Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter market

Today was the last of the winter farmer's markets.  The regular market season closes at the end of October but there are 2 winter markets, one in November and one in December.  I missed the November market due to work (market hours are 9am to 2pm) but I was able to go this morning. We had to be out and about early today as I11 had band practice at 8:30 this morning in preparation for their big day tomorrow.  So after he finished practice we wandered down to the market at the community recreation center. I was impressed, the gym was full, both of vendors and of customers.  Many of the items were crafts or baked goods.  I let I11 get a cookie from one vendor and I got a pair of earrings, handmade silver spirals (I have a thing for spirals) the will now be a 'surprise' gift this holiday.  I was going to post a picture of them but for some reason Blogger isn't letting me upload pics this morning.
There were a few of the regular food vendors there:  The 'apple guy' was there so we got some of his fabulous cider that we will have warm and spiced when we put up the tree this evening.  We also got some more bacon and brats for the freezer.  I also had a wonderful chat with a guy that I hadn't seen at the regular summer markets.  He was an Amish farmer who had sorghum for sale and had flyers for his grass fed beef and "open air" pork.  He will be taking his cattle for processing in January and is taking orders. His quoted price for a grass fed side of beef is $3.41 per pound.  I may need to talk to V about that.  He said the average finished weight of a half of beef is 290 lbs.  Now that is a LOT of beef but it would feed us for over a year.  It would be a big outlay up front but we would definitely have food to eat in leaner times.  I wonder if I could share it out with my brother and parents.  The farmer doesn't have email or even a phone but he gave me his address so I can drop him a letter or said I can just stop by the farm (I love that!) and gave me directions- it's near the cheese factory.   I did get a jar of sorghum- now that's a flavor from my childhood.


  1. It is definitely a lot of money upfront when you buy beef or pork "by the side", but I always think of it this way: I would spend that much or more anyway! Plus, if you average out the price of all the steaks and roasts and hamburger bought individually, it comes out nearly the same (if not better, plus you know the animal spent it's life in as close to natural as it can in the US). Still, it's a big chunk upfront!

    I so wish we had a winter market around here. We do have one Amish market that stays open all year, but I learned that most of their winter stock comes from California (not very local!)

  2. Yeah, it's a lot of money up front. V and I went back after lunch and talked to him some more and ended up putting down our 'deposit'. He had a list of prices if you wanted to buy smaller quantities or specific cuts- some of his steaks were $8.00/lb! For the half we actually pay him $3/lb and pay the processor $.42/lb finished weight.
    For an Amish farmer he was talking about sustainable agriculture (in those terms) and actually asked us if we had considered getting a few acres and taking it up (I guess we seemed knowledgeable enough). I'll take that as a compliment. He said he'll be heading to the processor the first week of January so we should have our meat by the end of the month. We can actually afford it at this point so I'm thinking that getting it while we can is probably a good idea. He invited us down to the farm to see his operation. It is near the bulk food store we visit as well as the cheese factory so we may take him up on it.

  3. That's terrific! Like you said, you'll be set with meat for the leaner times to come.

    Now you really will have a "full freezer!"


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