Each fall, after we make up the 35 lb beef packs, we often have extra beef available for sale. Just in time for the cold weather, we now have chuck roasts, rump roasts, round roasts and brisket for your pot roast and crock pot recipes. We also have soup bones, beef shank, ground beef and stew beef for chili, stews, and soups. If you prefer to grill year round, we have bone-in ribeye steaks, sirloin steaks, sirloin flap (sirloin tip steak), flank steak and skirt steak!
Moove over to our beef ordering page for the current beef price list. Our store hours are Tuesdays 1-7, Fridays 1-7 and Saturdays 9-2.
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We had a great turnout for our second annual CSA member info session! Everyone enjoyed a tour of the gardens and greenhouses, and we spent a little time learning about the animals too. The vegetables are growing quickly and we are looking forward to our first harvest. Thanks again to everyone who attended. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did! There’s still time to sign up for a share if you haven’t yet!
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While the world waits for the day when “the wolf and the lamb shall graze together” (Isaiah 65:25), our lambs are busy grazing with the chickens. The lambs are here to address a problem we have had with the chickens for years. Pastured chickens do best on grass that is not too tall, so we are always looking for ways to trim the pasture in front of them. In the past, we have tried trimming the pasture by grazing cattle. But our herd of 160-odd cattle are not the ideal group for the job. You really want to move cattle on and off a piece of land quickly, while the chicken houses are inching along very slowly. After cattle graze, the grass is a good height for few days, but then it grows back and meanwhile the cattle are miles away.
It turns out, a small flock of sheep is just right for the job. Steve and I are huge fans of lamb, so a freezer full of tender local lamb will be a welcome side-effect of this experiment. We have not advertised the lamb at all, so we have several extras still available. The price will be $8 per pound hanging weight. If you are interested, shoot Steve an email, or give him a call!
Posted in Farming | Tagged Grass-fed Lamb, Mulit-species Grazing, Pastured Chicken | 4 Comments »
Spring has finally sprung, which means we are flat-out busy. In one week, our first batch of broilers will arrive and three weeks later, they will be heading out onto pasture. This year I am looking to improve the quality of their green feed by seeding in a mixture of organic oats and peas to the existing pasture. This will increase the protein in the forage that the chicks are snacking on.
The traditional method of re-seeding pasture is to plow up the soil first, in order to give the new seeds a bit of loose soil to get started in. This kills all the existing, established pasture plants. We would rather not do that. It is bad for the biological health of the soil, not to mention erosion and the years it takes for pasture to thicken up to full strength. We are very fortunate to be able to use a different method that will allow us to add new varieties of forage without killing off all the existing pasture. It is a “no-till seed drill” available for rent through the Granite State Grazers. The no-till drill cuts small slices in the turf for the new seeds to grow in, but it leaves the existing pasture undisturbed. The oats and peas are early-season annuals that will grow fast and then die off. Then, the existing pasture will take over. We like it when we can have our cake and eat it, too!
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Nice editorial in the New York Times yesterday about progress with the government’s efforts to curb the use of antibiotics as a growth promotion tool in livestock. Sadly, I am one of the skeptics mentioned in the article.
First of all, you have to look at the economics. Commodity farmers use antibiotics because it is profitable to do so. Put antibiotics in the feed—animals grow faster (nobody yet knows why). More importantly, if you don’t put antibiotics in the feed, you will be competed out of business by those who do. This is the same dynamic as the doping problem in professional sports. If you can’t stop elite athletes from putting harmful illegal drugs into their own bodies to make money, how can we expect to stop conventional farmers from doing it to their livestock—especially with a voluntary labeling program?
(Just in case it is not clear—we do not put antibiotics or added hormones in our feed.)
Posted in Food Policy | Tagged antibiotics, Livestock farming, New York Times | 2 Comments »
Winter means working my way through half a side of beef in the freezer, so I’m always on the lookout for new ways to prepare ground beef. I tried this “Chili with Moroccan Spices” from a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook this weekend, and I entered it into my church’s annual chili cook-off. I didn’t win, but I suspect the voting was rigged—the Moroccan chili was divine. Actually, it tasted even better the next day left over. Maybe next year I’ll prepare it a day ahead and re-warm it!
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Posted in recipes | Tagged Beef chili, Cook's Illustrated, Moroccan spices | 1 Comment »
In this video, one of our cows demonstrates the use of a frost-free nose pump, while her calf demonstrates why mother cow needs to drink so much! This pump is powered by the cow, herself. Cows learn very quickly to push on the lever to draw water up from the shallow well. After the cow is finished drinking, the pipe drains automatically to keep from freezing. No electricity is required for pumping or for keeping the water from freezing. This makes it possible to over-winter the herd far from an electric power source.
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