Author: Peter Wheeler

02 Nov 2021

2022 Turkey Pickup Time

2022 Turkey Pickup Time

Please use this form to select your turkey pickup time. We will send you a list of other available items (beef, chicken, pork, eggs, vegetables and flowers) soon! You can pre-order and prepay for a quick pickup, or shop in-store when picking up your turkey. If you have questions about how the process works or questions about our turkeys, see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

FAQ

What is your process for filling turkey orders?

Turkeys and pickup times are offered to customers in the order in which we received your pre-order.

Can I pickup my turkey early?

We do not have any turkeys available before November 21st as they are processed as close to Thanksgiving as possible to provide you with the freshest turkey.

What about vegetables, flowers, eggs, and other meats?

We will have a wide assortment of vegetables and meats available for your feast! Sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, greens, fresh herbs and more, as well as fresh flower bouquets and pasture raised eggs. In mid-November we will email you a list of everything we will have available, with the option to pre-order.

What can I expect at pickup?

Within your assigned pickup window, you will arrive at the Farmstore (8255 Spooky Hollow Road) and be greeted by a Greenacres staff member. They will retrieve your turkey and any other pre-ordered items, and assist you with checkout. We accept cash and credit card. The Farmstore will also be open for in-person shopping, with our full selection of 100% grassfed beef, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, vegetables and flowers. Curbside-only pickup is available, just let a staff member know when you arrive. Please keep in mind this process may change, and we will let you know via email of any changes.

I see feathers on my turkey, is this normal?

The turkey you typically buy at the grocery store has been bred to have white feathers, a genetic trait selected so feathers aren’t as visible after defeathering. These type of selective breeding practices can come at the expense of overall turkey health and flavor. Choosing turkeys with genetic traits closer to their wild ancestors means that our turkeys will have bronze feathers, but are better suited to thrive outdoors and have great flavor. These bronze feathers may occasionally be visible on the turkey you bring home – simply remove before cooking.

Do I need to prepare this turkey any differently because it’s fresh and pasture raised?

Nope! Your turkey will be fresh, so no thawing is necessary. Prepare as you would any other turkey (but it’s going to taste better!). For basic oven roasting, plan on 13 minutes per pound at 350º, until the thickest portion reaches an internal temperature of 165º

What if I need to cancel or change my order?

We do our best to accommodate these situations, but please keep in mind that changes may not be possible. Please get in touch with us so we can find the best solution for you. If you need to cancel, let us know ASAP so we can offer your turkey to another customer, and we will refund your deposit.

Getting to the Farmstore

The Farmstore is located in Indian Hill. Look for a white ranch style building and a sign that says “Greenacres Farm Store”. If you get lost, please call 513-891-4227 and press 1.

8255 Spooky Hollow Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Click here to get directions

Contact Us

Phone: 513-891-4227 press 1

Email: farm@green-acress.org

8255 Spooky Hollow Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45242

14 Oct 2021

Diversity and Phytonutrients

Diversity and Phytonutrients

A recent study published in Frontiers of Sustainable Food Systems adds credence to the value of diversity. The study compared meat and milk from livestock that had grazed pastures with a diversity of plants species (grasses, forbs, and legumes) to meat and milk from livestock that had grazed pastures with limited to no diversity of plants (i.e. a monoculture). What the study found was that products coming from livestock that graze diverse pastures are often higher in health-promoting phytonutrients such as terpenoids, phenols, carotenoids, and a variety of antioxidants – when compared to those coming off of monoculture pastures. Products from animals fed grain contain a reduced amount of these compounds or are absent from them entirely. The study also iterated that several phytochemicals found in grass-fed meat and milk are often found in quantities comparable to those found in plant foods and are known to have anti inflammatory, cardio-protective and anti-carcinogenic effects.

The way food is produced, and how those practices impact ecology, environment, and the health of consumers is of importance. This is something that we focus a lot of attention on at Greenacres, including funding and performing research to help us better understand these connections. Diversity is one of the attributes we study as a key indicator of the health of our pastures and woodlands. Based on the findings of this recent study, diversity has a large role in the nutritional quality of our products as well.

14 Oct 2021

A Responsible Protein Source

A Responsible Protein Source

How does Greenacres beef compare to plant-based “meat alternatives”? The ingredients used to produce these products (soy, peas, seed oils, rice, etc) are grown in huge, industrial agricultural operations that tend to specialize in and grow only one crop, a practice known as ‘monocropping’. Monocrop agriculture harms the environment in many ways; through the compaction and degradation of soils, the usage of huge quantities of pesticides and herbicides, the pollution of water, and the loss of biodiversity.

Along with physical compaction from heavy machinery, monocropped soils are often devoid of the lifeforms you’d find in healthy soils, like bacteria, invertebrates, insects, and fungi. This soil biology is largely responsible for the development of soil organic matter – which like a sponge is able to hold 18 times its own weight in water – and building soil aggregates, which provide pore spaces in the soil to allow water to easily infiltrate down into the soil profile. Thus, depleted biology leads directly to a loss of water absorption and retention, causing runoff and erosion to become serious issues.

Besides the environmental costs of monocrop farming, “meat alternatives” are also reliant on huge processing plants and long supply chains to turn a raw soybean into processed ingredients, like soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, and soy leghemoglobin. Highly processed foods take your food further from your farmer, further from the land on which the foods are grown, and are reliant on wealthy multinational corporations to keep the complex supply chains and processing plants operating.

Raising cattle on pasture actually improves the environment, improving both the quality and quantity of soil biology, sequestering carbon and building biodiversity. If you’re looking for responsible protein choice, look no further than 100% grassfed, grass-finished beef.

28 Sep 2021

Summer 2021 Update

Summer 2021 Update

Pasture Monitoring

Monitoring plays a large role in the research department.  In addition to monitoring the woodlands, we also monitor the pastures.  Collecting data on soil health and vegetation can inform management decisions made by the livestock team.  Data collected include comprehensive soil tests (encompassing the physical, chemical and biological components of soil), water infiltration and compaction.   Plant species diversity is measured along with an overall assessment of ecosystem health.  Finally, photos document the visual features of the pasture.  Continuous improvement in soil health and desired pasture species is the goal. The photo below visually shows the improvement in vegetative cover, species richness and desired species over 3 years.  This land was a former soybean field in Brown County and is now a native warm season pasture.  We recently developed a comprehensive monitoring schedule for all of our pastures.

Use the image slider to see the 3 year change.

Preserving a Piece of History

Built in mid to late 1920’s as part of the original architecture of the stable facilities, the grain silos at our equine center are an iconic piece of scenery for visitors to the Greenacres Arts Center and Riding Facility. During an annual inspection by our Buildings & Grounds team in June, a number of age related issues affecting the safety of the structures were discovered. “These buildings are in remarkably good shape given their age, however, we did find that certain components were starting to show their age which is nearly 100 years of service. The design, craftsmanship and method of construction was lightyears ahead of their time” says Alex Saurber, Director of Buildings and Grounds. “Our goal is to make sure these buildings continue to withstand the test of time while preserving their historic look. By making these improvements they will remain a unique site for our visitors”.

After careful review and planning, work began in August to restore and replace these critical components. These repairs are expected to be completed before the end of November 2021.

Expanding Flower Production

Flower production on our farm started small in 2019, as a pilot project by Sam Dunbar, Aesthetic Garden Coordinator, when she was a farm intern. Now in her second full season of production, our flower program has grown by leaps and bounds. At Greenacres, we seek to encourage biodiversity, grow organically, and provide quality experiences for our guests – flowers bring together these fundamental tenants of our farm in the most beautiful way. “Most of our vegetable crops rely on pollinators to produce fruit, and interplanting flowers among the vegetables is one of the best ways to encourage pollinators to visit.” says Dunbar, “We plant more flowers than we will harvest, ensuring there’s plenty left for our pollinators to enjoy. Honeybees from our onsite hives are a common sight, busily working away.”

We also plant flowers of different shapes – round, trumpet, umbel shape, etc., encouraging many different kinds of pollinators to visit and build biodiversity. Each species of insect searching for nectar or pollen is seeking a flower shape that suits its specific anatomy and preferences. Hummingbirds like trumpet shapes, bees like round shapes, and wasps prefer umbel shapes. These specific preferences are something our education staff can share with students who visit our gardens.

As with everything in our gardens, our flowers are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or non-organic fertilizers. Flowers from a florist or grocery store may be grown using a wide array of chemical inputs, most of which are detrimental to our environment and pollinators. They’re also typically grown on farms far away and transported thousands of miles to their final destination. Seeking out local flowers can sometimes require a bit more effort, but are well worth the benefits. Customers take home gorgeous flower bouquets while our pollinators and gardens benefit from the increased plant diversity. We’re looking forward to refining and expanding flower production as we enter our third growing season!

“Most of our vegetable crops rely on pollinators to produce fruit, and interplanting flowers among the vegetables is one of the best ways to encourage pollinators to visit.

-Sam Dunbar, Aesthetic Garden Coordinator

The Magic of Summer Camps

Our 2021 summer season revealed the true magic that camp brings. It seemed even nature itself cheered when little boots, water bottles and tie dye shirts arrived in June! Once Upon a Camp, Fun on the Farm, Nurture Nature, Arts in the Natural World, Gone Fishin’… all camps sold quickly and the waiting lists filled up.

Education Administrative Coordinator, Katie Brown explained, “After the 2020 pause, the heightened interest in Greenacres Summer Camps became clear. Even so, we did commit to maintaining small groups with an average of one Greenacres Educator to five children, putting the safety of our families first.”

With camps returning, it was a great opportunity for local high schoolers to once again build their leadership skills over the summer. 31 local high-school student volunteers for the Greenacres Leaders-in-Training (LIT) Program. Under the guidance of the same Greenacres Educators that host thousands of children for field trips each school year, our LITs learned valuable skills on how to safely run a camps, helping ensure that over 290 children enjoyed a safe and magical summer.

“After the 2020 season pause, the heightened interest in Greenacres Summer Camp became clear. Even so, we did commit to maintaining small groups with an average of one Greenacres Educator to five children, putting the safety of our families first.”

-Katie Brown, Education Administrative Coordinator

Camp magic continues with the release of the 2022 guide before the end of the year and registration to open in early 2022 on our website, https://green-acres.org/camps/ .

A Roost for Turkeys

Our livestock team is always looking for ways to increase the quality of life for the animals we raise at Greenacres. Whether it’s shade structures for our cattle or improved chicken tractors for our broilers, no detail large or small is over looked in the process. Even though turkeys are only on our farm for a short period of time, we treat them with the same care and respect that we give to all of our animals.

Every year after Thanksgiving, our team sits down and reviews what they can do to improve our ability to raise turkeys. “Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost” says our Livestock Manager, Leevi Stump.  “We looked at our options and decided we could come up with a solution to this challenge before we brought turkeys back onto the farm”. Working with the some of the master welders on our estate crew, a roosting system was designed and construction began in (June?). The build went smoothly and the roosts went out into the field in August waiting for our turkeys to get big enough to use them over the fall.  “We think these will go a long ways to making our turkeys more comfortable” says Stump, “it helps protect them from ground predators and lets them exercise that natural instinct to be in trees”.

“Our turkeys have always had access to clean water, fresh pastures, and the safety of our poultry tractors, but we were overlooking their natural instinct to want to roost.

-Livestock person, Livestock person

A Pollinator Garden for the Farm Store

We’ve enjoyed seeing all of you in the Farm Store this summer. The most noticeable change is our new pollinator garden. In late winter, spring, and early summer of this year, a thick, black tarp was covering the landscaping in front of the store. This tarp prevented the growth of the plants underneath, which had become overgrown. The heat and moisture trapped by the tarp also acts to supercharge the biological activity in the soil, helping the microbes break down the decaying plant material underneath, in a process known as ‘solarization’.

When we removed the tarp in early summer, the soil was beautiful and much improved. A layer of our own compost was added, and a thick layer of natural wood chip mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds. We’ve intermixed native and ornamental perennials and annuals, to provide year-long flowers for the visiting pollinators. Some of the species we’ve planted are also host plants for caterpillars, such as butterfly weed, a type of milkweed that serves as a host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Over the next few years we will be adding additional perennial species, and mixing in different annuals to see what produces the most beautiful results. We are very grateful to our garden crew for providing such a beautiful and beneficial garden to enjoy.

Summertime Music

Our friends from the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra returned this summer for another great series of “Music Under the Stars” events.. The sellout crowds enjoyed beautiful evenings in July and August listening to members of the Pops play summertime favorites in the gardens at the Arts Center. Late in the summer the entire Cincinnati Pops, and members from the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati May Festival, and Cincinnati Ballet, returned for our annual Celebration Concert in the Grand Tent. It was an amazing performance and a perfect cap to end summer.

Between our concerts, we hosted nine weddings from June through September. “We were thrilled to host a full slate of weddings this season after so many couples had to postpone their 2020 wedding dates. We know that was a really tough decision for them, so it was nice to finally see them get to have the event of their dreams.” says Diana Wheeler, Private Events Manager.

“We were thrilled to host a full slate of weddings this season after so many couples had to postpone their 2020 wedding dates.

-Diana Wheeler, Private Events Manager

Ohio Native Warm Season Grass Trials

This past summer our Lewis Township site became one of four test sites in Ohio for establishing native warm season grasses under various management regimes. This three year experiment is being coordinated through the Ohio State University under the direction of Dr. Marília Chiavegato. Three different establishment protocols were used representing both conventional and non-chemical management strategies. Big bluestem, Indian grass, eastern gamma grass and switchgrass were planted and their growth and development will be documented. Increased pasture diversity in Ohio is important for ecosystem resilience under a changing climate. “Doing collaborative research with external institutions is extremely important as it allows Greenacres to develop relationships with scientists and experts in fields that support our mission. At the same time it allows Greenacres to share their expertise and promote research and knowledge to a much larger community,” says Research Director Chad Bitler.

The research team collecting data in treatments sown in cover crop.

“Doing collaborative research with external institutions is extremely important as it allows Greenacres to develop relationships with scientists and experts in fields that support our mission. At the same time it allows Greenacres to share their expertise and promote research and knowledge to a much larger community

-Chad Bitler, Research Director