Questions to ask your Meat Farmer
How long are the animals on their farm?
Our CNG cattle have been on our farm for over 2 years. At this point the CNG cattle will have been born and raised on our farm. We raise a couple of Non-CNG cattle that have been raised on a neighbor's farm under conventional farming practices and then grass-finished on our farm. This latter option is what most “grass-finished” farmers sell. The meat poultry we sell have been on our farm since day 2 of their lives. Our laying hens have been here since they were 17 weeks old. We hope to start our own laying hens next year.
Has this animal ever been dewormed?
It is common practice for farmers to use very heavy chemicals to deworm their animals twice a year. This potentially improves the animal's weight gain and allows them to be housed in less than ideal conditions. We NEVER deworm. We use timed grazing to interrupt the life cycle of parasites and breed for parasite resistance. It is also important to ask if this has ever happened to the animal and not “Do you ever” because many farmers don’t raise their own cattle. They buy from farmers that do deworm and then sell them to you.
Has this animal ever received grain?
Our CNG cattle have never received grain. They have been raised on fresh grass over the summer and dried grass (hay) over the winter. The non-CNG cattle we finish have received a small amount of grain for about 4 months of their life over their first winter.
Grain and bugs are a necessity for poultry. We feed ours organically grown grains that we mill on our own farm. Most of the grain is grown by farmers less than 20 minutes away. Be cautious of Non-GMO fed animals. This often means that the grain is GMO-free but still sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. To our knowledge those sprays are actually more harmful than the fact that the seed may be GMO. Our feed is GMO, pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, hormone, and antibiotic free. Plus, because we grind and mix it ourselves it is much fresher and thus more nutritionally dense.
We would love to open discussion on these topics and hope to have more questions in our next newsletter!
Freezer Beef Reservations
This fall, we are proud to be offering Certified Naturally Grown whole, half, or quarter cows. Reservations can be held with a deposit. Beef will be available mid October. Please e-mail or call if you would like prices and more details.
Beef for Sale
We have just sent the very first steer that was born and raised on our farm to the butcher, and will have all cuts of meat available at the farmer’s market by September 5th! The Oakland Farmer’s Market corn roast is also on September 5th. Free fresh cooked corn and your favorite steaks from us, what more could you want?!
We will have stew hens ready for pickup on September 30th. They are $8 each. Stew Hens are older laying hens. They are butchered and cleaned the same as meat birds but they have less meat on them. What they do have is a dense nutritional profile. Their bones are highly sought after for making uber healthychicken noodle soup.
Turkeys are also in the brooder, they are almost 3 weeks old, and very lively. In fact they are flying all over the place. We can’t wait to get them out on grass. When you go into the hoop-house, there might be one waiting at the door…
Winter Egg CSA
We will have the winter CSA available from October- March. These hens are happy all year long! I’m pretty certain that “Cluck, cluck” means “I’m happy”. And they say cluck, cluck a lot too! -Arianna
Jerky and Beef Sticks
Don't forget that we have Jerky and Beef Sticks. They make awesome gifts for those of us who are busy KMing our lives. Plus, they make a great snack to keep in the car for those moments when the kids are screaming and you are trying to avoid the fast food.
We are giving tours on the farm now, and are welcoming groups of 1-15. The on hour long tour includes a tractor pulled wagon ride, collecting chicken eggs, watching a cattle move and helping with chicken chores. Tours are $50 and can accommodate up to 15 people.
Just For Fun!
This month Brian took Aden out in the truck, and came back with a 15 pound snapping turtle. Brian had been working on drainage ditches with an excavator when he noticed the turtle swimming nearby. They had brought it back because it appeared wounded and were worried about it. That was a tricky endeavor involving a couple of shovels and no hands (snapping turtles have very long necks and can be very quick to bite!). We put it in a trough with clean water to examine it closer. The dented shell appeared to be an old battle scar and nothing inflicted by the excavator. Thank Goodness! We left to eat dinner when we went to check on it , it was gone! Now we tease the kids about straying too far out of the yard saying “Watch out for the snapping turtle! We don’t know where he may be!”