Back in April we decided to go organic and one of our goals as part of that change was to buy a chest freezer and fill it full of organic, grass fed meats from a local grower. After visiting one farm and doing research on plenty of others, I was sort of torn about how to best go about this. Thankfully, The Budget Nazi (TM) only gave me a budget of $300 with which to use for this task and that narrowed my choices down immediately.
As you know I was on the radio a few weeks ago with Darryle Powers from Blue Gentian Farm in New Richmond, WI and after looking over the heritage breed meat offerings he had, I decided that I was probably going to get at least some of my meat from him this fall. After pouring over some other farms’ meat selections and knowing that not all of them sell 100% grass fed beef and many only do sales in quarters, halves, and greater, I thought it would be best to go with someone that would sell ala carte. So yesterday I came up with a quick spreadsheet that listed the meats I wanted, the amounts I wanted, and it calculated how much left of the $300 budget I had to go. After showing it to the wife and being told “less pork, more beef” we came up with 42 lbs of meat totaling $297.
I sent the spreadsheet off to Darryle via e-mail and he worked through what I gave him and what he had in stock and gave me a call to let me know that I could pick it all up the next day at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. I don’t know about you but I thought that was a pretty damn quick turn around! After a 5% bulk discount which Darryle filled with other cuts of meat including summer sausage and deli ham, I ended up paying just under $300 ($299.07) for 44 lbs of meat.
So I headed on over to the farmers market this morning and wandered the aisles looking for vegetables to pick up for this week. For $3 I got a beautiful butternut squash and a huge pile of leeks which I plan to turn into a tasty butternut and leek gratin. Mmm. After doing all that, I went over and picked up my box of goodies from Darryle and brought them back to the car. I spent the next 20 minutes or so chatting him up about his recent foray into the land of Twitter which he plans to use as not only a marketing tool but as a way to let people know where they can get some of the best heritage breed meats anywhere around. If you’re on Twitter and you want to be able to take advantages of any specials he may run, I highly suggest you follow him there.
Anyway, I was impressed with the service that was provided to me by Darryle and his family and I look forward to defrosting some of those steaks, wieners, brats, and ground beef bundles and seeing just how good local heritage meats can be. If you’re in the market for some yourself, I suggest checking Darryle out as an option–I promise you won’t be disappointed.
See all the pictures from Blue Gentian Farm’s frozen meat delivery on Flickr here.