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Meet the meat share

When we moved to the Valley, I had big plans to buy into a vegetable share so we’d always have fresh produce in the house. Well, it turns out that most shares are way too big for two people, and getting fresh veggies daily from the local farms is as simple as stopping roadside on your way home from work.

What makes more sense is for us is a meat share, where you pay a flat rate in exchange for multiple cuts of meat, perhaps from multiple types of animals. But without a proper freezer (which of course means constantly running electricity), even most meat shares are too big for our needs and/or are too expensive.

But this summer I found a farm that offers the perfect share for us.

Jennifer Core and Olivier Flagolett of Hettie Bell Farm.

Jennifer Core and Olivier Flagolett run Hettie Belle Farm, a small-scale, family-run operation in Warwick, Mass., raising 100% grass-fed beef and lamb as well as pastured pork, chicken, duck and Thanksgiving turkeys fed only certified organic grain.

The farm offers a variety of meat shares, including one they call the Summer Share, which consists of 15 pounds of meat (a mix of cuts of beef and pork and a whole chicken) for $150.

I love this share, which included burger and burger patties, a sirloin steak, stew beef, Polish kielbasa, pork chops, country-style pork ribs, bacon, and a chicken, all packed in a very nice cloth bag emblazoned with the farm name and logo. Cuts of meat vary depending on what’s available.

We still haven’t made it through the whole share. The burger patties, steak and chicken remain. But the thick-cut pork chops, kielbasa, and country-style ribs were amazing right off the grill. The bacon was a great addition to a family breakfast, and a recent beef stew drew raves.

Buying meat straight from local, small-scale farms means knowing how the animals are treated and where your food comes from, and another way of building a more sustainable community.

Listen to an interview with the Jennifer Core of Hettie Belle Farm HERE.

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