet. Probably have 80 acres to do yet.
May 26, 2011 - hay
Its been a wet cool May, which is perfect for growing grass. The old adage " cool wet may fills the barn with hay" is true. But because the ground is so wet I have had to delay harvest a little so I don't mess up the fields more than I would like to. Sounds simple, I have plenty of other things to do, so I do them. But every day that the sun shines this time of year I want to mow. I look to the weather to see how big of a window we have, I'm ready to go, but I wait. It is a crazy hard thing to do. The grass is deep and lush and has a power that won't let me go. It is a compulsion that makes me work and one that is hard to overcome. I let one window pass a few days ago. My neighbor Andy started mowing and I called him up on his cell when I heard it." what are you nuts, it's going to rain"- " no I don't think so" we constantly rib each other about mowing or not mowing or about how much to mow, cell phone making us available in the field for updates in weather or commentary( usually disparaging remarks about each others endeavors) but also for help.. My rake just died.. need some help tedding? or things of that nature. I confessed to him that I was waiting, he knows how hard that is to do. But I only waited 48 hours, I just couldn't do it any more. The weather got a little more stable and I remembered a few fields that I could get on without rutting them up , so I jumped in. I mow 150 acres each year, most of it 3 times. the biggest I do may go as far as 40 acres but on average probably 15. usually by the time I finish 1st cutting I can start 2nd, but some years I have started 2nd and still haven't finished first on a few. It's crazy, and it drives my life all summer, but I love it.
May 5, 2011 - turn out
Just in case you want to know: cows are out. first day of the grazing season. it's like Christmas for them and me. We have both been antsy all week waiting for there to be enough grass to feed them and not just stunt it by grazing it too close too soon. That first time they wade out into knee deep green it does something for both of us that I can't quite put to words. the sight, smell, feel, it's powerful. It is also a great relief for me. Since Nov. I have been on duty everyday to see that everyone of the 130 animals has enough feed, and good feed at that, and to be satisfied and to have a comfortable clean place to lie down. Not always easy or fun, but part of the deal. I fed the last of the grass silage and have about 15 bales of hay left, perfect. I sold about 100 bales(800lbs ea.) through the winter.it is great to clean it all up but a real drag when you have to buy feed. When we start feeding in November they might eat 4 bales a day, as we near the spring if they have been gaining 1 lb per day that means the whole herd has increased by 24000 lbs , that's like have 24 1000 lb animals more to feed.If you don't pay attention to that curve you can end up someplace you don't want to be. feeding the last bale on the last day is a homerun.
April 5, 2011 - APRIL 2011
April showers and planning for the growing weather. I (Robin) have been busy working on the Falls Village Inn with a renovation and re-opening. Read this article in the New York Times. http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/travel/01bunny.html?src=dayp We also have the wedding of our younger son David being planned at the farm in July! We will be having a fire roasted feast by our friend Jeremy Stanton of Fire Roasted Catering. It will be a sumptuous day. So... back to work (designing invitations) and visit us soon.
February 1, 2011 - WELL STOCKED
A REAL winter. Our freezers are bursting, ready to feed you. We have lots of cuts for flavorful slow roasted creations. Keep warm, healthy and well fed with good food. Short ribs on sale $5.p/lb
January 2, 2011 - BARGAINS
We all love a bargain. As a way to help us pay for WKZE radio advertising, you can buy a discounted coupon online for a purchase at our store. For $35, you receive a $50 Whippoorwill coupon. Good for you, and for us. Visit WKZE.com and link to their 'Dollar Saver' site. And did I mention that WKZE (98.1 FM) is THE BEST radio station around. A wonderful presentation of all GOOD music. Enjoy! and maybe you will hear our attempt at our first ad.
January 1, 2011 - NEW YEAR 2011
Happy New Year! The store is full to the brim with all our beef cuts, chickens and pork (BUT we are still waiting for the sausage... augh) Our burger is now at two of our favorite restaurants... Cafe Giulia in Lakeville, CT and The Falls Village Inn in Falls Village, CT (I have also had a hand at helping Bunny Williams decorate the newly renovated inn. Robin) So enjoy an exceptional burger when you are out for a warm winter meal. And don't forget Allium in Great Barrington, MA., another great place to enjoy a Whippoorwill Burger.
December 18, 2010 - December 2010
Sorry for not posting for so long, too much to do, or just lazy, take your pick. We have really been hit with winter. Ground is frozen HARD. Makes it somewhat easy to get around, can't get stuck in the boggy areas, I'll have to take advantage of that. The herd is doing nicely, forty or so calves again this year, everyone settling into the winter feeding routine. They really get much calmer when you work around the every day, they are a little more wild in the grazing months. All summer long I try to keep them coming to me, that way when I want to move them to another pasture (something that we do every few days) I don't have to push them or herd them, I just call them and they follow. Whenever they hear my particular call they know it means new grass or some other treat. The store is nicely stocked and should remain so throughout the winter. We have had a dry spell with our pork, but we are through it now. Chickens will last through till Feb. with luck. Beef is awesome and abundant.
May 5, 2010 - SPRING NEWS
We have good news and bad. First the bad. Our beloved Infinity Bistro is no longer serving our burger. We have been replaced by big cheap food. We love Infinity and are sorry to not be a part of their great venue. We just cannot sell for less than we do and they needed a lower price soooo.... you will have to go to Great Barrington for the famous Whippoorwill Burger. Yumm! ------------------------------------------------ And the GOOD news........ We have been chosen 'Best Farmstand' in Connecticut by "Editors' Choice in Yankee Magazine's 2010 Travel Guide to New England" Wow... not bad. Hope to see you soon.
May 4, 2010 - SPRING
Spring is here again in all it's glory. The pasture is green and lush and the cows are so happy doing what they love to do best... graze. There are a new group of spring babies here at the farm with their mamas. The older babies are getting ready to go to summer pastures (what we refer to as summer camp) This happens with them being weaned. The first few days are not very peaceful when we separate them from their moms. They get to be near each other with just a fence between them but everyone complains. After a day or two everyone gets used to the new routine (and no more milk snacks). Once everyone is acclimated, off to summer camp they go and the moms will get a chance to rest before they have their next calf.
March 22, 2010 - CREDIT CARDS
A new big deal for us... we now take credit cards. We have always kept our farm business as simple as possible but we have decided to accept credit cards. We use them and so do you... so now the store does too.
February 8, 2010 - BURGERS
We have been lucky enough to have made contact with two great restaurants, Allium in Gt. Barrington and Infinity Bistro in Norfolk. We have always been looking for a home for our ground beef, it is the one product that we can sometimes get buried in if we're not careful. Not so now. After the initial try out period both restaurants found that their patrons became really excited about the burgers. They noticed! How could they not. Our burger is lean, juicy, delicious and safe enough to eat raw if you want to. It is so easy, so simple, so cheap, I just love to get people hooked on it. It is great to have a product that sells itself, all you need to do is get people to taste it and that's it.
February 6, 2010 - WINTER
We have recently become certified by the American Grassfed Assoc. and Animal Welfare Approved. The beauty of the grassfed and welfare was that it was so simple for us because we were there already. All we had to do was verify it on paper and be inspected and interviewed by an independent auditor. If you want to know more about it go to their websites. We will have links soon to them to make it easier. Also we have become 100% solar powered in our house and store. We installed a 9KW system that feeds directly into the grid via a two way meter, we draw as needed and supply when the sun shines. At the end of the year we either pay or receive depending on what we have used. We did this through the CT Clean Energy Fund which supplied $40K as a grant, the balance is funded through a lease program. Essentially our lease payment replaces our electric bill but is locked in at $80/month for the next 20 years and is about half of our current average electric bill. The store freezers are the big draw. Now if we can do something about our big walk-in freezer, we will really be somewhere. I am looking for some economic recovery money through the USDA's Rural Development Program. Will keep you posted.
November 15, 2009 - AUTUMN
Every year people ask me if things have slowed down at all in the fall. Fall seems to be one of my busiest times of year. I pushed hay making until early Oct, and then jumped into a couple of big projects that must be done before the ground freezes. This year I have had Zach Wolf as my main man and it has been great. He is young and eager to learn all he can. We have accomplished a lot here together. (He got a job at Stone Barns in Pocontico but that won't start till January.) We had to do something about our barnyard this year so we did. We poured 40 yards of concrete in October which will give us a nice place to feed our cows this winter. We feed them round bales of hay and grass silage through the winter (no grain). I love to show my peers my cattle at the end of winter, late March, really just to gloat. They always look great, fat, healthy, clean. I have had so many of my farmer peers think I am nuts to feed only grass and expect anything more than skinny, stressed cattle. Most of our cattle have been crossed to New Zealand based genetics and Devons, although we still have some strait Hereford and Angus cows. The right cattle , good feed and a little care seems to make it work for us. Back to the fall work load... fencing. Every year I seem to wait until I can't anymore, which is what I did again this year. So we are working on another 4000' of wire fence on the parcels at Mac and Linda MacLaren's to add to our rotation starting next spring. It's probably another 15 acres. All of our posts are in and we are stringing wire every day we can. We should finish up in two weeks or so. I hope the snow holds off for that time. I love the cold weather though. It is so nice to work outside and not sweat. Our son David refers to it as permasweat, what happens to you from May to September. I have had a long standing tradition of not putting on my long johns until the first week in December. I have a theory that you MUST get cold in order to acclimate to the season. It works for me, however this year I put them on 2 days ago. 15 degrees is cold enough that I will still get cold even with an extra layer.
July 31, 2009 - SUMMER?
What is this? It's the last day of July, it's still raining, we've had about six days over 80 degrees. We still have some first cutting hay to make even though we have already made quite a bit of second cutting baleage. This could end up being the summer that wasn't, Pastures have been very productive although somewhat muddy from time to time. I am a firm believer in averages: if it is cold and wet one part of the season it with balance out in some other way in the long run.June was a wash so I expected July would cut us some slack. Hasn't worked that way. Luckily, we have plenty of good feed put up for the winter. The grass fed producers that rely on just dry hay for their cattle through the winter are not so lucky. Going to be some skinny cows come next march, some chewy beef too.
June 30, 2009 - JUNE = RAIN
Well, it's July 2 now and it's still raining. All of June has come and gone without me making a single bale of dry hay, a first. I did put up a lot of baleage in May, so we are O. K. It just has to stop raining sometime. On the bright side it has been a bit more relaxing not having to push so much in June, only problem is it will all have to fit into July. Also, pastures are growing to beat hell.
April 25, 2009 - SPRING
I am starting to feel the seasonal anxiety setting in, too much to do not enough time. It's O.K. it helps to keep us pushing, trying to get a little more into the day. Along with getting pastures ready for grazing(fixing fences) I also work with a group of students at Hotchkiss School to put in about an acre and a half of potatoes as well as 2-3 acres of winter squash. We work together planning and planting, then they all disappear for the summer. The tooth fairy (me) takes care of the crops over the summer, and then when the students return in Sept, we harvest them. This past year we grew 4 tons for the cafeteria and 2 tons of winter squash. this year we will better that hopefully by 50% or more. It is a fun project with substantial positive returns for everyone involved.
April 20, 2009 - SPRING
Spring is really here. Babies are being born every day. Calves, piglets, chicks and goat kids. The grass is growing quickly but cold winds still whip through the farm to remind us that it is not yet summer. The cows are so happy to be out on the pasture, though there is not much yet for them to eat. They are still being fed dry hay and grass silage (also called haylage). Our freezers are well stocked with all our cuts with the exception of beef tenderloin (filet) and chickens. And we have LOTS of eggs. We are suppling 2 local restaurants with ground beef for burgers, Blu Grill in Kent and Infinity Hall in Norfolk. The burgers continue to be outrageously good. We are happy that we can turn folks on to this tasty, clean, and economical meat. It also becomes our favorite summer party food.
February 10, 2009 - WINTER
This winter has been a real winter. I can't tell you how many mornings we've had zero degrees or less and it's kind of nice, it is as it should be. Cows don't seem to mind it. We give them access to the lower level of the barn at all times but most of them can be found every morning outside with frost accumulated on their backs from the night. they will go in for awhile when it is snowing or raining but they don't seem to stay too long. Another plus from a cold winter is the absence of mud.The yard stays cleaner, cattle stay cleaner. Manure just accumulates and freezes. Of course the down side is when it does thaw you have to get in and clean it out fast. That will happen. By the time February comes I have a very clear picture of how much feed I have and how much I can sell. We are in good shape again this year and so I will begin to sell some hay and baleage (grass silage in bale form) to those who need it. Ideally I like to sell enough feed each year to pay for a good part of the machinery we own, it's not cheap. February also means that it is time for me to move our bulls to exile, that is to say, to Fairfield Farm where all of our steers are for the winter. All of our cows that should be bred have been bred and those who haven't either won't be or will be bred artificially (using frozen semen). If one of our better cows comes back into heat (which indicates she is not pregnant) I will use the frozen semen that we keep on hand to breed her to a bull that will bring a new genetic base into our herd. The bulls I use for this are from Scotland and New Zealand. These are moderately sized angus and devon bulls who will enhance our future herd to perform better on grass not grain. The american bulls can't match that kind of performance because the breeders have focused on how cattle perform in the feedlot. The bulls we own, one is from New Zealand genetics (a Devon) and the other is from Australia (an Angus). We keep about 6-8 different bulls in the form of frozen semen in a liquid nitrogen tank in the basement. The tiny 1 cc straws are kept at 320 degrees below zero until they are needed.These will keep for years in that state. Our goal is to have most of the fall calving done by early november.
January 1, 2009 - WINTER
Well this is it, its' winter. We have gone back and forth between freeze and thaw but right now everything is frozen. That is a good thing. Cattle seem to like it. The cow yard stays cleaner and they seem to just plow through the feed. We always figure that in cold weather cattle will eat maybe 20% more feed just to keep warm. If the hay or silage is of top quality, it seems to amplify how much more they can eat. Everyone seems healthy and in good shape right now and I anticipate it will stay that way through the winter. December is usually the trickiest month for keeping cattle healthy. I like to get them settled into whatever group they are going to be with for the winter before Dec 1. The back and forth between warm weather and cold can bring on all kinds of respiratory and digestive problems. This year we had about 15 late fall calves 2 of which we lost due to poor mothering. One cow just did not produce enough milk and the other just didn't want to be bothered. It's sad but true. We can intervene by penning them up and supplying supplemental feed but we really rely on natural mothering to get them through. So we really didn't just loose 2 calves, we lost the mothers too because I won't breed them back. I also had to treat 2 calves for pneumonia. This is why we are not certified organic. If one of our calves gets pneumonia, I give them 2 injections of tetracycline and watch their progress. Both recovered nicely. Under a certified organic program these animals would never be able to be sold as organic. These animals will be used for beef in about 2 years, if that's not clean enough, well, you'd better buy organic. Organic animals can never be treated with antibiotics... ever.