The sign is up, if you’ve driven down Derby-Milford Road this week you couldn’t miss it. It’s time to order your fresh chickens from Orange’s own Cedar Hill Farm. They will be available for pick-up on Monday June 16th from 6 to 8 pm.
People who’ve tried them come back year-after-year, order their chickens in advance and pick them up when they’re ready.
Cedar Hill Farm is run by Stephen and Rachel Bespuda, a young couple that both come from a long line of farmers.
Rachel’s grandparents had dairy cows upstate and when they sold them, her parents started raising beef cattle, Rachel and her sister joined 4H and honed their skills on raising cows there.
The Bespuda family is well-known in town and currently three generations are helping and working in the daily operations of the farm which was purchased around 1929.
Like Rachel’s family, the farm used to operate as a dairy, with the milk bottled and delivered locally. After the dairy herd was sold the beef herd expanded.
Rachel and Stephen met at UCONN where they studied at the college of agriculture and natural resources, majored in animal science and learned management skills.
They were married in Fall of 2013.
They grow hay, straw, and corn right here in Orange.
They offer beef year-round (but everything is pre-ordered so it may not be readily available). The steers are pasture raised, and when the pastures are not suitable for grazing the steers are fed locally grown hay and corn silage, from right here in Orange.
The beef is sold by the quarter or side. It is cut, wrapped, labeled, and frozen. You get steaks, roast, and ground beef.
in 2009 they began selling Thanksgiving Turkeys, to rave reviews, and then 2010 they started selling chickens in the spring and summer.
The chickens and turkeys start their lives indoors with heat lamps and the warmth they need to be healthy, at 3 weeks in nice weather they go outside and roam the farm (free range).
The chickens and turkeys are sold fresh and whole (turkeys are raised for Thanksgiving)—Pre-Order ONLY.
Why Buy Fresh and Local?
So, what’s the difference between store bought and these Orange raised free range chickens?
Stephen uses the analogy, “Take a tomato that you grow in your garden compared to one that you get from a supermarket you can tell the difference in quality from the flavor and texture.”
Rachel added, “It’s just fresh, locally grown, raised correctly and humanely, and something that we care deeply about, not something we take for granted,” she said. “Even thought we’ve had it all of our lives, we know the work that goes into it. We appreciate the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to purchase fresh meat that is grown in the same town they live in.”
“This is the meat that we eat ourselves,” Stephen said.
There is no 24/7 farm stand, but the system works for regular customers. Pre-Order now through June 15.
Existing customers on the mailing list receive postcards or e-mails when it’s time to order the chickens.
The last batch of chickens in April sold out, so get busy and pre-order yours now.
Originally Published on: Jun 3, 2014 @ 22:02