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Emma’s Family Farm — We’d love to Meat You

Located at 135 Windsor Neck Road in Windsor Maine, Emma’s Family Farm is licensed by the State of Maine to offer products to you at both retail and wholesale prices.

We continue to build our new web site… in the meantime, you can view updates here on the front page and we’ll let you know what’s happening on the Farm as well as any additions to the site. Inquire about buying products via email: info@emmasfamilyfarm.com  or call us at 207-445-2141.

The pigsThe cows

Writer’s Block created by Change

Writer’s Block
In the Fall, yes, things change on the Farm.
Sometimes change comes harder than others;
I (Steve) have had writer’s block about the changes while trying my hardest to facilitate change and the inevitable decisions that go with all changes.

Some, are immediately obvious; we have discontinued attendance at the Arboretum Market. Although we had some great days there, the patronage fell off dramatically in September. Here, like so many small farms, our time is valuable, so we have decided that our time doesn’t pay for itself – 6 hours total: loading, transporting, setting up, staying 4 hours, tearing down and reloading then, unloading at the Farm.

We will still deliver orders to you for the Augusta area; we have an inventory of pork, chicken and beef all frozen for you to choose from.

Another change, obvious to our egg buyers, is that we no longer have eggs; when grain prices went through the roof and the laying slacked off, hens could not pay for their keep. Occasionally, we’ll have a dozen to sell; we have kept a very few hens but the multitude (well over a hundred) of hens and pullets have all been sold. The sounds of clucking, cackling and “singing” have really quieted here and it seems strange.

A third change involves money. We’ve trooped on through the recession with the Farm, losing money each year – knowing it was a new business and feeling that it was meeting expectations while growing. But, it has taken a financial toll, as well as a physical toll on Rose and the family. It is time to regroup.

Helen has worked off the Farm as a massage therapist and Rose, over the eight and a half years she’s been home, has worked when she felt she had time; She has worked at Husseys General Store for the last 13 months in the meat department.
I left work in 2007 to attend to sales, promotion and marketing for the Farm and now I am beginning a new job so we can keep the lights on and move forward.

So yes, there are changes and maybe you can understand my writer’s block now for these are over and above the usual Autumn changes at the Farm. Money is so necessary to capitalize a farm operation and, while we hold inventory and wait for animals to grow we are on the knife’s edge of security. When the stress level is high and your savings are diminished to a whimper it is necessary to chart a different course. Where will the course lead? There are questions that remain unanswered. We are far from “gone”.

Just stay tuned, come back soon for a product update and an article about the boneless meat trend and the importance of bones, news about the animals, family and products at Emma’s Family Farm.

I believe writer’s block has come undone.

Thanks for being our friends, customers, and readers.

Windsor Fair Time

Windsor Fair! Each year the week before Labor Day along with Labor Day weekend, Windsor Fair attracts over 1 hundred thousand visitors to our small town here in Central Maine. At the Farm, things continue as usual but the traffic on our back road here in Town seems to increase a bit; many wish to avoid the fair traffic and others, especially those coming from the East have found that it is a “shortcut” through the country to the Fair.

Like most folks who visit, we enjoy certain aspects of the Fair; certainly it can be a great introduction to the agricultural community for children and adults and that, along with various foods and shows make some fun times available close to home.

During the 1980s and ‘90s, we had many entries into the poultry shows at the Fair. Showing poultry is interesting; birds are judged on their qualities, they are compared to “standards of perfection” set out in American Poultry Association and American Bantam Association books. Judges come from Eastern Canada and the New England area to look over entries and make their decisions. We often won prizes, in fact, the cash prizes gave us some money to either spend at the Fair or buy more grain to keep our birds well fed.

Now that we Farm for a living, we don’t have the time to keep show birds, and that’s kind of a shame; the group of poultry hobbyists who participate in the activities are a great bunch of people who have lots of information to share. Whether you want to keep fancy birds or a simple laying flock, we encourage you to stop into the poultry show and talk with members of the Central Maine Bird Fanciers who organize and attend to the show barn. Even if you don’t wish to keep poultry, you can get your fill of the sights and sounds of poultry at the show.

There are other animals in great quantity at Windsor Fair. Dairy cattle, oxen, pulling horses, race horses, sheep, goats and hogs populate the barns and various show areas during the 9 days of Windsor Fair. The farmers who bring these animals are proud of them and you can see them cleaning, milking and showing their animals during Fair Time. There is also a donkey show, and the donkeys are interesting to watch as their handlers take them through various paces including an obstacle course.

We shouldn’t forget to mention “Old MacDonalds Farm” the animals which are brought specifically to exhibit in a special area. It is populated with a fine assortment of animals; many are friendly and can be touched and patted.

Other agricultural exhibitions include produce and farm products in the exhibition hall, a large 4H exhibition, milking parlor and milking demonstrations, and historical exhibits of equipment and methods for maple syrupping, shingle making, blacksmithing, and more.

While you visit the Windsor Fair, you can make a stop at Our Farm to purchase fine quality pasture raised meats. Let us know when you’d like to come and we’ll do our best to be available for you. And, if you know us, be sure and say hello when you see us at the Fair.

Mid-August, What Have We Got for You?

Hard to believe how fast time flies; this year, 2012, is moving along through summer, into the Fair season – Union, then Windsor; eventually Common Ground and Fryeburg – but here we are MidMonth of August and let’s look at Our inventory and see what You’d like to have.

We do still have some pullets: a few Americanas and a goodly number of Rhode Island Reds: these will be laying eggs by MidNovember and they are ready to become Your new flock! If You absolutely can’t wait for eggs we also have some mature hens, all ready laying.

Meats? Yes, of course; lots of cuts of beef from a fine Hereford cross steer, everything from tenderloin to a nice batch of grass fed ground beef. We also have some steers for those who want to have a half or whole cow for the freezer. If you have favorite steaks or roasts, get them early because there’s no guarantee on the individual cuts, without reservations they leave with the whim of the next customer.

Pork: the same situation except, of course, this pastured pork comes from fairly lean naturally raised animals raised, like all of our animals, with lots of room to roam and a fine selection of produce, whey and grain; we have chops, sausage, roasts, stir fry and kabob all ready for Your grill, fry pan, broiler or oven. Once again, we also have custom half or whole animals available for your freezer.

When You buy a custom half or whole animal, we make sure its cut to your specifications; the thickness of the chops, and all other cuts and grinds are tailored to your preferences and we’ll help you decide what you want so you can enjoy the best meats in Maine. We do require deposits on custom order, and our prices per pound are based on the hanging weight of the animal.

We also have chickens available either fresh or frozen. Weights this season are a bit heavier; this has been a warm enough season to create beautiful birds for cutting into pieces or for roasting. We roast or barbecue enough so we can enjoy the leftovers and find many customers do the same.

Last but never least, we have fresh eggs. We wash and pack them as they come from the nests; in other words, sizes run from large to jumbo depending on what the hens lay that day. People keep telling us our eggs taste the best but it is hard for us to compare because we only eat our own eggs – we think they’re great, too.

We market in Augusta at Viles Arboretum on Fridays from 1 until 5 and in Rockport at the Rockport Marketplace each Saturday from 9 until noon. We often pack orders for folks to pick up at these markets or, you can just stop by and see what we have.

If you have questions or would like to order, feel free to give us a call or drop an Email. We try our best to get you the answers as well as providing You with the best quality meats in Maine. And yes, we help backyard flock owners with answers to questions, too.

One important last note: if You’re planning to buy fresh chickens in any quantity, its best to let us know soon. As summer winds down, we’re working to create winter inventory for Our Farm and for another butcher we supply and because of the drastic spike in grain prices, we have a limited amount of birds on pasture for the rest of the season.

Hope to hear from You soon, we’re happy to Meat Your Needs with fine quality products.

Pork Has Arrived and Is Ready For You

Right now we have a complete selection of our pasture raised pork. Our most recent attendee at “freezer camp” has returned as beautiful chops, roasts, stir fry, kabob, sausage and ground pork. Some cuts, ribs, for example, have all ready been spoken for; we’re finding that people stock up when they hear that we have their favorite items available.

Our roasts include shoulders, butts and loin.

Our chops are bone-in loin chops.

Our stir fry and kabob meat are cut from the ham (not smoked or cured).

Our sausage selection includes a mild breakfast and a sweet Italian style in a bulk pack.

Pork liver, heart and tongue are available too.

We package our meats in small packages (1 or 2 chops, about a pound of ground pork, sausage, kabob and stir fry) so that individuals or couples don’t have to open and try to use a large quantity. All of these pork products are available now, frozen; and you can ask for them at market or order by Email or telephone to either pick up at the Farm or at either market location – Rockport on Saturdays or the Viles Arboretum, Augusta on Friday.

Please don’t wait to get the cuts that you like, we only slaughter 1 pig at a time and when we’ve sold out of an item it will most likely be out of stock for a while.

Some of the Less Ordinary Cuts of Meat

It is important to let You know that we have available some of the less ordinary cuts of meat. Since we process whole animals, we have some items that You will not find in the supermarket meat case because supermarkets, nowadays, receive “boxed” meat, small chunks or “primals” such as shoulders and sirloins that they simply slice or grind for the meat case.

Less ordinary cuts include pork fat back, literally the back fat of the pig used to make either salt pork or lard, pork tongue, heart and liver, and even pork bones for making stock. We also have leaf lard.

Beef items include tongue, heart, liver, bones for stock or for Your dog, suet and ox tail.

It is worth mentioning that because our animals are slaughtered when they are young, hearts, tongues and especially livers are wonderfully tender and mild; considered the best for eating by connisseurs. Especially the livers benefit from the outdoor life our animals enjoy, they have not had to filter antibiotics and chemicals because our feeding program does not include such things.

From our chickens we have necks, backs, and feet; many folks use these items for stock and soups and others consider the feet to be delicious when cooked according to their preference. We also have chicken hearts and livers.

These products are often overlooked by customers because the days when you could ask the butcher about them have mostly gone by; and our space for signage at market doesn’t really allow for display. Some people are put off by even a discussion of these items but they are important parts of the animals that people have used for generations; it is only in recent years that they have been ignored and included in the offal. We enjoy many of these items in our personal kitchen and if you do, or would like to try them, we’d be glad for a chance to share ideas and recipes so that the whole animal will be used.