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Possum Tales- October

Posted by possumtailfarm on October 10, 2015


Happy October

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Our family has been enjoying the harvest!  We canned 80 jars of applesauce and slices, a bunch of dried apple slices,  50 jars of peaches, and made apple and pumpkin pies from scratch.  We are all happy Arianna learned how to make pie crust!  The leaves are coming down and we are trying to get some projects done before the snow flies.  Brain just completed an animal crossing over the biggest stream on the farm as part of our work with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.  Now, we need to get to work on new winter housing for our hens so that we will , hopefully, be able to raise our own replacement hens in January.  Oh, Oh, we also take credit cards and food-stamps now. We are very excited about this development!

Here is the next set of questions to ask your meat farmer--

What actions do you take to reduce stress for your animals?

Here at the farm stress reduction starts on day one.  We try to let our animals live as close to a natural life as possible.  For the cattle, this means mother’s milk and fresh grass from day one.  Our calves stay with their moms until they naturally wean at about a year old.  By that time mom has had another calf and we separate cattle that will be finished for harvest in the fall with ease.  The groups are them grazed separately but often within sight of each other.  We also handle our cattle once  a month.   We run the cattle through our handling facilities so that we can weigh them, check on any health issues and separate animals to be harvested.   The real benefit here is that the cattle are extremely comfortable with being handled.  Their stress levels will be significantly less headed to the butcher than their counterparts that are only handled once a year.  

Our poultry are brooded in green houses with lots of  natural light.   The have free choice access to everything they need- a warm place, fresh water, clean bedding made of natural material and freshly ground organically raised feed.  At two weeks, once they have begun to get their feathers, they are moved onto shelters pasture.  Our CNG certification mandates that each bird have 2 square feet on pasture and be moved to fresh grass at least once a day.  Some folks raising “Local” and “Natural” poultry maintain higher stocking densities on pasture and brood chicks in metal industrial cages.  Ask to see brooding facilities.  

How far do your animals have to travel to be harvested?  

Our cattle travel 20 minutes to the butcher.  We load them onto the truck at 6:30 am and the are usually killed about 7:00am.  Our goal is to get them there quickly and comfortably and for them to spend as little time “waiting” as possible.    Poultry are butchered here on the farm, so they travel a couple hundred feet.  

Freezer Beef Reservations

Thank you so much to those who ordered your freezer beef this year!  We hope you enjoy Possum Tail beef through the winter and beyond :) If you’ve been waiting, we have one more ¼ available.   We’d also like to give an amazing amount of props to the Terra Cafe in Morgantown. They have ordered 2 entire steers 2 years in a row!  They have a tasty, affordable, clean food made from scratch menu and bakery over there in Star City.  Check them out and tell them we sent you :)

Beef for Sale

We have an amazing selection of CNG grass fed and finished beef for sale--steaks, roasts, ground beef, organ meats, bones, hoagie meat etc.

Make an appointment to come shop :)  Or call/e-mail and place an order for delivery to Oakland or Morgantown.  

Eggs and Stew Hens

We have 180 new pullets  (young laying hens) here and just got our very first egg!  

We will have more stew hens available soon. They are $8 each.  We should have more eggs for folks at the Mountain People’s Co-op and All Things Herbal soon :)  

Meat Chickens

Broiler chickens will be ready for pickup on October 14th 3-6pm. We look forward to seeing everyone on the pick up day!  As usual, we will have fresh cookies and some music playing (if the weather is nice!).   We still have some unreserved birds.  Check out the Poultry order form (in the link below) to reserve a few.  


The turkeys are getting bigger and look like they might taste just as good as last year ;-)  Fresh turkeys are scheduled for pick-up on To reserve your Thanksgiving Turkey fill out this form and return with deposit.   

Winter Egg CSA

Thank you to everyone who signed up for the winter egg CSA!  Fresh Possum Tail Farm eggs will be a winter balm for us all.  

At the Market

We attended our last market for the season on Wednesday.  We will not be at any more farmer's market this season.  We hope to see you all at the farm soon :)  

Just For Fun!

The life of a farmer is long and hard, especially in the summer.  I recently had a date with Brin at the dentist office (ok you can stop laughing!). We had a chance to talk, and he said he was disappointed he didn’t have enough time to work with Arianna on a play house they’d been talking about for a couple of years.  So, we are trying to help Brian with the daily chores a little more and Brian has had some time to spend with the kids tearing down the old, 25 year old tree house.  And building the foundation of a cool play house for the kids.  Communication is soo important!  Everybody benefits and sometimes fun stuff happens too :)

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