Hops and Chickens in the Summer

There is no shortage of things to do on farm these days. With the busy days comes the immense reward of farm life. There is fresh chicken and vegetables on the table, the hops are flowering and starting to smell like fresh beer, and the raspberries have been amazing.

Farm update:

Here are some highlights from the farm to illustrate how great things are going:

hop farm
Many of our second year hop plants have topped 18 feet tall and are filling up with cones. Even the plants that didn’t get the height are filling out with the delicious beer ingredient.
hop flower
Inside these hop flowers lupulin is forming. While lupulin plays a major role in the bitterness and aroma of hops, it is also has a relaxing effect on the body which helps you mellow out, gives you confidence, and makes you a great singer.
sheep farm
This little critter is one of our sheep. They came on farm originally to help us prune the hop plants. Not surprisingly we have become attached. Now there is serious talk about expanding the herd as part of the farm. One thing is for certain, they’re darn cute.
tomato horn worm
This little devil has been plaguing our greenhouse tomatoes. The tomato horn worm will eat everything in its’ path. It’s a good thing we have feathered friends on the farm who love to eat them.
pastured poultry
When you walk up to the chicken coops with a little container of tomato horn worms just picked from the green house the chickens always seem to know. They come running for a snack. Why do you think our eggs have such a good protein count?
chickens on pasture
Waiting with bated breath for the next delivery of precisely plucked plump plant pests.
clown rooster
This rooster I have dubbed “The Clown”. I mean, look at the guy. He’s shy so you don’t always get a chance to spy him. I had to crawl under the coop for this picture. He’s an Americana rooster. When he sees you he runs away and it kind of sounds like he’s laughing. Maybe it’s all a game to him?
squash bed
Besides hops we are also growing a few other things for the brewery. Here we have a winter squash bed with some green beans mixed in. They will be ready and able to store for when they brewery is up and running. Update on that = next picture. (The green beans are for pickling.)
brewery foundation
The site is prepped for the brewery and the molds for the footings are in. As I write this the concrete is being poured for the beginning of the foundation. Very exciting!
chicken CSA
The chicken CSA has been going great this summer. We are loving seeing all the returning members each week as well as the regulars and new folks at the farmers’ market. Here a batch of broilers hangs out during the day in one of our chicken tractors. The pink spots on them are where they haven’t grown feathers because of the heat. Completely normal, if not a little weird looking.
building mobile chicken coops
Because we love our chickens so much we are constantly working to improve their living situation. Here Nick is adding a deck extension to hold feeders for the laying hens. Their coop has gone through a bunch of upgrades and the hens seem to really like it. Next we need to make little rocking chairs for the new deck.
farm baby
What would be a blog post without a picture of everyone’s favorite farm baby? Mabel says, “hello.” Though it might not sound anything like that. She can say, “Da Da,” though, and it makes me melt. It kind of looks like Kate is pushing the swing with mind powers.
farm flowers
Now this sure is purdy! Thanks for stopping in, enjoying the photos, and supporting the farm!

Spring on a Chicken and Hop Farm

Sustainable farming begins and end with diversity. Having more than one agricultural operation in operation makes for a more balanced farm. We have a couple of different operations here at Camps Road Farm, but let’s focus on two for a second. Chicken and hops.


pastured organic eggs
These are a group of our laying hens. They love coming out of their coops each morning and searching for bugs that landed in the pasture over night.

The main focus of the farm for now is pastured poultry. All the other areas of the farm revolve around what is best for the chickens. We go to great lengths to make sure our birds are happy, and that they place nicely with the rest of the farm.

Chicken manure is a great fertilizer in the right dose. We keep our birds moving around farm, and they keep us supplied with manure. Both our egg laying hens and our broilers rotate on pasture and live life out doors.

pastured poultry
Our pastured broilers are different kinds of birds completely. They live their lives in chicken tractors which suits them just fine. There are no floors on the tractors and they are moved daily to ensure fresh pasture and no manure build up.
building a chicken tractor
With the expansion of the farm to incorporate the Chicken CSA we got busy building more chicken tractors for our birds in the field. We have a total of 24 tractors that house 30 birds a piece. If you do the math, that’s a lot of birds to manage.
chickens in chicken tractors
The broilers in the chicken tractors have certified organic feed that is free from GMOs. You can see they have plenty of grass, water from the orange bucket, and lots of fresh air. Those are the ingredients for the best chicken you have ever had.


As we are working toward having a production brewery on site, having a hop yard up and running is a big focus around here. When Kent Falls Brewing Company opens its’ doors for the first time our beer will have hops from the farm and grain from local growers. It takes a while for hops to get established, so we had to get an early start.

tying coir
Farm Manager Barry is tying one of the 1000 plus strands of coir that is used to trellis the hops. The hop bines (bines not vines) grow up the coir and are harvested in the fall. The hops reach 18+ feet high during the growing season. It has been no small task getting all those lines up.
mulching hops
Brewer Barry and Farmer Sarah spread mulch around the hops plants. The mulch keeps weeds down, helps with moisture retention, and will keep the plants a little warmer in the winter.

Put it Together

Putting chickens in the hop yard holds several benefits. It helps fertilize, the chickens mow the grass down, and they even add pest protection. Last year we had a problem with Japanese Beetles until we put the chickens in the hop yard. The beetles flew into the chicken’s waterers and the chickens ate them right up. Everyone was happy (except the beetles).

chicken and hops
These are our chicken tractors moving through our hop yard. It’s a beautiful relationship.

Spring on the Farm is Beautiful!

farm house
There has been a good balance of rain and sun here. The color green is exploding everywhere, and the farm is simply stunning.
farm baby
Of course I had to show off Mabel. She is getting bigger every day. In the last couple weeks she took her first steps, said, “Da Da!”, and her top teeth are poking out. She’s been busy. It feels amazing to be able to raise a kid on a farm.

Spring is here and Camps Road Farm has a lot of chicken

chickens on pasture
Every morning seems to be beautiful on the farm. Sure with each sunrise comes a full day of work on the farm. It is all worth it to see our birds out on pasture, enjoy the fresh air (not typically associated with chicken farms), and the rewarding life of a farmer. The ladies in this photo are our youngest batch of laying hens. They are not laying eggs yet, but they enjoy the grass just the same as the older ladies. In the background our hop yard is coming to life with all the spring rains and sunshine.
broiler chicken
The laying hens aren’t the only young birds we have out on pasture. Our broiler chickens are out on grass and having a good time as all the bugs come out from their winter dormancy. Our Chicken CSA starts in June, the only bad day day in our chicken’s lives.
chicken tractors
Our broilers live in these chicken tractors. They are moved every single day, fed certified organic grain, and enjoy a pretty comfy lifestyle. The design of the tractors is to keep them safe, healthy, and easy to work with. They enjoy human visitors so make a appointment to come check out the farm anytime and see for yourself.
chicken tractors
We are very often up to see the sunrise. We’re also usually out late enough to see it go down as well. Producing quality chicken and eggs takes some serious effort!
alan tenhoeve
Part of that serious effort is put in by Farmer Alan. While I stop to look at the sheep Alan keeps working, seriously the guy never stops. Alan is restringing the electric fence around the chicken tractors. There are a number of predators on the farm and all our birds are safely surrounded by electric fences (our sheep too).
Our lambs got big fast! We are no longer bottle feeding them. Instead the sun is growing their feed and they are loving it.
apple buds
The warmer weather, sun, and rains have done wonderful things around the farm. Everywhere in our area buds are coming out on the trees including the year-old trees in our apple orchard. These apples will one day feed our distillery in Portchester. For now, they are just enjoying being part of the farm.
farmers market
We are at the New Milford Farmers’ Market every Saturday day for almost eh entire rest of the year on Saturdays from 9-12 in the morning. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Mabel there!
duck friends
These are our duck friends. There is a diversity of life on the farm besides out chickens, hop, and apple trees. There are snapping turtles crossing our orchard, a lot of birds, two bothersome beavers, deer, and a vast array of things that would love to eat chickens. With sustainable farming you live and work within a more natural system. The diversity of plant and animal species on our farm is a direct result of working with nature instead of against it.