We are very excited to announce our first ever Meat CSA for Fall 2014. What is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture is what it stands for but it is much more than that. They can be structured different ways but the basic idea is that you are supporting your farmers directly by buying a share in their farm and farm food. This is huge for a small farms like ours where costs just to run the farm can be daunting and it gives us the support we need to plan for our next season and gives us the capital to do things like build new chicken tractors. In return you get a monthly bounty of grass-fed meat that is less expensive than if you bought it retail. You can think of it similarly to buying a whole or half of an animal directly from a farm but instead of investing in a large chest freezer we will be bringing the meat to you in monthly installments that are less overwhelming and instead of having hundreds of pounds of just beef or just pork you will have a mix of chicken, pork, lamb, and beef over the course of four months. We feel its a enriching experience for both the farm and the members, giving us a greater connection to the community we are raising food for and giving you a better understanding of where your food comes from. So I will go into detail about all the different kinds of meats that will be included in the CSA and other member perks (yes! member only perks!!!) If you want to skip to registration click here. Please fill out the form and mail it to us with a check. No credit cards will be taken for CSA memberships unless you are okay with the extra 3% bank charge added onto your total amount. There is already a discount on this membership and we can't afford the bank fees on top of the discount. Now onto the exciting part! The nuts and bolts- There will be once a month drop offs on the 3rd Saturday of each month, September-December 2014. One in West Seattle (Location TBA), One in Capitol Hill at Nube Green, and one in Ellensburg (Location TBA). The cost is $600 and you will be receiving approximately 12-16 pounds of meat each month depending on the price of the cuts and it will be a mix of 2-3 different kinds of meats (chicken, pork, lamb, beef) each month. You will be receiving approximately $170 worth of meat but the cost to you will be $150 a month (so slightly more than a 10% discount). The CSA member perks will include but not be limited to priority on our waiting list for Thanksgiving Heritage Turkeys, Member only discounts at Farmers Markets, special farm made gifts that we don't sell at markets, and other things like honey when we harvest them. The gifts will be things that we think compliment our meats or may work with the recipes we include with each box. These recipes will be ones we have written ourselves or tested ourselves and think they work well with grass-fed meats. We are very dedicated to teaching people how to cook things they are unfamiliar with so we will be more than happy to talk people through things like cooking a whole chicken or how to part up a whole chicken. Register here! Mail back the form and check for your spot in the Fall Meat CSA.
Green Bow Farm Pastures- Are never sprayed with chemicals of any kind and we fertilize them by practicing multi-species rotational grazing in addition to using on the farm made fertilizers like compost and compost tea. We believe the animals when rotated around on pastures the right way will give back to the land and make the soil richer, this soil in turn will grow the animals healthier grasses to forage for. It's a beautiful symbiotic relationship that goes far beyond any man made fertilizers. If you treat animals right they will reward you and heal the land in ways you can't possibly imagine.
Pasture Raised Chicken- We raise our chickens on pasture with all of our sheep and cattle which is beneficial to the animals and beneficial to the soil. The chickens clean up what the ruminants leave behind and in this way they help fertilize the pastures and the chickens in turn are getting more nutrition from eating bugs and grass which give them a higher amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. In addition we feed them a locally grown whole grain feed that is soy and gmo free. There have been recent studies showing that chickens fed a soy free diet have an even higher amount of Omega-3's compared to pasture raised chickens that have soy in their diet. The chickens are processed at a humane certified WSDA facility that our neighbor runs just up the road from us. We are very lucky to have neighbors that are as dedicated to sustainable agriculture as we are because in Washington State you are not allowed to sell chicken at farmers markets or to CSA's unless they are processed at a WSDA facility.
Grass-fed Lamb- We breed Icelandic Sheep at Green Bow Farm for both Wool and Meat. They are a very hardy breed that works well with our cold winters not to mention they have excellent maternal instincts and birth very easily. We raise them on pasture with our cattle and chickens letting them nurse as long as the ewes will let them. We breed them for a spring arrival and harvest in October so they are on green grass almost the entire time and 100% grass-fed which we find makes a huge difference in the quality of the meat.We have also found that their meat is slightly milder in flavor compared to the lamb that most people are used to eating and even people who swear they don't like lamb have been converted when they try ours. Our lamb and our beef are both processed at a humane certified USDA facility that is run by a cooperative of farmers and ranchers.
Grass-fed Beef We breed Scottish Highland Cattle for many of the same reasons we do the Icelandic Sheep. They are hardy and in addition to grazing on pasture they also browse which means they are less picky about forage and it helps create healthier pastures that are less water intensive. If you've seen this handsome breed you've seen their red and sometimes black thick coat that insulates them so much so that they end up with less fat then traditional Angus beef. Our Cattle are also 100% grass-fed which means the meat has a much darker red color compared to the beef you are used to seeing in the grocery store.
Also fun fact: the British Royal Family breed Scottish Highlands and I have read it is their beef of choice. If it's good enough for the King and Queen of England it's good enough for our CSA members :)
Pastured Pork- When we started talking to people about a Meat CSA one thing that was requested was pasture raised pork which at this time we have only raised for ourselves. So in collaboration with our neighbors at Windy 'n' Ranch we will be including pastured pork with the CSA membership. Here are some details about how they raise their pigs-
"Our Pastured Pigs are sired by Berkshires which are a wonderfully flavorful Heritage Breed and bred to Yorkshire/Landrace sows known for their meat quality and maternal characteristics. It might seem odd but by purchasing Heritage Breeds you are supporting the effort to bring back breeds which have virtually vanished but were at one time common in early America because of their superior taste. Originally from Britain and known as Britain’s oldest breed, Berkshires are the most popular of the Heritage Breeds. Known as “Kurobuta” in Japan as their most prized pork and is looked at like Kobe Beef. Berks have become a favorite with chefs because of its intramuscular marbling. The breed yields a brighter pork than most, and features a thick, delicious fat cap. Something which make us VERY unusual in the industry is our feeding of Fodder which is Organic Barley Sprouts fed to our slaughter animals in the winter when fresh grass is not available." From their website. Windy 'n' also does not spray their pastures with chemicals of any kind.
Now go and register here! There is a limited amount of spots available based on how much we can fit on our truck so if you are interested send back your registration and check as soon as possible.