Snow Birds redefined

This is the earliest in the spring we have raised chickens and the weather has presented some challenges to say the least. We decided to delay putting the birds out on pasture as we were concerned with how they would handle the cold (and as it turns out snow!).

Thankfully, they are very hardy and did just fine. We moved the first 80 last week and the remainder today (April 16) after the snow. It was a beautiful morning and I was pleased to have Katie there to help!

Pigs Arrive

We picked up our 10 feeder pigs on April 3rd and they are doing great. We ended up getting 3 different breeds; Hereford, Berkshire and Red Wattle. The loading and unloading went as smoothly as one could ask for and the pigs seem to be enjoying their new home. We plan to get them moved into the woods in early May.

Please email heath@hiddenhollowfarmiowa.com if you would like to reserve a 1/2 or Whole.

Winter Newsletter

With all the mud in the driveway I can tell spring is just around the corner! We are gearing up for a LOT of exciting projects this year at the farm. Thankfully we are going to have some help this season from Gavin Johnston. Gavin will be staying at Hidden Hollow full time, raising some exceptional vegetables for his market garden and helping us take care of the livestock. 

VISITING THE FARM We are always happy to have our customers and families come and see the farm! If you would like to come visit Hidden Hollow we would be delighted to show you where and how your food is being raised. Call or Text Heath at 563-334-2042 or send an email and we will schedule a visit. Why not make it April 28th, June 6th or June 23rd which are our processing dates and we will have fresh chicken available!

PASTURED CHICKENS ARE BACK! We are going to expand our chicken production and be offering them for sale at the Council Bluffs Farmers Market which is held in Bayliss Park on Thursday afternoons 430-730 from May through September. You can also place an order by sending me an email heath@hiddenhollowfarmiowa.com

This year we are going to be feeding 100% certified organic feed and all the birds will be processed through Duncan’s Poultry in their State inspected facility. This year’s price will be $5.25/pound. The first batch will be ready April 28th!

PSST….there is also a rumor that we will be raising a small number of pastured Turkeys which will be processed November 23rd just in time for Thanksgiving….don’t tell Katie about this one yet.

NEW FOR 2020…..PASTURED PORK! I was somewhat surprised when Katie signed off on this, but we are charging full speed ahead. We will get our Berkshire/Mangalitsa cross feeder pigs from Travis at TD Niche in early June. They will be raised outdoors and fed 100% certified organic feed. As always, NO hormones or antibiotics. 

They will be processed by the great crew at Minden Meat Market in Minden, Iowa in early December (Ham for Christmas anyone?!). We are targeting a finished weight of 250 pounds. Prices will be $3.50/pound hanging weight, which will be around $600 for a whole hog. We are not planning to get very many so if you would like to reserve a whole or half hog please send me an email: heath@hiddenhollowfarmiowa.com

FALL FARM PARTY! We had such a blast last year (despite the cold in late October) that we want to make it an annual deal. Mark your calendar for Saturday September 26, 2020. There will be hay rack rides, bonfire, pig roast, bouncy house and of course beer from FULL FLEDGED!

NEW WEBSITEhttp://www.hiddenhollowfarmiowa.com.
I’ve tried to put more detail on our revamped website so please go check it out and let me know what you think. 

THANK YOU! Our family sincerely thanks you for continuing support our farm and our local community food system. This journey is just beginning and we are praying that it will make sense for us to continue to produce delicious healthy food for our friends and families. Please help us by spreading the word about Hidden Hollow Farm! 

Final Thought: I was driving by the massive concrete behemoth of the Costco chicken factory the other day and asked myself (rhetorically)….is that where people really want their food to come from? I know for our family we would rather eat food from a FARM than food from a FACTORY!  

Full Fledged Brewing is born!

This summer after two years of planning, we were proud to be part of the group that helped to open Council Bluffs first craft brewery! My brother-in-law, Marshall Redmond is the head brewer and is assisted by his wife and my sister Dessie. They have an amazing staff and Marshall is making some amazing beers!

They are big supporters of small businesses in Council Bluffs and the local food movement. Full Fledged is located next to the mid-America center so come out and have a delicious brew!

Machine Shed

Upon my return from USAF adventures last winter I discovered our hoop shed had collapsed due to the snow load! Thankfully none of the farm equipment was damaged, but the loss precipitated an unexpected project of building a new machine shed. We decided to build a 50′ x 100′ metal building which was installed by Tyler and his crew at Next Generation Buildings. Seth at Council Bluffs Well ran water to the building and Tyler from Amped Electric installed the electric service and lights. They all did a great job.

The building needed a “little bit” of concrete work and I had hired a local guy to do the job who flaked out. We decided to finish it ourselves and thanks to all my GREAT friends who helped get the project completed!

First Organic Corn Harvest

It was a huge accomplishment for us this year to obtain organic certification, plant, cultivate, harvest and deliver our first organic grain. As always, it was a steep learning curve and some “lessons learned” but overall a successful year. We were pleased with the improvement in the quality of our soil and the quality of our crop. We also managed to drill a late season organic wheat cover crop which will be crucial in early spring weed control. In 2020 we plan to plant organic soybeans and are hoping to do chickens again and maybe even a few pigs….don’t tell anyone tell Katie yet. 🙂