{local event} Meet the Meat Farmers

I can’t stress enough how important farm tours are to customer education & enlightenment, customer-to-farmer relations and community ties. To actually see & hear, in detail, up-close, how your food is grown or raised is an empowering experience. You walk away with a better understanding of the farmer & crew’s grueling-never-ending-job in rain, in snow, in 100 degree heat, early morning, late in the day or night. I know that when I walked away from my first local & in-depth farm tour, in August 2010 at Kilpatrick Family Farm, I was never the same. I wouldn’t dare waste a turnip without giving it a college try to use it all up. The planning, care, labor and time that is involved in every step of growing Certified Naturally Grown or USDA Organic food is immense.

Josh w/ Hunter, our Tour Guides.

The same feeling came over me when I went to Joshua & Stefanie Rockwood’s West Wind Acres for the first time. I had NO IDEA what a meat farm was going to look like, especially not one who employs Joel Salatin’s rotational grazing system for pigs, cattle, chickens goats & sheep. There was nothing but fields filled with heritage breed animals doing their thing. In the grass, not a barn. Just you, the animals and the grass.

I can’t say enough good things about what these relatively new meat farmers are doing. Their Scottish Highland Cattle, and a particular dude names Barry (see above) stole my heart. They are enchanting animals, and their hair helps definitely the cause. The visit changed my life as I am a very proud WWA customer (and Buying Club pick-up location) and friend of Josh & Stefanie.

They are doing things right. They run a humane, sustainable, ethical and pure of a meat product that you can get. They also focus on raising and breeding heritage breeds. Their animals graze, without much human-interference, throughout their property. Joshua, Stefanie and their toddler son name the pigs & cattle, as a sign of respect and compassion, and even follows them through the slaughtering process.  This family loves and respected these animals as they will give their lives to become food.

I highly suggest visiting a meat farm when you have the chance because, generally speaking, are hidden from us here in the U.S. *Most* of our experience with meat farms are the footage of severe torture of pigs, cattle and poultry at large-scale commodity operation. Its tough for our culture, its disturbing to visit cute animals that will soon be your breakfast sausage, lunchtime BBQ or  dinner entrée. I think we even have a tougher time getting our mind around the fact that *many* (not all) meat animals are treated very poorly.  That said, many medium to small local meat farmers are doing right by the animals and their customers.

The moral of my rant is this:
Whether or not you are vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore: When you get the chance to tour a meat farm,
you’ve got to take the opportunity. Especially if its one doing everything right, like West Wind Acres.

It is truly a magical place and tomorrow is your chance to hang out
in the tall grass with the animals!

Talk with Josh & Stefanie!

Fall in love with Barry!

The Rockwood’s are opening their farm to the public tomorrow, Sunday June 24th Noon-4pm.
West Wind Acres, corner of Toureuna Rd and West Glenville (Swart Hill Rd)Amsterdam, New York 12010

You can take a tour, ask as many questions as you want on how they raise & slaughter their animals, while also enjoying some family fun in the sun! Josh & Stefanie plan to have many kid-friendly activities such as face painting, games, and a petting/holding baby animals station.

Where to find them: On Facebook. Visit their blog.  Lastly, you can buy their products a few different ways:  new buying club program with multiple drop points throughout the Capital Region (online store) and are at numerous farmers markets a week including: Tuesdays in Malta, Thursdays in Schenectady & Ballston Spa and Saturdays in Ballston Spa.

Like any good farm, that has NOTHING to hide, WWA runs on a ‘transparency is best policy’ so If you can’t make it tomorrow contact them to take a private or group tour. The more people who experience the magic, the better. Knowledge is Power.

About these ads

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Animals- Raising, local events, Local Farms, {Know Your Farmer}

Author:Christina

Finding her true calling, connecting people to their local foodshed, Christina is the Editor & Founder of From Scratch Club and a proud CSA Member & Market Crew member of Kilpatrick Family Farm. At the homestead, she is the Chef de Cuisine, Master Baker & Head Food Preservationist to her husband Charles and their 2 year old son, Miles Jae. Although always a supporter of local, sustainable, humane and whole foods, Chris is now on a serious mission to bring those principles into her kitchen due to Miles Jae’s multiple food allergy diagnosis, asthma and the rare disease, EE. All of her recipes are dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten/wheat, pea, corn & sesame free.

Join The {from scratch} Community!

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive blog updates, food swap information and other events. Join our public FLICKR group to share photos of your 'from scratch' endeavors!

9 Comments on “{local event} Meet the Meat Farmers”

  1. June 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Great Post – loving your photos! Happy Saturday:)

  2. June 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! I used to take for granted a lot of the knowledge I gained from spending winter and summer breaks on my grandparents farm and having a partner who grew up on a farm but in speaking with people who have grown up exclusively in an urban setting opportunities like these are amazing! I still live in the city (but sneak out to the country when I get a chance) and I’m always hearing from my fellow city dwellers that they weren’t even aware that there is a difference between grain and grass fed or that it IS actually possible to have humane and sustainable farms, so it’s great to be able to open up dialogue and it’s always great to see programs like this – hope to see more :) very encouraging!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. {recipe} Chicken Salad: Cool Food for Hot Nights | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - June 26, 2012

    […] one to embellish.  I have been loving the chicken we have been getting from our new CSA share with West Wind Acres Farm.  We pick up 6 to 10 pounds of chicken on the third Tuesday of every month and it has been lovely. […]

  2. {summer farm tour} Meet Our Dairy Farmer | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - June 28, 2012

    […] (FSC’s editor) had it right in Saturday’s post (Meet Your Meat Farmers): “I can’t stress enough how important farm tours are to customer education & […]

  3. {summer farm tour} Meet Our Dairy Farmer | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - June 28, 2012

    […] (FSC’s editor) had it right in Saturday’s post (Meet Your Meat Farmers): “I can’t stress enough how important farm tours are to customer education & […]

  4. {FSC PODCAST} Episode 5: Raising Animals (for food) | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - July 5, 2012

    […] and process of nurturing animal life from birth until the end. (Read more about West Wind Acres in this post about their farm tour.) […]

  5. {know your farmer} Barry’s Endgame | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - August 9, 2012

    […] you haven’t listened to our latest podcast, Episode 5: Raising Animals {for food} or read our Meet the Meat Farmers piece, please do so because they unedited straight-from-the-hip-insight into their farming […]

  6. {meet the meat} Pork Shoulder | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - May 20, 2013

    […] I realized that I could get a box of tasty, frozen, pastured meats once a month from West Wind Acres, I jumped at the opportunity.   I could not be more thrilled with the quality of the meats from […]

  7. {meet the meat} Grass Fed Ground Beef | FROM SCRATCH CLUB - July 22, 2013

    […] we got our first delivery of our meat share from West Wind Acres in Charlton, I was excited to try the ground beef.  I cooked it in my […]

Start a conversation --> We love feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: