February 2021 Newsletter

New Walk-in Freezer and Packing Room

 

We are putting the finishing touches on our new packing facility, (pics) built into our old driving shed on the home farm where Sam and Michelle and their five boys live. This driving shed was built in 1973 when I was 15 years old, for a total cost of $15,000. The reason that I remember the date and the amount is that there is an interesting piece of family folklore associated with the day the shed was finished.

The contractor was a local man, and many of the workers were young guys who grew up in the area, well known to the family.  Some of them played ball on the men’s fastball team that my Dad coached; the famous “Chepstow Aces”.  As was customary, upon completion of the project, the whole crew was invited into the farmhouse for a beer.  We had a pool table in the living room, and John – the contractor – was a pool player. He offered to play my Dad a game of snooker, with a wager attached – the price of the driving shed – $15,000!  Dad was not that confident in his abilities but responded that “If you want to play Ted, I’ll go for the bet.”  Talk about pressure…

In the end cooler heads prevailed and I think they settled on one case of beer for the winner ($6.00) instead of the driving shed.  It was a close game and I did beat him, sinking the black ball on the last shot to the great delight of the spectators.

Chicken cuts

We try to accommodate everyone’s needs by supplying chicken in a variety of formats. In our home we would normally roast a whole chicken, which supplies us with one big hot meal, cold chicken leftovers for lunches and the broth for a chicken soup. (Nothing better on a cold winter day!). But there are times when it’s more convenient to have a package of drums or thighs that can be cooked up in a variety of ways, more quickly than a whole chicken. If you would like to try “chicken cuts”, we suggest that you order our “Convenience Box” It has two entire chickens with the breasts, drums, wings, thighs, necks and backs all packaged separately. So you can select whichever cut you want at the moment. The cost of a convenience box is $7.00/lb., only $1.00/lb. more than whole chickens. Don’t forget that we still give a 10% discount for orders of 10 birds or more.

Ground Chicken

For old timers like myself, this is a new thing, but the popularity of ground chicken seems to be growing, and after trying it ourselves, we understand why. Just as ground beef and ground pork are versatile ingredients in so many favorite meat dishes, chicken has an equal number of uses. The taste profile of pastured birds adds a much more distinct chicken flavour to whatever recipe is used.

Polar Pigs

We’ve had quite a lot of snow in Bruce county during the first two weeks of February, but these guys are still intent on going out into the pasture field and digging down to root for something in the unfrozen soil below. We don’t know what they get out of this, but one theory is that they inoculate their stomachs against food poisoning with a constant influx of soil borne organisms. Pigs are simple stomached animals like humans, but unlike us they can eat vegetable or animal matter in any state of decomposition with no apparent ill-effects. Maybe we need to eat more dirt! On a sunny afternoon they will be out there even at well below freezing. But nights are spent cuddled up in the deep straw inside the barn.

A “quarter of beef”?

If you are a beef lover, and have never ordered a quarter, but purchase your beef by the cut, you might want to consider the information in the article below. We know that buying this amount of meat all at once has disadvantages for some families. #1 – It’s a big investment in food all at once. #2 – you need freezer space. #3 – you might end up with cuts that you haven’t used while you have already run out of something else.
But if you can maneuver around all those possible roadblocks, you may find that a quarter is an economical way to feed the family. Many families have a large chest freezer (the new ones are extremely energy efficient) and they keep it filled with chickens bought in bulk, a quarter of beef and a side of pork. For whoever is planning meals or in charge of cooking, having that supply in the house, means just one less headache. Weekly grocery shopping is greatly simplified. And in the long run you save money. If it’s something new for you, read the article below, then if it seems like it might work, call or order online and we will walk you through it.

What do I get in a quarter of beef?

There are many different ways to cut up a quarter, so the following is an example only. Depending on cutting instructions you will get more or less steaks, roasts, ground beef or stew beef. But this is a fairly standard cut, using a mixed quarter (split side; half of the front quarter and half of the hind quarter). It is taken from an actual order where the Gross Hanging Weight (the weight of the quarter after slaughter, before cutting) was 150 lbs. The total yield (the weight of meat you take home) was 89 lbs. or 60 % of the Gross Hanging Weight. The cost of this quarter was 150 lbs @ $5.79/lb. = $868.00. If the buyer had purchased all the cuts listed below individually, the cost would have been $1040.00. So by ordering a whole quarter they saved $172.00 . And the optional beef liver, heart, tongue, oxtail and extra bones are free. Here is how it broke down by ground beef, steaks and roasts.

  • 10 lbs stew beef
  • 27 lbs ground beef
  • 10 lbs patties
  • Total ——————————————-47 lb.
  • Steaks: approx 2lb./pk. Total—————18 lb.
  • 2 Tbone
  • 3 Rib
  • 2 Sirloin
  • 1 Porterhouse
  • 1 Wing
  • Roasts: Approx 4lb roasts. Total —————-24 lb.
  • 2 Rump
  • 2 Blade
  • 1 Short Rib
  • 1 Sirloin Tip
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