25 August 2012

Building City/ Country Connections

Farmers markets are a great way to foster connections between city and country, and to start to understand where our food actually comes from, and how it's been produced.  Today we took the farmers market concept a step further, and had a (pre-butchered!) free-range Berkshire pig delivered to our house by the farmer, Lauren from Bundarra Berkshires, who grew it. It was really good to share a cuppa with her and her mate Anna Kelly of Plains Paddock Lamb, and get to know a bit more about their farms and farming methods.

The pork will be divided up between six friends so that everyone can try some delicious, free range, old breed pork, and at a bulk-purchase price.  If it goes well we might do a mixed order with Anna's lamb, and even some of the other produce from their local area on the Murray in the future.  Right now I can't wait for the slow roast shoulder of pork that is cooking in the oven for dinner tonight!
There was just enough room in the fridge
(after everything else was removed!)

5 comments:

  1. Here, I think a lot of people feel that hertiage pasture-raised meats are 'too expensive'. Personally, for the difference in flavor, and the humane methods of rearing those animals, I think it's more than worth it. However, when you can purchase in bulk this way, I think it's a great way to keep costs down, but continue to support your local farmers. We're very fortunate to have access here to local-raised pastured pork and beef. Lamb though isn't as readily available here.

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    1. It's definitely more expensive, but I think there seems to be a growing awareness here of what actually happens with large-scale food production, particularly pork. At the end of the day though, I agree that most people will probably choose based on price, but also ease of availability, and that is where farmers markets and extended networks like we're trying to set up are definitely helping.

      The other major consideration I think, is quantity. I suspect the amount of meat that most people eat as a standard is huge. M and I only eat portions of about 200g each at a sitting, so the shoulder roast we cooked last night should last several meals. If we cook with 500g mince it always lasts two meals. I must admit I was quite shocked when one of the friends that we shared the pork with said yesterday that she always cooks a 3kg roast for herself and her two (admittedly very large!) teenage sons. That's 1kg meat each!! At that quantity you certainly wouldn't want to be paying organic prices regularly.

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  2. Dave and I had the discussion about cost but for us it's a no brainer, we buy ethically produced food whenever we can.

    A pack of 500g mince does us, a family of four for a meal. Thats 3 adults (well Wes is a 15yo boy - crazy eating!) and 1 7 year old. 3kg roast for 3 adults is heaps! When I cook a roast chicken, that is usually a roast and a curry the next night.

    The price is more expensive but if you are in a position to take advantage of bulk prices you can get a pretty good deal.

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  3. We bought our first lamb earlier this year. It's been really nice to have it in the freezer. Buying it directly from the farmer and picking it up at the butcher a few days later was a fun experience and much less expensive than grocery store prices.

    We also buy turkey from the farmer.

    We have been thinking about beef and pork as well... but will have to get a much bigger freezer first. ;-)

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    1. Yes that's where our ability to buy in bulk falls down, our freezer is tiny! It's one of the reasons we decided to gather a group of friends to bulk-buy. But it was also lovely this weekend to have friends dropping in over the weekend to pick up their piggy bits - a very social way to shop!

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