Happy Mindful Meat Mondays EOM Nation! Helping you to Honour your Body, Honour your Food and Honour OUR PLANET!
Inspired by the folks at Meatless Mondays we believe a better option is available, for US through optimal human (omnivore) nutrition, the EARTH through pasture based and organic farming and the ANIMALS through humane animal husbandry and biologically appropriate diets.
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For today’s installment we are very proud today to be introducing Eliza Jane and her East Village Farm located in Vermont. She is not only the spotlighted Farm but is also offering up a delicious Rabbit recipe all of her own creation!
“East Village Farm started 7 years ago with 6 laying chickens. We’ve now expanding to ducks, geese, rabbits, quail, pigs and goats, all on ..23 of a village acre! Small Scale, Big Results, that’s our motto. We also host a variety of teaching classes on site. Food and farming are our passions.
We started out with rabbits as a fodder/forage experiment. We wanted a meat animal we could raise without the use of commercial pelleted grains. We were incomplete control of their diets and provided them with custom blended fodder mats, forage from our yard and high quality rich hay. As the experiment grew, so did our following. Before I knew it, locals were knocking on our door asking for rabbit. Supply and demand was one factor we didn’t account for. 4 breeding females, does and 1 breeding male, buck, average litter size 8, wasn’t enough to feed a consumer market. After all, it takes 12 weeks to raise a rabbits to table or market weight.
Our first year with rabbits we harvest 89, we kept 22 for ourselves, 1 a week to get us through our Vermont winter. From there, the waiting list grew. We had local chefs, food trucks and independent grocers all awaiting their turn to carry our rabbit. I’ve found rabbits to be our niche, they’re lean, versatile, and sustainable. They flourish on well balanced forage diets, but can also be raised on solely commercial pellets. They need appropriate shelter, extravagant or minimal if you choose. Water of course. We designed our own style of auto-watering, filling bottles 3 times a day wasn’t in our routine for long. And lastly, being a rabbit farmer you need vision. Being able to convey your message, your teachings, helping others understand that while rabbits are pretty much as cute as they come, they are a gateway for anyone who wants to take control of their food supply.
We are also very proud to say that we are true Locavores. Everything is either grown, make or raised on our within 100 miles of our farm. We support our community and our community supports us and I think that if everyone did a little bit more of that our lives, communities and planet would look quite a lot different than they do now for many.
I wouldn’t say that I chose farming, more like farming chose me. Could be that it’s just in my Vermont blood or that feeding people is a passion of mine. Taking responsibility for raising and producing food with a passion, that’s not a career, it’s a calling.”
267 Lower Main Street East
Johnson, VT 05656