The truck from Thundering Hooves arrived this morning at 9 am with about $1,800 worth of meat for everyone!
I know Dan is excited about his “1st timer beef sampler pack” and grilling some real, 100% pastured meat on the 4th of July. I will post again with a review of the taste of the meat after that date.
Meanwhile, I am very excited to have found this source of home delivered meat and to have Portland Green Parenting be the first Thundering Hooves buying club in Portland! Even though I personally don’t eat much meat, it feels good to be supporting a local farm that has won the Vim Wright Stewardship Award, and that has sustainable and organic practices. If you do eat meat, I think it is so important to find sources of 100% grass fed animals that have been allowed to forage and graze at will. I admit that I did not understand what horrible havoc a diet of grains and corn wreaks on a cow’s stomachs until I saw the movie King Corn, and I am willing to bet that many others do not really know about the obesity, ulcers, infections, and early death caused by this kind of fattening diet (all for profits so that the cows can be butchered at a younger age)…
Anyway, I don’t mean to preach here and get all down and depressing. Let me instead leave you this lovely description of how the hogs they sell are raised:
The Hesse pig farm has a series of giant hoop-like shelters (nearly 80 feet wide and 150 feet long). These spacious shelters are open at both ends, and on one end open to a large outdoor space where the pigs are fed a 100% vegetarian feed grown on the Hesse’s farm. When we first visited the Hesse farm,we were impressed with the cleanliness of both the farm and the pigs, so we asked them how often they had to replace the soft straw bedding on which the pigs are raised to keep everything so clean and odor-free. It seemed like it would be a massive job to remove all that organic material, and we wondered where the pigs would go during the cleaning. The answer both surprised and impressed us.
The straw bedding is never removed or cleaned during the 6-month life of the pigs. This sounds awful, but it’s not. Rather, more straw is “blown in” every morning to cover the older straw with another half-inch of fresh straw to create the ultimate compost bin. (Apparently, the straw blowing in is the highlight of the day for the pigs, who run around and play in it as it falls.) In the winter, the heat generated from the composting action serves to warm the pigs. The proof of its effectiveness was not only in the cleanliness of the pigs, but also in the almost total lack of an odor…ON A PIG FARM! When the pigs are finally sold, all of the compost is loaded up and spread out over the fields. Not only does this system create zero waste or pollutants, but the rich compost replaces the need to apply chemical fertilizers to the fields – where they grow the pigs’ feed. It is a very wholesome and utterly sustainable system that leaves the pigs happy, healthy, and clean, and left us most impressed.
To learn more, click here for a short clip explaining what makes Thundering Hooves so environmentally friendly. The next delivery will be July 24th. Please contact me if you would like to participate in our buying group.
We also got our first batch of free range, pastured chickens from Deo Volente Farm in Mulino, OR. They arrived, less fancily, in the trunk of my friend Jennifer’s car. I just had to share this somewhat macabre photo!