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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Poultry To The People

Have you always dreamed of having a deeper relation­ship with your food? Ever won­dered what it would be like to wake up with some coffee or a cup of tea to a flock of hap­py feathers? Or to tuck your winged friends in as the moon rises before bedtime?

An exciting new mentor­ship program will begin this summer, hosted by the Fin­land Food Chain here in Lake County, that will help support 10-15 individuals or families in raising meat birds. The Finland Food Chain is a local, non-profit organization dedi­cated to cultivating a thriving local food economy by help­ing facilitate and fund ways to make healthy local food more accessible and build infrastructure to support this mission for future genera­tions.

The Food Chain recently received a USDA grant to fund research to help better understand our region’s needs around raising local meat for consumption as well as cre­ating a regional food aggre­gation initiative. The goal of food aggregation is to provide consumers with greater access to locally produced food and to support a more sustainable food system. This, in turn, results in cutting down on fuel consumption, reducing our carbon footprint, elimi­nating chemicals and growth hormones, and fostering a deeper relationship between community, food and the land we share. With these goals combined, the Poultry to the People project was born.

Poultry to the People is a pi­lot program that will support community education as well as enable families to access local food. It will also assist the Food Chain in collecting data around the challenges we face as a region in raising local meat and how we can work together to remove barriers to make it affordable and accessible for all.

This exciting new project is looking for 10-15 local fami­lies or individuals that would be interested in raising a min­imum of 10 meat birds this summer. The Food Chain will supply 10 Murray’s big red broiler birds to each par­ticipant. These birds are great foragers and can be table ready anytime after 12 weeks. The chicks will be given out to the participants in June 2024. Poultry to the Peo­ple is a mentorship program, meaning each participant will receive guidance and support throughout the whole process from chick to table. All ages (with a guardian’s approval) are encouraged to apply to participate.

Participants will receive an introduction on what on ex­pect when raising meat birds in the northland. At the end of the program, each participant will choose if they would like to learn to slaughter and butcher a percent of the birds themselves at home, or to have the birds processed by a local meat processor. Partic­ipants will also have the op­tion of keeping any percent­age of the birds they raise to put in their freezer for their families or receive guidance on how to sell them at the market, if so desired.

The Food Chain will supply the first 10 birds. If individ­uals would like to raise more than ten, there will be an op­tion to purchase more chicks from the Food Chain at cost. Each family or individual is responsible for purchasing the feed and any other costs associated with raising the birds.

The goal of this project is to put the power of accessing healthy food in the hands of the people. Helping to spread community education and support around providing for ourselves and our families, as well as providing a fun en­vironment where we can all learn together! Participants in the project will be invited to a Facebook group where they can share their experi­ences, ask questions and get answers. This is a 12-16 week minimum commitment. If you or someone you know may be interested in participat­ing this summer or have any questions, please reach out by email to Kristuccia003@gmail.com or by calling 585-704-6500.

Katee Rose
Katee Rose
Katee Rose grew up on the Great Lakes in upstate New York. She left home on a bicycle and embarked on a cross country trip to California following her graduation from college. This trip was the beginning of many more that eventually landed her in countries across Europe, Canada, Mexico and Central America. Learning the cultures, cuisines, history and traditions from the communities she’s spent time in around the world. Katee is passionate about community and social justice movements. As well as engaging with many forms of art and music. For the past 5 years she has called the North Shore home and has been enjoying homesteading a small slice of land in the Northwoods. She is involved in many community efforts around local food, building capacity for a more sustainable future and supporting the elders in the area.
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