Atlanta Real Food is run by the Atlanta area chapter leaders of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Here you will find the latest news from local farmers, get information on how to properly prepare real foods, and stay up to date on local events.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Carlton Farms Newsletter 5-22-17

Delivery News
REMINDER: Order deadline is Noon the day before we deliver:
Egg Sale!!  This spring our chickens have been working overtime. The moderate temperatures of the spring, long daylight hours, and fresh green grass have resulted in an abundance of eggs. As a Carlton Farms customer, you get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.  For this week only we are rolling prices back to 2007 levels.  Eggs will be $5 per dozen this week only. I do anticipate a decrease in production as the heat of summer starts to mount, so stock up now.  Spring eggs are excellent quality, and now an excellent price. 

We have a full selection of beef and pork online and ready to be ordered.  As usual our Raw milk for pets and free range eggs are in good supply. 

Memorial Day:  With Memorial Day upon us, it's time to start preparing the menu. We have several items that would be great for your cookout with family or friends. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions.
  • Slow Cook, or Smoke:
    • Pork Ribs 
    • Beef Short Ribs 
    • Boneless Pork Loin
    • Boston Butt
    • Beef Brisket
  • Grill:
    • Pork Chops
    • Steaks (Filet, Ribeye, Sirloin, NYS)
    • Hamburgers
  
Vegetable Shares are now available. Getting signed up for your weekly or biweekly share is as simple as placing a share in your basket. This year there is no prepayment requirement for the season. Simply select if you'd like to receive your share weekly or biweekly. We will add a share to your order accordingly, and you will be billed as you receive your share.  If you need to travel, there is a hold function that allows you to put your share on hold while you are out of town. End your share, or change your frequency as you wish, you are under no obligation. We look forward to bringing you the finest local and organic produce our area has to offer. Visit the new Carlton Farms website to order. You will find the Vegetable Share right on the homepage under featured products.   


We hope you enjoy the new Carlton Farms online experience. 
FarmFan: Get Text Message Reminders and Receive Rewards.
As one of our Farmfans you are able to receive text message reminders, both to place your order and to come pick-up your order. You will also have the ability to check-in when you pick-up. As you accumulate check-ins you will earn rewards such as Grocery Bags, T-shirts, Discounts.

On the Farm

Eggs abound:
During spring we are likely to find eggs in the strangest places. This is a flower pot right beside my front door, only steps from the kitchen. 

If you have been a Carlton Farms customer for a while, you are aware that sometimes we have a shortage of milk or eggs, and sometimes we have an abundance. Let me use this space to help you understand what causes these peaks and valleys.  
Our laying hens follow a pretty consistent pattern. Interestingly, it is mostly based on photoperiod. Photoperiod simply means the length of daylight in each day. As the days start to get long in the springtime, the hens start laying eggs as regular as clockwork. Of course this coincides with moderate temperatures and plentiful forage and bugs available. Most importantly there is a natural correlation also to the best time of year for chickens to be raising baby chicks. It wouldn't make sense for them to lay lots of eggs in the winter, when it would be devastatingly difficult on a newly hatched baby chick.  It makes perfect sense for them to lay lots of eggs in the mild springtime when food is plentiful for a baby chick.  Knowing this gives us a deeper understanding of what it means to eat seasonally, the way the natural world provides food. Eating seasonally goes farther that the vegetable harvest. As livestock farmers that work with nature, we have seasonality too. 
As for the milk, there are many moving parts to the dairy business. Time of year is important. The dead of winter is a challenge due to temperatures and no lush grass. The heat of summer is also a challenge due to temperature and also very little lush grass.  We are having pretty good luck evening out the milk production with the use of our fresh grown fodder that I have written about in this space before. Unfortunately there's not much we can do about the extreme temperature swings here in Georgia. Another factor that affects milk production is the lactation curve.  Each cow starts producing milk after having a baby. The milk production is pretty high as soon as the calf is born, but then peaks a little higher in about 100 days. Production then tapers downward over the next few months. Most cows produce milk for around 300 days during each lactation. After the lactation ends, they get a break for a few months, called the "dry period". During this dry period, the cows aren't asked to do anything, just rest and get ready for the next lactation.  Why does the lactation curve cause problems in managing milk production throughout the year? It's because cows have babies all throughout the year.  We milk about 50 cows, so for a moment just imagine overlaying 50 different lactation curves over the top of each other. The aggregation of all those lactation curves represents your daily milk production.         
Dairy Cow Lactation Curve
Dairy Cow Lactation Curve
                                                                 
                                                
We are constantly sharing the goings on at Carlton Farms via our social media pages. Become social with us on:  
instagram  @carltonfarm
Twitter @carltonfarm

Thanks for your continued support. At Carlton Farms we are proud to be your farmer.

Sincerely,

Chad Carlton
Carlton Farms
Carlton Farms, 1276 Cartersville Hwy, Rockmart, GA 30153
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