It’s the relationship, stupid.

Have I mentioned how wonderful our meat CSA is? I am just loving every aspect of it from the committed members, the steady cashflow, the even outflow of inventory, and did I mention the members? I love bouncing emails back and forth with them. This latest exchange has got to be my favorite so far.

J– wrote:
Beef short ribs
Tyler – they were so awesome yesterday.  I’ve never done a braise before with grass fed beef.  Cooked in half the time, there wasn’t an inch and half of fat to skim off the sauce, and they were as tender as could be.
Thanks again.
We are hooked.


I responded:

Hi J–,

Shorts ribs are delightful. They are my dad’s favorite cut, although he doesn’t discriminate against roasts and stew meat. When he makes a pot roast type dish, he calls it the “food of the gods.”  Now you know why he calls it that.


What I find so great about this exchange is:

  1. Someone thought our meat was “awesome.” That always makes my day.
  2. Someone tried a new cut because of our CSA. This one of the best things about the CSA, you get to try something new every month. I am forcing you to have fun and play with your food.
  3. Behind this exchange is the relationship between the passionate producer and the committed member.  With this sort of relationship, our CSA is going to take off like a rocket ship full of a sustainable, humanely raised meats.

Keep those emails coming!


CSA Wrap Up

Again, another fun CSA delivery weekend. I think I could get used to this. Plus this was the most high tech delivery run ever. So fun plus high tech equals awesome weekend.

Overall, it is our CSA members that make these weekends so fun. Their excitement to see what lies within the bundle of meat is just awesome. Can’t beat pure foodie joy.  This month’s selection really seemed to get their meat cravings going. As always, thanks to all of them for making our dream of a sustainable meat business a reality.I can’t wait to see you all again next month. I am already pondering what the piece de resistance of next month’s selection is going to be. Stay tuned.

So gotta give props to the people because they are really everything, but I must say that the tech/geeky stuff was almost as fun for me. I won’t bore you to tears with all of my pure geek joy, but I will make you read a quick little list of what my new Droid phone let me do on Saturday.

  1. I got a Fog alert about my selected route.
  2. I used Google navigation to time my entire run. Knowing how many minutes to your next destination is a huge stress relief. No more endless “am I going to make it on time” calculations.
  3. I was able to take a quick video of the coolest CSA pickup vehicle ever.  (Hint: it has three wheels) BTW, this is the beginning of what I hope to be regular video posts.
  4. I twitted updates about the whole trip. Before I even turned around to come home, a member (@airkingsound) had tweeted this: “Back from the CSA handoff from@BarbarosaRnchrs! Looking at all the goodies, wondering what we make next. Rack of Lamb it shall be. Yum.” How cool is that?
  5. Long story, but I was able to locate a used water heater on craigslist, work out the deal, find the location and buy it, all on the fly. Try that with my old flip phone, ain’t happening.
  6. I was able to update this blog from the road. It isn’t the next american novel, but you can read it here.

Well, I had some more fun with my Droid, but I won’t bore you any more. So thanks to all of members, we will see you next month.

Gearing up for CSA deliveries

Our CSA shares all bundled up and ready for their new homes.

Somehow the week has snuck past me. Is anyone else surprised that is Thursday already? I had high hopes of starting any number of projects, but somehow life got in the way of my plans and so this week has been, for the most part, reactionary.

I have managed to be proactive in one regard, and probably the most important regard. I was able to get all of my CSA meat bundles put together last night. My lovely and talented wife Holly was most helpful in putting them together. She even wrote “love” notes to some of our members that she knows.

Every month, when I put these bundles together, I get all excited about what I am “forcing” our members to eat. I survey the freezer and what I have given them and then decide what should come next. Last night, I was looking through our lamb and saw some pretty amazing looking rack of lamb packages just asking to be eaten.

Doesn't that look good? Sorry that I am "forcing" you to cook then eat one yourself.

So into the bundles, they went. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough to go all around, so some shares got a couple boneless legs of lamb instead. Sorry guys, but you are just going to have to live with that yummy delicious mouth-wateringly good leg rather than the yummy delicious mouth-wateringly rack. Our beef steaks looked tasty this time around so in they went. And we rounded out this month’s CSA bundles with some chicken cuts, instead of whole chickens.

So just to make it stomach growlingly clear what people are getting this month:

  • Poultry – Pasture raised chicken cuts (boneless breasts, thighs and/or drums)
  • Steaks – Grassfed beef steaks (Top Sirloin, Ribeye, and/or Filet)
  • Roasts – Grassfed Rack of Lamb or Boneless Leg Roast
  • Ground – Grassfed ground beef and ground lamb.

Recipes ideas I recommend for these cuts:

  • Poultry- I love using a dijion mustard, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil rub for our chicken. Each time I make it is a little different, but always yummy.
  • Steaks – A good grill and some salt and pepper is all that you really need, but looking beyond the classics, I like to pan sear them then finish in the oven. A nice jus to top it all off is nice as well.
  • Roasts – Lamb needs nothing more than garlic and rosemary, says I. But if you want to go all out look at this recipe.
  • Ground – I will leave this up to your discretion.  I am sure something yummy will occur to you.

Negative Ghostrider, the CSA is full

Just in case, my Top Gun reference didn’t make sense, maybe this image will.

Thanks to all of our new members!

Over the last month or so, we have found enough members to fill every single slot in our meat CSA. Like I said earlier, I knew it was a good idea and that people would eventually sign up, but I had no idea it was going to happen so quickly! I am so thankful for every one of our members who have made our winter marketing so easy. I trust that, in exchange, our monthly deliveries of meat goodies will delight their palates and tickle their tummies.

Our next CSA season will start in June 2010. We have a waiting list already, so if you are interested, it would be good to sign up.

Thanks again to everyone.