This time of year …

I love this time of year.

Don’t get me wrong. I surely miss the fun and heat of summer.. hitching up the trailer, heading to Market every week, and seeing our customers and fellow vendors is wonderful!

But in the fall we are delivering half hogs to folks we haven’t seen all year. Some of them have been buying meat from us for more than 10 years. We watch their kids grow up. It’s fun to catch up. Some people we do see a couple times a year when we also bring them a quarter beef.

It’s crazy busy – managing farm life, work life, family life and adding in butchering schedules, processing schedules, delivery schedules and starting new little pigs….but I just love it and I wouldn’t trade it.

http://www.bearcreekacres.com

The Iron Range Pasty Festival

Last night was the (Hopefully) First Annual Iron Range Pasty Festival which was a fundraiser for the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability in Mtn Iron.

What a wonderful turnout ! There was entertainment, informational booths about local food production, local craft beer, raffles, drawings, activities for kids, local history….and of course, the star of the show…the pasty.

$10 bucks got you all that fun and a nice big pasty and slaw meal…complete with homemade ketchup or gravy. The most wonderful part was that all of the ingredients were locally produced…the meat, vegetables and flour. Even the lard for the crust was local….it was from fat from Bear Creek Acres pigs…and man, was that some nice flaky crust!

A bunch of people worked hard to put on this event, hats off to them!

Sorry ….I ate my pasty….here a pic of someone else’s 🙂

It’s a ham soup kind of day….

Warm thick soup on a cold, wet, blustery day…so satisfying.

Recently I baked one of our hams, and there were plenty of pan drippings. I sauteed some carrots, onions, and celery, and then added my pan drippings and the odd bits of ham I had trimmed up. Next went in a nice big can of diced tomatoes, and I let it all simmer a while. I added a bit of water and a smidge of beef base and too much barley….I always err by adding too much barley. That stuff swells so much! Careful you keep an eye on the amount of liquid in your pan when cooking with barley…but a bit more water saved the day and the bottom of my pot. I had some cabbage chopped up to be added towards the end…but forgot to. Next time.

It’s fall! That means it’s time to fill your freezer!

A few of the items you might see in a pork sampler

We are taking orders now for half hogs that will be delivered in October and November. That meat will be processed locally and paperwrapped. The cost is holding at $3.10 a pound which includes all fees with the exception of smoking. I would love to tell you more about how to order a half hog if that is something new to you. I also have lots of info at our website: http://www.bearcreekacres.com/half-hog-1.html

If you are interested in a smaller amount of meat we have samplers that will be available in October. There are two different $200 ones and two different $50 ones. Let me know what works for you, and I will get you on the list. The meat in the samplers is USDA inspected and wrapped as shown above.The sampler info is below.

As always, please call, text or email me your questions! There are no stupid questions, and I just love helping people understand how to eat meat locally.

Mary Ann’s contact info: call or text 218-290-9634, call the farm at 218-984-3235 or email bearcreekacres@gmail.com. And our website is http://www.bearcreekacres.com

$200 SAMPLER WITH RIBS 
           2 PKGS OF SPARE RIBS
           5 PACKAGES OF 2 PORK CHOPS
           5 POUNDS OF BACON
           1 PORK ROAST (APROX 3 #)
           3 PKGS BRAT PATTIES (EACH IS 4 QUARTER POUND PATTIES)
           2 POUNDS PLAIN GROUND PORK
           1 PKG OF 2 PORK MINUTE STEAKS
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF WILD RICE BRATS
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF ITALIAN SAUSAGE 
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF BREAKFAST LINKS 
$200 SAMPLER WITHOUT RIBS 
           6 PACKAGES OF 2 PORK CHOPS
           6 POUNDS OF BACON
           1 PORK ROAST (APROX 3 #)
           3 PKGS BRAT PATTIES (EACH IS 4 QUARTER POUND PATTIES)
           2 POUNDS PLAIN GROUND PORK
           1 PKG OF 2 PORK MINUTE STEAKS
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF WILD RICE BRATS
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF ITALIAN SAUSAGE 
           3 ONE POUND PKGS OF BREAKFAST LINKS F
The Sampler Pricing is about 15 % off buying these packages individually.
Some substitution are possible. Please inquire.
$50 SAMPLER  
           2 PACKAGES OF 2 PORK CHOPS
           1 POUND OF BACON
           1 PKG BRAT PATTIES (EACH IS 4 QUARTER POUND PATTIES)
           1  POUND PLAIN GROUND PORK
           1 ONE POUND PKG OF WILD RICE BRATS
           1 ONE POUND PKG OF ITALIAN SAUSAGE 
           1 ONE POUND PKG OF BREAKFAST LINKS
The $50 Sampler is about a 12% savings off buying these packages individually. 
Some substitutions are possible. Please inquire.
$50 JUST SAUSAGE SAMPLER
FOR THOSE OF YOUR GETTING A HALF HOG AND WISHING YOU GOT SOME SAUSAGE, TOO OR  FOR THOSE WHO JUST WANT SOME SAUSAGE! 
           2 PKGS BRAT PATTIES (EACH IS 4 QUARTER POUND PATTIES)
           2 ONE POUND PKGS OF WILD RICE BRATS
           2 ONE POUND PKGS OF ITALIAN SAUSAGE 
           2 ONE POUND PKGS OF BREAKFAST LINKS

Bacon Asparagus Omelets

This week’s CSA box from Janna Goerdt’s Fat Chicken Farm had a little asparagus. For a change of pace, I used it in my omelets this AM.

I just cut up some raw slices of Bear Creek Acres bacon and fried it ’til it was nearly done. Then I tossed in the cut up asparagus to cook for a bit.

Oooo. What a yummy fresh breakfast!

We enjoyed some of Karl Jonas’ fresh sourdough toasted bread and topped it with our daughter, Taylor’s, homemade wild plum jam and Dahl’s butter.

I am so lucky!

Easy Italian Sausage Sandwiches for Supper

I love this idea for easy cook and clean up supper at home or at the cabin. Nice for camping too!

Just chop up peppers and onions and top with a a couple pats of butter and some garlic salt. Wrap up tightly in aluminum foil.

Cook that packet on the grill while you grill up your Bear Creek Acres Italian Sausages.

Both are done at the same time.

We enjoy them on Italian Bakery buns.

One reason to buy Bear Creek Acres pork…..

At Bear Creek Acres we pride ourselves in raising them humanely. Pigs get to act like pigs. We are going to eat meat, and we want to eat it with a clear conscience.

If you ever get a chance to watch pigs, you should. They are a riot. They love to run around. They will root and root and root – rolling rocks and stumps up out of the ground eating all the tender grass they find. They love to lay in mud and play in water.

Conventional hogs (what I call grocery store pork) are raised in enormous buildings shoulder to shoulder over slatted floors so that their urine and manure falls into big pits below. They never ever see grass, mud or sunshine. It is efficient, and a great system designed to feed a lot of people on a small footprint of land. Pigs are hard on the ground, but inside these hog barns they can tremendously increase the number of animals per square foot. If you keep them in the buildings, they can’t wreck stuff. The slatted floor eliminates cleaning up under them. The farmers can control the climate.

But which pig is happier?

I would argue ours are.

Bear Creek Acres Pastured Pigs
Grocery Store Pork