Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays - From Our Farm to Your Fork

With Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, let us help you plan your holiday meals! The holidays can certainly be busy and chaotic, but we would like to encourage you to plan a thoughtful meal this year and not be fooled by advertisements for chicken, pork, and eggs in grocery stores. Most, if not all, of the typical grocery stores' supply is packed full of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). And don't forget about the environment where the animals are raised.

This holiday, don't just make something delicious from our farm to your fork, make a difference by supporting a local farm with impeccable standards set for what we feed our animals and how we raise them.
  • NON-GMO, Organic Grain
  • Free-Range (Outdoors), Pastured
  • Cage-Free
In other words, at Naturally Norm's on Carlson Farms, we respect our animals and treat them like family, raising them the right way and putting a product on your plate you can feel good about.

Try our cornish hens for an exciting and beautiful holiday dish! We also have large broilers (whole chickens) that roast to perfection and would make an impressive centerpiece on your table this Christmas. Feeling ambitious? Then use our eggs to make some delicious egg nog for your holiday guests.

Click on these links to try some recipes (with our pork, chicken, and eggs, of course!):

From Our Farm To Your Fork -
We Wish You

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Visit Us @ The Market!

Come Visit Us!

Bronson Athletic Club
6789 Elm Valley Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009-7476
(269) 544-3200

Heart and Soul

Autumn is a season full of colors, bountiful harvest, and gatherings with friends and family. Nothing celebrates this exciting season more than a kitchen bursting with laughter, joy, and all the aromas of a meal prepared with heart and soul.

Naturally Norm’s at Carlson Farms starts your home-cooked meal with just that…

Heart and Soul.

You may see other advertisements for “all natural” and “organic,” but don’t be fooled by these loosely defined terms. We always like to ask ourselves, “Do you REALLY know what you’re making for dinner?” Be sure to check if what you are preparing has met the following benchmarks:
  • Free-Range and Pastured
  • Fed NON-GMO, Organic Grain
  • Antibiotic and Hormone Free
  • Raised Locally by Farmers Who Care
Naturally Norm’s at Carlson Farms meets these benchmarks and continues to excel beyond the typical market.

“Why?”, you ask.

If you want to prepare something for your loved ones that is healthy, safe, delicious, and honest, then we ask, “Why not?”


Try Our:
  • Whole Broilers (3-5 lb. avg.) - Great for your main dish!
  • Cornish Hens (NOW IN SEASON)- Try something different this year, and personalize each plate with a Cornish Hen!
  • Boneless Smoked Netted Ham - Slow roast in the morning and by dinner, you’ll have a fabulous, juicy centerpiece. Nothing says “Holidays!” like our smoked ham!

Monday, October 10, 2011

October's Palette

Hellur, Octoburr.

September has come and gone, just as summer, but the warm sun has been lingering a bit longer, and we are not complaining. This warm weather sure does make the animals happy. Not too hot. Not too cold. There aren't many nagging flies left to bother them in the fields (not that the chickens would mind, anyway) and the crispness of autumn has seemed to give off a bit of extra "kick" in their spirits. It always is a joy to see the cows playing in the fields and the hogs twirl their tails in excitement. We sometimes joke that the hogs are little "gremlins" when they 'woof' and 'oink' running around the pasture. 

We hope that you are able to get outside and enjoy the October's spectacular palette. It sure is a beautiful painting out there. And the beauty translates into what we mean when we say "natural." This, the crimson, gold, and yellow, the scent of summer's departure in falling leaves, the softness in the clear night sky, and the crisp edge in the morning sun's wake. This is "natural." This is not only what we experience, but it is what our farm experiences. Together, we share in them and contribute to the multidimensional painting that is October.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Way It Should Be

Dirty, happy hogs. The way it should be.

Injecting hogs with growth horomones and chemicals. Raising them on metal crates, never allowing them to see the light of day or the earth they so love to roll around in. Shocking them. Crippling them in tight, overpopulated confinement barns.

Is this the way to raise a hog? The humane, healthy way?

We think you already know the answer to that.

Then why buy that drive-thru bacon sandwich? Why buy packaged bacon and sausage packed with chemicals and GMO's? Why support an industry that does not support your health or your views on "the way it should be"?

Naturally Norms on Carlson Farms raises its animals with care and integrity. We care about what we put into our bodies and want to raise happy animals at the same time. We get rid of GMO's in the corn we feed to our hogs and hens. We allow them to pasture and be natural in their environment.

No crates. No cages. No GMO's. No growth horomones. No inhumanely treated animals.

That is the way it should be. We encourage you to participate in the following this harvest season:
  1. Harvest from your own garden.
  2. Support local, "beyond-organic" farmers.
  3. Cut down/cut out trips through the drive-thru. Don't support inhumane farmers!
  4. When preparing your Harvest Family Dinners, think about what you are going to prepare and how it was raised.
If you don't have your own garden to harvest from, or local, humane farmers near you, then give us a call! We'd be glad to give you some more information and fill an order for you!

Enjoy this last partial-week of summer! Take care and we hope to see you soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shifts in Seasons

We hope this post finds you well and that you are enjoying this beautful weather. Though Autumn has a few more days until its official arrival, we can smell the grapes from the vineyard across the street, a sure sign that the seasons are shifting.  

Some chicks just arrived the other day. Their *peeps* are almost deafening when we feed and water them. And even though their chirps sound lively and healthy, these little chicks are extremely delicate and temperamental. They require constant care and attention, as does the rest of the farm, and add to the list of reminders that we, as farmers and human beings, have creatures that rely on us. No matter what season we shift into, we have duties and responsibilities.

Enjoy the close-to-autumn weather, and stop out to see us sometime! You'll have plenty of company and lots to gossip about with all of our hens.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Autumn's Approach

So often, when we hear the word "Autumn," we think, "Oh, no, that means winter is almost here!" We tend to overlook one of the most beautiful seasons in Michigan, all because of the dreadful, long months of Old Man Winter.

But we would like to encourage everyone to take some time (go ahead, sit back and relax for just a second) and think of all the wonderful things Autumn has to offer.

First off, let's take a look at that name - "Autumn." Isn't that beautiful? Ethereal, almost. It's in that beautiful name that we find blossoming mums, pie pumpkins ripening in the warm sun, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander drifting from the kitchen window, and, of course, the radiant colors from Maple trees scattered across the landscape. "Autumn" is your favorite family meal, perhaps a roasted chicken, seasoned with fresh rosemary from your garden, or sweet corn, smothered in savory butter. "Autumn" is also a time for communion; a time for family, friends, and, dare I say, football.

Football punted aside (no pun(t) intended), the fellowship of autumn is of the utmost significance, especially entering into long, hard, cold months. It lets us know that we are not alone and that we have something to share with one another; this sharing is, more often than not, a meal.

Isn't funny how we always come together for food. We've noticed this in the past month when we celebrated in a fundraiser to battle breast cancer at Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek and a benefit Harvest Dinner for Fair Food Matters at Food Dance in Kalamazoo. (Be sure to check out our "Links" page to learn more about these two FANTASTIC restaurants!) Here are some photos from each dinner:

At Food Dance Harvest Benefit Dinner.

Karen and Arcadia's amazing Chef Sean at Breast Cancer Benefit Dinner.

Arcadia Ales' Finest!

Whatever brings you to the table to celebrate Autumn and all that it brings, we hope that you have some of our all-natural pork and poultry on your table. Keep it local, seasonal, and all natural.

Enjoy these days. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy your family.

We hope to see you soon!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

To some, it may be just an egg. But to us, it is so much more. Our free-range, pastured laying hens' eggs represent not just a source of livelihood, but serve as a symbol of all-natural, humanely raised, local produce. Our world is so corrupt with "big business" running what is served on our dinner tables. This not only hurts our health with horomones, antibiotics, and other "junk" being injected into our food, but it hurts local economies, the environment, and the animals we work alongside of every day.

One of many egg production facilities that cages hens; hens who will never see daylight or pasture.

Our family farm may be small, but we pride ourselves on being able to serve our community with all-natural produce. Taking care of our bodies, our animals, and the environment are important to us. They should be to you, too! Here are a few simple things you can implement into your life, starting today!

    Last week's photo showing the Carlson Hens. Happy. Healthy. Cage Free.
  1. Find local produce! Go to a local farmer's market and pick up your week's supply of seasonal fruits and veggies! If you haven't heard of a farmer's market in your area, check out or your local newspaper! Don't forget to call us @ (269) 423-8131 for poultry and pork cuts!
  2. Research your food! Don't be afraid to ask questions! Look up company information online or give a company representative a call. Once you have, you'll feel so much better about what you are buying for your family.
  3. Reuse and Recylce! For farmers like us, we'll take egg cartons whenever we can get them! Take your egg cartons to a local farmer, use them for arts and crafts with the kids, or take them to the farmer's market and just reuse them instead of taking another one!
Three simple things to check out! We hope you enjoy and share your findings with us and all your friends!

Props to Thanks for the image!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Busy Season

"Guys, we have to keep on going."

As a farmer, this is a phrase that you are familiar with. But, there is a part of you, perhaps the "normal human being" part of you, that wants to kick something every time you hear the words uttered. 

That is what this season is all about. A constant mix of emotions; some good, some bad, all tiring. Every day is a race against the setting sun. The problem is, the hands on a clock keep on ticking at a continuous pace, but our hands slow with every bale lifted, every bucket carried, and every egg washed.

But we keep moving. And we keep smiling because it is what we love.


Don't forget to visit us at the Bronson Athletic Club Farmer's Market, from 9 am to 1 pm! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

The First of Many

The weather has been treating us a little better this week. The temperature is down and there is a steady breeze in the field. Mowing hay has been much more enjoyable.

The farm is always busy. Norm is running in and out of the driveway, delivering eggs and meats to customers and businesses, and everyone else is busy keeping the farm running: feed and water all the animals, check the fences, check the livetraps set last night, collect eggs, wash and package eggs, mow hay, rake hay, bale hay, store hay, deliver hay, collect eggs, wash and package eggs...

The list of daily chores go on and on.

But the breeze in the field, the butterflies and bumblebees landing on clover and alfalfa blossoms, the swallows swooping in and out of the barnyard, make it all worthwhile. It is a difficult life to live, often misunderstood and mischaracterized by society as "simple" and "just farming."

But our calloused hands and tired minds tell another story.