October 29, 2011
My local Town and Country Market has the occasional Producer Profile available at the store. I’ve started picking a few of them up to showcase here on the blog. See below for the text of the profile and click on the picture to view the original profile that I’ve scanned. Note that the information available on this post is not NW Farm Review’s opinion or original writing and while it may or may not represent our views it is soley taken from Town and Country Market.
Town and Country Markets Producer Profiles
Each September we are very pleased to offer our customers fresh Ellensburg Lamb raised by the Martinez family in the Yakima Valley. With nearly 100 years experience across three generations, the Martinez family knows how to produce naturally raised lamb of excellent quality. It all began when brothers Simon and Julian Martinez emigrated from Spain in 1917. They went to work as sheep herders and were eventually able to purchase their own herd. One summer, while grazing their sheep in Montana, Simon met and later married Kathleen, an Irish farm girl. They started a family and over the years their four sons were active in the farm operations. Now, Simon and Kathleen’s grandsons run the ranch. Beginning in mid-January each year, the Martinez family’s lambs are born at their ranch in Mabton, WA. The mother ewes and lambs are sheltered while they bond, assuring that the lambs get used to finding and staying with their mothers. When the lambs are old enough, they and the ewes are trucked to the spring range to graze on new grasses under the watchful care of a sheepherder and dogs. In early summer, the sheep are taken to the National Forest to graze the lush mountain meadows. The grazing program is beneficial to the forest in that it reduces fuel for wildfires and helps with weed control. At the end of summer, the lambs are transported to a feedlot where they are finished on a combination of hay and grain. The lambs are never given additives, hormones or growth stimulants. If you have any questions about preparing lamb, ourMeat Market staff will be happy to help.
Click here for the Full Size Profile
July 16, 2011
Acres in Zion is a wonderful, somewhat small farm that offers grass fed beef that isn’t finished with grain. That right there is not always the easiest to find. Looking at their website you can tell immediately that they are huge fans of the Grass-Fed beef culture; as their “About Us” is just an article by Jo Johnson about titled “Why Grassfed is Best!”.
I have personal experience with the beef from Acres in Zion though I have no personal contact with the farm itself as of yet. Some family went in 1-2 years ago to purchase a 1/2 cow with each house getting 1/8 of a cow. My wife has stated that it is the best beef she has ever had. My taste buds are not as discerning and I can’t quite make such a statement; but I blame the somewhat typical male eating patterns known as “shoving too fast to taste”. Either way, we are in the process of acquiring additional ground beef from Acres in Zion from a friend who is purchasing a portion of a cow. Typical costs run around $6/lb as packaged. They advertise $3.85/lb hanging weight, which is before the butcher gets his knife into the animal and debones, trims, and cuts.
What remains to be verified is the “stress-free” environment that they mention on their website. From the family member that purchased the cow for us last time they even kill the cow in a stress-free way as stress just before death will change the taste of the meat as the body releases a number of hormones to deal with the fright. I was told that the cows are essentially killed alone (so other cows don’t hear and stress out) and killed quickly while licking a sugar cube. But again, I’ll want to see that for myself before I say that is what they do.
- Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef
- Grass Fed Lamb
- Eggs (According to Eat Wild, though not mentioned on their website)
March 13, 2011
NorthStar Bison is a premier producer of grassfed Bison, Beef and Lamb who surprisingly is a fully run family operation. The owners still run and operate the farm and all the kid’s work for various facets of the business whether it’s shipping and receiving, herd management or just helping out where they can (for the younger one). NorthStar Bison seems to take great care in the treatment of it’s animals, making sure they are grassfed; and they even purchased a processing plant which allows them to kill their animals in the field, and thus stress free making for a better quality meat (and a stress-free ending for the animal).
Oh, and did we mention they sell Ostrich and Elk? Now that is a pleasant, not so easy to find surprise!
Disclaimer: We here at NW Farm Review just recently (yesterday) cooked up some ground bison for Bison Burgers. We will admit that it was quite tasty and it won’t be the last time we purchase from NorthStar Bison.
- Grassfed Beef
- Grassfed Lamb
- Grassfed Bison
- Pastured Chicken
- Location: Northwest Wisconsin and East Central Minnesota
- NW Farm Review Rating: 4.5 Stars (Unknown extent of Pasture Raised on meat besides Bison)
- NW Farm Review Visit: None
- Standards Confirmation: None
- Website: http://www.northstarbison.com/