Monday, October 15, 2012

Knowing Where Your Food Comes From

Taking a quick break from pumpkins to give an example of why I love living & eating in Western Kentucky.

This weekend, we went with another couple to Palmer Farms, which provides local, grass-fed beef. This is where we've been getting our more nutritional beef that takes a chunk out of our carbon footprint while tasting absolutely delicious. You can read more of why I'm getting picky about my beef here.

So, this was my second time going out to the Palmer Farm. It's about an hour and a half round trip drive for us to pick up about $50 (normally) worth of meat. And the ground beef is $4.50 / pound. And I can tell you without any hesitation that every cent, tank of gas, and minute of my time is worth it.

Both times we've been to the farm, it's been a wonderful experience. And this last time was no exception. We were first greeted by Stacie and two handsome lads who couldn't wait to show us some of their calves! We were able to spend some quality time with two calves that were just a week old and needed to be bottle fed. They were precious!

Couldn't get too many still photos of this guy- he was frolicking all over!
It took awhile to get this sleepy girl up, but isn't she a beaut?
In the midst of hanging out with these calves, Stacie's husband Mike showed up. We all ended up having a lovely symposium on the drought, livestock, and how a cow's diet impacts the flavor of meat. Then general crops came up in conversation and they offered to show us their tobacco barns. And oh my, did it smell wonderful.

Just one of the Palmers' barns that are full of tobacco leaves
During that time, we were able to not only learn about a crop that assisted in making our great nation, but also about American farming in general. On my first note, it was just a few tobacco seeds that John Rolfe was able to smuggle to the new land that gave a jump start to the colonies. You can just tuck that random fact away for a rainy day.

But we were also discussing what all has to be done in order to get the crops (like tobacco) to harvest in time. And I guess it just never crossed our mind for my husband to apply for seasonal farm work. I say this because the hubster is in the process of starting a career in (what he hopes) biology. Farm work, along with finishing school, could definitely get him one step closer! And of course, we all hope we can work something out next season.

I'm sharing all of this to tell you that I'm so happy to have these conversations with the family that raises my delicious burgers and steaks. We are able to talk about what grass the cow eats and what all they have to do when a calf gets sick. When it gets a bit dryer (can't believe I'm saying that after this devastating drought), we will even get to tour the pastures! And we hope this is only the beginning. There's a couple of other farmers when it comes to different livestock and crops. There's even one Amish farmer out here that wants to do a pig roast with his customers. These are relationships that are lost for most Americans. 

I got around to a few other things this weekend- mostly cleaning, cooking, and strangely: gardening! With the rain and still semi-warm temperatures, the tomatoes are still producing and my chamomile even seeded into a flower bed. So that's now a potted plant we will figure out how to house during winter. Maybe I'll get more tea out of it!

Live in Western Kentucky and love the thought of knowing your farmer & getting delicious grass-fed beef? Check out the Palmer Farms website. Not only can you learn more about the health benefits of grass fed beef, but Stacie has their prices along with some recipes on there.

Palmer Farms

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