Tuesday, August 30, 2011

History does not lie! This is from "a history of Shelby County Iowa 1915" about my Great Grandfather.

"Poets often tell the truth and the old song which contains the refrain, "The farmer feeds them all," states a very fundamental economic truth. Without the farmer the rest of the country would starve within a week despite the large amount of food in cold storage. Every occupation might be done away with but farming and people could live, but a total cessation of farming for a very short time would actually depopulate the whole world. A man can live without banks all his life, but deprive him of his bread and his career is soon ended. Farming is becoming an honored profession; our district schools are teaching it as a science and our colleges are granting degrees for agricultural courses. The farmers of any community sustain the people dependent on every other profession. Without the farmer the banker would close his doors, the manufacturer would shut down his factory and the railroads would suspend operations. Among the honored men of Shelby county, Iowa, who help to keep the banker, the manufacturer and the railroads is Perry McDowell, of Douglas township."
I hope some day my epitaph reads as well. People forget just how important the farmer/ rancher is to the entire economic structure of the country. These words were true almost 100 years ago and are as valid today as they were then.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I do. Do you?

Now I know that I will likely ruffle some feathers here but..... I'm fed up with all the buzz wordy, make em look good crap floating around the internet about Grass based production.
 If you grow it, Talk about it. If you Live it. Talk about it. If you get it from somewhere else, Give that grower credit where it's due!  (ex; our Berkshire pork comes from the Phillips Family near Santa Rosa, Our Farm pigs came from Big Dave down the road.) If you don’t have video or photo’s of you yourself with the animals you claim to raise, don’t post them. Or if you do, say who they came from and where.(it's really easy to find the originals)
Those of us that really work at farming and ranching, whether it be small or large scale, work darned hard every day.
If you've never raised any cattle or sheep on grassland and worked those herds and flocks, don't you DARE try to tell us how it's done! If the only Quarter Horse you've thrown a leg over is the one in front of the grocery store, and you don't know a Go-bye from a Walk up you have no business judging what you don't practice. If you’ve never had to pull a calf or a lamb, If you claim to never have had to doctor one, and brag about not doing things like castrating,  you’re doing an injustice to the industry and treating your customers like fools.
Farmers and Ranchers don’t get a day off, unless there is someone there capable of taking on any emergency that may arise. Our days usually start about 4am. You put on the coffee, suit up and get to work. A typical day usually involves checking fences, forage conditions, water tanks, livestock health and conditions, and then there are the babies to check, feed the bucket calves and lambs, turn out the oldsters that can’t run the fields and make sure everyone is fat and happy. What if you come across a youngster that got separated from it mother? Or stuck in the brush? How about those lambs that the ewe walked away from 10 miles from home? Or you find the old gal didn’t bag up and her calf is hungry? What are you going to do?
As a grass feeder I work differently than those that run stockyards. That doesn’t make my protocols better, just different. Some folks like grain fed beef. That’s fine. It isn’t my job to judge. It is my job to ensure that my stock live the best life possible prior to slaughter, That they are gaining on living feed and if I have to feed baled hay it is the best available. What they eat is as important as how much. Ruminants convert grasses, forbs, brasiccas etc. into fats and proteins for growth and gain. If they aren’t gaining I’m losing money. Cattle should never finish on hay in my opinion. Live feed converts better and I can see the bloom on those steers. I don’t have dull coats or under developed calves. Why? Because My pastures are healthy and my livestock MOVES. Come spend a day working the pastures with us. How is that forage growing? Does it have enough food value to carry the stock that are on it? When do you have to go to baleage? Is there going to be enough hay to put up to carry through the dry season or winter snows depending on where you live? Do you know what to plant in finishing fields or are you just pulling old bossie off scrub and calling her grass fed beef? There is a lot of science that goes along with raising stock and Stock Sense is a must. Not this Nonsense we see so much today. Grass feeders are closing ranks and sharing knowledge to ensure that the best product possible reaches your table. Grain feeders are paying attention and doing what is necessary to improve conditions. . One of my pet peeves is those folks that raise animals in pens and because they feed hay they think it’s a grass fed and finished animal. NOT! Another is those folks that keep a few ‘pets’ around for folks to see but they never go in to production channels. If you see the same non breeding animals for years and continue to buy meat from that farm you are deluding yourself. Learn about the nutritional requirements of the animals you eat, and if you come across someone selling you grass fed pork or poultry turn around and leave! What prompted me to rant yet again is the fact that I saw an advertisement that used no less than 30 buzz words in 1 paragraph and it just tripped my trigger!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Having a bit of a giggle.

As some of you know My facebook account was compromised a few days ago and I reported it and warned everyone who and what to watch for etc. The funny thing is the perpetrator is now claiming to have been hacked. Too funny for words! I can't stop giggling!
Anyway enough of that! With the opressive heat we've been suffering we are going to adjust our pick up hours for the next few weeks. 8-11am and then from 6-9pm. It was well over 100 today and no one needs to be running around in that! Even the critters park under the misters in the shade and move as little as possible! We're getting ready for the Green Feast and Evan will be here Sunday evening to shoot some video. I still can't figure out how to put pictures on this thing but I sure can give you links until I do! Like us on facebook and you'll get customer pictures, more great recipes and testimonials, educational links and shameless self promotion. Enjoy and stay cool!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We had a BUSY week!

First let me apologize for being tardy about posting to the blog. I've been extremely busy getting ready for a road trip and getting all the livestock where it needs to go so you have meat while I'm away! Add to that Farmers Markets, Caterings, gatherings and Custom pick up, there just aren't enough hours in the day!
We're moving farm pick up back 1 week for September since I figure most of you will head out for the labor day weekend. Share pick up will be on the 10th instead of the 3rd. We will still be here and available but I figured a little flexibility would be good.
We got 4 pigs in from a local grower just for our farm members. Come meet Porchetta, Panchetta, Chops and BACON when you get the chance! We'll be doing some work to both websites tomorrow and the referral list that I have been promising will be on www.california.beef.com. We decided that the www.mmlivestockco.com site will be tailored more toward members with access to Members only pages, photos and video that will have information I feel is important to members but not necessarily relevant for the general public. Our facebook page MM Livestock Co. has fun anecdotes, quotes, comments and links to other pages of interest, By liking our page you will get notification about most things that we are up to here on the farm, My Primal Journey from Fat to Fit, Recipe Links etc. Thank you for all of the love and continued support and we are Proud to be Your Farmers of choice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Think Paleo is a Fad? Check this out!

For those of you that know me and wonder why I am so in favor of the paleo lifestyle, here is an interview done by our local abc affiliate in 2009. The difference in me is amazing! And you can get a peek at what we do here and why! http://www.myabc7.com/cowpooling.
 Remember Ground beef is on special all month long at only $5.00 lb. get your orders in!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to properly store our products.

For the most part this goes without saying, but there are a few things that need clarifying. Meats can be defrosted IN THE REFRIGERATOR and refrozen safely as long as the temperature stays below 40 degrees. If you thaw it any other way DO NOT RE FREEZE!
Eggs should be refrigerated in my opinion. Washing is optional until just prior to use. Our eggs may be fertile as the rooster is in with his hens all of the time. Eggs should be collected daily and put in the fridge. Some people will not agree but that is ok. I don't want my members getting a bad egg or cracking in to a partially formed embryo. You can actually tell how fresh your eggs are without even cracking them! Take a cup of water and put your egg into it. If it lies on the bottom of the cup it is fresh, if it stands up a bit but does not float it's a week or two old. If it floats, its too old to use, throw it out! always crack your eggs individually into a small bowl just to be safe. State law mandates that all eggs sold must be refrigerated. If this is done your eggs will be good for up to 6 weeks.
Cured meats should be kept COLD! especially Nitrate and Nitrite free meats. They do not have the preservatives in them that conventionally cured meats do and will go "off" much more quickly. Even air cured hams and Tessa should be kept refrigerated until use. I recommend dividing cured meats into portion sizes and freezing what you are not going to use in a relatively short period of time. With all of the different dietary lifestyle choices out there I feel it is best to err on the side of caution. I follow a Primal/ Paleo lifestyle and as meats and eggs are a large percentage of my diet, I want them as safe as I can get them without additives. And that good old invention the Refrigerator Freezer is one modern convenience that keeps my food Safe! I have people ask all the time if they can get their meats "fresh" or unfrozen. EVERY  single piece of meat aside from poultry, that is processed further than killing it and cooking it immediately has been frozen at some point. Lambs and hogs are frozen immediately after slaughter to preserve quality, partially thawed for cutting and re-frozen. Beef is held Just above actual freezing temperatures during the aging process, then cut and Frozen. Anyone that tells you that the meats you buy have never been frozen are WRONG. The freezing METHOD is what dictates quality. Flash freezing prevents the formation of ice crystals in the tissues and preserves the quality, freezing in your home freezer allows ice to form in the tissues and degrades the quality of the meat. If you are going to freeze it after you get home, pick it up frozen if you can. You will have a better product that will last in the home freezer not an ice encrusted freezer burned mess! hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beef delivery delayed

Beef delivery will be this Friday 8-12. We apologize for the delay! On a positive note, Our Merchant account is now activated and we can accept credit cards! Some of our cattle are being moved down this week to the home pastures and Next week 10 are going to the USDA plant for anyone that would like to tag along. You all need to get your Ground beef orders in ASAP as it is going fast. Bull Burgers or Cow Chubs are the choices. Sausages are being made and I will post a list of what is available later this week. Thank you for all the love and support and remember to check out Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations and Date Night Doins for some stellar recipes! Until Next time. Meg

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pork Chops for a crowd

Ok Summer is coming to a close and those last few get togethers need to be as simple as possible. Here's an EASY one for a crowd.
5lb apples cored and sliced (You can substitute Organic Canned Fuji Apples in their own Juice. 1 #10 can equals 5lbs uncut apples.
15 pork chops
1 cup honey
1/4 Cup Spice rub of choice. We like Bandiola #13
2Cups apple Juice or 1C juice and 1Cbourbon
In a 12" dutch oven Layer apples,pork chops sprinkle spice over each pork chop layer
Pour Honey over top layer (doesn't matter if you end up with chops or apples on top)
Pour liquids of choice over top until within 3/4" of rim of dutch oven. Cover and Bake 3hrs at 325 Checking every 15 min after 2 hrs. until internal temp reaches 145. Remove from heat and let rest 20 min.