Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Slow Meat!!

In June Danny was sponsored by Slow Food Utah to attend the National Slow Meat Conference put on by Slow Food USA.  He learned a lot, met many wonderful people and got to eat a lot of very good local meat (Almost too much at times!).  There are so many good people around our country involved in this movement to bring healthy, clean and fair food to their communities.  If you aren't a member of Slow Food Utah yet or your local Slow Food chapter we recommend joining.  They(we) are at the forefront of the local food movement.   

Danny with Allen Savory founder of the Savory Institute.  Allen kicked off the weekend as the Keynote Speaker.  
Francois sharpening his knife to "demonstrate how to respect the pig's natural anatomy through the time-honored tradition of charcuterie preparation."  Just one of many great workshops Danny attended.  
Unfortunately there was only time for him to cut a shoulder.   

Danny with Francois Vecchio and his artwork ready to be made into some yummy charcuterie (Salami's Sausages, etc).

Danny with Mary Berry, founder and Executive Director of The Berry Center and daughter of author Wendell Berry.  Mary wrapped up the weekend as our keynote speaker during our final session.  

Bison fabrication by members of The Butchers Guild.  The bison was raised on pasture by a local Bill Rogers, owner of Sweet Water Bison 
Danny thinks that he got to try some of this buffalo for one of their meals.  

The following is a summary of the purpose of the weekend and it pretty much summed up what happened.  It was such a great experience to be surrounded by so many like minded people from around our country all moving in a positive direction together.  

"100 delegates from across the USA will be asked to share expertise in facilitated discussions to ultimately produce a menu of practical actions for Slow Food communities across the USA to deploy, measure, report and refine with the larger national community of advocates who seek change in our food system.
We are assembling those who recognize the importance of animal welfare and those whose livelihoods are directly related to animal husbandry. Our intention in doing this is to cultivate the kind of discourse that gives proper dignity to the animals, as it does to the craftsmanship associated with their care and slaughter."

A few other articles about the weekend can be found here and here

Thank you for supporting us and our farmers here at McDowell Family Farms and joining us in the local food movement right here in Utah!!  


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Very Busy Spring & Summer

We and the Batty's (Our Farming Partners) have both had a very busy spring and early summer.  This after a winter that brought many surprises and blessings for both us & them, We are all thankful to report good health at this time.  Health is one of those things you can take for granted until you no longer have it, isn't it? 

Our blog posts are spontaneous and sporadic...so if we haven't posted in awhile, do not give up hope.  Without further ado, we would like to introduce you to some of this years animals on the farm.  Thanks for your support and patience with everything we are trying to do with this small scale local farming venture.


Some pictures of the piggies in the pasture...doing what pigs do (nice alliteration - sponsored by the letter P)


Pork can be purchased in wholes, halves, or separate cuts

It's so beautiful to see animals out in the pasture with the mountains in the foreground!  


We, the McDowells, have not eaten chicken for quite some time now.  We sold out in the winter.  So we are excited along with the rest of you to have chicken again (that is, if we have enough to keep for ourselves).  These are our broilers (meat birds) out in the pasture.  See if you can find Waldo hiding in the grass too.



Broilers (meat birds) in the pasture.  It is quite entertaining to see a bird drink you know.  Water, that is.



And last but not least, the little lambs.  They are not so little anymore.  That grass looks so delicious even I want to take a little bite!  Lambs can also be purchased in wholes, halves, or pieces as available.  We have had awesome reviews about the lamb.  Try it out yourself & see!


Danny recently was sponsored by the local Slow Food Utah Chapter of Slow Food USA to go to the Slow Meat Conference in Denver.  He learned a lot and was able to meet people from across the country each involved in their own way of changing the way meat is produced in the US.  Look for a report on that in our next post.


A moment of respect for these animals lives.  Thank you for sustaining our bodies with life - so we can enjoy these two sweet girls!



Our favorite little baby!!
Our favorite 4 year old!!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Lambs & Piglets are here!!!

Spring arrived early to Utah this year and we thought we would share some photos of the early arrivals at the farm.  These pictures were taken in January and February days after these lambs & piglets were born.   They have been enjoying an early Spring like the rest of us.  More little lambs piglets are on their way.  (More pictures to come) 


We have been getting some rave reviews on our tasty lamb from many of you.  Thank you!  And thank you for your orders!  


We sell individual cuts of lamb or you can order a half or whole lamb.  See our Pricing post for details on both.  Halves and wholes will be ready this summer.  

Aren't these little piglets so cute?  And yes we farrow our own pigs.  Not too many farms do that these days.  They are a combination of primarily heritage Berkshire with some heritage Yorkshire and Duroc as well.  
Like the lamb we sell individual cuts along with wholes and halves throughout the year.
We love Pork!!  And you will love our Pork too!!   

p.s  Whenever we post pictures we have to include the caveat that if you feel squeamish about seeing your future meal, pause for a moment.  Take time to realize where your food comes from, how it is raised, and send a thank you to the animals for being part of our circle of life.  You can be a conscious omnivore and respect the animals by choosing to buy local and humanely raised food.  Thanks for supporting our farming adventure!!  




And here is our newest little lamb now one year old.  She is ready to get to work herding these sheep from pasture to pasture.  




Monday, October 14, 2013

"I like turkey in a big brown shoe"

Imagine our surprise when our partner in farming crime found this letter blowing around the Turkey pasture.  Good thing it made it to us so we could share it with all of you.

Farmer Dale Batty out with the Pasture Raised Turkeys! 


Dear partaker of turkey,

I have been enjoying my life out here in the green green grass, roaming free and eating little insects.  It is starting to get chilly now however, the grass is starting to die and I know my life is not meant to last long.  I know you would love me to wait until November, but I am getting big and it is getting cold.  I am ready to fulfill my final purpose in life.  I've had a good life.  I know that through my death you will enjoy a wonderful meal with family and friends, and I will be the center of attention.  I am so thankful that I am raised differently than most of my friends, who tell me life is not enjoyable.  They don't even get to go outside to see the big blue sky!  Thank you for supporting the friendly and healthy way I am raised.  I ask that before you eat, you take a little moment to give thanks for me...my life, my efforts to grow for you, and my farmer's efforts to raise me and end my life in the kindest way possible.  I am a curious little creature and I've included some pictures of my friends and I for your viewing pleasure.   Happy Thanksgiving.  Love,

Tom (your turkey)



A few thoughts of our own now.  This is a busy time of year for us.  We've been meeting a lot of new people at the farmer's markets, wrapping up our gardening, selling turkeys, and last but not least raising 2 cute little girls.


We've had one successful turkey pickup and will have at least 2 more.  Make sure to email us with your order of a locally raised, pastured, free-ranging, Thanksgiving loving, cold hating Turkey, and then tell your friends.  Oh, and don't forget to look up at those beautiful trees turning colors.  Love the fall!  We celebrate 7 years of marriage this month (obviously we weren't farming yet when we planned an October wedding).  We hope to see many of you soon at our house if we haven't seen you yet!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pricing!


EGGS from our Pastured Raised Hens: $5 Dozen  (Available every Wednesday 9am - 8pm)

ALL PRICES ARE IN POUNDS.

CHICKEN (Pastured Broilers)
Whole Chicken:  $4.35  (Cornish Cross - average 4.5 lbs - no feathers or insides.)
Cut up Whole Chicken: $7.50  
Boneles Skinless Breasts: $11  
Legs and Thighs: $5.50 
Wings: $3.50
Carcass: $2 
Feet: $2.50
Heart & Liver: $3.50

TURKEYS: $20 Reservation.  We will have around 120 Turkeys this year so send us your $20 reservation!  


                   $5 Broad Breasted White  (15-24 pounds) (Nov 2014)
                   $5.50 Broad Breasted White (Less than 15 pounds) (Nov 2014)

                   $8 Whole Bone in Breasts  (9-12 pounds) Both breasts left on the ribs with skin on. (Nov 2014)
                   $11 Boneless Skinless Breasts  (7-9 pounds) (Nov 2014)
                   $5 Dark Meat  (8-11 pounds) Rear Quarters and wings. (Nov 2014)
                   $2 Carcass - Back, Neck, Giblets  (heart & liver) (Nov 2014)

                  $7.50 Red Bourbon  (Heritage Turkey) (Fall 2015.  We are sorry but we won't have any
                                                                                            Red Bourbons this year)  

PASTURED PORK
Chops:  $6  (2 per package)
Ham steaks: $5 (Uncured)
Country Style Ribs: $6
Ribs: $5

Shoulder Roast $6  (average 2-3lbs)
Ham/ Leg Roast: $5  (Uncured)
Ham Roast: $5  (Cured)
Ham Hock: $5
Jowls: $6

Bacon: $9
Cottage bacon: $7.50 ( bacon from the shoulder)
Side Pork $8.50  (Uncured bacon)
Sausage: $5  (1-1.5lbs) mild, medium, spicy
Ground:  $5  


GRASS FED LAMB
Chops:  $10.50  (2 per package)
Lamb Steak:  $7.50
Ribs:  $7.50
Back Ribs: $7.50

Shoulder roast:  $7.50  (~2-3 lbs each)
Leg of lamb roast:  $7.50  (~2-3 lbs each)

Ground:  $7.50
Sausage: $7.50 (Mild)
Ground mutton:  $5  (mutton is adult ewe)
Stew Meat: $7.50  (1lb packages) 
Soup Bones:  $4

GRASS FED BEEF
Hamburger: $5.50  (~1lb each) 
Hamburger patties:  $6.50.   4 pack ($6) or 6 pack ($9) 
Fajita Strips: $9

Short Ribs $6
Brisket: $6

Chuck roast: $6
Round roast: $6

Stew meat: $5.50 
Soup Bones: $3.50

STEAKS:  (2 per package)
Rib eye: $14  ~2lbs 
T-bone: $14  ~2lbs 
Sirloin: $13  ~2lbs 
Tenderloin filets: $19  ~.5lbs
Flank: $14
Round: $8
Cubed Round: $8
Skirt: $13


 WHOLES AND HALVES - This is great to split with family or friends to get the great local, quality pastured meats we offer at a little cheaper price than by the piece.  Please call or email to order or if you have questions.  Buying guide:   http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2076.pdf

Beef:  $4.50 Whole ($300 deposit), $4.95 Half ($200 deposit) - hanging/carcass weight.  (Typically ~600-700 pounds)  This yields roughly 350-450 pounds of meat depending on the cuts you want.  A Whole cow would then be $2250 - $2625.  A Half cow would be roughly $1200 - $1400. (Halves or Wholes available Summer 2014)

Pork: $3.75 Whole ($100 deposit), $4.00 Half ($50 deposit) - hanging/carcass weight.  (Typically ~150-200 pounds)  This yields roughly 110-150 pounds of meat depending on the cuts you want.  A Whole pig would then be $525 - $700.  A Half pig would be $281 - $375. (Order for April.)

Lamb: $4.95 Whole or Half ($50 deposit) - hanging/carcass weight.  (Typically ~60-90 pounds)  This yields roughly 40-60 pounds of meat depending on the cuts you want.  A Whole lamb would then be $270 - $405.  A Half lamb would be $135 - $200. (Order for Summer/Fall 2014)







Thursday, June 27, 2013

PICTURES!!

It's high time we posted some pictures.  As many of you know, we are now offer much more than pastured poultry (poultry raised on pasture for meat and eggs).  So, here are some photos of the animals 'home on the range.'

Actually, before you browse pictures, there is one thing to say.  Sometimes, it's hard to look at the pictures knowing this is something you will eventually eat.  Instead of feeling bad about that, we have learned to feel incredibly thankful to animals for providing us with food.  We try not to consume a lot of meat, and try to consume meat that has been raised in the healthiest, and most respectful way possible.  So keep that in mind as you look at these beautiful animals - and say a little thanks!

Chickens:  These are cornish cross chickens, raised for meat- they take about 8 weeks and are allowed to run around and free-range.  They usually wander a bit during the day, and then stick together like birds of a feather at night.   The shelter is moved daily so the chickens have a new clean salad bar pasture every day.  Our chicken is available every Wednesday at our house.








Egg laying hens:  These are the new pullets and will start laying soon!!  Are you ready to start eating pastured eggs?  




Turkeys:  These are the little turkey babies in the brooder.  If you look close, you can see the little bumps on the tops of their beaks.  These are out on pasture now.  Have you sent us $20 to reserve your Thanksgiving turkey?



Sheep:  Beautiful isn't it?  Many of you don't know that we now sell these lambs for meat and it is tasty.   Order a whole or half lamb from the farm.  Or we have individual cuts at our house on our weekly Wednesday pick ups. 


Cattle:  These grass fed and grass finished cows got through a fence and moved into the old farm house.  You can order them also in the whole or the half as well.  Individual cuts also available Wednesdays.  




Piggies:  And last but not least...the piggies.  This little piggy didn't like roast beef.



These little piggies are out on full pasture now and will be ready to harvest over the next few months.  Nothing is better than local, heritage breed pork that was raised on pasture.  Mmmmmmmmmmhh!!!!!  Hope you enjoyed!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Recap


We have been on this farming adventure now for 3 years.  The first two years we did the work of both farming and selling.  Since we don't have land of our own, in 2012 we decided to partner with some friends (farmers) who wanted to do the farming while we do the selling/distribution.   This partnership has been great for both of us.  We love being able to have access to and offer meat that is raised in a way that we feel is humane, healthy, and appropriate.  Here are some of the reasons people buy:

Local: Knowing who grows/raises your food is so important. Buying local keeps your dollars in your community. It saves money in the resources used to transport food across the country and world.

Antibiotic/hormone free: The animals are not given any antibiotics or growth hormones.  We are not certified organic, but like to say we are "beyond organic". 

Happier animals: The animals are given large space on pasture to run around and do what animals do. They have access to food and water at all times (chickens can only get up to 20% of their nutrition from eating grass and bugs, pigs also require feed, but cows and sheep are purely grass fed and finished). The poultry shelters are moved daily to allow the birds fresh, clean pastured areas in which to run around.

Taste:  Have you ever tasted a chicken that was raised on pasture?  Have you ever eaten purely grass fed beef?  Local pork raised on a small farm, outside in the pasture?  Just try it and you will be hooked!  The health benefits are huge as well (see our list of recommended reading).