As Michael Pollan explained in “Power Steer,” a 2002 New York Times Magazine article, “By acidifying a cow’s gut with corn, we have broken down one of our food chain’s barriers to infections.”
“We raise our beef with our customer in mind, which is why no antibiotics or growth hormones are ever used on our cattle. Our cattle are finished on high quality pastures that insure a consistent rate of gain. Our cattle are 100% grass fed and 100% grass finished.
Our commitment to quality does not stop there. We dry-age all of our beef from 14 to 21 days to ensure the most tender, mellowed, rich-tasting beef. Dry-aging is becoming a thing of the past since much of the weight is lost in shrinkage and trimming leaving significant weight loss. However, there is no substitute for dry-aged beef. With our beef there is a minimum of shrinkage during cooking which elicits constant customer comments. Most beef is now wet-aged or aged utilizing electric shock. Both of these methods fail to give the great tasting results achieved through the dry-aging process. When you taste our 100% grass-fed, dry-aged beef, we think you will agree that perfection is worth striving for. Our family is passionate about providing our customers with the healthiest, safest and highest quality beef.
Grass-fed beef is better for human health than grain-fed beef in ten different ways, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date. The 2009 study was a joint effort between the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina. Compared with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:
Lamb was the first animal to take the River Cottage Farm. My desire to learn to spin and weave trumped all, and three girls were brought to the farm to start our flock. Now we have over 30 on the farm and they are chosen based on their fleeces and their ability to produce great tasting lamb for our customers.
The difference between grain feeding and grass feeding lamb is the same as that with any ruminant (an animal with four stomachs). They were not created to eat grain and the health benefits (for both the lamb and the consumer) that come from removing grain from their diets prove beyond a doubt that we should consume only grass-fed meats.
River Cottage Farm Pastured Poultry are pasture-grazed on pesticide-free and herbicide-free fields. They are fed a ration that has NO antibiotics, NO hormones, and is lab certified NON-GMO. The use of non-GMO grain is very important to us. It costs more but in our opinion is well worth the difference. This is our chance to support grain farmers willing to stand against “conventional” pressures to remain GMO free. Raised in open hoop houses the chickens have continuous access to pasture which allows them to live a biologically and behaviorally appropriate life while protected from exposure and predators. This provides more insects for the birds to eat and a cleaner environment in which to live.
These birds are unbelievable. Dubbed “The Spoilers”, once you eat a River Cottage Farm chicken it is impossible to go back to eating conventionally raised, MSG drenched birds. Currently we offer whole birds, boneless, skinless chicken breast, legs/thighs, feet, chicken livers, stocks packs of backs and necks. Our chickens are 3 1/2 to 5 lbs.
Our pasture raised eggs are famous in several states. Many customers testify that our eggs are the best they have ever tasted, which is attested to by the amount of reserved eggs we take to the farmer’s market. Allowing our hens to roam freely on organically managed pastures, eating bugs galore and supplemented with organically grown grains creates an X-Factor that produces the best eggs with deep orange yolks and firm whites that cling to the yolk.
Eggs from pastured hens contain up to:
than their less fortunate cousins, factory hens.
The benefits of pastured Pork
Here at River Cottage Farm we raise no more than twenty hogs each year. From those hogs we produce our divinely delicious Breakfast Sausage, Sweet Italian Sausage and Applewood Smoked Bacon as well as the usual round of suspects.
Our pigs are regular workers on the farm and they like it that way. Their lives are spent eating grass and helping out in the digging, composting and weeding chores on the farm. This year the pigs have helped us to get our new bee yard ready for a beautiful meadow!
River Cottage Farm produces 100% grass-fed, raw milk of super premium quality. USDA organic standards are followed for all of our animals and pastures but we go far beyond those guidelines for our customers. The USDA requires that cows be pasture grazed just four months out of the year but the cows at River Cottage Farm graze on green pastures every day that grass is available but even in the winter they have access to pasture. In addition to green pastures, our cows are fed a specially formulated organic mineral supplement, free choice salt and trace mineral and high test alfalfa hay to keep them healthy and strong.
Our animals are raised outdoors on pasture with the “most stringent” humane animal welfare standards according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
At River Cottage Farm the vigor of each cow is a high priority. Our individually named cows are never given antibiotics, or hormones. Only approved naturopathic methods are used to care for the cows, and this preventative, nature-based healthcare keeps the herd healthy all year.
In the States of Kentucky and Tennessee we have been allowed the choice of raw milk (legislatively) only one way, through a cow sharing or cow boarding program. In both States you must own the cow (or at least a portion of a herd of milking cows) to drink raw milk. For more information on our cow boarding program CLICK HERE.
Our bees are such an integral part of the farm and become a larger part of the overall picture every year. At this time we have 18 hives on the farm but by year-end we hope to increase by about 16 hives. Our honey can be purchased filtered or non-filtered. The best time of the year to begin taking honey “medicinally” for allergies is in the winter so it’s a good idea to stock up around September which, if Mother Nature allows, is our last harvest of honey.