Fall weather has finally arrived and we are happy to have it. Ample sunshine and cool nights combined with recent rains have added a late season boost to our pasture growth. In fact the pastures at our Wisconsin farm, where the summer drought was severe, are looking better than they have all year. If we don't get a heavy snow early in the season we might have enough grass to graze through the end of December, saving on our hay usage.
And with the cooler weather we typically see our egg production increase as the hens are comfortable and eat more during the middle of the day instead of looking for shade. Offsetting the comfort factor, shorter days often trigger the laying hens to decrease their egg production, but we haven't see that happen yet this year.
In fact with our new pullets increasing their egg production every day and the older hens still producing well, we have more eggs now that we've had all year. Enough to start offering the discount egg bundles in the store again (up to $1 off per dozen for purchases of six or ten dozen eggs). And to spur demand we are also offering the egg bundles for online purchase with store or curbside pickup (we haven't figured out how to ship eggs yet!).
LOCAL GRASS-FED BISON MEAT IN THE STORE
I recently met Matt Ruhter of Ruhter Bison, he is expanding his bison ranching operation from central Illinois to a new farm near Marengo. We have received a number of requests for Bison meat over the years and with Matt's operation so close we will start carrying some of his Bison meat in the store, starting this weekend. For now we will have ground Bison and stew meat available, potentially with more cuts to be added in the future if there is good demand.
Photo courtesy of Ruhter Bison
As Thanksgiving draws closer, we are getting LOTS of calls about turkeys. And the turkey shortage that is all the buzz on the news the last few weeks.. In fact we had not one but two local Chicago TV stations come out over the past few weeks to do stories on the turkey shortage...I guess we are the closest farm to the city that has turkeys. I like this story from John Garcia at ABC News Chicago the best.
As I mentioned back in the summer newsletter when we first received the baby turkeys, this year we are changing things up a bit with the Thanksgiving turkeys to preserve our sanity. Only two "fresh" turkey pickup days with reservations the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving (vs. four last year!). All of those fresh turkeys have already been pre-ordered.
The remainder of our turkeys we are processing early and freezing them to sell in the store on a first come/first serve basis with no reservations. Our first turkey processing day is next Wednesday, November 10th. I will go pickup those turkeys from the processor on the morning of the 11th and have them ready for sale at the farm store by noon. Our second processing date is Wednesday, November 17th, and those turkeys will be back in the store by noon on the 18th.
PORK PROCESSING CONTINUES THROUGH NOVEMBER
We are processing almost 75 fat hogs this month, so there has never been a better time to fill your freezer for the winter with a whole or half hog worth of pasture-raised pork roasts, chops, bacon, sausage, and ham. We have hogs going to several local processors that do nitrate-free curing of bacons and hams and make award-winning artisan sausages. Click here to visit the pork page of our online store to reserve your whole or half hog today.
FARM STORE UPDATE
In addition to the bison meat, we also have a good supply of fresh pork in the store right now (chops, shoulder roasts, shoulder steaks) as well as nitrate-free ham steaks and ham roasts. And lots of breakfast sausage - bulk and patties. More of the artisan brats should be coming in another week or two. We also have lots of chicken and turkey bone broth for those Thanksgiving recipes.
From Karolina's garden we still have eggplant, jalapeno peppers, several varieties of squash, and pie pumpkins.
Broadview Farms in Marengo is supplying us with green leaf lettuce, green curly kale, savoy cabbage, and roasting roots.
From Igl farms in Wisconsin we have a variety of organic potatoes
Lots of varieties of Michigan apples from Mick Klug Farm
Local wildflower honey and combs from Willies Honey of McHenry
Big selection of All Grass Farms custom logo t-shirts made with organic cotton
HEALTH NOTES - VACCINE MANDATE MADNESS?
So yesterday the Biden Administration released 400+ pages of OSHA regulations regarding it's employer mandate for COVID vaccinations, with an employer implementation deadline of January 4th. To say this is a vast overreach of government authority is a huge understatement. Evidently nobody in the Biden administration has been monitoring their own CDC database documenting the almost 900,000 (and growing daily) reports of adverse reactions to the COVID vaccines, includig over 17,000 deaths shortly after vaccination.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) is required by federal law to report on vaccine injuries and deaths reported by doctors, hospitals, clinics, and patients. The system run by the CDC is called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). Its not easy getting reports out of VAERS but there are several websites that extract publicly available VAERS data and present it in easily readable formats, including VAERS Analysis which shows data collected through October 15th 2021.
If you haven't seen this data yet you will be shocked and horrified. How is is that our government is totally ignoring their own early warning system for vaccine safety and continuing to parrot the falsehood that "the COVID vaccines are safe"? Why isn't the mainstream media mentioning any of these problems? How is it that the FDC is now approving and recommending these shots for children who have very minimal risk of COVID complications? And the worst part is that we know the vaccine injury data are historically under-reported. The reported data is anywhere from 1% - 10% of actual adverse events. So we are really only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of actual vaccination side effects.
To compound the alarming number of vaccine injuires, there is a growing body of evidence from other countries that actually track and report accurate COVID data (namely UK and Israel) demonstrating the vaccines are offering very limited protection that fades quickly...they are on the 4th Pfizer booster alread in Israel.
I have never had less faith in our federal government. And the more COVID research I dig into the more concerned I get about the direction we are heading with these vaccine mandates. This is a deep topic so I am putting together a full blog post with lots of data references to be published soon.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK - GRASSFED BEEF STEW
A hearty favorite for those cold fall and winter nights which will be on us soon.
2 lbs All Grass Farms Beef Stew meat
3 Tbsp Flour
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion Chopped
6 cups Beef Broth
1/2 cup Red Wine optional
1 lb Potatoes Peeled and Cubed
4 Carrots Cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks Celery Cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Dried Rosemary or 1 sprig fresh
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
3/4 cup Peas
Combine flour, garlic powder and salt &pepper. Toss beef in flour mixture. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot. Cook the beef and onions until browned. Add beef broth and red wine while scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Stir in all remaining ingredients except for peas, cornstarch and water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 1 hour or until beef is tender (up to 90 minutes). Mix equal parts cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the boiling stew to reach desired consistency (you may not need all of the slurry). Stir in peas and simmer 5-10 minutes before serving . Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Beef stew meat is often made from the ends of different cuts of beef. If your beef is not tender after 60 minutes, cover and allow to simmer an additional 15-20 minutes or until tender.
We are thankful for the opportunity to feed our community healthy, immune-boosting foods that contribute to the local economy and help regenerate the soil and envionment.
Stay healthy out there!
Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team