So why did the chicken cross the road? I know that’s an age-old question, however I do believe I know the answer. Gone are the days of the small family farm. Farming has been modernized. We as Americans have found a way to grow our chickens quicker, bigger, and apparently better. The average size of a factory farm chicken is between 20 and 35 pounds. The chickens actually grow so big that their little legs snap under their body weight. Grocery store shelves are lines with chicken breasts the size of your head. Factory farm chickens graze on feed that is injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. We then turn around and eat that chicken. One has to question “How do the growth hormones and antibiotics affect the human body?” I dared to ask that question.
The further away we get from the farmer the less healthy our bodies become. Our health is connected to the food we eat. What we eat depends on the health of the land. I wanted healthy chickens that I could be happy about eating. Thanks to Google I came upon Auntie Annie’s fields. Auntie Annie’s Fields raise natural free range chickens on a small farm in Dundas Minnesota. The lucky chickens end up at Elizabeth and Ian’s farm. Here the chickens get to spend their days wondering the fields eating bugs, clover, and doing the things chickens do. They are not confined to a dark barn like on a factory farm, instead there coop is on wheels and is moved from field to field. Auntie Annie’s chickens get a lot of fresh air and room to roam. Keeping the flock small allows them to maintain the health of their birds and they do not need to use antibiotics like conventional producers.
I had the pleasure of Meeting Elizabeth and her adorable children when I picked up my chickens at the Northfield Farmers Market. Instantly I knew my chickens were going to be good. Why, because you can instantly tell when someone puts a lot of love and passion into their product. To Elizabeth these are not just chickens, she is raising good quality food that will nourish the soul. Elizabeth and Ian have mastered the art of growing food and that is something a factory farm will never do. Auntie Annie’s focuses on quality, not quantity. Unlike the factory farms that care more about profit than quality.
Not only do Elizabeth and Ian grow healthy chickens, they also dedicate a part of their land to be used by the Main street Project, which is making land and infrastructure available to aspiring Latino chicken farmers. Auntie Annie’s Fields gives Latino farmers access to land and creates economic opportunities for rural Latino families. Now that’s a farm I can stand behind.
Do you want some incredible chickens? I know you do! You can head on out to the farmers market in Northfield and say “Hi” to Elizabeth and her cute kids on the dates below:
The Riverwalk Market Fair is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and is right on the Cannon River in downtown Northfield. We’ll be there every other Saturday: 6/16, 6/23, 7/7, 7/21, 8/4, 8/18, 9/1, 9/15, 9/29, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27.
Don’t want to make a trip to Northfield? Lucky for you they travel to Minneapolis:
Minneapolis: every 3rd Sunday, June through October (6/17, 7/15, 8/19, 9/16, and 10/21). We’ll be in the Longfellow neighborhood, about a mile south of Lake Street, and about a mile west of the Mississippi River.
Want to know more about Auntie Annie’s Fields? Well then visit them on the web:
So why did the chicken cross the road? It got tired of the factory farm and went to join the happy chickens at Auntie Annie’s Fields.