Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Crave your own cow, pig or lamb? Try one of these ranches or stores. The prices per pound are for the meat you receive, not for the "hanging weight," a common term that refers to the animal's total weight. Some of these businesses also offer meat in 50- and 100-pound packs. A state-by-state list of pasture-fed meat producers, many of which sell whole, half- and quarter- animals, is available at http://www.eatwild.com.
Against the Wind Ranch: John and Sarah Chaney offer "certified humane" grass-fed beef, which, among other things, means the animals have a diet containing no antibiotics or hormones and are allowed to graze freely. The beef can be ordered whole, by the half or quarter, or in 20-pound sample boxes. Prices are $4 per pound for a whole steer (about $3,000 total), $4.50 per pound for a half-steer (about $1,690), $5 per pound for a quarter-steer (about $940). The 20-pound boxes cost $300 plus shipping. All beef is sold frozen and vacuum-sealed. Route 654, McDowell, Va., 540-396-4751, http://www.againstthewindranch.com.
Hedgeapple Farm: Scott Barao no longer sells whole animals, but he does offer 50-pound boxes of his grass-finished Angus beef for $350. Retail cuts are available at the farm store. Hours: Thursdays and Fridays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 3735 Buckeystown Pike, Buckeystown, 301-662-7638, http://www.hedgeapplefarm.com.
The Organic Butcher: This butcher shop offers organic and naturally raised beef, pork and lamb from Virginia farms. Whole or half-animals are available; the shop also sells custom boxes that can include cheaper cuts, such as hamburgers and roasts, or more expensive steaks and loins. Beef prices range from $5.99 to $12.99 per pound. A whole lamb costs about $270, or $7.75 per pound. Pork starts at around $4 for a whole or half. All meat is sold frozen and vacuum-sealed. Delivery is available. 6712 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, 703-790-8300, http://www.theorganicbutcher.com.
Touchstone Farm: Alan Zuschlag sells whole and half-lambs. Spring lamb is available in May, fall freezer lamb September through December . Prices range from $6.50 to $9 per pound. Order early, because the farm often sells out. 140 Touchstone Lane, Amissville, Va., 540-937-6124, http://www.touchstonefarm.org.