15713 Highway 47, Yamhill, Oregon 97148 ... email email@example.com ... phone Farmer Chrissie at (503) 730-7535
organic farming practices ... pasture-raised poultry, meats, and eggs ... cheesemaking classes and supplies ... mead and kombucha
Our unique, on-farm, self-service, farmstore is open Monday through Saturday 8am to 6pm. First-time shoppers, we ask that you call to
make an appointment for your first visit only, for a brief orientation on how to shop! Our only farmer's market is the
Hillsdale Farmer's Market, every other Sunday May through October. In 2013 our dates for Hillsdale are May 5, 19; June 2, 16, 30; July 14, 28;
August 11, 25; September 8, 22; and October 6, 20.
Our famous pasture-raised poultry is available fresh May through October!
To sign up for our newsletters and to get additional information about our meats and next
availability, please click here.
Great meat -- healthy, delicious, humanely raised, environmentally responsible meat -- doesn't come just from the words "grass-fed" or "farm-raised" or "custom processed." Even animals that have been beautifully raised can turn out to taste terrible if the animal is loaded with stress hormones at the time of slaughter -- for example, if the lamb jumps over the retaining fence and races around the pasture for 20 minutes while being chased by a man with a gun – it happens. The animal is loaded with adrenaline and stress hormones, and the meat is loaded with lactic acid, and no matter how well the animal was raised or how carefully the meat is processed, it’s going to be tough and taste terrible. The only responsible action is to reschedule the kill for a different day.
Another scenario is meat that is well raised and well slaughtered, but poorly processed, for example, having ground meat with lots of bone chips in it. This story was told to me by a well-known local
Half a pig -- beef and lamb are similarly packaged. Each package is double-wrapped in waxed butcher paper, labelled with the species and cut and date processed. Beef and lamb keep well in the freezer 18 months; pork about 6-8 months.
Another scenario is taking an exceptionally good carcass to a disreputable processor who exchanges carcasses – a prime beef carcass can be sold to restaurants who pay extra under the table for the best meat, and a subprime carcass swapped to the original farmer. It happens, farmers talk about it, and talk about which are the most trustworthy processors.
There is no substitute for raising the animal yourself, being present at the time of the kill, being willing to say “this animal is not dying today” if the conditions are not right, and having personal trust in the best local processor. If you can’t do that yourself, you have to hire a farmer to do it for you. You have to have enough trust and rapport with your farmer to be able to ask detailed questions, look the farmer in the eye, and have a good feeling that you’re getting honest answers. There is tremendous variability in the quality of all foods available in all venues, and although high price does not guarantee higher quality, it is absolutely true that the best quality foods do cost more to produce.
All our large animals are pasture-raised and pasture-killed. Our beef cattle and lambs are 100% pasture-raised, meaning they not only “have access” to pasture, they truly spend their whole lives on pasture. They are never in a feedlot, never trucked live to slaughter, and never in contact with any herd other than the small herd they're raised in. We use a licensed mobile slaughtering service that drives right onto the pasture where the animals are; we do not move the animals prior to slaughter. I personally inspect the organ meats of every large animal we slaughter, and so I can assert with absolute personal confidence that the animal was perfectly healthy at the time of slaughter. I am personally present at every slaughter to make sure the animal is calm and the kill is both humane and hygienic. We place our priorities in meat production on quality of life for the animal; sustainable management of soils and pasture; eliminating or minimizing the stress of capture and transportation; a swift, gentle and fearless ending; safe, clean and minimal processing; and a complete absence of chemicals and medications.
Our free gift to you with each share of beef or lamb (limit one book per family per year) is “The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook” by Shannon Hays. We are including this book with each share this year – without raising our beef or lamb prices from 2009 – because it contains so much information for getting the best value and enjoyment from your farm meat purchase, including information about the superiority of its nutrition and environmental impact; the differences in cooking, including the importance of lower temperature roasting, faster steak finishing, and using your meat thermometer; great recipes; and great descriptions of cuts and how to use everything in your share. I couldn’t write a better book than this one. It retails for $23 and is also available in our farmstore for separate purchase for $21.
BEEF. Our beef is $5.15 per pound hanging weight for 1/8ths or split quarters (other share sizes have different pricing, see details lower on the page), and available down to the smallest share we can legally sell: 1/8th carcass (about 50-70 lbs finished; please see the attached Oregon State University publication to understand the laws regarding buying custom-processed meat direct from your farmer). This is a smaller portion better meeting the needs of many of our urban customers. For more details to understand hanging and finished weights and more details about included cuts, keep reading to the bottom of this page.
Our beef share typically includes about 35 to 40% ground beef (packaged in 1.5- or 2-pound packages), 30% roasts (cut three to four pounds each), 20% steaks (1-inch thick and two to a package), and 10-15% assorted other cuts (ribs, shanks, stew meat, fajita meat, round steaks, etc). If you are ordering ¼ or ½ carcass, you may specify your own cutting instructions.
Our cattle are on grass pasture all day, every day, and have free access to eat as much pasture grass as they want. Our beef is raised on a diet of maybe 98% lifetime calories of grass plus hand-fed, locally grown corn just as a training treat, and during cold months when less grass is available in the pastures. The animals enjoy the corn as a treat, and learning to come to humans for the corn also contributes to their very low fear and stress at the time of slaughter. During cold months when pasture grass is of lesser quality, we also supplement with grass hay. Our beef is not certified organic, but the pasture they are raised on has never been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides nor chemically fertilized in more than 30 years. Our corn is locally grown, non-GMO corn but it is not certified organic. The custom processing plant that we use is not certified organic but meat is minimally processed with no chemicals or detergents of any kind are added to your meat, and meat is not irradiated. We raise about 48 beefs a year and slaughter about 4 per month, all 12 months of the year. Email us for more detailed information regarding next-available dates for 1/8th shares, 1/8th burger shares, hindquarter, frontquarter, or halves.
LAMB. 1/2 lamb is about 25 pounds depending on the weight of the individual animal, $8/lb hanging weight corresponding to about $8.50/lb finished weight, and you get everything on the left or right side of the animal. We have our lambs butchered into small chops and steaks, with two small leg roasts and one small shoulder roast. You'll also get a little ground lamb and a little stew meat. You may order your half with or without the liver, heart, and kidneys. Our lambs are raised on a grass pasture that has never been sprayed or fertilized with any artificial anything in more than 30 years. Our 100% grass-fed lambs eat exclusively grass, alfalfa, and mother’s milk, with not even a single grain in their lifetime diet. Reserving now for about May/June 2013; season is June through October each year. I have heard from almost every single customer that it’s the best lamb they’ve ever had.
PORK. "Regular Pampered Pork (option1)" Our breeding sows have a protected, clean, deep-bedded, barn in winter, and pasture-based temporary shelters with straw and hay for building their own outdoor nests in summer. There are no farrowing crates on the farm, no wire floors, no manure lagoon, and of course no antibiotics or hormones. The young piglets are raised by their mother until about eight weeks of age. The pigs are clean, healthy, curious, friendly animals who like to come over and be scratched and to see what treats a stranger might have to offer them. Their ears and tails have no signs of nibbling. We’ll be raising a variety of old-fashioned breeds, including razorbacks, Hamptons, and durocks. Our pigs are grown to about six to six and a half months of age, finishing at about 270 pounds live weight, which corresponds to about 180 pounds hanging weight and about 140 pounds finished meat per whole hog (about 80 pounds hanging weight = about 70 pounds cut and wrapped weight per half). As with our other large animals, the pigs will be slaughtered at the farm where they are raised, using Ben's Custom Cutting’s licensed mobile slaughtering facility. We never ship our large animals to slaughter, never mix them with other herds, and never allow them to set foot in a feedlot. Offered: ½ carcass pork, $5.00 per pound processed hanging weight, corresponding to about $320 total cost for 80 pounds hanging weight, about 70 pounds of finished, cut, wrapped, labeled and frozen meat. $25 deposit required, reservation must be placed while the animal is still alive. "Regular Pampered Pork" is available monthly about May through September each year. Reserving now for May 2013.
PORK(option2) “Red Wattles” heirloom breed, pasture-raised pork. Heritage-breed, 100% pasture raised RED WATTLES pork, available regularly all year long. This breed is listed on the Slow Foods Ark of Taste as being a traditional premium meat breed, having exceptional flavor and quality, raised for robustness even in cold wet weather, and being critically endangered. The pigs are raised on grass pasture from age 2 days through slaughter, rotated through various pastures so they always have access to clean, fresh grass. Note, however, that pigs are omnivores like humans and chickens, and so require grain and protein supplement to grass; unlike cattle and sheep, pigs cannot live on grass alone.) $5.50/lb processed hanging weight, about 80-100 pounds hanging weight per half or about $400-$500 total cost. We offer approximately eight animals per month, year-round. It’s never too early to reserve for your preferred timing, reserving for every month in 2013.
PASTURE-RAISED CHICKEN. We also produce humanely raised, chemical- and medication-free, “regular” Cornish Cross breed chickens, pasture-raised, for $4.59 per pound as butchered whole roaster/fryers. Chickens are the same price whether you buy them at our farmstore in Yamhill, at the Hillsdale Farmer's Market, at Barbur World Foods, or at New Seasons Markets. Outdoor-raised poultry is in season in
OTHER POULTRY. We have several tiny, sustainable, grass-based partner farms which raise ducks, guinea hens, rabbits, geese, and pheasants, in small batches, offered just a few times a year. These birds are all processed here on our own farm. Pekin ducks available all summer, also look for Kookoolan Farms ducks on the menus at Papa Haydn and Paulee Restaurants! SEASON BEGINS MAY 1st.
We’re very proud of what we produce. We are not a bargain farm, but we are dedicated to producing the very best meats, using the most humane and sustainable practices, following the spirit of “Nourishing Traditions” and grass-based agriculture as much as we possibly can, and looking for ways to put ever-more Omega-3 and trace minerals into every bite of food we produce. Yes, there are shortcuts we could take to reduce the price by 10% or even 20% -- but decades of a long series of such quality-cost tradeoffs is exactly what got the American commodity/factory food market into the situation it’s in now.
LAWS REGARDING FARM-DIRECT BEEF
Lauren Gwin of Oregon State University has written an excellent consumer publication on laws regarding the purchase of custom-processed meats direct from the farmer. CLICK HERE
MORE DETAILS ABOUT CUTS AND WEIGHTS FOR BEEF
Approximately: Live weight X 0.60 = hanging weight. Hanging weight X 0.60 = finished weight. In other words, a 1000-lb live weight steer will yield about a 600-lb hanging carcass, and about 360 lbs of finished wrapped meat. Typically our live beefs yield 600 to 700 lbs hanging weight but we saw one that surprised us at 900 lbs in 2009!
When buying by finished weight, the processing costs are figured in and included. For custom-processed meats, it's actually not legal for the farmer to sell by finished weight prices. However, we understand that this is the number that enables a customer to compare costs and quality with grocery store meats.
When buying by hanging weight, the processing costs are typically excluded and additional. 2009 beef processing prices from our friends at Frontier Custom Cutting in Carlton are $50 kill + $.46/lb hanging weight to cut and wrap, or about $230 total processing cost for a whole beef. This adds something like net $0.64 a pound to the farmer's quoted hanging weight price.
Assuming 60% live-to-hanging, and 60% hanging-to-finished, these costs are identical: $7/lb finished weight = $3.82 hanging weight plus customer pays processing = $4.20/lb hanging weight with processing included. To compare hanging weight and finished weight quotes for the same 1000-lb live animal: 600 lbs hanging weight for $2522 net price for whole beef (processing included) = $4.20/lb net by hanging weight. 360 pounds finished weight at $7/lb = $2520 net cost for a whole beef. We can estimate your finished weight only after the animal has been killed and we know the hanging weight, about two weeks prior to pickup date. A whole beef requires about 10-12 cubic feet of freezer space; a half beef about 5-6 cubic feet; a quarter beef about 2.5 to 3 cubic feet; 1/8th beef about 1.5 cubic feet. (Incidentally, Costco offers a very nice 7 cubic foot freezer for $199.)
When ordering a half or whole beef, you may specify your own cutting instructions to the processor; we're happy to assist you if you have never done this before, and your free book “The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook” offers guidance through the various options. There's no need to be intimidated by it! (We have heard tale of a city customer getting overwhelmed by the cutting options and just telling the processor: "oh never mind, just make the whole thing into ground beef!" -- although I'm sure it was wonderful ground beef, this is a waste of premium cuts in my mind! When ordering 1/8th beef, your cuts will be predetermined by our standard cutting instructions.
A broadly-representative range of cuts in a full 1,000-lb live weight beef is 440 pounds of finished meat as follows; we divide all of these cuts as equitably as possible across all eight shares.
63 lbs (14%) top round, bottom round, round tip, and rump. These are a combination of roasts and steaks, and we have the less-premium pieces cut into stew and ground meat.
100 lbs (23%) stew meat and ground meat
20 lbs (5%) porterhouse steaks**
10 lbs (2%) T-bone steaks**
50 lbs (11%) sirloin steaks and roasts
4 lbs (1%) flank steak
25 lbs (6%) rib roast
13 lbs (3%) rib steak
25 lbs (6%) short ribs
110 lbs (25%) chuck, pot, cross-rib roasts
11 lbs (2%) boneless brisket
9 lbs (2%) shank meat (we like to cut this for the Italian braised recipe, Osso Buco)
30 lbs kidney, liver, heart, misc (not included in "finished weight")
60 lbs soup bones (not included in "finished weight")
**A note on premium cuts from the tenderloin: possible ways to cut the tenderloin include NY strip steaks, fillet mignon, tenderloin, T-bone, and porterhouse steaks. Only a very small percentage of the whole carcass is tenderloin. Our standard cutting instructions incorporate this premium muscle into the porterhouse and t-bone steaks in order to equitably divide the cuts across all eight shares. If you desire to order a half-carcass, you may specify cutting instructions for this and for all the rest of the carcass as well.
Categorized more broadly still, typical cutting for a beef yields approximately:
35-40% ground meat and stew meat
Plus organ meats and soup bones
BEEF SHARE SIZES, PRICES, AND AVAILABILITY
Here are all the options for beef. You can buy as little as 1/8th. We butcher about 4 beefs a month, every month of the year. We are generally reserving about three months ahead of time. You are welcome to reserve 1/8th, 1/4th, or ½ for any preferred timing; it is never too early to reserve for your preferred date, although if you wait it can sometimes be too late for your preferred timing! In 2011, beef halves ranged in weight from 260 to 400 pounds, with most coming in between 310-340 lbs. (divide by two for quarter weight; divide by four for 1/8th weight). We’re happy to provide addition detail on our husbandry and feeding program for our cattle, as well as details on how we handle the slaughtering and processing; let me know if you’re interested in that additional detail. Beef is available 12 months a year. We offer seven share sizes/options:
(1) A “regular” 1/8th beef share is about 85 pounds hanging weight (equals about 60 pounds finished weight) at $5.15 per pound, or about $400 total cost. (For a split quarter, you’d order 2/8ths of a beef, obviously for twice the cost and getting twice the meat described here. There is a $0.25 per pound discount for ordering a quarter, or $4.90 per pound processed hanging weight.) You’d get an assortment of cuts from both the front and rear of the animal, including about 20 percent steaks, 20 percent roasts, 35 percent ground meat (or about 21 pounds ground meat plus about 3 pounds stew meat), and miscellaneous other cuts including cross-cut shanks, brisket, short ribs, spare ribs, stew meat, etc. It’s about 60 pounds of finished meat, about 2.5 cubic feet of freezer space. There is NOT the option for custom cutting for a 1/8th share.
(2) A “split quarter” includes meat from both the front and rear of the beef. This is the exact equivalent of two 1/8ths shares (options 1), obviously for about twice the cost and getting twice the meat described above, or about $800 total cost, about 120 pounds of finished meat, and requiring about 4 to 5 cubic feet of freezer space. We offer a $0.25 per pound discount for ordering a quarter, or $4.90 per pound processed hanging weight.
(3) front quarter of one animal. Most of the high-value steaks are in the rear quarter, so we sell rear quarters for $1 more a pound, and front quarters for $1 less. A typical front quarter would be about 170 pounds hanging weight (equals about 120 pounds finished weight), $4.15 per pound, about $700 total cost. The front quarter is mostly roasts (prime rib roast or steaks, cross-cut rib roast, pot roast, and brisket; plus short ribs and spare ribs; and cross-cut shanks for osso buco. You can choose to keep just your favorite roasts and have the rest cut into stew meat and ground meat if you choose. Since this is a self-contained “primal cut” you can choose to have it cut however you wish to your own specifications.
(4) rear quarter. This is $1 a pound more, or $6.15 per pound hanging weight, about 170 pounds hanging weight (again about 120 pounds finished weight), about $1000 total cost. A rear quarter, which again can be cut to your own specifications if you desire, will yield about 2/3rds premium steaks (tenderloin, porterhouse, t-bone, and sirloin steaks) and about 1/3rd stew meat and/or ground meat.
(5) Half or “side” of beef. This is the weight equivalent of four 1/8th shares, and includes literally everything on one side of the backbone. This can be cut and processed to your own order. We offer a $0.50 per pound discount for halves, or $4.65/lb processed hanging weight. A typical half beef is about 330 pounds hanging weight, about 240 pounds of finished meat, or about 9 cubic feet of freezer space and about $1500 total cost.
(6) 1/8th carcass Burger and Stew Share. NEW! By popular demand. 1/8th “mostly burger” shares. You’ll get half a frontquarter, with only the most premium prime rib left as steaks, and the rest packaged as ground beef and stew meat in 1-lb packages. You’ll have about 25 pounds of ground beef, 25 pounds of stew meat, plus a few prime rib steaks, lots of soup bones, $4.40 per pound processed hanging weight. A typical 1/8th share has a hanging weight of about 85 pounds, and about 50-60 pounds finished meat. (Seasonal note: from August to April delivery we offer this share as a 50/50 combination of ground meat and stew meat; from May through July delivery we offer this share with 100% ground beef plus the prime rib steaks.)
(7) 1/8th carcass Steak Share. NEW! By popular demand. 1/8th “mostly steaks” shares. You’ll get half a hindquarter, processed as 1” thick steaks and packaged two steaks per package. You’ll get about 2/3rds assorted steaks (t-bone, tenderloin, sirloin, and round steaks), with the remaining 1/3rd as ground beef in one-pound packages. You’ll have about 85 pounds hanging weight, which becomes 60 pounds of finished meat; roughly 40 pounds steaks and 20 pounds ground beef, $6.40 per pound hanging weight, or about $500 total cost.
For any of the options you can request soup bones, fat/tallow, and organ meats, at no additional charge. For options (1) (2) (6) or (7) you do not get to specify cuts. For options (3) (4) or (5) you will be provided with options and instructions for calling your own processing instructions in to our butcher. For option (1) (6) or (7) 1/8th beef, we request a $50 deposit; for options (2) (3 or (4) for 1/4th beef, a $100 deposit; for option (5) ½ beef a $200 deposit.
Thank you for considering our meats. To reserve any of these options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Farmer Chrissie at (503) 730-7535.