For the 2017 season we will not be offering a Winter meat and egg share. Find us on Facebook for updates.
About this grazing season and how we raise our meat, poultry, and eggs: This 2015 grazing season was kind to both our animals and the certified organic Grassroots Farm pastureland where they reside. Our cattle, hogs, chickens, turkeys, and lambs all have access to lush green grass, low nitrate well water, and fresh Wisconsin air. Our livestock is fed our own farm grown leftover vegetables and fruits that are unsaleable due to bruising or wilting or pest damage. This helps us in reducing production waste of our organic veggie operation to near zero. Although we practice many of the requirements of certified organic livestock production as set by the federal government, we choose not to certify our meat or eggs organic.
A little about what it takes each calendar season to be a diversified small scale meat, poultry, and egg producer: Your farmer starts in Winter (during our Meat and Egg share delivery season) determining and preparing for the following seasons’ livestock plan. This means artificial insemination or breeding management, winter breeding stock feeding, fencing, and bedding, laying hen flock care, feeding, egg collecting, and egg washing. In preparation for next season, the farmer must determine the number of livestock to be raised, the best source of newborn/young livestock, and then develop a schedule based on the upcoming season’s pasture availability, farm infrastructure, and the farmer’s best guess on weather.
Come Spring, we begin by stocking our brooder with day-old baby poultry, which arrives throughout the first part of the season on a carefully crafted schedule. We also bring in our week old bottle fed bull calves (Starting off with 3x/day feeding!), and move our weaned piglets and winter laying hen flock to the farm. A cold Spring like ours this 2015 means more electricity is needed for our heated livestock waterers and lamps for baby chicks, poults, and goslings, adding up to higher production costs. A cold start to Spring also means a delay in pasture growth, which also translates directly to higher hay and grain feeding expenses.
A good moist sunny and mild Summer growing season (like 2015!) means healthy, ample pasture available for all our animals, with no supplemented hay. Grain feeding needs remain pretty consistent from season to season, although animals do eat more in cooler temps and needs can also change between breeds. Any expansion of production means building a new shelter, expanding farm fencing, and/or extending our feeding season. An extremely hot or dry Summer season can cause stress on animals whereas a wet season can potentially spread diseases. 2015 gave us a wonderfully mild grazing season, with only small pockets of heat and drought.
Fall is a busy and often complex time as we finish up our vegetable growing season while simultaneously developing and introducing our Winter Meat and Egg Share details. We are also making appointments and transporting animals to our processors, which causes the farmer more stress than the unsuspecting livestock! Keeping animals watered, warm, and well fed as we approach the end of the grazing season becomes tricky when Winter weather sets in early.
Over the course of the season, we load, unload, carry, and dump over 400 paper sacks of high quality feed to our animals. These sacks are 50# each, which are unloaded into covered shelters, bulk feeders, or steel covered cans, and fed by the by the bag, scoop, and quart jar. We have no conveyor or bulk feed system as we rotate our livestock and raise them in small, manageable batches. To provide ample grass and room to roam, keep farm order and sanity, control disease and pests, and protect our cultivated crops and fruit trees, we maintain many thousand feet of fence, of all kinds. We maintain all our fence by hand, ourselves, using hand tools and small equipment.
About our finishing/processing: When it comes time to finishing our livestock, we hand load hours before our advance scheduled appointment into one of our fresh straw bedded, covered livestock trailers and take the back roads to one of our trusted local processors. We unload our own animals, using smart and humane animal handling practices. We make our own cutting orders drawing from experience, processor recipe quality, and customer feedback. This season, we will be trying out a couple new family owned processing facilities as well as sticking with a couple of our favorites. All our meat and poultry is professionally wrapped and labeled with processing location information, and we encourage interested customers to contact these businesses with additional questions on processing methods. Our 2015 processor line-up:
- Sorg’s Farm Processing – Darien, Wisconsin (Lambs and brats/sausage)
- Avon Locker Plant – Darlington, Wisconsin (Beef)
- AJ’s Lena Made Meats – Lena, Illinois (Pork)
- Twin Cities Pack – Clinton, Wisconsin (Chickens and Turkeys)
- Me-kong Fresh Meat – Mosinee, Wi (Geese)
We only approve of recipes for smoking and seasoning that have no MSG or added Nitrates. We store our meat, poultry and eggs locally, until delivery day, at a licensed, family owned cold storage facility.
Keeping it Small, Balanced, and Sustainable: This 2015 season, we feel we have found an excellent balance of livestock and vegetable production, and do not plan to expand beyond our current 2015/16 Winter season CSA offerings as we move into future grazing seasons. In our 3rd Winter Meat and Egg share season, we will be offering 25-30 Winter Meat and Egg shares, via 3 home deliveries, to customers in Green County, Wis., Madison Area, and the Milwaukee Area. We will be offering our Chicagoland customers a one-time home delivery of a Holiday Meat Share. Staying small means doing things by hand, without automated systems, without bulk scale price breaks, but WITH an excellent capacity to manage herd and flock health, wellness, and keep conditions clean, safe and natural for all our farm animals.
Our breed choices this season: Our beef is 100% grass finished Jersey/Angus cross ground beef and Shorthorn/Angus cross steaks and roasts. Our meat chickens are 12-week finished pasture loving, insect hunting, Red Ranger breed. Our chops, bacon, ham, and pork roasts are from Berkshire breed hogs and our brats and sausage come from a Duroc/Hampshire breed cross. Turkeys are either white or bronze breasted, hatched locally. Our lamb is a Katahdin cross. Our Geese are grain finished Embden White. Our Grassroots Farm fresh eggs come from a mix of “rainbow” laying hens, hand raised from day-old chicks on organic feed right here at the farm.
Need More Information? We think it is important for our customers to be informed about our livestock raising practices and even consider scheduling a farm visit to discuss our practices and product. We also take an active role in providing recipes and advice on cooking all of our meat and egg share offerings!
This 2015/16 Winter Meat and Egg share season, we are able to source 100% of our share contents from our own Grassroots Farm in Monroe, Wisconsin! Piecing together the puzzle for this type of farmer direct-to-consumer share of diversified farm products takes much experience and time! But we would not choose to do it any other way. Much thanks to our previous Meat and Egg Share customers for your continued interest and support. Please take a close look at this year’s changes and options as they have changed. Our pricing and availability is as follows:
Options by Location:
Green County, Wisconsin includes Monroe, Monticello, Brodhead, New Glarus and surrounding locations in Green County, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin Area
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Area:
About our payment options: We continue to offer all our members the option to design a custom payment plan that works best for your budget. Email Farmer Lindsey directly (email@example.com) to discuss a plan that works best for you. We accept a personal check, via snail mail (preferred) and also the option to use Paypal, where we ask that our customers chip in for the fee to use this service, which is currently at 2.9% of each transaction. Please do not send payment until you have signed up for our Winter Meat and Egg Share.
About our home delivery service: Included in the total price of your Winter Meat and Egg Share, price depending on location, we offer 3 home deliveries to our customers who fall within our delivery areas of Green County, Madison, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as one time home delivery of our Holiday Meat Share to the Chicago Area. When you sign up for your 2015/16 Grassroots Farm Winter Meat and Egg Share, please leave us a few specific instructions about your delivery location. We suggest leaving out a cooler and/or insulating blankets to protect and conceal your order. Please specify front porch, back porch, side door, foyer, ring doorbell, etc. We will email you with approximate expected delivery times when we send out a reminder, less than a week before your scheduled delivery date.
All delivery dates are weather depending! Blizzards and ice storms may delay or advance delivery by a day or two. Share members will be notified ASAP with any delivery date changes. This is for our driver’s safety, and we apologize in advance if it becomes necessary to rearrange any of our scheduled delivery dates.
On-Farm Pick Up: If you live outside of our delivery area, or wish to save a few dollars on delivery fees, consider picking up your Winter Meat and Egg shares directly from the farm. Due to our processing schedule and fresh egg laying, this will need to be broken into 2 or 3 farm pick-up dates, on or around our pre-scheduled delivery dates. Delivery fees will be waived if you would like to pick up directly from the farm, storage fees will be adjusted depending on number of pick-ups. Select this option when you sign up for your share, and contact us for a custom invoice based on your pick up arrangements.
Single Delivery Meat and Egg Shares: Not applicable to our Chicagoland Holiday Meat Share delivery, Wisconsin customers who wish to buy our entire 2015/2016 Winter Meat and Egg Share (3 home deliveries) will be given priority membership in this season’s share. Should we fall short of our Meat and Egg Share goals, single month meat and egg shares may be available on a first come, first serve basis. Please find us on Facebook to watch for availability announcements about these extra shares.