Our fall beef processing season has finally arrived! We have more bulk orders than ever before, and bulk orders mean filling out the dreaded “cut-sheet.” The cut-sheet is how a customer tells the butcher exactly how to cut up a side of beef. They are famously incomprehensible to the first-time buyer. So we spent the past week developing a new cut-sheet aimed at making the process as clear-cut (sorry!) as possible. Please let us know if you think we hit the mark.
Archive for September, 2011
It’s that time of year again, when kids go back to school and farmers don’t have enough help any more. We have lots of chores to do, and we are looking to hire. So if you are
- a self-starter,
- a problem-solver,
- a hard worker,
- interested in getting closer to where your food comes from, and
- available for part-time work,
We thought our egg washing machine was the coolest—until we found this baby on Craigslist. This is an antique Egomatic egg candling and sorting machine. We will use it to “grade” our eggs (required in New Hampshire for selling eggs through off-farm stores). The Egomatic is supposed to be a labor-saving device. But so far, it is not saving us any time. Whenever we turn it on, there are always four or five people standing around watching it work. So, there are a few kinks to work out…
Many thanks to my sister Nura and her husband Jack for driving across New Jersey to pick it up. And many thanks as well to Dan Parish for putting it back together after Steve and I took it apart to repaint it and, um, forgot to take adequate notes (doh!).
Our organic certification just got expanded! While our pastures have been certified organic for a long time, yesterday we also received certification for the meat chickens, the laying hens, and the eggs we produce on the farm. We have always raised all our livestock according to our personal standard of quality and conscience, which includes feeding only certified organic feed and never treating our animals with hormones or antibiotics. In the case of our chickens, our own protocol (plus certain record-keeping and paperwork) qualifies us for certification. Because we buy calves and piglets from suppliers that aren’t certified, our beef and pork do not qualify for certification. Rest assured, however, we hold our suppliers to our own high standard. For example, we buy calves only from suppliers who agree in writing to our protocol.
Many farmers will tell you: don’t trust government labels. Instead, you should get to know your farmer, and find one you trust personally. We agree. But we also think the organic standards have a lot of merit. So we are proud of the extent to which we meet the standards, and we will continue to strive to do more.