In light of our last post, I've had several customers ask me where to get clean, fresh, local meat. The answer is always the same.
It ain't easy.
That said, I'd like to highlight a few small farms that are practicing various types of local farming. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you live in the southeastern part of Michigan, by all means chime in with some recommendations.
For lamb meat of any kind, there are two local favorites. First, there is the Chapman farm in the South Rockwood area. They've been in business for year. They've typically sold commercially but last year they told us they were trying to sell directly to the consumer (that's you!) They said then that if you just rolled on up to the house they'd sell you what they had. Call first though. I haven't spoken to them since last year.
There is also Hannewald. They frequent the Greenfield Village farmers market each fall. They are wonderfully nice people and their meat is terrific. I'm not sure what they have in terms of buying packages (shipping or pick up) but they are worth a call.
If it's beef you're after, some friends of ours bough from a ranch out west. I had some of the meat myself and it was very tasty. They do ship frozen meat and I think they are very reasonable with their shipping prices. The name is Scott River Ranch and you can check them out here.
There is a family that is doing all of the above as well as pork, milk, cheese, honey, eggs, and poultry. I highly recommend them for a one stop shop for all your needs. They are the Turtle Bee and Honey Tree farm. They don't ship. You have to pick up your products at the farm. They ask you to buy farm shares. You give them an agreed upon sum of money and then simply place your order. They keep record of what you put in and how much product you take. I think it's a great program that I may be able to emulate one day. Maybe...
When it comes to buying local fresh meat, eggs, and dairy I've got to say the pickin's are slim. I have some folks I get eggs from but they have small flocks. I encourage you to look around. I'm trying to talk a friend of mine into doing more farm to consumer transactions. I'm very encouraged in our conversations that we are of like mind. I'm hoping he'll be someone I can recommend in the future.
As for us, we're still looking for a farm in the area. Next year I hope to have chicken and turkey
for you. And who knows....maybe we'll get crazy and raise something
else. What about you? Do you have anyone to recommend? I'm sure we'd all love to hear about it. Not local? Who do you use in your area? What's your experience?