Recently on our blog we’ve written about the power of browsing and land clearing through small ruminant animals. Meanwhile, grassfed goat has been out of stock in our online store for a while. We’ve been able to enjoy having our goats on the farm, but haven’t been able to share their goodness with you. Today we’re excited to have grassfed goat back in stock for our online shoppers, and to share Chef Reid’s delicious lemon herb goat meatball recipe!
A byproduct of our red meat abattoir is a lot of intestines and guts. It’s not as much waste as there would be in an industrial plant that processes up to 100 times more animals than we do, but it’s still a lot. Most people would throw all those intestines away. We’re full-circle at White Oak Pastures, so we feed ‘em to black soldier fly larvae, which our poultry devour, and then fertilize our land with their feces. Win win win win win!
We are excited to introduce you to a special member of the White Oak Pastures family, Lisa Brown. Lisa started working with us in 2012, when we were still beginning to learn the poultry business. She started out in the processing side of our on-farm poultry abattoir as a feather plucker, and then took the initiative to learn all aspects of the plant. Four years later, Lisa is our Poultry Plant Manager, leading the day-to-day operations and overseeing our 10 artisan butchers in our abattoir. We are proud to continue learning and growing together with Lisa.
White Oak Pastures’ chickens and guineas live unconfined on pasture, hunting, pecking, scratching, and dust bathing. This leads to stronger, healthier, and in our opinion, tastier birds. It also means these birds use their muscles, and we need to take this into consideration when cooking a pasture raised animal. Apply some of the same principles we use when preparing grassfed beef, such as marinating or seasoning one to two days in advance to help tenderize those more active muscle fibers.One of the easiest ways to cook a chicken or guinea is by slow roasting it. Cooking poultry with the bone in adds more flavor and nutrition to the meat and the broth you have left. We recommend the following recipe when roasting our pastured chickens and guineas.Ingredients
It used to be very common to buy a whole, half, or quarter of an animal from a farmer you know and trust, and then enjoy having a convenient, steady supply of protein in the freezer. This tradition of buying meat in bulk is making a comeback, and we’d like to make the process a little less intimidating and mysterious, and encourage you to give it a try.
Over the years, we have accumulated a number of animal welfare and land stewardship certifications. Will likes to say he’s like a Boy Scout collecting merit badges. We feel that we owe it to our customers to meet the standards of all of these organizations, and pay their verifiers to audit us to their standards. This is because so much of our product is sold online and through distributors to consumers who live a long way from White Oak Pastures. Farmers who sell their products directly to consumers may not need these third-party verifications, since they know their customers personally.
We all know a thing or two about grazing: basically, we think of livestock on pasture eating grass. Using holistic planned grazing, we can add biodiversity and shape the land to achieve a desired usage. Browsing, on the other hand, isn’t as well-known. Browsing is when livestock eat the leaves, stems and fruits of trees and shrubs. Much like we browse around a store when shopping, animals walk through a wooded area picking off their favorite vegetation. Sheep and cattle are typically better grazers, while goats are more effective browsers.
For years, we have wanted to make the change to non-GMO feed for our poultry, pigs, and rabbits, but we struggled to find a feed mill that could handle our volume. Recently, we were able to find a supplier to consistently deliver non-GMO feed to White Oak Pastures, and we are proud to announce that our poultry, eggs, pork, and rabbits are now non-GMO and verified by the Non-GMO Project.
At White Oak Pastures, we have expertise in three areas: animal welfare, regenerative land management, and rural communities. As farmers, we aren’t experts in nutrition. When osteopathic physician and natural health advocate Dr. Joseph Mercola came to visit, we shared our knowledge of farming with him, and he shared his knowledge of nutrition with us. Here are a few of Dr. Mercola’s thoughts on the health benefits of grassfed and pasture-based food and farming.