Embracing Meat Shares

Previously meat purchases weren’t something I had to seriously ponder and research.

Every few months I would make my way over to North Market and purchase beef, chicken, and pork in bulk quantities.  Enough to get me through at least 3-4 months of cooking.  All meat was local and the animals raised properly.

Moving to Fort Collins, locating local meats became tricky.  There’s no central hub (at least none that I could find at the time of this post) where I could go and make purchases, whenever and for whatever I wanted.

The internet and the farmer’s markets became my resources.  I researched and researched local farmers, read about their practices, and when I could, sampled their products.

I also asked a lot of questions at the farmer’s markets and spoke with as many farmers as I could.  I also gathered up any information they had on hand.  I came home with a lot of pamphlets!

Since there’s no central market for me to purchase local meats, my option now is participating in meat shares.

Basically buying a share means you are purchasing a large quantity of meat directly from the farmer of your choosing.

Shares are usually broken down into whole, half, and quarters of animals.  In the case of chickens, my understanding is that you can purchase a set amount of meat vs. purchasing a half a chicken (which wouldn’t get you very far!).

This year I have purchased half a pig.  I’ll be picking up that order sometime this month and I’m terribly excited about it!  I purchased the pork from Jodar Farm’s and having tasted their pork, I’m happy with my purchase.  The product is amazing.

Still researching beef and chicken.  I have a few places in mind but haven’t settled on anything definite.

I’m hoping to purchase either a quarter cow or purchase enough beef to get us through the winter.

This is the first time I’ve ever done this and I’m excited about it!

Have you ever purchased a meat share before?  How did you like it?  How much did you buy and how long did it last?

4 thoughts on “Embracing Meat Shares

  1. Joe says:

    This got me thinking.

    Do you have tips on how to best keep meet for long periods of time, I’m assuming freezing but wasn’t sure if you had any tips within that (maybe a blog post)?

    Also, Living in Columbus I am going to have to check out North Market now, thanks!

    • Hi Joe, Certainly I can write a blog post on freezing meats! I’ll do that after I get my share though, so hopefully you don’t mind waiting a bit. :) Please do go to North Market! Amazing food stuffs there!

  2. Monica says:

    When I was growing up we always bought a side of beef. It was much easier to have all the meat delivered at 1 time and you knew the rancher so you knew the source. I think you will enjoy it. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  3. I grew up in a household where we bought a side of beef annually. It’s funny b/c my parents still do it an we’ve all moved out. Dad starts handing out the remainder when he gets the new side. My husband & I bought 1/2 a hog early this summer from a friend who raises a few hogs each year. We’ve been very pleased with it–and I even asked for the feet and heart. Still not 100% sure what we’ll do with them, but several folks have shared ideas. Definitely makes me think differently about this meat though to have bought 1/2 an actual animal rather than random cuts from plastic packages.

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