What is a CSA?

A CSA is a “Community Supported Agriculture" Program. You join a group of individuals that buy products directly from local farms, rather than at the grocery, or farmer’s markets. Basically you are buying in bulk and dividing the purchases with the other members. Vegetable CSA's are common. Some are organic, some are not. CSA's benefit you because you buy local produce, fruits and meats for far less than you would pay at a farmer's market, or a grocery. It benefits the farms because they get the money beforehand to buy the seeds, or sire the animals, they will need for you during the season.

What is the advantage of being in a CSA?

There are several great reasons to join a CSA.

#1. The food is usually healthier. In our case it is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and is raised eating natural grasses and bugs in pastures.

#2. It is FRESHER! With vegetables they are generally picked the night before, or morning of delivery. With meat, they are butchering specifically for our CSA, so your meats haven't been sitting in a warehouse for 6 months.

#3. You are supporting your local farmers, and keeping them in business!

#4. You are in control of your own food supply. You won’t need to worry when there’s a national meat recall on the news!

#5. Who has enough freezer space for a whole beef, hog, lamb, and a few dozen chickens?

 

What's in a CSA share?

Example Full Share:

2 pasture raised chickens(8-10lbs.)

2 premium grass fed beef steak(1-2 lbs.)

2 one pounds packs of premium hamburger(2 lbs.)

4 lamb chops(1-2lbs.)

1 lamb shank( 1lb.)

4 pork chops(1.5 lbs.)

1 pack bacon(1 lb.)

2 one pound packs of premium breakfast sausage.(2lbs.)

It should be about 30% beef, 30% chicken, 30% pork, 10% lamb.


Can you choose to omit a meat?

Yes, you can choose to omit any one type of  meat.


Can you pick what cuts you want?

No, but during signup you will be asked to choose cuts you like.PLEASE choose as many as possible. Of all the choice each month, we carry about 1/4 of the listed options at any given time. We can't guarantee any specific cuts, but we try to take your preferences into account! An example is-if you get beef, you will get a minimum of 1 lb ground beef every month. Why? Because when you process a cow, it comes out 60% ground beef!


 Why did we start a meat CSA?

Our family has been getting 80% of it’s food (meat and vegetables) for the last five years from local CSA’s. Eating this way has saved us money, helped us increase our health, and cut down drastically on our allergies.We also belong to two vegetable CSA's and last year we froze so much stuff we literally made it through the winter on our summer veggies!! 

Buying good quality, organic, or 100% pasture raised meats at the grocery is economically challenging. The prices are almost double that of regular meats. And those aren't even grass fed, hormone free lamb chops.....  Additionally, we don’t need a whole pig, side of beef, full lamb, and a few dozen chickens in our freezers at all times to keep up on our commitment to healthy eating-so, we decided to contact a few really good, highly committed local farms, and start our own CSA!

 

How do you do your ordering?

We fill our CSA, then let the farms know how many cows, pigs, lambs, and chickens we will be buying for the quarter to accommodate our CSA members. They then reserve those animals for us, and we put down deposits on them. When it gets close to time to butcher they send us a sheet asking us how we want the animals processed, which means what cuts do we want. We choose our cuts and schedule our pickup. The butchering facility processes and freezes the meat according to our specifications. We go to the processor and pick up the meat. We then bring it home and put it in our CSA freezers until time to distribute.

 

How do I do my ordering?

Through this web-site.

Your meat is frozen,so bring a cooler with you and plan to go directly home after pickup.

If you are a delivery member, don't forget to put your cooler(s) on the porch for your delivery.

 

Is the meat fresh, or frozen?

The meat comes to you frozen. The meat is butchered, then vacuum sealed and then frozen by the butcher, so it comes to you very fresh!

 

 Are the meats certified organic?

No. They are organic, but not certified. The three farms we regularly use feed vegetarian grain with no animal by products, when grain is necessary, such as in winter. In the warm months all animals are pasture raised with lots of room to run and play. The farms use no growth steroids. All three use natural farming techniques free of chemicals. Antibiotics are only given to animals at all three farms if needed, such as illness.


 How many shares are you offering?

We are currently only accepting 35 full shares for the program.

 

What is a GMO?

According to Wilkopedia:

GloFish, the first genetically modified animal to be sold as a pet

A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.

According to: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/ge/

"Genetic engineering (GE) is the process of transferring specific traits, or genes, from one organism into a different plant or animal. The resulting organism is called transgenic or a GMO (genetically modified organism). 70% of processed foods in American supermarkets now contain genetically modified ingredients.i

Genetic engineering is different from traditional cross breeding, where genes can only be exchanged between closely-related species. With genetic engineering, genes from completely different species can be inserted into each other. For example, scientists in Taiwan have succeeded at inserting jellyfish genes into pigs in order to make them glow in the dark. ii

GE Crops
About 200 million acres of farmland worldwide are now used to grow GE crops such as cotton, corn, soybeans and rice.iii The most common GE crops are Soybeans, which represent 63% of all GE crops, Corn (19%), Transgenic Cotton (13%) and Canola (5%).iv The majority of genetically modified crops grown today are engineered to be resistant to pesticides and/or herbicides so that they can withstand being sprayed with weed killer while the rest of the plants in the field die.

GE proponents claim genetically modified crops use fewer pesticides than non-GE crops, when in reality GE plants can require even more chemicals.v This is because weeds grow resistant to pesticides, leading farmers to spray even more on their crops.vi This causes environmental pollution, exposes food to higher levels of toxins, and creates greater safety concerns for farmers and farm workers.

Some GE crops are actually classified as pesticides. The New Leaf potato, which has since been taken off grocery shelves, was genetically engineered to produce the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin in order to kill any pests that attempted to eat it. The actual potato was designated as a pesticide and so was regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates food. Because of this, safety testing for these potatoes was not as strict as with food, since the EPA regulations had never anticipated that people would intentionally consume pesticides as food.vii

Adequate research has not yet been carried out to identify the effects of eating animals that have been fed genetically-engineered grain, nor have sufficient studies been conducted on the effects of directly consuming genetically-engineered crops like corn and soy. Despite our lack of knowledge, GE crops are widely used throughout the world as both human and animal food. "

 

Why would hormones  be given to meat animals?

According to: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/

"In 2005, 32.5 million cattle were slaughtered to provide beef for US consumers .i Scientists believe about two-thirds of American cattle raised in for slaughter today are injected with hormones to make them grow fasterii and America’s dairy cows are given a genetically-engineered hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. These measures mean higher profits for the beef and dairy industries, but what does it mean for consumers? Although the USDA and FDA claim these hormones are safe, there is growing concern that hormone residues in meat and milk might be harmful to human health and the environment."

Basically, because the more an animal weighs, the more money it's worth. Check out: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/ for the full scoop.

 

Why give animals antibiotics if they aren't sick?

According to: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/antibiotics/

"Antibiotics and the Animal Industry
Industrial farms have been mixing antibiotics into livestock feed since 1946, when studies showed that the drugs cause animals to grow faster and put on weight more efficiently, increasing meat producers' profits.6 Today antibiotics are routinely fed to livestock, poultry, and fish on industrial farms to promote faster growth and to compensate for the unsanitary conditions in which they are raised.7

Modern industrial farms are ideal breeding grounds for germs and disease. Animals live in close confinement, often standing or laying in their own filth, and under constant stress that inhibits their immune systems and makes them more prone to infection. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, as much as 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States is fed to healthy farm animals.

When drug-resistant bacteria develop at industrial livestock facilities, they can reach the human population through food, the environment (i.e., water, soil, and air),8 or by direct contact with animals (i.e., farmers and farm workers).

Industrial livestock operations produce an enormous amount of concentrated animal waste—over one billion tons annually—that is often laden with antibiotics, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the animals' intestines. It is estimated that as much as 80 to 90 percent of all antibiotics given to animals are not fully digested and eventually pass through the body and enter the environment,9 where they can encounter new bacteria and create additional resistant strains.10 With huge quantities of manure routinely sprayed onto fields surrounding CAFOs, antibiotic resistant bacteria can leech into surface and ground water, contaminating drinking wells and endangering the health of people living close to large livestock facilities.

Antibiotic Resistance, Public Health and Public Policy
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing public health crisis because infections from resistant bacteria are increasingly difficult and expensive to treat. As of this writing, the U.S. Congress was considering legislation, staunchly opposed by industrial farm lobbyists, which would ban seven classes of antibiotics from use on factory farms and would restrict the use of other antibiotics. This is a response to the fact that modern industrial livestock operations threaten to increase the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It has been estimated that at least 18,000 Americans die every year from drug-resistant infections.11 In addition, the National Academy of Sciences calculates that increased health care costs associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria exceed $4 billion each year in the United States alone12—a figure that reflects the price of pharmaceuticals and longer hospital stays, but does not account for lost workdays, lost productivity or human suffering.13

Although everyone is at risk when antibiotics stop working, the threat is greatest for young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant patients and, in general, people whose health is compromised in some way.14

Sustainable Alternatives
Ending the routine use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is not only critical, it is quite feasible. In fact, that is how livestock was raised for thousands of years, right up until the mid-20th Century. According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, banning non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock farms might increase the average consumer's food costs by between $4.85 and $9.72 a year, a small price to pay for the expected accompanying decrease in health care costs. The study also suggested that a ban would not affect the profits of farmers who use good management methods.15

Today, many small, sustainable farmers do not use antibiotics at all, in large part because they don't have to compensate for unhealthy conditions. On sustainable farms, animals are raised in a clean environment that promotes their health. Other sustainable farmers use antibiotics, but only to treat sick animals."

 

Why is it important for an animals health to eat all natural grain and be pasture raised?

According to: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/feed/

"Farm animals, like humans, are healthiest when they eat certain foods. Cows, have stomachs that are designed to digest grass. Pigs can digest grass, corn, grains, soy and other plants. Chickens and turkeys can eat plants as well as bugs and worms found on the pasture. When animals are fed conventional (or industrial) feed, which can include animal products, antibiotics, and other unnatural substances such as chewing gum and chicken manure, their health is put in jeopardy. And when an animal is unhealthy, the meat and other products made from it will also be less healthy.

Because factory farms are profit-driven, these operations use the cheapest feed available to fatten up their animals, with no regard to animal health or the health of humans who eat their products. Some of the unwholesome products that can be found in farm animal feed are meat from animals of other or the same species, meat from diseased animals, bits of feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, manure and other animal waste, plastics, antibiotics and unhealthy amounts of grain.i "

 

What is rBGH in milk?

According to: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/rbgh/

"Despite opposition from scientists, farmers and consumers, the US currently allows dairy cows to be injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST). Developed and manufactured by the Monsanto Corporation, this genetically engineered hormone forces cows to artificially increase milk production by 10 to 15 percent. In August 2008, Monsanto sold their Posilac division to Eli Lilly and Company for $300 million and 'contigent consideration.' (Eli Lilly exclusively sold Posilac outside the US for 10 years before the acquisition.)1 Today, controversy still surrounds whether or not rBGH is safe for cows and humans. "

 

 

 

PLEASE E-MAIL US ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE THAT ARE NOT ANSWERED HERE!