Frequently Asked Questions
We are collecting good, timely and timeless questions that have been posed to us over time and our answers, below. Some are basic, some are thought-provoking and some were just to hilarious not to add.
How can I purchase from the farm?
In four ways. First, you can come to the farm to purchase items directly. We are open on Thursdays and Fridays from 12 - 4. You can also email to request another specific pickup time. Note that we are NEVER OPEN on Sundays or Wednesdays. Second, you can visit one of the farmer's markets we will be attending in 2015: Bryn Mawr (Sat from 9 - 1), Chestnut Hill (Sat from 9 - 1) or Kennett Square (Fridays from 3 - 6)
Finally, you can place wholesale orders with the farm and we will deliver within a 15 mile radius at no charge, subject to a minimum order amount. (Read more about purchasing WHOLESALE from Canter Hill here).
Are your meats / produce organic?
We get this question A LOT, and want to be very transparent with the answer. After careful exploration, we have NOT sought organic certification (for a whole host of reasons, but cost was a significant one). Therefore, Canter Hill Farm is not certified organic. One of the reasons we didn't feel that we needed to pursue the certification is that our commitment is to our neighbors and immediate community (we do not ship!), who we have the opportunity to tell EXACTLY what our growing practices are. We raise our sheep 100% on pasture and non-sprayed hay (we need to use hay in the winter). They are fed NO feed. We raise our pigs on forage in the forest around our farm, on kitchen and garden scraps and we supplement their diet in the winter (when forage is scarce) with organic, soy-free feed. Similarly, we raise our laying hens, turkeys, guineas and ducks on pasture and forage (they wander into the woods, too!), weeds, grass cuttings from our property (so that we know nothing is sprayed) and we supplement them with organic feed in the winter. (During the warm season, they nibble at feed on rainy days, as well!) All of our feed is soy-free, and includes corn, but at a very low (<5%) percentage. Our produce is grown with the support of compost that comes from our chickens, trampled hay and sheep droppings and leaves, grass clippings and all the tips and ends of our produce (like carrot tops, tomato plants, etc.). We season our compost over two years and hand-till it into our planting beds to increase their nutrients but to try not to disturb all the valuable and helpful micro-organisms underground! We use a fish-based, organic fertilizer on our peppers and corn (we get it from Johnny's Selected Seed), because we've found it helps produce bigger "fruit". This is the only fertilizer we use. We do not spray or use any other chemicals. As much as possible, we try to grow heirloom, organic varieties of fruits and vegetables because we think they produce more tasty food.
Do you grow produce? What kinds? Where can I get it?
Yes. Canter Hill grows fruits and vegetables, and they are available through all four of our purchase methods listed above. In 2014 we are trying to focus produce purchases on the farm or pre-ordered (ie, we cut exactly what you want) for market pickups. Why? We want to maximize the freshness of your food, we want to mimize waste (cut produce that isn't purchased), and we think it provides that perfect blend between the unmatched freshness of a pick-your-own and the convenience of a store (so you come when you want or when you can, as opposed to having a committed pickup).
How will it work?
On our PRODUCE page of our website, we will add the list of all things we are growing as they are planted. On Sunday nights, we will update the section titled "AVAILABLE NOW" to show what's currently being harvested or is harvest-able. These items are then available for purchase during the week or at the markets, HOWEVER, we will only bring produce to a market that is pre-ordered, so that we know we're not wasting :)
Simply email or call us (or click on the link in each week's market email), and you'll reserve your exact needs for weekly produce.
How can I order something "special"?
You'd be suprised how many "special" orders we get! We're happy to accomodate any special orders (different cuts, whole animals, "specialty items". The key things to know are:
(1) When you need something by (please give us notice, because we must get special instructions into our butcher before our animals are taken in
(2) How you plan to pick it up
(3) Deposit: The majority of the time, we don't need a deposit to accomodate a special order. The exception to this is if the order is a non-traditional cut that will be done INSTEAD of a traditional cut, or if you order a whole animal (because we don't have a way to sell it to someone else if you decide you no longer need it).