First a little overview of the Meat CSA we joined last month, and then fun with a new kitchen toy!
Earlier this summer I went in search of a local meat CSA. We’ve been really trying to make a point to only buy grass-fed beef, local meats, and either organic chicken or close to it. Luckily Whole Foods has their animal welfare rating which makes this a lot easier.
I guess you could say the next step would be to try and buy local when possible! That’s where a meat CSA comes into play. I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Community Supported Agriculture and probably in terms of veggie shares or fruit shares. Well a meat CSA works the same way…you purchase a “share” of the farm.
I didn’t have a recommendation when I was looking so I went with a good old internet search, which led me to Chestnut Farms!
Things I was looking for in a CSA were convenience in the pick-up location, price, and information about their farm and how the animals are raised and fed.
I loved this statement on their website:
“Our CSA is for people who love animals and happen to eat meat. It is for people who want to know the farmer that raises their food and be sure that the meat they consume is humanely raised without any hormones or antibiotics.”
Couldn’t have said it better.
Feel free to read more about their farm and their operations on their website!
So right now we opted for a 15lb share (the smallest they offer is 10lbs). We figured we’d start there and if it was too much we could go down to 10. Our first pick up was in July and the amount was pretty perfect.
When you pick up your cooler you bring back the cooler from the month before. During the pick-up they also have farm fresh eggs for sale, as well as a cooler full of “bits and pieces” that are either free or just $1…these are items like marrow bones, pork fat, bacon ends.
This months share:
- a whole chicken
- chicken breasts
- 3 packs of ground beef
- fresh kielbasa
- 3 packs of sirloin
- Lamb stew meat! Excited about the lamb!
Last month was similar except instead of lamb we got pork, and instead of bacon and kielbasas we got homemade fresh chorizo and a couple smoked chicken breasts.
Their ground beef in phenomenal. I don’t know why it’s SO much better, but it is. It’s grass fed, and very lean because they don’t add any fat to it. So you need to make sure you add fat when cooking. But the first time we made burgers with their beef they were delicious!!
Everything is vacuum sealed and frozen and we just take out what we want when we want it.
The farm is located out in the middle of Massachusetts and they welcome visitors who want to check it out anytime! I hope to visit someday soon!
I’m also excited that they offer fresh turkeys for the holidays to shareholders!
Ok I think I’ve talked enough about my monthly cooler of meat :) If you have any questions about it just ask!!
I picked up the share yesterday and immediately took out some ground beef for dinner.
I also broke out a new toy…
I bought the World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer from Amazon.
SO EASY!! Seriously took 20 seconds to turn a whole zucchini into noodles!
I also whipped up a Bolognese-type sauce
- Sautéed onions and garlic in a little coconut oil
- added 1 chopped carrot
- add ground beef (little over 1 lb)
- 1 can tomato paste mixed in
- about 1 cup water/chicken broth/white wine
- salt/pepper/herbs and spices of your choice
- stirred in a little half & half at the end :)
I added a pinch of nutmeg to the sauce which made it awesome btw. Try it.
For the noodles, I just sautéed them in a little olive oil for just 1-2 minutes just to heat…they barely need to be cooked.
Love at first bite :)
Do you belong to any CSA’s?? I always mean to sign up for a veggie one, but never do…plus paying it all upfront makes it a hard one to swallow at the time. I pay each month with the meat.
Ideas for that fresh kielbasa?????