New Haven–Area Chicken
Any thoughts on the best farm for chicken in the greater New Haven area? Right now I am leaning toward Stone Gardens because they have a stand at the City Hall greenmarket on Wednesdays and will bring a chicken there if you order it from them online.
However, I see that there are a reasonable number of other places across the state that sell to consumers: http://www.buyctgrown.com/map&str...
[Feel free to redirect me to any previous threads on this topic.]
I'm a fan of Stone Gardens -
1. Reliability - if you e-mail by Thursday (they slaughter on Friday), your chicken will be there Saturday. Any time I've e-mailed, I've received a confirming e-mail.
2. Flexibility - You can order a chicken whole or cut up, and with the cut up one you still get the bones, neck, etc. for soup making.
3. Convenience - I go to the Saturday farmers' market anyway, and it's easy to pick up the bird. Plus, over the winter (I live one town over), they let us drop by the farm to pick up chickens because the farmers' market was cancelled due to weather/a five-week month.
4. Price - I think we pay $3 a pound (it can vary, but not by much), which is the best price I've found for a farm-raised chicken.
5. Taste - They're tender, darn tasty birds. Sometimes they're on the small side (3-4 lbs), but they're always good. I also occasionally buy free-range, all natural chicken from a farmer in Orange who is not on your list; and those chickens are very good and usually more on the 5-6 lb size. But - and the hubby and I have discussed this and haven't been able to put our collective finger on it - something about SG's chickens tastes a little better.
If you've been eating store-bought chicken, probably any local, semi-free* range, naturally raised chicken will taste great, so it's possible that you can't go wrong with anyone on that list. But I've had a very good experience dealing with the farmers at Stone Gardens, and more importantly, eating their birds.
They do a nice turkey too.
*Semi-free because I've heard many farmers say that if their chickens were truly free-range, they'd be lunch for the neighborhood fox, raccoons, coyotes, etc. Many of them use the large, portable pens that they move around the farm.