July Healthy Eating Newsletter
Since my June newsletter, we have been fortunate to receive some timely rains over the last few weeks to green up our pastures and hayfields. Our soils are still dry, especially at our Elkhorn farm, but at least the grass is growing again and we were able to bale a nice crop of organic clover hay this past week for winter feeding of our dairy cows.
We've also had a string of nice healthy calves over the last few weeks from some of our older cows. Jenny had a nice heifer calf we are calling Custard - named after her grandmother who was our first Guernsey cow when we started producing raw milk back in 2012. We still have some of the original herdshare members from spring 2012 that certainly remember Custard grazing in our back yard. Then Christy had a big huge heifer calf last week and today Annalise had another nice heifer this morning. See below Mike helping the new calf suckle some sweet immune-boosting colostrum from her Mom's huge udder! All moms and calves are doing well.
HOME DELIVERY COMING NEXT WEEK!
The other big news is that we will start offering home delivery of our pasture-raised, grass-fed meats starting next week through a partnership with PeriShip and FedEx. For many years we have received numerous requests and tried to figure out a cost-effective method for getting our products into customer homes without a visit to our tiny but sometimes crowded farm store.
So next Monday, July 12th, we will begin shipping via FedEx to customers within 1 day Ground Delivery zone from us, which is essentially all of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa. One of our goals is to help rebuild a viable local food system, so by staying within our 5-state region we are holding true to that mission. We will ship only on Mondays and Wednesdays to make sure all orders are received before the weekend and don't get stuck in a FedEx warehouse somewhere.
Of course shipping frozen meats is expensive, and will require us to use costly insulated boxes and frozen gel packs. Even using Ground delivery service we expect the average cost per home delivery to be $30-$35 depending on the weight and size of the package. To cover that cost we could either raise our prices for shipped goods (like many others do), eat the cost (our margins are already thin), or simply pass on the shipping expense to our customers. We have opted for the latter, and so all orders shipped to homes will include a $29.95 delivery fee. But we will still offer free store or curbside pickup for those wanting to order online and avoid that shipping expense.
The list of items available for home delivery includes whole and cutup chickens, chicken breasts, grass fed ground beef, roasts, and some smaller beef packs, and some pastured pork cuts and bundles. There is a big surcharge for shipping orders over 50 lbs so for now that is our package size limit. We cannot legally ship raw milk and do not want to try shipping eggs yet so for now those items are only available for in store sales. As we work through our inventory and packaging options we will continue to add more meat cuts and bundles to the list of items we can ship. Visit our online store to see what is available!
And yes I am aware that our six year old website is dated and in desperate need of major refresh...that is my evening project for the remainder of the summer!
FARM STORE UPDATE
With early July upon us and some nice recent rains we have a good selection of local and homegrown veggies in the store now:
This week Karolina is harvesting dill, spring onions, cabbage, basil, beets, and patty pan squash from our organic gardens here at the farm.
We will also have blueberrie, cherries, raspberries, lettuce mix, red chard, curly kale, zucchini, summer squash, kohlrabi, and garlic scapes from other local farms.
Ania is now preparing fresh flower bouquets daily for the store from her flower garden on the farm.
We just received a big shipment of grass fed beef in from our June harvest so the store shelves will be well stocked with steaks, brisket, stews, burger patties, organ meats, and soup bones.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH - KEY WEST FLANK STEAK
I was looking for some good beef grilling recipes and came across this one on the Taste of Home website which looks interesting and has all my favorite ingredients. I haven't made it yet but will go for it this weekend now that we have some flank steaks back in the store:
- 1 large red onion
- 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup key lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 key limes, halved
- 1 beef flank steak, (1 pound)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a small bowl, combine onion, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and 2 tablespoons oil until blended. Pour 1 cup marinade into a large bowl or shallow dish. Add lime halves. Rub steak with remaining oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to bowl; turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
Drain steak, discarding marinade and limes in bowl. Place reserved marinade in a food processor; process until chopped.
Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°), 6-8 minutes per side. Baste occasionally with reserved marinade. Let stand 10 minutes before thinly slicing steak across the grain.
Thats it for this week, enjoy these cooler temperatures while they last. I am going to take another stab at getting a weekly newsletter out so you might be hearing from us more frequently.
To Your Health,
Cliff, Anna, and the Farm Team