On Sunday, I attended the Just Food:CSA in NYC conference and I was impressed with the great turnout. The Meat and Egg Share workshops connected NYC CSAs with pasture-based farmers in the NYC region. The panelists and attendees discussed the logistics of getting the products from their farms to the various NYC CSAs - from the best refrigerated truck delivery service for the farmers to use down to how much product each CSA member could reasonably contain in their small NYC refrigerators. I had already been talking or emailing with many of the farmers at the conference and was so glad to be able to put faces to their voices and names. It was also great to put a face and voice to the blogging/emailing voice of Kerry Trueman from Eating Liberally. Thanks for stopping by the table Kerry. Thanks also to everyone who signed up for our listserv. I’m so glad Just Food set up our table next to the wine tasting from Martha Clara Vineyard. It certainly made for a steady flow of attendees at the Animal Welfare Approved table. And to all of the farmers I met at the conference, I hope we'll be in touch soon.
Kathleen Miller raises Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) laying hens and laying ducks on her 3-acre property near Laporte in northern Colorado. The farm is situated at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and along the historic Overland Trail where pioneers once ventured on their way to California.
Kathleen has been interested in horticulture and agriculture since the 1990s and, early on, was introduced to topics of sustainability and permaculture. Gaia’s Farm and Gardens is the product of Kathleen’s interests and passion, and she uses the farm as an educational facility to help teach others about the benefits of raising your own food. “We used to host a farm-stay, where people from all over the world would come to enjoy the gardens and learn about permaculture,” explains Kathleen. “I still regularly write about these topics through a column called ‘Gaia Grows’ in our local newspaper, and host educational tours and videos through our demonstration gardens every season.”
Kathleen chooses to raise Black Cochin laying hens and Indian Runner duck breeds, as they’re a good fit for the pasture-based management of the farm. Kathleen monitors her birds closely and provides them with free access to the farm and regular vegetable clippings to supplement their diet. “The chickens help in the garden, too,” explains Kathleen. “They devour the bugs, scratch around and eat weed seeds, and their manure helps to keep a good population of microbes active in the soil. We really value our animals as they’re part of the whole system and they work hard at their jobs!”
Gaia’s Farm and Gardens chose to become Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW to showcase their exemplary animal husbandry practices to their customers. “We found the Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW program to be closely matched to our farms’ values and mission,” says Kathleen. “We want people to know our animals are treated in the best way possible, and AGW helps us to educate consumers.”
Kathleen has big plans for the farm, including building a “chicken city,” which means more hen houses and laying hens. “We plan to double our bird numbers,” explains Kathleen. “We also hope to sell our eggs at the local grocery store in town and will utilize AGW’s free labeling and marketing support services.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW pasture-raised chicken and duck eggs from Gaia’s Farm and Gardens are available at the farm’s roadside stand in Laporte. For more information, visit gaiascsa.com. Contact Kathleen Miller at email@example.com and 970-817-2186. Follow the farm on Twitter.