I’ve posted that we joined a CSA this year. I also signed up for a chicken share. A small local shop that carries only local foods instituted this. You sign up for 6 months and every month you come and pick up the amount of chicken you ordered. I signed up for 1 whole chicken and several packages of boneless breasts each month (there was a mix up though and I ended up with leg quarters instead for the first month). The chicken is pasture raised on a local farm, without antibiotics or hormones. If supplemental feed is used, it is organic.
I picked up our first share recently and we enjoyed a roast chicken from it. I’ve been buying organic chicken for a long time, but this is my first experience with local chicken, as well as pasture raised chicken. We all immediately noticed two things. First, the chicken had a different flavor than we were used to. It just had a stronger flavor. Secondly, the chicken was a little chewier than chicken we are used to. I think both of those things are due to the fact that these chickens lived like real animals, moving around a pasture, eating real food and I liked it. We’ll be trying the leg quarters next and I’ll report back on how we enjoyed those.
Eating locally comes with some compromises. They don’t have an exact date when the chicken will be ready to pick up and will be emailing and calling a day or two in advance, which makes it a little hard to plan for, but I do know it will be near the end of the month.
The shop also offers a beef share, but we eat very little beef, so it didn’t make sense to buy it. They also have a milk and egg share, but since it is farther than my grocery store and I already buy organic milk and organic pasture eggs there, that doesn’t make sense for us.