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Posted 3/7/2017 8:56pm by Reuben DeMaster.


Announcing the 'RENT-A-CHICK' program.  

You get to care for two newborn chickens in your home for as long or as short of a time as you want.  Here are the details:

You come to the farm to pick up your chicks.  I will have them ready for you on Wednesday , April 5.  You will receive a box, two chicks, and a small bag of feed.  You take the chicks home and provide them with food, water, and heat.  They may be carried around and handled but try not to drop them.  When you get tired of caring for them, you bring them back to the farm.  If you need more feed, I will refill your supply one time.  There is no risk on your part.  We haven't lost any chicks for a few years but occasionally young chicks don't make it. 

As the chicks grow, they will be able to fly.  You might need to get a larger box or place a cover on top or just return them at that point.  

Young chicks need to be kept warm.  They prefers temps at 80 degrees or more.  This is best accomplished with an incandescent light bulb placed over their box.  On sunny days the sun will be enough to warm them.  If the chicks huddle in a corner you will know they are cold.  

The cost for this program is $20.  Payment may be given when you pick up.  You may reserve your chicks online by clicking here.  You may pay online using paypal or just pay when you pick up the chicks.  Keep reading for more details.

Details

What: Willow Haven Farm Rent-A-Chick program.

When: beginning April 5

Cost: $20. Participants can rent two chicks for two weeks, watching them grow from hand-size to about four times larger. Teachers, schools and families are common participants.

We Provide: A box, 2 chicks and two weeks' supply of food.

You Provide:  a food dish, fresh water in a water dish, and a warm, protected place for your chick box.  Warmth may be provided by an incandescent light bulb set up near the box. 

Availability:  Beginning on April 5, 2017

Where: Birds must be picked up at the farm, 7686 Herber Rd, New Tripoli, PA and returned to the farm thereafter.

Reservations: Use our website Online Store.  Because we are offering more choices and this Program is quite popular we need to use modern tools to keep track of your order.  You may pay online or when you pick up your chicks.  RESERVE HERE

How do I keep the chicks warm?
       Newly hatched chicks like to be kept warm at about 80-90 degrees F.  You will want to put a light near their box to shine on them and keep them warm.  You may put a thermometer in the box to check the temperature if you are concerned.  Another good practice is to shine the light on part of the box.  The chicks then can go closer to the light if they are cold and move out of the light if they are too hot.  How can I tell if they are too hot? The chicks are as far away from the light as possible and panting.  How can I tell if they are too cold?  They are as close to the light as they can get, are huddled together and shivering.  As the chicks mature they do not need to be kept as warm as they begin to regulate their own body temperature.

 What kinds a chicks are available?
        yellow chicks
        dark chicks
        ducklings
        laying hen chicks

Duckings? Really?
    YES.  This year we thought it would be fun to let you try raising ducklings.  If you thought chicks were cute wait till you see the ducklings.  Everything is the same for the ducklings, except you will also want to provide them with a small dish of water to splash in.  They also are more active than chicks which means that they will fly sooner.  You will need to find a way to keep them in the box. 

Can I buy egg layers from you to start my own backyard flock?
     YES.  We have barred rock chicks who will grow up to lay brown eggs. If you are ready to raise hens, this is the easiest way to get a couple to keep.  You will adopt these permanently and not bring them back to the farm. You will be responsible to provide their food and shelter as they mature.  They will be ready to lay eggs in 20 - 22 weeks.  


Thank you.
Posted 2/18/2017 9:56am by Reuben DeMaster.

Hi Folks,

We sent you an email earlier this week about CSA Day and today is the day!

This is the day to support our farm if you have been thinking about, but have not quite gotten around to it. We really appreciate your investment in our farm when we are making the investments that will result in a harvest many months from now!  Help us meet our Goal of 25 CSA memberships today.

If you are already signed up or just want to help us spread the word, please post about CSA Day on social media:
Willow Haven Farm is celebrating CSA Day on Feb 24th. Join me in supporting a local farmer: www.willowhavenfarmpa.com #CSAday

To sign up for our CSA, visit: https://www.harvie.co/profile/willow-haven-farm

-Sincerely your farmer

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster



Posted 2/18/2017 9:45am by Reuben DeMaster.

Hi  Folks!

This is the week.  CSA DAY is on Friday. Our Goal is to sign up 25 members on or before CSA day.  So be a part of the Local Food Movement. #CSADAY

According to Small Farm Central, this is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA share and now is when we need your support! Don't forget, our early Discount Prices are on the site now.  They will rise slightly on March 1. www.harvie.co/signup/willow-haven-farm

So thank you for your support on this and throughout the year. It is so important for us and we are thankful to you!

If you are already signed up or just want to help us spread the word, please post about CSA Day on social media:


Willow Haven Farm is celebrating National CSA Sign-up Day on Feb 24th. Join me in supporting a local farmer: www.willowhavenfarmpa.com

-Sincerely,

Your farmer,

Reuben DeMaster



Posted 1/29/2017 7:57pm by Reuben DeMaster.



Dear friends,

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Willow Haven Farm CSA 2017 is now open for sign ups! 

We look forward to many returning member and hope for new ones as well.  You will notice changes, hopefully improvements, to the sign up process.  If you have any questions or difficulties, please let us know right away so we can fix them. 

Our Early Sign Up Discount will run from today until February 28.  The prices you see when you sign up are the discounted prices.  The amounts will change on March 1.  To take advantage of the discount, please choose PAY IN FULL when you check out.  This incentive enables you to support our farm most economically for you and for us.  Thank you!

Please use this link to sign up https://www.harvie.co/signup/willow-haven-farm.

For more information and explanations of our improvements for this years CSA please check out these articles on the website:
Understanding Our CSA Prices
Frequently Asked Questions
How Our CSA Works

We look forward to a wonderful season of growing and harvesting vegetables for you. 

Sincerely,

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
www.willowhavenfarmpa.com

Posted 1/2/2017 9:37am by Reuben DeMaster.

 

Dear friends of Willow Haven Farm,

Some things have slowed down on the farm in the last few weeks but there is still a lot of activity.  We are finishing projects from this past season and planning the next season.  We have animals to care for, bread to bake, and a lot of office work to catch up on. 

In the past few years, we have tried to get the website updated and ready for CSA signups by January 1.  This year, however, we are working with Small Farm Central on a new CSA signup platform which they have developed.  We are one of about a dozen farms testing out this new software on our website.  The new program (called Harvie) will allow us to offer some extra services to CSA members.  The biggest addition is that for the first time, we are going to offer choices over which vegetables are delivered to your home.  We feel that this convenience will help more people enjoy their CSA. 

The other feature that will happen this season is that each of you will be automatically signed up for the new season.  By doing this, you will not have to attempt to remember what you signed up for last year.  It will also save some of you the work of figuring out the sign up process.  Don't worry, if you would like to change your shares it is not difficult to make changes and we are happy to help you.  We will once again offer a discount for early payment.

You should be hearing from us in the next 1 - 2 weeks with sign up details.  We will honor a 30 day early sign up discount period from the first day it is available. 

We look forward to engaging all our returning customers, continuing to make improvements to our farm and CSA and growing and making amazing food this year. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster

 

 

Posted 1/2/2017 9:18am by Reuben DeMaster.

 

It is winter on the farm.  At this time of year I spend many hours catching up on paperwork, accounting, filing, and communication.  All transactions are entered into Quicken and I am able to (finally) see a record of income and expenses from the past year. During most of the season, these tasks are accomplished during the evenings and many things get neglected for weeks or months at a time.  This week I was able to find my desk and even the floor around my desk!  I found checks that should have been cashed, permits that should have been posted, and contact information for people that I should have called. 

It is also time to renew the memberships that the farm supports including the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Buy Fresh Buy Local.  My internship listings have to be updated as it is past time to begin looking for farm help for next summer.  The next task is ordering seeds and supplies.  If I don't take care of this in a timely manner, I risk not being able to get the vegetable varieties that I want to grow.  There are also discounts available of up to 8% if I am able to order early and to pay in full.  I prefer to get my taxes filed by February so I'm not working on them in the spring. 

Next I have to think about which farm projects need to be completed by Spring. There are many ways to make the farm more efficient and I have to decide which things to focus on.  I can make progress on some of these projects during the winter but many of them need to wait until warmer weather.  Other farm tasks include caring for the animals each day and pruning the fruit trees and berries.  If the weather is nice enough, I might even find time to remove some dead and fallen trees from around the farm.  

Another big task is getting the website ready for the 2017 season.  Each year, I try to begin the CSA sign up process on January 1.  This year however, it is going to take a bit longer.  Small Farm Central, our web host, is putting together a new program that we will be using in 2017.  We hope that it will improve our service by making the signup process easier and by offering new services to our delivery customers.  One of these services will be more choices over which vegetables that you receive in your box.  We hope that this will make our CSA more appealing to more people. 

There are many farm tasks to do in the winter.  Although it is a slower time of year, the organizational details help to determine the success of the upcoming year.  We plan to be open most Saturdays this Winter and we thank our customers for making Willow Haven Farm possible. 

Posted 12/12/2016 9:48pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Hi Folks,

The citrus is coming!

You now have one more day to order.   Please send me an email by Wednesday so I can get an accurate order together for the farm in Florida.

 


Organic Citrus

Get your organic oranges and grapefruit just in time for Christmas.  The farmer picks the fruit just days before it arrives in Pennsylvania.  The orange variety is called hamlin and they have seeds.  The grapefruit is pink and is delicious. 

Cases - $54

1/2 Cases - $27

2 Cases for $100

 


You may place an order by replying to this email.  Anyone may order so please pass this on to relatives and friends.  Payment is due upon pick up at the farm.  If you would like to mail a check, please send it to: Willow Haven Farm, 7686 Herber Rd., New Tripoli, PA 18066.

Thank you,

Reuben DeMaster

Willow Haven Farm

 

 

 

       
       
       
       
Posted 11/30/2016 10:50pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Hello everyone,

I'm not big on the Thanksgiving weekend shopping specials.  I can't keep track of when Black Friday starts or which other days are designated for something.  Here on the farm, we continue to harvest our vegetables, bake our bread, and offer you delicious healthy products.  I am going to include a lot of things in this email because we have a lot of great December products and I don't want to send out 6 different messages.  There are a lot of dates and details to remember so we'll see how this goes.


Final Vegetable Delivery - $35 - Wednesday, December 7

      I'm trying to empty my fields and greenhouse and get the beautiful vegetables onto your table.  The box will include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, potatoes, rutabega, and bok choi. 

Bushel of sweet potatoes - $35 - December 7

       About 40 pounds.  Store between 50 and 60 degrees for up to 6 months.


Willow Haven Pork

Our pigs are raised with plenty of room to roam.  They are fed organic no-soy feed. The pork will be ready the week before Christmas.

Sampler Pack - $100 - 12 pounds of pork

Contains chops, ribs, ham slice, bacon, ground, roast, and sausage. 

1/2 Hog - $400 - 50 pounds

You get the same cuts as the sampler and I am able to provide some custom cuts and sausage preferences.


Willow Haven Chicken

Our chickens are raised on pasture and eat organic, no-soy feed.  The whole chickens in this batch are between 3 and 4 pounds.  They make a perfect meal and the bones can be used for making chicken soup.  We sell whole frozen chickens for $4.50 per pound. I can deliver your order on December 7. 

Chicken Special - $100 -

You will receive 6-7 whole chickens. Between 23 and 24 pounds of chicken. 


Willow Haven Lamb

Lambs were born and raised at Willow Haven farm. The lamb will be ready the week before Christmas.  Cuts include chops, roast, ground, ribs, leg, and hocks.

Whole Lamb - $300

Approximately 25 pounds


Rainbow Farm Beef

Grass Fed Beef Pack - $440

50 pounds of grass fed beef raised at Rainbow Farm.  Your cuts will include a mix of steaks, roasts, ground, and a few other cuts.  You will pick this up directly from Rainbow Farm in New Tripoli.   

 


 

 Wild for Salmon

As with previous orders, there is a 10 pound minimum order.  I will have the salmon on December 13.  I will not be able to deliver the salmon orders.  Please plan to pick up by Saturday, Dec 17.  I will need to have at least 100 pounds of orders to make this happen.

Whole Salmon Fillets - $14 per pound

Salmon Fillet portions - $14.50 per pound

Pacific Cod - $11 per pound

Salmon Burgers - 2 packs are $8

           - choose from plain, feta dill, garden vegetable, and spicy


Organic Citrus

Get your organic oranges and grapefruit just in time for Christmas.  The farmer picks the fruit just days before it arrives in Pennsylvania.  The orange variety is called hamlin and they have seeds.  The grapefruit is pink and is delicious. 

Cases - $54

1/2 Cases - $27

2 Cases for $100

 


You may place an order by replying to this email.  Anyone may order so please pass this on to relatives and friends.  Payment is due upon delivery.  If you would like to mail a check, please send it to: Willow Haven Farm, 7686 Herber Rd., New Tripoli, PA 18066.

Thank you,

Reuben DeMaster

Willow Haven Farm

 

 

 

       
       
       
       
Posted 8/18/2016 10:30pm by Reuben DeMaster.

Dear Friends & Members of the Farm,

This chicken update is overdue and I apologize for not communicating sooner.  I have two reasons for not writing sooner.  First, I have been very tired after working in this heat every day.  By evening, I have trouble concentrating on anything but cooling down.  Second, this is not a pleasant topic.  It is enjoyable to talk about the farm's successes and difficult to talk about the farm's failures. 

On any given year, I expect to be surprised by successes in some areas and to be discouraged by failures in other areas.  I try to be transparent about our efforts in the hopes that people will form a stronger connection with the source of their food.  This means that people will be more aware of the process that is needed to produce healthy food and will come to value it even more. 

In the case of our laying hens, I made a mistake.  The flock was healthy and was laying 10-11 dozen eggs per day early in the summer.  However, some people coming to the farm were disappointed to find that we had sold out of eggs before they were able to get any.  I realize that people put forth a lot of effort to get here.  In order to get more eggs, I added 40 chickens to the flock in July.  Within a week, the entire flock stopped eating and stopped laying eggs.  As in zero eggs per day.  They also looked sick and started dying.  I quickly located a lab that tests chickens for disease at the University of Pennsylvania.  (Who knew?) The person was able to test several chickens and determined that they had mycoplasmosis.  It is a respiratory disease that the new chickens were carrying even though they were not showing symptoms.  There is no cure.  The only treatment is to give antibiotics which is not an organic practice.  Even if I gave the antibiotics, the chickens would not return to a high level of egg production. Furthermore, I cannot butcher them for meat since even that is not good to eat.  At this point, it looks like a total loss. 

In hindsight, the mistake was adding chickens to my healthy flock.  The alternative treatments that we have tried are not working.  I cannot replace the flock in the middle of the year.  The chicken shelter is full of the harmful bacteria and I may have to replace it for next year. Finally, I cannot use the meat and cannot afford to feed chickens who do not lay eggs.

The CSA model, Community Supported Agriculture, also helps me as a farmer to be sustainable in the midst of farmings inherent risks and challenges.  CSA customers agree to pay up front for our products and share in the risks of farming in order to benefit from local, superior food.  My commitment to my members is one I take seriously and work hard to not disappoint you. 

As a result, we have to consider other options to fulfill my obligation to my egg share members.

#1  I can purchase eggs from another source that will be somewhat close to the product that I want.  This is difficult because very few farmers are committed to feeding pastured chickens organic, no-soy feed.

#2  I can give you a credit for a certain number of dozen eggs next year.   


Finally, I apologize for this disappointment and inconvenience. My family even has to purchase eggs elsewhere for the season.  But, as in everything, we learn invaluable lessons from our mistakes, enabling us to continue farming with increasing wisdom and perseverance. 

Please let me know what is your preference for your egg share for the remaining weeks of the season. I intend to stock eggs at my farm store from other sources for the remainder of the season. 

 

Sincerely,

Reuben DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

 

Posted 8/14/2016 9:38pm by Reuben DeMaster.

 

Hello Friends of the Farm,

We made it to the 'dog days' of August.  All of the farm workers are tired, but we continue to be impressed by the abundance of the harvest.  Our hard work over the past 5 months is producing more vegetables and other farm products than we know what to do with.  Each week, we donate vegetables to food pantries so that it does not go to waste (we only donate to places that are willing to pick up from the farm).  August is also the time when I wonder if the bills will get paid for the year and if I will have to work off of the farm later in the fall.  I have a limited amount of time to market farm products at this time of year, but I want to let you know about several things that we have right now. 

1.  One time CSA delivery - $35.  Each year, we offer a single CSA delivery for people who would like to try our product or who were not able to sign up for the entire season.  Since we have so many things this week, you may order a box for delivery on Wednesday.  The box will include an abundance of peppers, eggplant, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini or summer squash, and parsley.   The box will come to your home this Wednesday afternoon.  You may leave payment for pick up or you may mail a check.  Please respond by Tuesday evening and include your address.

2.  Tomatoes for canning - 75 cents per pound.  I have several hundred pounds of beautiful organic tomatoes picked now and many more to pick this week.  If you need bulk tomatoes for canning, freezing, or making sauce now is a great time to get them.  I can work around your schedule and you may pick them up during the week if necessary. 

3.  Pastured organic chicken - 6 for $100.  These chickens were raised on the farm and fed organic, no-soy feed.  They are whole and frozen.  You will get 23-24 pounds which is a much lower price than I have seen elsewhere.  Comparable products are often sold for over $5 per pound.  Meat orders may be picked up from the farm or I will deliver for $5.

4.  Grass-fed beef - 50 pounds for $400.  This beef comes from a steer that was born and raised on my farm.  You will get a sample pack of steaks, roasts, and ground beef.  I will only be selling 4 of these packs and the beef will be divided between the four packs.  Meat orders may be picked up from the farm or I will deliver for $5.

5.  Pastured pork - 20 pounds for $150.  This pork was raised on the farm and was fed organic, no-soy feed.  Your pack will include 2 ham slices, 2 packs of pork chops, 2 packs of bacon, and a variety of ground pork and sausage. 

Thank you for your support of the farm and of local agriculture. 

 

Reuben DeMaster

Willow Haven Farm

 

Farm Made Holiday Cookie Plates Made To OrderDecember 9th, 2017

Dear Friends, The Farm Girl bakes delicious cookies and handpies for our markets all summer long. Now she is offering Holiday Cookie Plates for your parties, exchanges and celebrations. All cookies a

Extra Vegetable and Meat Delivery Available Now!November 27th, 2017

Last week, as I was looking at all the vegetables that are still growing, I realized there may be some who would be interested in one more delivery of fresh, organic vegetables before winter comes. M

Extra Vegetable and Meat Delivery Available Now!November 27th, 2017

Last week, as I was looking at all the vegetables that are still growing, I realized there may be some who would be interested in one more delivery of fresh, organic vegetables before winter comes. M

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Willow Haven Farm, 7686 Herber Rd., New Tripoli, PA 18066

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