Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bringin' Home the Bacon

There are pork ribs simmering in my crockpot.

We had grilled pork chops for dinner last night.

Nearly every meal we have had has had the element of bacon in it.

No, we're not becoming crazy Atkins Diet folks, nor are we giving up on beef, chicken, and other means of protein. Last week, we met Joe's folks "in the middle" for pizza and to pick up pork.

How many of you have ever had pizza and a pig in the back of your SUV (don't worry, not a live one)?

My guess is not many.

Regardless, it got me thinking about how fortunate I am to not only have the opportunity to know my beef producer, but my pork producer, too. We are so lucky to have a grocery bill that rarely includes any sort of meat. It is truly a blessing, as much as two deep freezes in my garage are great for these blessings.

Anyway, we are so very fortunate to know our growers, but who else is? Am I a select group? With the push to eat locally and know your grower as well as know where your food comes from, how does one get the opportunity like I do to truly know where my food is coming from? Is it at a farmer's market? Is it from a glossy ad in the meat case at Whole Foods? Is it from word of mouth of moms at a mom's group?

Seriously, how does one truly know where his or her food comes from?

Luckily, around here, you just drive down the road, check your Facebook wall for Joe's advertisements of beef quarters and halves for sale, as well as ask around. But, if you're a city dweller, how do you do this? When all you see for miles is house upon house upon strip mall upon expressway, where do you even start this relationship process.

This is my quest.

I want you, city readers, to try to find a true grower of something. Not a picture at the market, not a random person you met once at the fly by night farmer's market. Get a relationship with some one who produces something for YOU. It is not out of the question for us to travel two hours south to deliver beef to friends of friends, as well as offer them pictures and testimonial information in regards to our operation. Try to find some one like us...or for that matter, come see us.

As much as I would love to say that all of our friends and friends of friends who have purchased beef from us know exactly where and exactly how their beef grew up, I can honestly say that we have had little to no questions, visits, whatever to our farm for the sole purpose of knowing where and how the cattle are raised. None. Nada. Zip.

Isn't that against every fiber of a person's being who is buying locally? Is that poor consumerism? NO! It's called TRUST. Our buyers trust us, based on our character and the quality of the product. There is no reason for these fine friends to believe otherwise. We have the reputation, and Joe has the know-how to do good things in this business. That is why it is important to us to keep livestock regulations in the hands of the producers, not the crazy nuts who want us to basically live as the cavemen did. As much as I love to say that our farm produces food...this woman cannot live on beef alone, and the corn and soybeans we produce are used in fuel and other products. I can't run out and pick an ear from the field behind my house. I can grow sweet corn, but only in July. So what happens in December?

How will Joe "bring home the bacon", as well as truly bring home the bacon for us to eat if regulations and crazy people put us out of business?

Think about it. Enjoy your choices. Enjoy your steak, but try to figure out, some way, some how to know who is putting it on your plate.


  1. I wouldn't know how/what to buy if I had to get our beef from the store. It's always just been in the freezer for me. My grandpa, my dad and now my husband raise cattle. It's wonderful. And it helps that we own a sale barn too :-)

  2. we butcher our own beef, pork, chickens and turkeys. freeze fresh caught fish. and have a large garden. i like to know what we are eating, how its fed and what anitbiotics if any were given.

  3. Great post. For the record, growing up I definitely remember being in a car with frozen pizza and a live pig, so while rare (and unfortunate!) it does happen...

  4. Great post and a great challenge! Growing up on a farm I can remember several trips to the local butcher shop when I was a kid to pick up a whole beef or a whole hog. The entire back half my mom's van was filled with meat! Like you, we also had two huge chest freezers to store all this meat in; one for pork and one for beef. Today, my husband and I raise cattle and we get a beef processed each year. I can also relate to farmerswife3404's comment. I would also be lost trying to pick out beef from the grocery store! So, if a farm girl is lost in the meat section of the grocery store I can only imagine what a consumer, who did not grow up with this background, goes through to try to pick out cuts of meat to make meals to feed their families.