Monday, January 14, 2013

Meat Madness

For those of you that have been following my raw milk series, hang in there. The last installment, where I will reveal the exact cost of producing one gallon of milk on our farm, will be presented tomorrow.

Until's meat delivery day.

Porterhouse Steaks, ice cold and ready to go.

We sell meat. Lots of it for a small farmer. It goes to four different stores and into our own little farm store. Keith or I will pick it up after it is processed at Eureka Locker. It comes to us vacuum packed , with a weight and our farm name and the organic seal on the label.

From there, each and every package is hand labeled with a lot number. This lot number is how we track each animal that goes to the locker so if needed we can tell if Millie, cull cow turned into burger, is being stored in the store freezers or the shop freezers or sold to our Chicago Grocery Store or just put in own kitchen freezer waiting for the addition of onions and shrooms for a lunch sandwich.

We like to know where our critters hang out.

Keith and hired hand Aaron labeled meat with lot numbers

After the lot number is written in the top right hand side of the label the meat is quickly put into our freezers, which is why I love winter. Since it is already cold outside we can work a little slower without fear of meat thawing. In the summer, we are hauling gr-ass (fed beef) as fast as we can from locker, to freezer.

Yes, in regards to hand writing the lot number on each package, it is very laborious but we've tried other methods with great failure. The stamp we bought just smeared ink across the cold package, stickers won't stick, so hand writing it is.

This week we put over 800 pounds of beef and pork into our farm store. The next day 300 pounds of it went to the grocery stores we service and in the last two days another 200 pounds has been bought out of the store by our most excellent customers.

Our Illinois Department Of Ag license calls us Meat Brokers. We prefer Meat Back Brokers.


  1. Wow! That makes our 151 lbs. of pork and 177 lbs. of beef seem a drop in the bucket--even if it did cram our chest freezer full! That's some serious meat! And no wonder your customers love you because of your conscientious attention to detail!

  2. Wow, well done on all that hand writing. We're thinking of killing a freemartin heifer for our own freezer this year but may need another freezer - chest freezer died last year!

  3. The room where Keith and Aaron are working looks like a post-apocolyptic veterinary surgery - or is it me?

  4. Damn spell-checker told me I had got 'veterinary' wrong, but didn't mention 'apocalyptic'...

  5. 'Traceability' is big here too. Most butchers or supermarkets show photos of the farmer, details of his farm, and even names and addresses.