Free Range Chicken
Someone (was it erly?) was looking for free range chicken; sorry, I can't find the post, but I had an email from a grower in Mt. Forest who still has some quick frozen breasts, drumsticks, whole chickens, and necks/backs to sell, and will bring them to Toronto on March 7. Contact Robt. Huber at www.beefconnections.ca although the chicken may not be listed, but here is another link. http://temp.beefconnections.ca/MarchF...
These are the only broilers in Ontario that were milk fed, and that will be hard to get anywhere else.
I have seen the chickens when I visited the farm, and believe me, they have free run of the place, and the eggs were delicioushttp://temp.beefconnections.ca/MarchFrame/Marchmain.html
In the summer I drive out to Everdale in Hillsborough on Saturday mornings and buy them there at $10 each. It's a great place for heirloom vegetables and seeds too. Just like above, you can see the chickens and turkeys loose in the pasture.
Everdale is a unique sustainable living demonstration project about 20 minutes north of the 401 on Trafalgar Road. It's a great place to take school-aged children as it's quite an educational experience about food and sustainable living. Something they likely won't have the option to ignore.
On Friday I bought an organic free range chicken from Clement Poultry, 85 Lovejoy, Newcastle. I was actually looking for eggs, but this wasn't the spot!.
This small operation is close to the intersection of 401 and 115, and just off #2 hwy.
It is open 1-6PM Friday's, and fresh chicken is all they have. But it is worth stopping for, on your way north or east. I would also pick up Buster Rhino BBQ take out on my way out on a Friday,
The chicken? Super fresh, in cryovac but not frozen, $4/lb.
My 4.5 lb bird was excellent after a 80 min. roast. Good flavor, including the breast which is not my favorite with battery birds. Clement's chickens are raised indoors (at this time of year) but are free range and organically fed. The chickens run from $16 to $25, and well worth it.
I just received an e mail from beefconnections that some free range chickens can be ordered, at about $3/lb delivered. These are true free range birds, unlike Clement's, which live inside a barn (I've purchased chicken at both farm gates.)
I'm afraid you will have to define free range whole birds from Gasparro, as well as free run eggs.
Both items are the real thing from beefconnections, although I have to go to the farmgate for the eggs. Believe me, the hens have the run of the place. Are Gasparro's hens out in the pasture? Or free running inside a windowless barn like Clement's organic?
Most farmers doing free run are letting birds roam indoors, which I'm pretty sure you're aware of. They don't go outside because of the risk for disease and poaching (wolves, etc), I'm assuming that is the case with Homestead.
As to free range? Birds are supposed to have access to outdoor space, but that could mean a little trap door from the barn to a small plot outside. In instances like that, my understanding is that even if access is available, not a lot of birds go outside.
I know they're located in Newmarket. If you're interested I'm sure you can call them and they'll give you more details. I've seen there eggs at other stores too, not just Vince Gasparro's.
I haven't used beefconnections as I live alone, can't order that much meat.
RR 2 LCD 1
Newmarket, ON L3Y 4V9
their website is inactive