VISITING THE FARM
In previous blog articles I have featured stories about our little town of Hubbardston, our farm, our founder George Bass and general information about the incredibly dedicated people who work on this farm to let you know how much pride everyone takes in producing the most exceptional Omega3 - enriched organic eggs. We also take a great deal of gratification in producing the safest product possible. The genuine delight we all feel about every aspect of our farm inspires the desire to share the incredible experience with our customers. When you have something this good to crow about, you can’t help but want to show it off a little. We used to do just that. There was a time when we could welcome visitors to come to the farm to see the hens, experience the beauty of farm life for a little while and buy eggs right from the front door. Sadly, in 2010 it was necessary to discontinue this open invitation practice of hosting visitors in order to be in compliance with USDA biosecurity regulations designed to protect our birds and the people who love to eat their eggs. Check out these links for excellent descriptions of biosecurity:
The USDA and APHIS websites give a great explanation of biosecurity, why it is necessary, and what restrictions are required to keep the hens from being exposed to dangerous diseases. Keeping the hens safer from diseases also keeps people who love their eggs safer from diseases. Our standards of operation meet and in many cases exceed the requirements to be in compliance with all the USDA regulations regarding Biosecurity. Believe me, there are pages and pages of protocols that need to be adhered to and documented. A great deal of the quality testing and documentation that is also required to comply with biosecurity standards were already being practiced at TCH voluntarily since 1988, well before the USDA standards were established and adopted in 2010. It was all part of our commitment to quality. We did not have to make many changes at all to be in compliance with the biosecurity testing protocols. We had to make a few regrettable changes to the way business was done here to be in compliance with regard to visitors on the farm. The saddest change for the farm to contend with was the necessary restriction of visitors from coming onto the property. Back in the day the parking lot outside would be overflowing with vehicles lined up on Saturdays to visit and to buy our delicious fresh eggs. School children were once able to take educational tours to see how the eggs were packaged and to visit with the hens. Now the only way for our customers to experience this great place is through a virtual tour you can take on our website www.countryhen.com. Anyone who wants to interact with us or “visit” us indirectly can join us on our Facebook page, drop us an e-mail or give us a call on the phone (please note our office hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.)
The Country Hen Farm Sales are still available (off farm property) at Country Trails located at 45 Gardner Road (route 68) in Hubbardston, MA. Their hours change seasonally so please call ahead for their hours and egg availability (978) 928-4472.