Spent a wonderful (chilly) morning today at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market, which has everything from wooden buckets to wood-oven-baked pizzas.
We picked up some farm fresh eggs, a couple of macaroons, and a jar of churned honey that is sweetening my green tea as I write.
It was fun but Liam and I were there on business. Back in February we signed-up for a half-share in a meat CSA from Upper Canada Heritage Meat Farm and it was time to collect.
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an approach to purchasing food products in which the farmer and consumer are working cooperatively. In CSA, the farmer grows food for a predetermined group of customers who have entered into an agreement of purchase with the farmer prior to the start of the season. The farmer gains a guaranteed market; the consumer gains high quality, fresh food, and the risk is shared. CSA members have the satisfaction of knowing where their food comes from and the farmer who grows it.
Heritage breeds do not fit with modern, intensive systems of confinement production. They are more suited to the outdoors and to a natural diet without artificial growth promoters. This means that they mature more slowly and are not so profitable for agribusiness. The best way to ensure the survival of rare and endangered livestock is to build consumer demand. So we are actually doing a good thing by eating endangered animals!
Yes! It’s much more ethical than supporting factory farming. Rare and traditional breeds are well suited to small family farms and receive more individual care and attention. They are treated humanely, enjoying sunlight outdoors, grazing, rooting and expressing their natural instincts. We are also going eat exclusively from our CSA meat; which means eating a variety of cuts (oh my gosh that means tong and liver!) and scaling back on the amount of meat we eat. We are hoping that a half-share will last the two of us about a year.
This over-flowing cooler ‘holds’ our frozen beef and pork. The chickens will be ready near the end of summer.
We also are looking-forward to having a better quality product; juicy pork, well-marbled beef, and succulent chickens. We will find out tonight after we grill our first sirloin steak!