Frequently Asked Questions
Q: DO YOU SHIP YOUR PRODUCTS OR OFFER HOME DELIVERY? WHERE DO YOU DELIVER? IS CURBSIDE PICKUP AVAILABLE?
A: Yes beginning in July 2021 we will begin shipping frozen meats via FedEx Ground for Home Delivery using insulated containers. Initially we will only ship to midwest states where there is a high likelihood the package will arrive within 1 day - so that is customers in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. No shipping available in other states until we have a better idea of transit times for frozen foods. Items available for shipping will be available in our online store and will indicate Shipping as an option. No shipping of orders over 50 pounds, or milk, eggs, or custom meat orders at this time. We will ship only on Mondays and Wednesdays. Online orders received Wednesday through Sunday will usually ship on Monday, and orders received Monday and Tuesday will ship on Wednesday. Any order that can be shipped will also be available for In-store or curbside pickup during normal store hours.
Q: DO YOU HAVE A FARM STORE? WHAT ARE THE STORE HOURS? DO YOU HAVE A PRICE LIST?
A: Yes we do have a farm store which is open daily year round, hours are 10 AM - 6 PM on weekdays, and 9 AM - 5 PM on weekends. Items available in the store year round include fresh pastured chicken and duck eggs, raw Guernsey milk, grass fed beef by the cut, and pastured pork cuts, raw local honey, raw milk cheeses, grass-fed organic yogurt, and local organic beans and ancient grains. Seasonal items will include freshly harvested vegetables, pickled vegetables, pastured chickens, and Thanksgiving turkeys. The store is located inside the Brunner Family Forest Preserve, the address is 18N681 IL Route 31, Dundee, IL 60118. We have hundreds of items for sale in the farm store and the inventory is changing constantly so we do not publish a price list.
Q: DO YOU OFFER FARM TOURS?
A: Yes we offer free guided farm tours every Saturday at 2:00 PM, from May 1 - Thanksgiving. Please meet at the entrance to the farm store for your tour guide. These tours will include a hay ride out to the pastures to visit the chickens, pigs, and cows and will take approximately an hour and 15 minutes. You will also see the vegetable plots, orchard, greenhouse, chick brooding area, and the pastures where the chickens, pigs, and cows spend their days. Boots or sturdy walking shoes & long pants are recommended since there is lots of tall grass, bugs, and even some muddy spots at the farm. No strollers will be able to navigate the pasture areas since it it tall grass with uneven terrain. During the winter the Forest Preserve is open to the public and most days you can visit the pigs, chickens, sheep, and cows in their winter quarters from the walking trails.
We also offer private guided tours by appointment only, the cost varies depending on the size of the group and length of the tour. We can accommodate up to 40 people per group on the hay wagon. Please call the farm store at 847-852-7081 or visit the contact us form on the website to schedule a private guided tour.
Q: HOW DO WE PURCHASE RAW MILK?
A: There are three ways to purchase raw milk from our farm. Most days we have extra raw milk available in the farm store for walk in customers. We also make available a limited amount of milk for sale on our website each day, order up to a week in advance, but at least one day in advance. When purchased in the farm store or online raw milk is $6.50 per half gallon. If a selected day does not show any milk available, that means we are sold out for online sales that day but we may still have milk available for sale in the store.
Q: HOW DO WE ORDER GRASS FED BEEF, PASTURED PORK, AND CHICKEN?
A: We usually have a good selection of grass fed beef and pastured pork cuts available in the farm store year round. This includes a variety of steaks, roasts, ground beef, bacon, pork chops, shoulder roasts, hams, and even hard to find items like beef bones, organ meats, hocks, etc.
We raise chickens on pasture starting in early April through late October. Customers may reserve chickens by ordering in advance from our website based on processing dates. Any chickens not pre-ordered or distributed through the Full DietCSA program will be sold in the farm store, beginning in June.
We also sell bulk beef and pork packages, from a 15 lbs. beef sampler all the way up to a half cow. These bulk packages must be ordered online. To reserve a bulk package please click on the PRODUCTS tab above and visit the online store pages for our beef, pork, and poultry products.
Once we receive your order, we will call or email you to confirm your order and setup a convenient time for you to pickup your order from the farm or arrange for shipping..
Q: HOW DO WE PICKUP OUR BEEF, PORK, AND CHICKEN ORDERS?
If you order a half or whole hog, you will deal directly with the processor/butcher shop to customize your meat order. We will contact you shortly before or after we take the animals into the processor so that you can contact them directly with your cutting instructions, such as the thickness of steaks, size of roasts, bone in or bone out, size of packages, etc. These large orders you will pickup directly from the processor, pay them for the processing fees, and we will bill you directly for the remaining meat costs. We use several different local processors so we can't tell you which one has your meat until we take the animals in and assign them to customers. Our current beef and pork processors are Lake Geneva Country Meats in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Eickman's Processing in Seward, Illinois.
If you order one of the 50 lb. or less beef or pork packages, we will pick those up from the processor, bring them back to the farm to store in our freezers, and contact you via email to setup an appointment to pickup your order from our farm.
All chickens will be processed at Twin Cities Pack in Beloit, WI this year. We bring them all back to the farm in coolers and customer pickups will be at the farm store starting Friday afternoons and extending through Sunday. If you order chickens for a particular pickup date we will send you a reminder email 2-3 days before the pickup date.
Q: WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PURCHASING A CUSTOM BEEF OR HOG ORDER? WHAT ARE THE CUTS AVAILABLE?
A: If you want to order a quarter or half beef, or half/whole hog, you can select from available butcher dates in upcoming months. We usually butcher beef once month, and hogs every quarter. You can choose to pickup your order either at the processor (Eickmans or Lake Geneva Country Meats), or pay an extra fee and we will pickup your order for you and store at the farm until you pick it up. When you order a custom beef or hog you will be able to choose all your cuts.
Just prior to us taking the livestock to the butcher, we will send you an email with a sample cutting sheets for your order, as well as contact information for the butcher. You can either email or call them with your cutting instructions, and they will walk you through all the options.
Q: IS GRASS-FED BEEF HEALTHIER FOR YOU THAN GRAIN-FED BEEF?
A: Definitely, grass-fed beef is lower in fat and calories. There are a number of nutritional differences between the meat of pasture-raised and feedlot-raised animals. To begin with, meat from grass-fed cattle, sheep, and bison is lower in total fat. If the meat is very lean, it can have one third as much fat as a similar cuts from a grain-fed animal. In fact, grass-fed beef can have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, wild deer, or elk. Learn more about the health benefits of grass fed meats.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR PASTURED/FREE RANGE EGGS AND THE ORGANIC CAGE-FREE EGGS FROM THE SUPERMARKET?
A: The amount of vegetation - "greens" - they get in their diet. Most organic "cage-free" eggs from the grocery store are produced by hens roaming "free" inside a giant confinement facility, usually along with thousands of other hens. They may be "cage free", but they are certainly not free-range. They may have access to a small yard, but most will not ever go outside during their lifetime. They do eat certified organic feed, but that is the only similarity with our free range pastured hens. Our laying hens spend virtually their entire lives outside on grass, and their eggs tell the difference. Our eggs have a firm, rich orange yolk from all the chlorophyll in their diets, the grocery store organic eggs will have pale yellow yolks. Our girls eat their veggies, and it shows up with healthier chickens, who lay healthier eggs for health conscious consumers. For a nutritional comparison of pasture-raised eggs vs. conventional factory eggs, see this chart compiled by Mother Earth News.
Q: ARE DEPOSITS PAID FOR CHICKEN, BEEF, PORK, TURKEY, AND CSA ORDERS REFUNDABLE IF WE WANT TO CANCEL OUR ORDER? WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T PICKUP OUR ORDERS?
A: Deposits are not refundable. If you would like to cancel your order we will credit your deposit toward any future purchases of our products. For example if you put a $100 deposit on a 25 pound beef sampler order and later decide to cancel your order, we will apply that $100 towards the purchase of milk, eggs, chickens, beef, pork, vegetables or whatever products are available in the farm store.
We have a limited amount of refrigerator and freezer space to store beef, pork, and chicken orders for customers. When your order is ready we will reach out to you via email to setup a pickup date and time. We will attempt to reach you three (3) times, if we do not receive any response we will offer your order to other customers on the waiting list. Orders not picked up within two weeks of contact will incur a 10% weekly storage fee.
Q: HOW MUCH FREEZER SPACE WILL WE NEED?
A: A 1/4 Beef (Split Half) will require about 5 cubic feet of freezer space; a side (1/2 Beef) will require 8-9 cubic feet of freezer space, and a whole beef will require approximately 12 cubic feet of freezer space.
Q: ARE YOUR PRODUCTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
A: No, although we do practice organic principals and go beyond organic standards with our pasture-raised livestock. We looked into the certification process and decided it was not worth all the hassle as we would have to get each of our products certified separately (i.e. eggs have a different certification process than beef, pork, or milk). For EACH product we would have to complete a separate certification application (20+ pages!), pay an upfront certification fee and annual ongoing certification fees, and fill out lots of paperwork every day about what we are doing on the farm.
Instead we have opted to provide FIRST PERSON Certification - we let our customers inspect us and ask all the questions they have about our farming practices. We do practice organic farming principles, in fact we go "Beyond Organic" in most cases because of the way we raise our animals outdoors on pasture. For example, most "certified" organic chickens are raised in a huge confinement building and never see the outdoors, much less eat any greens or free range on pasture. Our hens may not be "certified", but we can assure you they are the happiest, healthiest hens around and lay the most nutritious eggs available!