Sunday, May 4, 2014

Farm Table Dinner at Rettland Farm, featuring 154 Supperclub

You are hereby receiving notice of the first ever Farm Table dinner at our farm!
We have teamed up with 154 Supperclub, with Chef Josh Fidler at the helm.  (In his spare time, Josh is also the Executive Chef at Garryowen Irish Pub in Gettysburg.  I hear that sometimes he also does things besides cooking, but that may just be a rumor).
The Pertinent Details:
  • We will host this dinner on Sunday, June 22, 2014, beginning at 5:30 pm at Rettland Farm at Far Oakes, located at 2776 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA.

  • Here is the menu for this feast.  It looks insane! 

  • The suggested donation to cover the cost of the food and the culinary talent is $60 per person.  You will need to pay by cash or check, and payment details can be worked out with your reservation. 

  • Please bring your favorite alcoholic beverage to enjoy with your meal, (BYOB) if you wish to do so.  Non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

This is an extremely limited seating event, so DON"T DELAY if you'd like to attend.  We expect the dinner to sell out very quickly!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me or Josh at the above email address. 
I hope you can join us for what is shaping up to be a fantastic evening of food and fun!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rettland Farm Share 2014

So we covered the WHY of the new Rettland Farm Farm Share program here.

Now let's talk about the HOW.

1. The Buy In Phase:

Like any CSA, we have to start with the buy in, the price you pay for membership in the farm share.

Unlike most CSAs, however, you decide the price you pay for this one.

That's right, no set CSA fee. You pay what you can based on your budget and food needs.

What we offer you in return for your committment to the farm for the year is a little "thank you" in the form of a bonus on top of your investment.

The Bonuses


  • For amounts up to $499, we will add 5% to the amount of your investment. 

  • For amounts of $500 and up we will add 10% to the amount of your investment.

  • For amounts over $1000, we'll simultaneously be impressed and humbled by your dedication to Rettland Farm, we'll give you the 10% bonus, and we'll throw in your choice of a Rettland Farm ballcap or T-Shirt.

  • For amounts over $2000, after we get over being gobsmacked by your awesomeness, we'll give you all of the other bonuses, plus a loaf of sourdough bread, made from our own organic wheat flour, baked by yours truly, and delivered, still warm, to your door. (Heck, we'll even make you some butter to go along with it!)

The Timeline
You can make your investment anytime between now and April 1, 2014. You can pay it all at once, or make installments as often as you like. The schedule is entirely up to you, but the Buy-In phase closes April 1, 2014 and no funds will be accepted after that date.

Once you have paid your fees, we will issue you a Share Card, which will be modeled after a savings account passbook. The amount on the Share Card will be equal to your dollar investment plus your bonus, whatever that may be. At that point all you need to do is to wait for April 2.

Because beginning April 2, we begin the Share phase.

2. The Share Phase:

After April 2, and until your Share Card balance reaches $0, you are entitled to begin collecting your Farm Share, in the form of ANY of the products that we produce and have available for sale at that time.

You probably know we produce pastured broiler chickens while the grass is green. You can take some of them as your share.

And we also raise pigs that ultimately make some pretty tasty pork, from chops to bacon to hams to all manner of sausages. You can claim some of that for your share too.

Aaaaand we are starting to produce some organic grains, and we grind them into flour. Flour can be part of your share too, if you're so inclined.

How 'bout the new goodies we're working on behind the scenes? You know, the stuff that we're 99% sure we're going to have, but are too superstitious to mention?  Yep, that stuff too if we can get them to work out.

In short, you can take ANY Rettland Farm product that we have available throughout the season, in ANY quantity that you'd like to have it in. (*Please read "The Fine Print..."*)

No more set quantities. No more fixed items. And no more mandatory pick up schedule

The idea here is to make your Farm Share more customized to your needs and tastes, and not try to cram everyone into the same mold. To quote one of my wife's and my favorite movie lines:  "I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly!!" 

So fly, my little Peacocks.  Fly!

3. The Point of Sale:

As of now, the main point of sale, where you will be able to collect your Farm Share will be the New Larder at Rettland Farm, set to open soon on Baltimore Pike, south of Gettysburg, PA. The Larder will be open Saturdays, and by appointment if needed.

(For our Members in Baltimore, I am working on putting together a Buyer's Club program for you, with periodic deliveries to Charm City throughout the year. See special instructions for you at the end of this post)

In either location, you will simply select the products that you'd like to buy just like you would do at any farmers' market, and then present them to our Team member at the point of sale along with your Share Card. The retail price of your purchases will be added up, and the total will be deducted from your remaining balance on the Share Card.

You'll repeat this process until your balance reaches $0, at which point you are still welcome to shop with us. You'll just use other forms of payment besides your Share Card.

4. Additional Perks:

In addition to the cash bonus on the Share Card, you'll also receive a few extra perks for being part of the Farm Share.

  • To give you the best selection of our available products each week, Share members will be allowed early access to the Larder each day it is open. So if the Larder's posted hours have it opening at 12 noon for the general public, it will be open at 10 am for Share members.

  • Share members will also receive early bird tips about special products that we have available in limited quantities, such as holiday hams or Thanksgiving turkeys, before we announce their availability to the general public.

  • Finally, we'll give each member one insulated reuseable tote bage that you can use to safely carry your goodies home from your visits to the Larder.

5. The Fine Print:

Please understand that while we're trying maximize your freedom of choice, we're still a small farm, and sometimes our inventories of certain products are low. It's important to know that this is still a CSA of sorts, and by no means a mega supermarket with seemingly endless supplies of everything.

Be aware that we as producers are flying blind here a little bit, the necessary trade off for this new flexible CSA. So gauging demand for each product is going to take a little practice and finesse on our part.

Please know this up front: There will be days that we don't have what you want. But we will always have something awesome for you to eat. CSAs are meant to challenge your thinking when it comes to food, and make you step outside your comfort zone when it comes to cooking it.

So if we don't have bacon on the shelf when you visit, rest assured that we'll have it next week or the week after, and these pork minute steaks will be amazing on your plate until then.

Plan to take 6-8 months to exhaust your share. That's certainly the intention, to allow you to experience as much of the farm's seasonality as possible. If you try to collect your full share in the blink of an eye early in the season, you're going to miss out on some great stuff later in the season. And also make things really stressful for us.

6. How to Join:

Simply send me an email. Let me know that you're interested, the approximate dollar amount you'd like to invest, and what payment schedule you're thinking about, if any. I'll take it from there.

(And if you're from the Baltimore area, please let me know that too. We'll give you more info about how we're going to work the Buyer's Club there)

Hopefully you'll consider being a part of our new Farm Share program! 

We are really looking forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The 2014 Farm Share: Prologue

So we're gonna try something a little different this year.

You know we've done the CSA thing in the past, right?

For two consecutive years, we've had a Chicken CSA. We've also kicked the tires on a pork CSA that we called Share-A-Swine on two occasions, once here at home and once for the good folks of the greater Baltimore area.

Both CSAs seem to be enjoyed by the members who participate, and we always had some repeat members, and lots of questions about when the next one would start from others.

But I feel like we can improve on the whole concept, from nose to tail.

For starters, we shouldn't be limiting the CSA shares to one specific product. I mean, we're a diversified farm that produces a variety of products already, have a couple in the R&D phase, and still more in the "thinkin" stage. So why are we only offering CSAs with one product in them?

It is also really tricky to put together a CSA that appeals to the greatest number of people. Some people would really enjoy chicken breasts one week, and skip the whole bird, you know? And, "hey Beau, we really could have used 3 lbs of the OCC sausage this week for our July 4th party with the in-laws, but there was only one in our share..."

Or picking up the shares.  Or missing shares because of vacation.  Or not being able to participate at all because of the up front costs.

These are legitimate problems, and I worry about the people who have them. They are not getting the experience from our food that I want them to have, and I want to do better for them.

So, we're going to do just that. Offer more products. Offer more variety. Offer greater flexibility for pickups. And offer more value.

It's the NEW and IMPROVED Rettland Farm CSA, designed to run faster, jump higher, and fly further than all previous Rettland Farm CSAs!

Most importantly, I think you're gonna love it.

Stay tuned for the full details. Very soon.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkeys, 2013

Look at the calendar, folks. We are ONLY 10 weeks away from Thanksgiving! Can you believe it?

I'll bet you haven't even given a thought to your Thanksgiving Day Turkey, huh?

Lucky for you, your friends here at Rettland Farm have been thinking about your Thanksgiving Turkey for about 3 months now, and we're all set to get you an INCREDIBLE bird for your holiday table.

Meet Earl

If you've been around the farm on Saturdays, you may have already seen or had the chance to say hello to Earl Keiser, a longtime member of my slaughter crew here. In addition to helping me harvest our chickens, Earl is also a farmer himself.

And lucky for all of us, Earl took on the task of raising Thanksgiving turkeys for us this year, on his farm in Glen Rock, PA.

So here's the deal:

We are accepting pre-orders for Thanksgiving turkeys, starting today. The turkeys will be available on a first come basis. You can reserve your turkey by calling Earl directly at 717.968.0659. HOWEVER, in addition to calling Earl, you MUST send a deposit of $20 for each turkey you order. YOU"RE RESERVATION IS NOT COMPLETE UNTIL YOUR DEPOSIT HAS BEEN RECEIVED! Earl will provide you with the mailing address when you call.

The turkeys are pastured, broad breasted white turkeys. They have been fed antibiotic free, all vegetarian supplemental feeds since birth.

We are expecting the final dressed weight of the turkeys to be 20-25 lbs. If this is too large for you, we can harvest your bird early at your desired dressed weight, and then freeze the bird until Thanksgiving week. Please let Earl know if you'd like to go this route.

The price for these turkeys is $3.00/lb of dressed weight.

We will process your turkey here at Rettland Farm during the week and weekend before Thanksgiving. We will work out exact scheduling as we get closer to the time, but your turkey will be fresh, not frozen, and slaughtered not more than 7 days before Thanksgiving Day.

You will be able to pick up your turkey here at the farm in Gettysburg, for your convenience.

As we have done in the past, you are welcome to come watch and/or help us to process your turkey, if you'd like. We started this tradition a few years ago, and we'll gladly continue if you'd like to participate. Just let Earl know when you reserve your turkey, and we'll schedule a time that works for you.

So, that should cover it. If you have further questions, please contact Earl or myself and we'll get them answered for you right away.

And don't delay! We have a limited number of these beauties available, and when they're gone, they're gone!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In Your Kitchen: Amy's CSA Chicken

So we'll use this as a first post in a new feature here on the Blog, called In Your Kitchen. I'd love to share your pics and/or recipes of the cool creative ways you use Rettland Farm products in your kitchens. Send em my way, and I'll put em up.

Our first entry comes from Amy.  Amy is one of our Chicken CSA members, and she sends me pictures occasionally of the dishes she's prepared with our products. 

Amy sent me this picture of last week's CSA share, which was pastured chicken halves.  Amy's preparation:  "Rosemary and garlic roasted on the chicken and when it cools slightly we will pour on some balsamic vinegar. Soooo delicious!! "

No doubt.

Thanks for sharing, Amy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Season 2 of The Larder Begins

The Larder at Rettland Farm is Open for the season, starting Saturday, May 11!

As a quick reminder, the Larder is a self-serve farm stand where you can purchase our fresh pastured chickens and frozen heritage pork products.

The Larder is open between 1pm and 7pm every Saturday, here at the farm. Our address is 920 Barlow Two Taverns Road, Gettysburg PA, 17325.

When you arrive at the farm, there is a small shed located by the picket fence near the parking area. (Please excuse the clutter here at the beginning of the season. We've got some cool stuff in the works this summer, but we have to deal with a little unkempt-ness to get there!)

Inside the shed is a refrigerator/freezer, which has the meat available for the week. Be sure to check both the fridge and freezer for all of the possibilities! However, please don't take any chickens from the drawers/shelves marked "CSA". These are for our Chicken CSA members only.

All prices will be clearly marked on each package. You can leave payment by cash or check in the soon-to-be-famous metal "Care Bear" tin in the refrigerator side.

There will always be someone around the farm to help if you need it.  If you don't see anyone, just beep your horn a few times, and we'll come to help.

Hope to see you at the Larder someday soon!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Share-A-Swine, Month 4 (and Another Recipe!)

So here we are folks, at the fourth and final pick up day for the Rettland Farm Share-A-Swine program. 

Our little group has gone through about 400 lbs of Rettland Farm pork in the last 4 months, the equivalent of about 2 whole animals.  That's pretty impressive!

So to wrap it up, here is what you'll find in your share bag this month:

Loin/Rib Chops:  Eat "High on the Hog" one last time.  Maybe sneak them on the grill one of these warm days!

Shoulder Steak:  We had this once before in a previous month's share.  These do best with slow, low heat.  They would be excellent in a stew or braise, or dry rub them and slow cook them on the grill or in the oven.  Don't let their shape fool you!  They look like a steak, but they need time to tenderize.

Regular Sausage:  For any occasion.  Simply amazing grilled (are you noticing a pattern here?), served on a bun with mustard and cheese.

Sweet Italian Sausage:  Our friend Christine (she of Lard Making Fame) sent out a recipe via email to the group last month using sweet italian sausage.  You can find it again here.

Ground Pork:  I'd mix this with lean grassfed beef and make some killer guessed it...on the grill.

Minute Steaks:  Back again, since we love them so.  Stir fry, tacos, or cheesesteak.  Or whatever novel ways you've come to use them.

Thanks for all your support, Share-A Swiners!