44 roomMARCH 2012 * No other o ers or discounts apply. See store for details. Present this ad to receive discount. Expires 8/28/12.Eric built a mobile hen wagon that can be moved around the farm for greener grazing.
room JUNE 2012 45The name Salt Fork Farms comes from a place in Illinois. "I farmed at two locations that were both along a tributary of the Vermillion River called the Salt Fork," Eric said. "The name and logo and business concept were all so fitting, that I kept the name when I moved back to Iowa."Having a few urban chickens years ago led to his choice of poultry farming.Today they raise 600 hens each year: Delawares, Speckled Sussex, Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire Reds. Eric is up at 5 a.m. every day to check on the baby chicks and then heads down the road to a neighbor's property where he milks their Jersey cow, Maple, and feeds the chickens. "It's peaceful but there's always a lot of work to do," he says of rural life. While most people come home to relax after a long day, it's just the opposite for the Menzels. "When I'm home, I'm working."They established a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - that includes 40 members. "We do it a little different in that we offer members a line of credit that allows them to pick and choose produce throughout the growing season," Eric said. "It saves us from boxing up food and saves them from getting a box of kohlrabi" when they really prefer something else.Salt Fork Farms is starting a new venture this season: Pasture-raised turkeys."We are starting off with 75 turkeys that we will raise through the summer and fall and they'll be ready by Thanksgiving," Eric said. "They take a lot of care. It takes about three months before you can kind of relax." nFor more information about the Menzels' farm, go to http://saltforkfarms.com.