Introducing the Hogwash Farm CSA Blog! After five years, I thought is was time to retire the monthly newsletter – which was fun to put together, but was not very useful as a searchable collection of information and recipes. Switching to the more user-friendly CSA blog will making finding specific recipes or cooking techniques for our meats much easier.
Farm happenings, photos, and recipes will still be included. I will start transferring some of the more useful articles from past newsletters into the blog, starting with the Grass Fed Primer (below) from 2011.
January was busy around the farm with animals coming going, and moving. I was happy to wish a bon voyage to 30+ piglets that were born here in November that went to a farm in Concord, MA. Piglets are such fun to have around, but they grow fast – it was past time for this bunch to leave mom and move on!
Lots of people have been asking how the animals manage with the windy, cold, and snow this winter. Below are some photos Dave took around the farm in January. The only animals put out by the winter weather are the laying hens. They are not fans of snow and are counting the day until spring – which according to Punxsutawney Phil will be at least 6 more weeks…
Also, in the share will be a pork shoulder. Pulled pork is one of the easiest and most delicious meals! Perfect for a winter weekend with the slow cooker doing all the work and served with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Try this classic recipe from Chow Hound or go on the wild side with Korean Pulled Pork from Bobby Flay.
The Grass Fed Primer
Grass fed beef is not only lower in overall fat and in saturated fat, but it has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats. Studies from around the world have shown that meat from grass fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain fed animals. Omega-3s are often called ”good fats“ because they play a vital role in every cell and organ system in the human body. It might surprise you to know that, of all the fats, they are also the most heart- friendly. Indeed, people who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. These crucial healthy fats are most plentiful in flaxseeds and fish, and are also found in walnuts, soybeans and in meat from animals that have grazed on omega-3 rich grass.
Interestingly, scientists have also found that even if cattle start their lives on grass they immediately begin losing the health benefits, such as the omega-3s stored in their tissues, when they are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot for fattening on grain. As a consequence, the meat from feedlot animals typically contains 50–85 percent less omega-3s than meat from grass fed livestock.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is another “good” fat worth examining. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their meat and milk contains three to five times more CLA than similar products from animals fed grain-based diets. Scientists now believe that CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA — a mere 0.1 percent of total calories — greatly reduced tumor growth. Other studies have shown that a study group of hamsters fed a diet of CLA had lower amounts of LDL (low density lipoprotein) in the blood, as well as a reduced risk of developing early aortic athero-sclerosis. Another study from Iran found that adults with rheumatoid arthritis showed a significant decrease in blood pressure after CLA additions to their diet.
Research has also shown that grass fed meat is higher in vitamin E than meat from grain fed animals and — surprisingly — higher than that of grain fed animals that were given high doses of synthetic vitamin E supplements. In humans, we know that natural vitamin E in the diet is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
From Nancy & Dave:
The nights are getting cool which means it is turkey time at Hogwash Farm! Our delicious turkeys have been enjoying the lush summer pastures and Vermont-milled certified organic grain. We will be processing a limited number of turkeys this year that will be vacuum packed and ready for the freezer this weekend. This will be the only batch of turkeys we’ll have available this year so reserve your’s soon.
Our freezer is a little crowded so a free package of our pork sausage or two pounds of our grass-fed ground beef for those who can pick up their turkey this weekend.
(Posted on behalf of Nancy & Dave)
This month’s Hogwash newsletter comes to you from Dave, in order to help cut down Nancy’s keyboard time.
Nancy devotes pretty much all daylight and quite a bit of the rest to Hogwash- whether in the field, barn, or office. Changes this year have placed even more demand on her, but with the help of very capable Leslie, the work was shared. I helped when possible, but my day job as a mechanic (at Cedar Circle Farm) took me out of the daily loop here.
If you experienced our Thanksgiving turkey pickup, you might have an idea of how much effort is needed behind the scenes. Winter is mildly calmer but brings a different set of issues. Water must be carried to bowls because hoses do not work. Grazing is not an option, so hay is fed, and barnyards are crowded. Cold weather demands more bedding for the animals. Snow (when it happens) buries electric fence wires, requiring close maintenance. If the precip is liquid, flooding and mud are problems (note: I love summer…).
So, the newsletter isn’t filled with news, just a note to say “all is well” but it’s time to take a breath; and also to thank everyone for their continued support.
Dave (& Nancy!)
Hogwash Farm pasture-raised turkeys fed organic grain available fresh Tuesday (7 Aug) through Saturday (11 Aug). Great on the grill or get a jump on Thanksgiving; vacuum-packed and ready for the freezer.
Limited quantity so get your bird early. Email or call 802-649-8807. Thanks! Nancy LaRowe
Posted for Nancy & Dave:
The February pick up is this Thursday (Feb 2) from 3-6pm at the farm. The Febrary newsletter which includes an excerpt from “The Grassfed Primer” can be downloaded from our web site at . Click here to read the entire publication. See you Thursday. Thanks!
Nancy & Dave
From Nancy & Dave:
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. The December pick up is this Thursday (Dec 1st) at the farm from 3-6pm. The December newsletter can be downloaded from the web site at http://hogwashfarm.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/dec-2011csa.pdf. See you Thursday. Thanks!
Nancy & Dave
For all who have not seen them – the birds are ranging outside, are fed organic grain and will be processed under VT state inspection.
CSA members have the option to substitute a turkey and 2 pounds of sausage for their November share. Let me know by October 25th if you want to trade in your regular monthly share for the fresh turkey and sausage. You can also order a turkey in addition to your monthly share ($4.60/pound) – but reserve soon as they are usually all spoken for by early November. The birds will be available for pick up the Saturday (19 Npv) and Monday (21 Nov) before Thanksgiving. Thanks!