Investing in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) harvest subscription program that specializes in meat means receiving a bounty of top-quality locally and sustainably raised meat for a fraction of the cost you would pay buying it by the piece. The basics of a CSA are simple: You pay upfront for a share of farm products over a pre-determined length of time. In the process, you help support small-scale farmers and keep money in the Michiana economy. It’s a win-win! Just make sure you’ve got room in your freezer.
SPRING 2014 MEAT CSAs
Bertrand Farm (Niles, Michigan) is a not-for-profit educational facility that seeks to share their passion for environmental stewardship, sustainable living and healthy eating. The 11-acre farm includes a barnyard and fields of organic crops. CSA subscribers can opt to become “working members,” committing to perform three hours of farm work each week. Chicken, turkeys, pigs, lambs and goats are raised on the property and are given the chance to graze on pastures. Animals’ diets are supplemented with certified organic feed. The pigs, goats, and sheep are sold in the spring (order by mid-April) and sold by whole, half and quarter meat packages. Chickens and turkeys can be ordered through June.
Contact: Theri Neimier at 269.695.3306 or email@example.com
Blue Heron Farm (Millersburg, Indiana) is a small family farm that raises good food on “grass and sunshine.” The CSA program lasts for four months after the share is purchased. Each monthly delivery is neatly packed into reusable tote bags and includes recipes and a selection of meats. The CSA offers a variety of pastured meats, including hamburger, pork sausage, prime cuts, chicken, ground beef, pork chops and hot dogs. Each delivery provides six to eight meals for a couple or four or more meals for a family of four. Blue Heron also offers half and whole cuts of lamb and pigs.
Contact: Tom and Casandra at 484.560.7478 or Adam and Elise at 574.971.5146; firstname.lastname@example.org
C&D Family Farms (Knox, Indiana) raises “happy hogs.” Their philosophy is to treat the animals with kindness and to make the best and most comfortable lives for them. The pigs are able to roam in a large wooded area and have a natural diet of leaves, berries, weeds and acorns. All animals are hormone-, steroid- and antibiotic-free. CSA boxes vary by the month and can include chicken, ground beef, pork chops, bacon, roast, steaks, sausage, ham steak, turkey and eggs.
Countryside Produce (LaGrange, Indiana) is an Amish family farm. The farm specializes in produce but also offers meat packages by request to CSA customers. Those with CSA shares order by the week, usually receiving a basket of vegetables with the choice of a variety of pork products. The pork lover’s package includes bacon, a fresh pound of pork, and pork steaks. The seasonal CSA lasts from May to October, with members receiving packages either every two weeks or monthly. Pickup is at the LaPorte, Indiana, and Michigan City, Indiana, farmers markets, as well as community pickups in Angola, Indiana, and Niles, Michigan.
Contact: Devon and JoAnne Hostetler at 260.499.4009 or Reo43@aol.com
Grass is Greener Meats & Products (Bremen, Indiana) is a family farm specializing in heritage breed and pastured meats. They strive to raise the best animals that will produce, in turn, the best taste. Their Red Wattle pork is sold by whole, half or individual cuts. Both the Freedom Ranger chickens and Bourbon Red heritage breed turkeys are pastured. They also sell grass-fed lamb and beef. CSA subscriptions are available for pickup at the farm or by delivery to the Granger and Goshen farmers markets. Shares are usually full by April.
Contact: John and Toni Rowe at 574.209.6371 or Grass_is_greener@ymail.com
Hebron Farms/Family Farms Co-op (Vandalia, Michigan) raise chemical-free and grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, poultry, sausages, smoked meats and nitrate-free bacon. Along with a mission statement that promises to maintain a good quality of life for both the family and the animals, the Hebrons insist that the true test of quality is the taste. CSA packages offer different cuts of meat that vary week to week. Deliveries available at the Purple Porch Co-op in South Bend, Indiana.
J.L. Hawkins Family Farm (North Manchester, Indiana) has been owned by the Hawkins family for over 50 years. When they are not hosting farm-to-table dinners or serving farm-fresh pizza, they are fulfilling CSA subscriptions. Their motto, “Growing Community on the Farm,” connotes a desire to share their bounty and love for the land. The full share provides up to 20 pasture-raised chickens, a turkey, half of a pasture-raised hog and a quarter of pasture-fed beef.