Faces of Food & Fitness
Ridgetop Acres - Scott & Marissa Nordschow, Decorah, IA
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Scott and Marissa Nordschow have been farming together for five years on a couple of acres north of Decorah, Iowa. Their farm is next to Scott's parents' 700-acre farm.
The Nordschows raise eggs, meat goats, and produce. In 2010, they raised 1,700 chickens for the first time. They purchased chicks from Decorah Chick Hatchery at five different times. Their farm dog, Maggie keeps watch on the groups of 350 chickens pecking in the barn or in the outdoor chicken run.
The chickens and other livestock eat feed grown on the farm. The chickens take four weeks to mature will weigh about nine pounds. At processing time, the Nordschows gather the chickens into big crates and take them to Lanesboro, Minnesota. The process of harvesting the chickens and getting them prepared for eating is called "dressing". The Nordshow's chickens will dress at five pounds.
Luther College purchases the chickens to use in their dining services. The Nordschows also sell their products through GROWN Locally and by word of mouth. The Nordschows eat their own chicken and eggs, as well as goat meat (called chevron), and beef from Scott's parents.
Both Marissa and Scott grew up on farms. Marissa used to show horses, chickens, and sheep through 4-H. The newest addition to the family, Carlton, has already discovered a love for toy tractors. It's only a matter of time before the toddler will be asking to ride their horses, Fred and Cricket.
Marissa and Scott like to camp in their free time. Marissa referees basketball in the winter and enjoys biking and running in the summer. Marissa also enjoys gardening. She preserves her summer bounty by freezing, canning, or pickling and finds great reward having a table full with food grown or raised on their farm.
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