Fall is the harvest season, between the summer growing season, and the winter “sleep” season. The higher volume of beef animals at this time allows us to offer our lowest prices of the year on beef (with savings up to 30%!). We can even justify hiring an ultrasound technician to evaluate every steer individually to ensure they are harvested at its peak level of finish and quality. In other words, the highest quality and lowest price - you can't go wrong!
In addition to our Fall Harvest beef, our pig litters arrive every spring and fall. Because we've had such tremendous success with our 2020 Fall Harvest program, we've extended our shares to include pork—where you can save up to 20%!
The concept of buying a share in a beef is centuries old. Rather than
buying one cut at a time, you are buying a portion of all the cuts in an
animal in a single purchase. We offer ¼, ½, and full shares. These
include a minimum of 100, 200, and 400 lbs of beef. Each share gets its
own portion of steaks, roasts, and ground meat, so these comprise
approximately ¼. ¼, and ½ of each share.
Pork shares are very similar, in that we offer ¼, ½, and full shares that include a minimum of 30, 60, and 120lbs of pork. These are comprised of approximately ¼ "grillers," ¼, roasts, and ½ sausage.
Our fattened steers weigh an average of 1,200 lbs. The carcass makes up about half of that total. Of the carcass, about 1/3 is made of up fat, bone, and less popular cuts like organ meats. We only include our most popular steaks, roasts, and ground meat in our shares, to ensure you pay for only the products you want. As a result, a 1,200-lb steer produces 400 lbs of premium product.
Similarly, a fattened hog weighs an average of 250 lbs, while the carcass weight averages 120 lbs of premium pork cuts.
The quarter, half, and whole beef shares correspond to approximately 100, 200, and 400 pounds of meat. We vacuum pack everything (some steaks come two per pack, and most burgers come 6 per pack) and then box everything up in sturdy cardboard boxes
with approximately 33 lbs in each box. To visualize this, consider that each box holds about as much as a standard 48-quart ice chest. In your freezer, the quarter share requires about 5 cubic feet, about ¼ of the normal 20 cubic foot chest freezer. Similarly, a half beef requires about half a 20-foot chest freezer, and a whole beef requires pretty much all of a 20-foot chest freezer.
A quarter pork is only slightly smaller, at 30lbs per box. We estimate one cubic foot of freezer space for a quarter, two feet for a half, and four feet for a whole pig.
Each beef share will include 25% steaks, 25% roasts, and 50% ground meat. Not all cuts come in nice multiples so we can guarantee the same number in each order. For example, there is only 1 hanger steak per animal, so not every order can include a hanger steak. The steaks will include a mix of fillets, rib eyes, New York strips, sirloins, flanks, briskets, and skirts. The roasts will include a mix of chuck, round, shanks, and some stew/kabob meat. The ground meat will be half pre-formed patties, and half bulk bricks. All of these estimates are approximations. We guarantee you will get at least 100, 200, or 400 pounds for your quarter, half, or whole shares, but the specific mix of items will vary some from animal to animal. If you get more of one, you’ll get less of the other.
Each pork share will include similar ratios, with 25% "grillers" (a term we use for pork chops, ribs, and anything else that isn't sausage or that needs to be roasted), 25% roasts, and 50% ground meat—which consists entirely of mild, spicy, or specialty sausage.
Unlike most offers to buy shares of a beef or pork, we only include our most popular items. The tallow or lard (fat), bones, and organs are not included in your shares, so you are not paying for items you are less likely to use. If you want any of these items, we have them for sale individually.
Ultrasounding our live steers allows us to access their level of finish and the all-important marbling. This is an added expense, and no one else in our region uses ultrasound to assess finish. In fact, during most of the year, even we don’t normally have the volume of animals to make ultrasound practical. But during the Fall Harvest, we are moving enough cattle that it is worth the effort. It costs money and takes time, but it allows us to ensure that every steer is harvested at his peak level of finish, giving you the best possible beef.
Since marbling is not something we look for in pork, we only do the ultrasounding of beef animals. With our pigs, we rely on heritage breeds fed on barley, oats, peas, sorghum, and pasture forage, as it is the diet and genetics of a pig largely impacts the flavor of the pork.
Yes! We encourage this. Find friends or family to go in with you on an order, and you’ll all save significantly more. For example, if two friends were going to by quarters individually, and instead they split a half, they would get exactly the same product at a reduced price. You’ll need to make all the arrangements yourself, but by creating a little buying club, you can share in both the experience and the savings.
You can reserve your share simply by placing the order online with no deposit needed. Once your animal is processed, we will contact you with a final invoice and a pick-up date.
Since we will only harvest each steer when he is well-finished, we cannot give you a precise date. For beef, we still have a small allotment of animals dedicated to the shares program. For pork, we have a spring litter that is ready, but are working on processing dates (which has been difficult due to COVID). Our schedule (as of Jan. 2021) has allowed us to process animals within 1-2 months of an order, but this may change moving forward. We will keep all share owners informed of our progress, and as animals finish, we will fill orders in the same sequence as they were placed. So, if you want to get your beef or pork as early as possible, you need to place your order as early as possible.
When we notify you that your beef or pork is ready, you’ll follow a link to pay any balance you owe at our website, and then you’ll select a weekend afternoon to come out to the farm for your beef or pork. Once you are here, we’ll load you up with boxes about the size of a standard 48-quart cooler, each weighing approximately 30 (pork) or 33 pounds (beef). You’ll need to have your freezer running and ready back at home so you can store your meat without its thawing. Don’t worry – packed in 30-33-pound boxes, it will remain safely frozen for quite a while.
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