When cheese is made, milk is separated into curds and whey. The curds go on to make cheese. The whey – which is rich in protein and minerals – is fed to our heritage-breed Berkshire and Duroc-cross pigs.
A more complete nutritional protein than grain, whey makes our pork leaner and incredibly flavorful. No growth hormones or steroids are administered. Antibiotics are used therapeutically, and only if homeopathic remedies are not working. All our pork products are free of nitrates and preservatives, even the smoked bacons and hams.
Why heritage breeds? To save and revive forgotten breeds.
Berkshires are an endangered breed of pig, originating in County Berkshire in England. This pig is hardy, doing very well outdoors, and especially foraging in pasture. (Important for a farm like ours.) Berkshire meat is darker than commercial pork, and far more flavorful than the pork found in the supermarket freezer. Whey-fed Berkshire meat is the pork-lovers’ pinnacle.
Available in our farm store.
Our heritage-breed Katahdin sheep roam freely in our fields on the upper farm, mingling with the chickens and grazing on organically certified pastures.
Katahdin sheep are a breed of hair sheep developed in the United States on the Piel Farm in north central Maine. Sometimes mistaken for goats, Katahdin’s are not fleece sheep and so do not require shearing. In cold weather, they grow a very thick winter coat, which sheds in the warm season making them very tolerant of heat and humidity. Hardy, adaptable, and low maintenance, they are ideal for grass/forage-based farming and pasture lambing. Katahdin’s produce high quality, naturally lean meat with a pleasant, mild flavor.
The Heifer Project, an international livestock development charity that brings hardy livestock to developing regions of the world, has taken an interest in the Katahdin and in the Piel’s work, introducing the breed to their projects in South America.
Available in our farm store.
Grass-fed Beef and Rose Veal
Beef cattle are not our primary focus as cattle use more resources than our smaller creatures. However, we do keep a small number of beef steer. Most of these are Hereford/Milking Shorthorn crosses and they graze with the dairy herd.
Free Raised Rose Veal
Rose Veal is young beef that comes from more mature, pasture-raised calves. The resulting meat is a deep rose in color, the result of a natural upbringing on grass and their relative maturity.
Veal is inextricably connected to cheesemaking. Cheese is made from milk. To produce milk, cows must be lactating, and to be lactating, they must get pregnant and give birth. Since only female calves produce milk, male calves do not have much use in a dairy, outside of breeding. Every year there are a number of male calves born and by winter, they are either sold to be finished as beef steer, or they become veal.
Free-raised calves are raised with their mothers and their herd, enjoying a natural diet of mothers’ milk and fresh forage until they are culled at 6 to 12 months. Throughout their lives, the welfare of our calves is a priority. We do not castrate or dehorn the youngsters, and no hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics are used.
Rose Veal is available seasonally, usually in autumn,
The word offal, also known as organ or variety meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. Cultural customs vary, but offal is consumed in many forms, from everyday cooking (like steak & kidney pie or menudo) to gourmet delicacies (like foie gras and pate).
We believe that all edible parts of the animal have value, so we offer the innards of our beef, lamb, pork and chickens. Look for liver, kidney, heart in our farm store. We also stock lard, oxtail, marrow and soup bones.