ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?
Make no mistake. This is a CALL TO ACTION. Community supported agriculture needs a community to support it. So maybe you've been thinking about it and you just aren't sure. We know this is an important decision! What do you give up by choosing Black Market Farm? Is it worth it? Is it the right choice for you?
Based on personal values, people fall all over the map. And, yes, we are talking about personal values when we talk about food. I was having coffee with one of my parents’ friends last weekend who said, “No one is going to buy whole chickens! The typical housewife doesn’t even know how to chop one up!” There were so many reasons to react to this statement that I didn’t even know where to START.
So, if you greatly identify with that statement, we probably are not for you. Or at least our chickens aren’t. The quick answer is that you give up some extra money, convenience and autonomy from the process of raising your food. But let me dig into this a little so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
You are going to trade convenience and a super-low price point for larger quantities and direct farm purchase. My father-in-law buys surprise quantities of really cheap meat (“look at this! Pork roast for $.99/lb!”) on sale at the grocery store. And, please know, I am not judging that! It’s easy. You just wait for the sales. But we are not a grocery store and don't have the inventory to offer that. With Black Market Farm, you don’t get to choose your specific cuts and we don’t sell individual packages. You invest in a portion of the whole hog. Literally! And metaphorically.
You trade commercially-raised and dieted meat & eggs for pasture-raised and grain-fed. On the beef side, grass-fed works a little different. First off, grain-fed beef is MUCH higher in fat, which also means that it has more marbling. You don’t have to be careful with how you cook it because the fat can make up for human error. Because grass-fed beef is much leaner (and HEALTHIER, by the way!) it’s going to cook different; we recommend slightly lower temps and slower cooking time than other beef. And it has a more natural taste. Some people think it’s slightly more like wild game, others say it has much more “beef flavor” than grain-fed and find it delicious! Pasture-raised pork & chicken will also have some of these qualities, since they get to walk around. We can't control the quality of meat as highly as animals that are raised in confinement on processed diets.
You trade frequent, small trips to the store (and smaller amounts of $) for a single investment and planning around the meat you have on hand. To buy our meat, you have to plan ahead. Financially and chronologically. We require more money than you would drop at the grocery store (all at once, anyway) and you have to pay for your meat before we deliver it. But we have broken down our payments so that you don't have to invest 100% right this second. The slow-food movement is not for the impatient or those who aren’t fans of planning.
Along those lines, if you don’t like doing things the old-fashioned way, the process at Black Market Farm might frustrate you. This is how families used to farm; they had to wait for the harvest season and then ration their portions to last until the next season. Rest assured, your meat is perfectly comfortable in your freezer, for at least a year. We work with the butchers to package it that way. And we've designed our harvest and cut-off dates to accommodate planning; if you order a whole or half membership of an animal to be delivered at the end of the season, the deadline is mid- July. We help make the planning process easier!
You trade modern food practices for traditional ways of living and eating. If it is important that your meat be consistantly processed in a highly-controlled and state- or federally-inspected facility (literally under the inspection of a USDA or state rep from slaughter to finish) or purchased as commercial cuts, Black Market Farm is not your best option. And we raise our meat naturally. We don’t do anything special to our food to make it grow faster (no hormones), we treat animals naturally and without antibiotics. On the rare case that we have to treat something for the animal’s best interest, health and quality of life, we are going to make sure we do not pass that along to you.
You trade controlled environment and certifications for a natural way of raising food. For us, it comes to management and taking care of the animals, the earth, your health and our promise to offer you great (and simple) meat. Organic and some similar terms are not words that indicate of quality of life, the diet or the care of the environment and animals. We have other principles that are much more important to us. There's more to come on this in a later post.
If you are ready for this, so are we! We are SO ready. We can’t wait! But we want you to be happy. You are important to us and we really are entering into a relationship (I like flowers and long walks on the beach… btw). If you have questions, holler! We are here to make sure you know what you are getting.
Our mission: To promote health, family, community, and freedom by delivering honest, natural, and simple pastured raised meats from our homestead to yours.