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Getting in the summer routine

It’s been hot lately, which presents certain challenges on our farm especially since all of our animals are on pasture and require some extra attention in extreme heat.

For our layer chickens we use a sprinkler system to mist water inside their house on hot afternoons.  This allows them to move in and out of the mist throughout the afternoon to cool themselves.  Take a look at the picture below.

For our broiler chicks in the brooder house we installed some small fans to make them a little more comfortable.  As they get bigger and are in the field we use a mobile sprayer and a tractor to spray water directly on them every hour when conditions require.  This cool mist makes them much more comfortable and they get to where they stand still as the sprayer passes to absorb the drenching.

misters keeping chickens cool
We use sprayer nozzles to mist cool water on our layer flocks during hot weather.

For our cattle, we make sure they have access to plenty of shaded loafing areas where they can cool off, and all of our pig paddocks have shaded areas that are accessible as well.

All of our animals and everyone who works on our farm look forward to the afternoon showers we’ve been getting lately.  They are a much needed relief from the heat and go a long way in making our grasses flourish.

A nice summer shower moves across the pastures.

When we choose to raise livestock, we feel like we commit to raising them as humanely as possible in order to keep stress levels as low as possible. This enables you as our customer to feel confident that the meat from our farm is not only part of a sustainable system but even more than that — it’s regenerative.  The methods we use should not only support themselves and us but should also build excellent soil, plants, animals and ultimately people!

So, in order to give you more reasons to invest in farming practices such as ours we are offering another brand new chicken bundle intended to save you a lot of money and stock your freezer with chicken that heals the land rather than mines it.  We’re calling it our Super Flock Stock Bundle and it’s 18 chickens worth of product for about $75 off of the retail price! Check it out today.

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Chicken is in stock!

We are glad to say that we have loads of chicken in stock now! We have worked hard at greatly expanding this enterprise and have been processing on-farm for the last week. We have 1 more round of 200 birds to process tomorrow then we can get back to a little less strenuous routine.

You can purchase by the individual piece or you have the opportunity to bundle and save! We have many different bundles to choose from so head over and have a look!

Here’s a video that features our Chicken Bundle which consists of 6 chickens already cut up for your convenience!

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Chickens on pasture!

We were able to get nearly 1000 chickens moved to pasture in the last several days and they’re doing great.  They’re adjusting well and are chowing down on clover, grass, bugs and anything else they can scratch up!  When weather permits we like to get them out to pasture as soon as about 3 weeks old to maximize the forage intake over their lifespan.  This makes happy chickens and wonderful meat full of flavor that you can feel good about feeding your family.  Here’s a video!

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Investing in local agriculture

Knowing your farmer has become increasingly important through the pandemic.  We have seen just how fragile the industrial food system is.  Wouldn’t it be great if instead of a handful of enormous meat processing plants we had thousands of small, embedded, family-owned meat processors scattered (distanced instead of centralized) across the country?  

This is one result that supporting your local farmer does.  Whether it’s Watson Farms or another local farm in the Carolinas, sourcing your proteins and produce from a farmer that you know is one way to vote for a more resilient food system. 

With that said, for those in the Charlotte and Rock Hill areas, there’s still time to place your order for Saturday’s Home Delivery and we’re also headed to our Greenville/Spartanburg pickup locations tomorrow as well.  Stock is limited, but we are getting a large amount of beef and pork back within the next couple weeks so please check back.  

We’ve had a lot going on at the farm lately, and we’ve been trying to document much of it so you can witness it.  So we’ll leave you with a couple videos from this week.

As always thanks for your support.  We’re looking forward to a productive year with a renewed consumer interest in local food!

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Scaling up to serve you!

We’ve had extraordinary interest in our products in the last 2 months and we want to say thank you to our regular customers and all of our new customers!

We are now scaling up to be able to serve what we hope will be a surge in consumer interest in the coming years.  Here’s some areas we are working hard at expanding:

  1. Pastured chickens – we have started a flock of 1000 chickens that we will process here on our farm under a federal exemption that allows us to do so, which will allow us to offer our chicken products at a competitive price.  We plan to do many flocks like this every year in order to serve the renewed interest in pastured chicken straight from the farm.
  2. Grass-fed beef – We are currently getting about twice the number of calves in place that will fatten by this time next year.  We are also continuing to upgrade our cattle infrastructure including more water line and shade structures that allow us to mob graze more efficiently.  Mob grazing greatly improves the quality of the soil, grass and ultimately the beef.
  3. Marketing infrastructure – from chicken processing equipment to freezers to better delivery vans, we are investing heavily in these areas in order to better serve you with the volume of product that is needed.  
  4. Other investments – More details about these investments will be coming soon!  It’s an exciting time at Watson Farms.  Follow us and come along for the journey.

What can you do to invest with us?  Stick with us!  If you have found us during the pandemic and enjoy our products please continue voting with your food dollar for local, pasture-based agriculture by purchasing our products.  When you do this, you are supporting agriculture and small local processors that are resilient to many of the perils that we face today.  

With that said, here are some videos to show you some things that we have been busy with this week!

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New Protocols during COVID-19 – Effective Monday, March 30

Farm Pickup

Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 1pm – 4pm

Ordering and Pickup Process:

  1. Place your order online. (No phone orders, please.)
  2. Pay Online. (No checks or cash at this time, please.)
  3. Wait for an email stating that your order is “Ready for Pickup or Delivery.”
  4. Pick up at 713 Colony Road, Chester, SC 29706 between 1pm and 4pm Monday through Saturday. Stay in your car, and someone will come out to take your name and bring out your order.

Home Deliveries

  • Place your order online. (No phone orders, please.)
  • Pay Online. (No checks or cash at this time, please.)
  • Wait for an email stating that your order is “Ready for Pickup or Delivery.”
  • Your order will be delivered on the following WEDNESDAY or SATURDAY, whichever is sooner. (We have added an additional Home Delivery route to accommodate high order volume). Order deadline is noon on the preceding day.
  • You will receive a text message (if you entered your mobile number correctly on our site) when the delivery driver is approximately 30 minutes away from you.