I've often heard others say they'd like to buy free range poultry, but it's too expensive. Actually, factory-raised chicken is unrealistically cheap considering the farmers' cost and time that goes into it; and there's a definite difference in the quality and taste. Take the time to watch the video "Food Inc." and you'll never buy factory-farm-raised poultry again!
Good poultry is valuable and should be treated as such; it's not what you pay for it--it's what you do with it. My story may illustrate that:
I approached the Hidden Stream Farm stand at market and ordered a large chicken. Didn't check the price; I already knew I wanted to try one of their chickens. Grandpa Klein (Everett) dug around in the cooler and came up with a 6+ pound chicken. "Perfect" I said. When he stated the cost, I began to slow in writing out the check as it dawned on me I was spending almost $19 for only one chicken. I hesitated, but knew I was already comitted. My mind raced over and over "Almost twenty dollars for ONE Chicken!!" I cut my shopping trip short; and as I slunked back home with chicken in tow, I kept asking myself "What was I thinking". My throat got dryer with each step when I realized I would be telling Dave, my husband, I spent around $20 at market and had only one chicken to show for it.
Not one to dwell on misgivings; I decided to stretch portions and keep track of how many meals I was getting from this truly "gold-en" chicken. Here's the tally: six large individual pot pies; four generous chicken-gravy-over-biscuit suppers; four servings of chicken stir fry over rice; two hoagie-style chicken sandwiches; six bowlfuls of chicken noodle soup and at least three quarts of rich, free-range (no-fat) chicken broth. Thats 22 meals, plus the broth. With a quart of free-range, no-fat chicken broth retailing from $4.00-$6.00 in stores, I could take at least $12.00 off the top, leaving my cost at around thirty cents per meal. Considering this was for the healthiest, tastiest chicken I could buy (and never worry about chemicals, antibiotics, e-coli and such); I was relieved (and sold)!
Moral of the story: It's not what you pay for it; it's what you do with it.
So, how many years have I been buying chicken from Hidden Stream Farm? Pictures tell the story: