A few months ago, at Joe’s Brooklyn Pizza, I tried some chicken from Workin’ in the Dirt, an organic farm in Chili. It was very, very good. So I mentioned it on my Facebook page. That led to a contact with Workin’ in the Dirt farmer Robert Hagelberg, who offered me a chicken to try.
Last week I cooked the chicken (it was a small one, about 2.5 lbs) in my rotisserie for family dinner. I didn’t do much prep - just patted it dry, rubbed on a thin coat of vegetable oil, and patted on a BBQ spice mix - but I was well pleased with the results. The skin was crisp, the meat was moist, and above all, the chicken was flavorful. As I was eating it, I thought, this is how chicken ought to – and I assume used to – taste, before industrial farms came along. (Too late, my wife mentioned that I should’ve gotten a photo, but by then the chicken looked as if I’d dipped into a piranha tank.)
Now I’m not some organic-food zealot. And I’m sure I haven’t bought my last package of chicken at the local supermarket that’s on special for $1.49 a pound. But I do like my food to taste good, and if it’s locally grown and good for me, so much the better. So I’ll keep an eye out for chicken and other products from Workin’ in the Dirt.
You may find their products at local restaurants, especially those that focus on “farm to table” foods; Workin' in the Dirt has recently supplied Label 7 in Pittsford and West Edge Lounge in Corn Hill. (I don't want to make any guarantees, so ask your server or call ahead to be sure.) If your favorite restaurant is not offering anything from Workin’ in the Dirt, or another local supplier, it can’t hurt to mention or ask about it, just to let them know that the demand exists.
The best, or surest way to try WitD’s products is to stop by their stand at the Rochester Public Market. You'll find them at the Small Worlds Food booth. In addition to chicken, they currently offer pea shoots, raw cocoa, spices and seasonings, and other seasonally available produce, such as greens, squash and peppers. Delivery is also available for CSA signups, while the chicken supply lasts. If you do pay them a visit, please let them know that you read about them here.
Workin' in the Dirt Farms
790 Brook Road, Chili, NY 14546