So the wrap party for Meat You Maker wouldn't be complete without one of the most important and helpful ends to the project, the farms. I won't focus on all of them, just the one I locally get my eggs from, the farm that has a store next to it offering more than just eggs, a farm where most recently on my visit to shoot was recently blessed with several newborns. That farm is Hillbunker Farms. So come with me as I take you through what all this farm my offer you if you are a local (Woodstock, Illinois) resident. From YKFDRUMMIE....
...to a land of locally raised chicken, pigs, and sheep. Below are a few pictures of the chicken I chose to use for Meat Your Maker, along with a few other chickens freely roaming around. To bait them closer Michelle, one of the heads at Hillbunker Farms, gave me chicken feed. Many different breeds were present, and it was nice to see where I actually get my eggs. As an aside, I feel this is lost on a lot of people going to a grocery store; a disconnect from where and how they get their food. The chicken there are free range, not cooped up in a cage like most. However the trip didn't end at the chickens.
They also had pigs. Not just pigs, kunekune pigs. At the base of the family tree sits the father to these kunekune pigs, Mr. Pig Newton
Pig Newton, so I'm told and shown, has convinced himself through domestication that he acts more like a cat than a boar. Instead of having a surly and semi-agressive behavior like a boar, he will walk next to you and nuzzle your leg like a cat for petting. He's a friendly boar and loves fruit as a tasty treat occasionally. So I was told, Pig Newton was named by Michelle as she has always wanted a pig of her own when she was younger. Finally her first pig for the farm was named, and a happy lady got her handsome swine.
Now I won't get into the WIkipedia of what kunekune pigs are all about, but I will give a brief rundown. Kunekune pigs are ideally pets. They are docile, smart, and are great companions (like pot-bellied pigs) craving human attention. While you can slaughter one for the meats they aren't farmed for that primarily. So I was told by Michelle's husband, he was utilizing one for their meat and smelled an unmistakable smell of something similar to fish oil. Turns out he discovered that the kunekunes meat is lush with Omega-3 oils. Dietary speaking these beautifully colored animals are woodland grazing pigs, so in addition to the treats you see Michelle give Pig Newton to pose they get food from the surrounding grass, mushrooms, and vegetation.
Lastly, I was introduced to the sheep. Recently, just like Pig Newton, the sheep had several bundles of joy. While they had three with a soon thereafter forth lamb, I was able to only get two of them away from their mom with Michelle's help. Their wool, at their storefront, is used as dryer balls for laundry. The benefits of the wool balls cut down on dryer running time and can be used as a natural fabric softener!
I post these pictures and write these things not because I was asked to, and I have no dealings with Hillbunker Farms other than being a loyal customer. That being said Hillbunker Farms is a local farm with a storefront. they have local bee honey (which is not only helpful to the farms but a spoonful helps with allergies), previously mentioned wool dryer balls, delicious eggs from their free range chickens, and for the right price and time of the year they sell newborn baby kunekune pigs as pets. That just scrapes the surface though as many arts and crafts are available there including what my mother-in-law recently purchased, a lavender scented candle. I only mention this because it's the least I can do (offer more business) for their hospitality. Special thanks goes to Michelle for taking the time to show me around and allow me to shoot photos in the farm. If you or anybody you know is a local to Woodstock Illinois, or reside in the North West suburbs of Chicago, swing by Hillbunker farms and tell 'em Bendersama sent you!
Post production photos utilized Bendersama Photography's Kandilande Lightroom Presets, available soon