Ok, I know I have neglected this blog for a loooong time. My apologies. But you know how it goes; work, work, more work, family, friends, hobbies, school, etc. Actually, I have quite a backlog of material for blogging, but let me start with this.
For the past several years I have been purchasing meet during the summer at farmers markets. I have settled on ground beef and chickens from Jeff-Leen. You see, Jeff has a different breed of cattle, it’s not Holsteins, it’s Piedmontese. The breed originated in the Piedmont region of France and is naturally very lean. Actually, Jeff has a brochure that compares various meets with this partucular type of cow. Since I am not willing to give up beef for a healthier lifestyle, I figured I should try this since it’s so low in all the “bad” stuff.
I also purchase their summer sausage with garlic almost weekly. It’s a great snack and doesn’t spoil eaisily. I’m sure I’ve tried their eggs too. Delicious.
But about the chickens. So worth every penny. They’re fresh, tender, and succulent. It’s orders of magnitude better than a fresh Sendik’s chicken, and I know I’ve made my best roast chicken with a fresh Jeff-Leen chicken. But, they go quickly, so if you want one, it’s a good idea to get to the market early or even call ahead.
Knowing that farmer market season is nearly over, I asked Jeff what’s the best way to get his products during winter. He said that they can drive it down and meet at a park-n-ride or other such location so you wouldn’t have to drive all the way to Random Lake. But I would recommend the drive. It’s not that far and it’s an absolutely gorgeous area.
Jeff-Leen also has an annual Customer Appreciation day at his farm. This year it was in early September (I told you I have a backlog) and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. There was a band, great food (duh!), a hay ride (I’m lucky I’m not allergic to hay); got to see the chickens and the cows. It turns out that the real Piedmontese cows have black circles around their eyes. And the chickens get moved around at least once a day to a new piece of pasture so they get fresh grass and bugs to pick through. But they are confined in their coups and there are about 100 chickens or so per each coup. It was great to visit the farm, try out some other foods (I didn’t even know that they have hot dogs until I tried them at this event and they were really great), and just generally spend the day relaxing in a beautiful setting. There were also lots and lots of prizes, but unfortuntaly, I didn’t win anything. 😦 Oh well.
The cows roam around and looked very calm and peaceful. I was surprised at how it didn’t smell of the typical “Wisconsin Dairy Air”. Walking round the farm I noticed how clean it is. As a customer, it makes me feel better knowing that the products I buy are from animals that are well taken care of and that they’re in a clean environment. Jeff and his family are really friendly and are ready to answer any question.