Inquiring minds want to know!
Hodges Family Farm is dedicated to bringing fresh produce and meats to the Charlotte area in a safe manner with a fully transparent process. Our customer's peace of mind is one of our top priorities.
We understand that life can be a little unexpected at times. If you are running late, please give us a call at 704-608-8897 and we'll hold your order until the next pickup time and do our best to accommodate you. However, if you do not contact us to let us know you are running late we do have a couple of protocols to be aware of:
Please note, your items are harvested fresh after you place your order. We store fresh items in a refrigerator until you can collect the order. We cannot replace items in your order with newly harvested items for a delayed pick-up.
We are not USDA certified “Organic” and, therefore, cannot claim the associated label. We often refer to USDA organic regulations as a baseline for new operations and meet or exceed those expectations on our own accord. We do not till our land or use pesticides, for instance, both of which are permissible under Organic certification.
Pastured means that our animals are raised on pasture, rather than in a confinement system, and receive most of their nutrition from foraging. Any supplemented feeds are sourced locally and non-GMO.
Although Kim and Connor have both received pesticide training and are licensed by the state of North Carolina to apply those chemicals, they have not used them on our fields, pastures, or raised beds in two or more years. Some fields have not seen pesticide use in more than a decade. The word “pesticide” is actually a broad term that can refer to chemical control of many living organisms, from microbes and plants to fungus and grasshoppers. Instead of chemicals, we use netting to deter deer and insects and biodiversity coupled with crop rotation to stave off pests, parasites, and pathogens.
Commercially, “free-range” means that an animal (usually chickens) have “access to outdoors, if even only to an enclosed run. On our farm, “free-range” means that our chicken coop, which is mobile, gets moved about every three days to a new spot in one of our pastures. We choose the new spot based on the best forage available for chickens, park the coop, and put up a 164-foot temporary electric fence to keep our girls safe from predators. The fence does not bother the chickens through their insulating feathers, in fact, many just hop the fence and roam the pasture, but it affords the birds a safe haven if predators are around.
Our egg yolks are orange because our birds get their nutrition from foraging for plants and insects. As omnivores, a healthy pasture is an ideal environment for chickens to meet their nutritional needs. Specifically, carotenoids, like those found in squash, carrots, certain fungus, and even weeds, supply the orange color to the yolks and is generally a sign of good nutrition.
There is no nutritional or flavor difference between the different color eggs, they are different colors because we keep several breeds of chicken that have their own advantages. Leghorns, for instance, are good at evading predators, despite their white feathers, and lay large white eggs. Orpingtons are excellent foragers and lay brown eggs and Americaunas lay most of our blue-tinted eggs.
Yes, we have 50 or so hives on our farm and work with a local beekeeper to source honey from all around the Charlotte area and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Different varieties of local honey are harvested from different locations or during different times of the year.
- Carolina Blonde: Harvested February through March - Mild in flavor, hints of cool mint
- Queen City Gold: Harvested March through early May - Fruity, sweet, refined honey flavor
- South End: Harvested in May and June - Dark with a buttery honey flavor
- Herb's Pride: Harvested July through October- Robust, bronze with a bold honey flavor
- Mint Hill: Southern Piedmont area, harvested March through October- Golden honey with a defined sweet and minty flavor
- Mountain Orchard: Appalachian Foothills. March through October - Lightly colored, sweet with a definite apple and berry aroma and flavor
- Blue Ridge Harvest: Northern Blue Ridge Mountains, June through October - Light color with a strong, robust mountain floral flavor