Tuesday, November 16, 2010

100% Grass-Finished Beef for Sale

Are you ready for some great tasting, tender roast that's been cooking all day? Has it been awhile since you had a good NY Strip or Delmonico Steak? Or, are you ready for some good, versatile hamburger?

Well, if you are, we've got what you need - our own grass-finished beef!

We raise our beef cattle during the summer outside, in the fresh air and sunshine on nothing but the best food source for them - 100% grass!

We move them periodically to new sections of pasture to help provide them with clean, high quality food.

When cattle eat grass, both they and we make out a lot better. The cattle live in the environment they were created to live in, thus making them healthier and happier. And we get to enjoy meat that is nutritious, tasty, and healthy for us. Check out the amazing benefits of grass-finished beef at the bottom of this post, such as higher Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins, CLA, and far, far less danger of E. coli.

We raise a variety of cattle breeds - all of them being designed to produce beef. Click here and scroll down to learn more about the breeds.

Q. What's the difference between "grass-finished" and "grassfed" beef?
A. On our farm, very little. Grassfed cattle's diet is made up of strictly grass year around. Our grass-finished cattle, because we don't have a barn, are boarded during the winter at another farm, where they eat silage (fermented forage and grain) and hay. But once spring comes, the cattle are turned out to green pasture and ingest nothing by grass all summer long until they're processed in either July, October, or November. So during the last 3-7 months, which are the most determinant in the quality of the meat, our cattle eat only grass. The end result: Almost no difference between grass-finished and grassfed beef.
They're both great for you!

Hungry yet?
We've got a wide variety of cuts available from Porterhouse and Sirloin Steaks, to Prime Rib and Chuck Roast, to Ground Beef and Short Ribs. (Remember, it's not too late to grill yet; we still are.) We even have our own Beef Sticks.
To see a complete list of cuts available and prices, click on the links below:
To order, send us an email or give us call with what you would like.

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 Nutritional Benefits of Grass-Finished Beef

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)
CLA is a “good” fat that in studies has shown promise of fighting cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that grass fed beef have any where from 2-5 times the amount of CLA as beef raised on a high grain diet.

Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids and a proper balance of these is needed for maintaining good health. Omega-6 is known to help with blood clotting, which is important if you receive a cut or serious injury. Omega-3 on the other hand is important for blood thinning. A proper balance of these two ensures that you will neither bleed to death nor have a heart attack or stroke from clogged arteries. Unfortunately, American’s at large have diets too high in Omega-6 and lacking greatly in Omega-3. Cattle raised on grain are higher in Omega-6, taking it from a healthy to unhealthy balance and raising the risk of heart attacks or strokes in human consumers. Grass is rich in Omega-3 and Beef raised on grass have shown to have a healthy balance between the two essential fatty acids, giving you a more rounded diet.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect against damage caused by free radicals. Free radical build up can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory conditions. Vitamin E may help reduce cancer, heart complications and risk of eye disorders such as cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Source for the health benefits of Vitamin E

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Building the Greenhouse!

On October 2nd, we had a good, old-fashion "greenhouse raising". A group of 15 men and boys came together, volunteered their time, and helped me put up my 20'x96' greenhouse almost entirely in one day. It was such a blessing!

Believe it, or not, there's to be a greenhouse here by the end of the day.

The work begins

The way you anchor the structure to the ground is by simply driving the sidewall stakes into the ground 2 feet.
You got to make sure they're straight!

These two young men (15 years old), plus another one or two around their age, worked very well and drove 25 out of the 50 sidewall stakes in.

Once the posts are in, a strip of metal is run along the top of them. This piece will be used for multiple purposes, such as strength, holding the plastic on, and stabilizing the roll-up sides.

After this, the hoops are put in place, which I thought was quite fun because it looked like we were getting a lot done quickly.

It's really coming together...

...but now it's time for lunch - steamers/Sloppy Joe's made with our own beef.

Lunch was a nice break, but now it's time to start working again because we want to get as much as possible up before the end of the day.

Work, work, work...Many hands makes light work.

Eric, an organic blueberry farmer and metal machinist

Elliot, a CSA member who worked very diligently doing one of the hardest jobs almost all day - driving metal screws

It's taking shape!

Now, it's time for the plastic...

...a job that takes almost everyone.

It was definitely a challenging stretching the two layers of plastic (one at a time) tight in the wind.

Aaron, an Amish man who's also an organic produce grower, was the foreman of the operation, and he did an amazing job of keeping everyone organized, occupied, and accomplishing something. I was planning on paying him for the day as the manager of the operation, since he's got quite a bit of experience and had the hardest job of the day - managing. But when it came to the end of the day, he said he didn't want anything - just wanted me to pass it on sometime to someone else. I was so blessed by his help, especially since he took on managing our large crew excellently, is a very busy farmer, and is skilled in what he does.   

It's all done for the day!

Monique and I (and I'm sure our baby, Elise) are so very thankful to everyone from our church, family, and CSA who helped put up our greenhouse. It went up much faster than we were expecting - in 6 hours the basic structure and plastic were on! We're planning to grow vegetables in here to sell through out the winter, which will hopefully provide us with enough income that I can remain self-employed, something I that's been a dream of mine. So, to everyone who helped put up the greenhouse, is part of our winter CSA, and buys from us during the winter, THANK YOU!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Fall Bounty

Fall is such an amazing time on the farm! All the pumpkins and gourds are coming ready, the winter squash and sweet potatoes are being harvested, all the other cool-weather crops are coming to a peak, the leaves are changing... It's definitely one of my favorite seasons!

Leola Produce Action - a stunning sight to see when it's full of Lancaster Counties bountiful harvest!

Decorative Gourds

Lettuce, in my garden, that's done fabulously this year 
The early morning sun, as it rises on my Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce

Rouge D'Hiver - a French heirloom veriety

We planted close to 6,000 heads of lettuce this year - 7 different types!

Kale is one of those vegetables that is simply packed with benificial vitemins and minerals.

Umm... Mommy and Daddy are training my taste-buds to like healthy food from a very early age!

Really? That looks good, too, like the rest of the produce in the garden.

Ivory Peppers



Purple Peppers

Yea, I'm really glad my parents do gardening. It gives our family all sorts of opportunities to be together, enjoying God's creation, which we wouldn't have otherwise. It's a good life!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What it Takes to Put Together a CSA Box

It usually takes us the better part of two days, Monday and Tuesday, to pick, wash, and package all the produce for the CSA.

Corn is always picked the day we deliver it - making it extra delicious.

When corn is available, we usually pick 22 dozen (approx. 260 ears) at a time.

And there's a lot on your knees...
(Beans are being picked in this photo.)

... and bending over picking.
(Cucumbers are being picked in this photo.)

There are usually 3-4 people working each Tuesday to prepare the CSA.

Once the produce is picked it needs washed.

This can be quite a nice job on a hot day!

Tomatoes are typically wiped with a damp cloth to remove the dirt. Washing them this way is much better than putting them in a tub of water and rolling them around because it keeps them from becoming bruised. 

Eggplant just need a fast rinse.

All of our produce, after it's been picked, needs to be sorted.

The next step is to set all the boxes out, which can take 15-30 minutes.

On Tuesdays, we pack 14 full-share boxes and 33 half-share boxes, making a total of 47 boxes!

Next, we go down the line and try to put the same number vegetables in each box (i.e. 4 tomatoes for a half-share, 8 tomatoes for a full-share).

Red potatoes

So, here's your box (Aug. 10th)!

Do you understand a little more now what goes on behind the scenes to get your vegetables to you?

We enjoy it a lot!

~ Jonathan