After teaching horticulture, biology and landscape design for many years, Matt Wilkinson and his family bought a small five acre farm in 2008 at the foothills of the Sourland Mountain range in central New Jersey. Hard Cider Homestead is home to a flock of Animal Welfare Approved laying hens who are free to forage on carefully managed pastures.
Matt is proud of the permaculture practices that he employs at Hard Cider Homestead. The farm’s chickens work as an integrated element in the farm’s operations, adding natural fertilizer in the form of their manure to increase soil fertility and controlling bug populations while foraging on high-quality pastures. Matt can’t keep up with the local consumer demand for the high-quality eggs that this system produces.
Despite the high demand for his products, Matt still sees educating his customers about the benefits of high-welfare, nutritious food as a vitally important part of his business. Raising laying hens according to AWA standards helps define himself in the marketplace and start conversations with his customers about how his practices differ from those of conventional producers.
“I want people to know that this is a family operation, brought together by the idea of producing good food for ourselves and other people,” Matt explains.
Hard Cider Homestead sells Animal Welfare Approved eggs direct from the farm and in the Princeton Junction, New Jersey area. Call 908-751-5676 or email for availability. For more information visit http://www.hardciderhomestead.com/.