Happier kids, moms and dads through helpful hints and quick, kid-friendly food - straight from my farm to your kitchen. Are you trying to build up your health and your family's health without spending all day over the stove? Not sure where to buy or what to cook?
I can help. I would love to share with you the tips I have learned to get great food into my growing (and picky) kids with less time in the kitchen. So many of the cookbooks featuring real food contain these fancy and kid-unfriendly recipes like "fig and prosciutto salad." My family wants tacos and burritos, burgers and chili, chicken soup and lasagna, oatmeal and pancakes. These foods can be terribly unhealthy, but if made with REAL FOOD ingredients and reduced sugar, you can have many of the same dishes and still support great health. Win-Win. :0)
Sign up for my email list (above) to get this information coming into your inbox. Click on the blog link below to see recipes from previous emails, and keep reading for my top 3 hints for switching your family over to a healthier diet with ease.
Pork-O-Nanza! Our pastured, soy-free pork is back in stock! I have two types:
A) is from a heritage Old Spot pig born and raised on my farm but I had to give him a couple of antibiotic shots to save his life during a hard winter 5 months before harvest.
B) is from a non-heritage pig I obtained as a youngster, and raised for seven months without medication before harvest. This meat is on the leaner side, so is perfect for those of you who prefer that. Please specify A or B when ordering. The prices are the same. Bacon $12 / lb, Pork Chops $8 / lb, Sausage $8 / lb (mild grazywurst or spicy chorizo). Ingredients are in the FAQ.
Beef - Our newly harvested beef is in, and it’s our best yet! I sampled one of the usually-less-tender steak cuts right off the grill, and all I needed was a fork. Yum! I am selling this grass-fed goodness in 25 lb beef bonanza boxes (approx. ½ ground beef, ¼ roasts, and ¼ steaks) $199
Eggs - From happy heritage (old-timey) hens running free on our farm, eating bugs and greens and soaked, organic, soy-free feed. $6 / dozen
Lamb - Coming Eventually :-)
To order, please drop us an email (see contact page below) with what you would like and when you would like to pick it up at the farm. Alternatively, if you are in an existing group with us, we are happy to bring it to you. Due to needing to be at work on the farm, we do not currently visit any farmers markets or sell in any stores. We happily accept cash, check, and paypal.
Special Offer - For the time being, if you gather a few friends and put together an order of $500 or more, I will deliver for free within an hour's drive.
For sausage ingredients, how the animals are fed and other questions, see our FAQ, below.
Our delicious PASTURED CHICKENS, which were supplemented with a soy-free feed tested free of gmos, herbicides and pesticides are now in the freezer. $6.25/lb. Or buy 3 or more and get them at $5.95/lb
Bottom Line: a half steer will consist of approximately 100 lbs of packaged meat (about ¼ steak, ¼ roasts, and ½ ground beef). For that you can expect to pay approximately $650 total. The amount you get, and therefore the price, varies by steer size!
Ordering Grazy Days grassfed beef in bulk is a great way to save some money and to receive a variety of cuts. In the old days this was the way folks bought their meat: directly from the farmer and by buying a quarter, half or whole steer. When you buy beef this way, you have the opportunity to work directly with a butcher to ensure you get exactly the kind of cuts you want. Be sure to tell them you want all the bones, if you do, or they will give you none or just a few. I also request the liver, and as much fat as possible in the ground beef when I have mine processed.
HERE COMES THE MATH: Hanging weight refers to the weight of the beef as it hangs in the butcher’s cooler once the head, hide, feet, organs and blood are removed. Since most every butcher bases the processing fees on the hanging weight, it is the most widely used measurement by direct market farmers. Usually the hanging weight of one of our animals ends up being about 300 pounds (therefore a 1/2 would weigh approx 150 pounds). So the “hanging weight” is the weight of your beef before it is cut up and wrapped into meal size packages. It is important to know the difference between the hanging weight and the final total weight of cut and wrapped meat you will be receiving. With this in mind, a typical half works out like this: 150 pounds (hanging weight) x 65% = 97.50 pounds (cut & wrapped weight) plus bones. During each step of processing, some weight is lost. It is very important to keep this fact in mind when trying to calculate exactly how much meat your share will contain. Once the beef is at the butcher and you know the hanging weight you can easily calculate the cost of your share. If the hanging weight is 300 lbs and you agreed to purchase a half beef at $3.50/lb the fees are calculated as such: 300 lbs/2 = 150lbs x $3.50/lb = $525 for a 1/2 steer. The $525 is paid to us at Grazy Days Farm and then you are still responsible for the fees the butcher charges to cut and wrap the beef. We will deliver the animal to the butcher and then you will be responsible for contacting the butcher to talk about how you want your beef cut up and wrapped (don’t worry - they are really helpful with helping your figure out what you want) and then picking up your meat when it is ready (which is usually 2-3 weeks after slaughter). So back to butcher fees. This can vary depending on what you want. If you are looking to get things like summer sausage made it is going to cost more. If you are just looking for the standard steaks, roasts, burger, etc, then you can expect to pay about $0.80 / lb hanging weight, or about $120 per 1/2 steer. Whew! It is very complicated! But – I just tell folks that they can expect to pay about $650 or so TOTAL for a 1/2 of a steer and they will end up with about 100 lbs of extremely delicious and super healthy 100% grass fed beef that is cut and wrapped to their specifications. How awesome is that?
Most of us have kids who love fast food. Sadly, while cheap and convenient, fast food turns out to be a fast road to poor health. However, we don't have to stand over our kids forcing kale smoothies down their throats to get good nutrition into them :0) (Thank Goodness!). By keeping the same items but switching out the ingredients for more healthful ones, we can help them grow strong bodies and minds while still feeding them food they love like hamburgers, tacos, and chicken nuggets.
Example: for chicken nuggets, I thaw a local whole chicken raised on pasture and organic feed (because animals concentrate pesticides in their bodies when raised on conventional feed) and toss it in a crockpot with water. When it is soft, I cool it, take the meat from the bones, and cut the breast into large chunks. I mix up a quick breading (using rice or almond flour if gluten free or paleo) using herbs and salt. I stick the breading on with egg and fry the nuggets up, careful not to dislodge the breading. Voila! No undercooked parts or tendons. Happy kids. Happy me, knowing that meal will build them into the strong and vigorous people they were meant to be. I set aside the rest of the meat for soup after I've cooked the bones overnight with 2 TBS apple cider vinegar for broth.
If you are taking your family on a journey to better health, don't stress yourself or your kids out by trying to change everything at once. Start with something simple like substituting local, grass-fed beef for the factory farmed stuff. Cook hamburgers at home instead of running through the drive through. They are still quick and delicious but now they will be chock full of life-giving nutrition instead of "pink slime" and chemical residue. http://time.com/3176714/pink-slime-meat-prices-bpi-beef/
A sprouted, whole-grain bun, Safflower mayo, raw organic cheese, pesto, pastured bacon, sun-ripened tomato, and fermented pickle are great options to complete your dream hamburger.
For a ton of awesome information on what to eat and why, visit my
nutrition gurus ;0) at the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Whenever I need to find a new source for something we eat, I find it tiring. I have to locate various sources, research them, and worst of all: make a choice. ;0)
However, once I've done that, I can relax. For example, each time I need corn tortillas for homemade tacos, which is often, I reach for Food for Life Organic Sprouted Corn Tortillas. They are easy to find in the frozen food section of my health food store and easy to keep fresh in my freezer. Why Sprouted? See here: https://www.westonaprice.org/video/proper-preparation-of-grains-and-legumes-video-by-sarah-pope/
I just fry them up in some ghee, tallow, or coconut oil (hint - buy the expeller pressed instead of the extra virgin so everything you make doesn't taste of coconut. My kids hated coconut oil until I figured this out. Sometimes stores don't carry it. You can buy it online. It's debateably just as nutritious. Plus, it's cheaper. Win!)
Add some scrambled ground beef, home-made re-fried beans full of bone broth (which I make ahead and keep in the freezer to speed things up), and other delicious toppings and dinner is on the table in a flash.
Our business grew out of our search for the highest quality food for our family as opposed to a business plan. Since we follow the Weston A. Price Foundation's nutritional advice, we wanted soy-free feed, and animals raised on pasture. Because we do not want toxic chemicals in our food, and because animal foods concentrate toxins, all grain we feed is pesticide and herbicide free. As recovering vegetarians, animal welfare is really important to us so we take the highly unusual step of fully anesthetizing piglets before castration. Also, when milking cows, we keep babies and moms together. This is a difficult business model, but it is worth it to us to have the very best food for our family and customers. Many local farms do not prioritize these expensive practices even though customers often assume that they do.
We all know that not everyone can afford the best food, which is a great sorrow, and that plenty who can afford it do not prioritize it. We here at Grazy Days believe that vibrant health is our greatest abundance and that it comes largely from our food. We believe that the best food can change our lives and help save the planet. We believe this because we have experienced profound improvements in our own health and because we have seen and studied how the soil, plant, and wildlife communities benefit from the kind of farming we do.
If you are searching for the most delicious steak, egg, or pork chop, that you can also feel great about, you have come to the right place. By raising time-tested breeds of animal in small numbers on abundant, rich pasture, we improve the health of the ecosystem, the animal, and the eater at the top of the food chain: You!
We are always happy to answer questions or show you around. Please get in touch.
"For the meat eaters among us, here is a wonderful local farm that offers grass-fed meat and eggs from animals that are very well cared for. I visited a month ago and was offered a leisurely tour of the chickens and sheep, and a walk out through the pasture to visit the cows and pigs. Worth your time to drive there." - Vickii - Owner of Center for the Healing Arts Westminster, MD 7/5/2017
After we had your steak the other day, my daughter said, "Mom, that was SO good! Can we have steak every night?"
-Kelsi Stembel 8/2/2017
"We had steak last night and it was amazing. We had hamburgers the other night and they were SO good! So much more juicy than regular meat. Thanks for growing great beef."
-Kate Brock 8/23/2017
1) How much room does a 25 lb box of meat take up in a freezer?
Not as much as you might imagine. Meat is dense, so 25 lbs will just about fill up a regular sized re-usable shopping bag (I measured one at 12" x 13" x 8") See the photo above.
2) What do you mean 100% grass-fed? Don't they need salt? and what about winter?
We do feed hay in the winter, but since that is dried grass, it counts. We also supply salt and other minerals, just like wild animals seek out from the ground. This adds to the health of everyone and does not harm the nutritional profile of the meat the way grain supplementation would.
3) Why is grassfed or pastured so important, and what is the difference?
You have to be careful. Some producers say grassfed and also feed grain, so that is why we use the term 100% grassfed. You can always ask. If farmers are uncomfortable with questions about their practices, it may mean they have something to hide. 100% grassfed is important because even the smallest amount of grain will destroy the wonderful omega 3s in grass-only meat and milk and virtually eliminate the medicinal nutrient CLA. However, it is much easier to raise delicious beef and lamb by feeding grain. Otherwise, one has to use very particular breeds, a more labor intensive pasture management, and keep fewer animals. We use the term "pastured" for the animals that are out on pasture but also get grain-based feed (chickens and pigs).
4) I have heard that butchers sometimes give customers the meat from the wrong animal. How do you prevent this?
I have carefully screened the butcher I use and am confident that they are thorough and careful about keeping track of the ownership of product in their possession.
5) I have heard cows are bad for the environment and all the cows I see by the road have eaten their pastures down to the ground. This doesn't look too great for the world to me.
We agree! Which is why we move our cows to a fresh slice of pasture every day. This is more labor intensive, which is why most farmers don't. This movement, and the glorious growth of the pasture before it is grazed again gives the cows a much healthier diet, and builds more carbon in the soil (by sequestering it from the air) than planting a forest! Any methane produced by the cows is no more than the great buffalo herds used to produce, and therefore not the cause of climate change. These pastures are much better for the soil life, wildlife, air and water quality than fields of grain, even if organic.
6) Is your food organic?
We are not certified organic because there is a tremendous amount of paperwork involved that would put us out of business. Therefore, we cannot use the term "organic." However, we are very careful about what we bring onto our farm. All of the grain we buy is either certified organic or tested pesticide-, herbicide-, and gmo- free. We do not give our animals medications or chemicals of any kinds. The one exception to this is anesthesia for any necessary medical intervention such as patching up an injury or castrating male piglets. If we do need to use antibiotics to save an animal's life, we will keep it separate and note that if selling that meat.
7) What does "heritage" mean?
Like the term "heirloom" in vegetables, "heritage" animals are the sort our great-grandparents raised. This usually means that they were bred for excellent flavor, hardiness, mothering ability, etc. Many modern breeds or types, in contrast, have been bred for excessive growth in controlled conditions, ie - feedlots and factory farms.
8) What is in your sausage and why is it priced the way it is?
My sausage is a labor of love. The boxed mixes that almost everyone uses have chemicals that make my chemically sensitive son sick, even the "clean" nitrate free ones we've tried. I think this means there is something in there that isn't good for anyone. Plus, I don't care for the flavors. We spent a ton of time modifying recipes to find something we liked. This year I tried samples of many different mixes from the best company I could find online and didn't like those either: all spicy or sweet but with no real taste mostly. So I buy all the herbs myself, organic if they come that way - a few don't in the sizes I need. I used to mix them in my kitchen but now the inspector requires the harvester to mix them in their commercial kitchen, which is not cheap. Anyway, my point is, these are high end artisan sausages and they are priced accordingly.
The harvester adds seasoning to our pork according to our recipe but there is some variation from batch to batch. This last batch is on the saltier side. You will want to taste before adding any additional salt to anything you cook with them. Our Grazywurst is a mild, kid-friendly sausage containing only our good pork (no weird parts), sea salt, garlic powder, mustard seed powder, honey, smoked paprika, coriander, and black pepper. Our Chorizo sausage is a spicy sausage containing the same good pork, sea salt, vinegar, ancho chilis, chipotle chilis, paprika, garlic, oregeno, black pepper, and cumin. Most of the spices are organic, but a few I couldn't find in the sizes I needed.
9) How is your bacon made and what is in it? This batch of my bacon is brined in salt, sodium erythorbate, dextrose, sugar, and sodium carbonate and then smoked, sliced and frozen. Dextrose is just another form of sugar. Sodium Erythorbate is a form of vitamin C that is being used to keep nitrate-free meats fresh and safe during brining. I couldn't find any bad information on it, but let me know if it concerns you and I will take that into account in the future.
10) I thought grassfed was best. Why do you feed grain to your chickens and pigs? Sheep and cows evolved to live on plants alone, so that is how we raise them. However, pigs and poultry did not. Like us, they need more concentrated sources of nutrients. They still benefit from being outside and getting their "salad," but they need supplemental feed, which we give in the form of soaked, soy-free grain plus peas or fishmeal. The grain is certified organic or tested pesticide-, herbicide-, and gmo- free.
11) How does a half steer work and what is "hanging weight?"
We love our customers, so feel free to schedule a visit or ask any questions. Love our products? Let us know. Unhappy about something? We want to know that too, so we can do better.
12102 Coppermine Road, Union Bridge, MD 21791, USA