Your Cloverbud RanchShare……
We are pleased to announce that our incredible 100-acre grazing property in Portsmouth, RI will soon be open for business. We are blessed to have assembled a collaborative group of dedicated artisan farmers growing grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, pastured poultry and free-ranged eggs in balance with the land. Our members who purchase a Ranchshare selection are invited to monthly cookouts and social events. We are equally lucky to have the valuable help of a smiling intern. Amanda Hansel (above) is finishing her third year at URI in Animal Sciences and Sustainable Agriculture. She helps us move electric fences, build the corral, fix stone walls and will greet you at our Farmstand next month.
Local farms and family ranchers depend on community support. We are not scaled to competitively supply large markets in New York and Boston that want fresh beef on a weekly schedule. Some of the major grass-fed brands use feedlots and only have their animals out on grass a percentage of the year due to creative wording that lobbyists introduced into the USDA lexicon last year. The operation is monitored by consultants hired by the company. Our true pasture production takes longer and costs more than other methods. Mobilization, kill schedule and distributor costs present insurmountable hurdles for a grass-fed beef operation of 20-50 head moving the price point out of reach for most food service industry buyers. Some farmers sell into regional co-ops to access infrastructure that can help move volume. However that choice means accepting a set price limiting your ability to differentiate your brand and claim the high ground. We choose to service a few local chefs, hang onto our margin with retail end users and build loyalty among friends and neighbors who choose us over a trip to the supermarket.
The same thing holds true for greens. Our friends at The Local Patch pick their Cloverbud organically grown produce at full ripeness for best flavor and nutrition in your Veggie Box. Production of phytochemicals spikes just before peak ripeness creating a short window for enjoying your veg in top condition. Local sourcing provides superior product. We all know that large commercial growers prefer uniform size and pick early so their freight can be shipped cross-country. Heirloom tomato varieties have crazy shapes and ripen slowly building incredible taste unmatched by supermarket fare. Andrew and Amy are growing 8 different varieties for your summer gatherings. Here are the “Rose de Berne” seedlings that will be going into the field next week.
Josh and Felicia DaSilva are growing truly free-range eggs and broiler hens out in the back pasture along with our cattle. The girls eat grass, bugs and certified GMO-free grain under the watchful eyes of two Portuguese cattle dogs who protect them from hawks and coyotes with other ideas. Their scratching breaks up cow patties and improves nutrient cycling into the soil and pasture regeneration. Their high-nitrogen waste provides natural slow-release fertilizer for lush new grass. The meat and eggs taste better are much higher in Omega-3 and betacarotenes than your other options. The pens, surrounded by electric fence netting, are moved daily to give the birds fresh ground and avoid the need for antibiotics used by CAFO commodity growers. Knowing your source is crucial to finding the best for your family since food labels can be deceiving. A 300-foot long chicken house with 20,000 birds and an outdoor run at one end can qualify as free-range (with an asterisk). DaSilva Farm will have whole birds, thighs, boneless breasts, pot pies and chicken sausage for you at the Cloverbud Farmstand.
Choose a Cloverbud Ranchshare and enjoy the grass-fed meat, eggs and organic vegetables that will be grown on our beautiful coastal pastures. You will be included in our monthly cookouts, demos and social events that connect you with folks in the community who care about good food and sustainable agriculture.
Cloverbud Starter Share for $500 –
10 lbs. Grass-Fed Ground Beef, 10 lbs. Grass-Fed Steak (mix of sirloin, T-Bone, Ribeye, Kabob cubes), 3 Whole Pastured Chickens (choose when you want them), 3 lbs. Free-Ranged Heritage Pork Bacon, 3 dozen Free-Ranged Eggs (choose when you want them), 3 Veggie Boxes (you choose weeks), 3 Herb Bouquets (choose when you want them), 1 lb. Jar of Wildflower Honey.