Our 1st Beef Harvest

Things have been a little quiet on our homefront lately, but not because we haven’t had things to share. In fact, we’re hoping to share some really exciting news over the next month or so—and no it’s not a baby—but stay tuned and you’ll be the first to find out!

In the meantime, the garden is growing wonderfully and we were able to keep it completely organic—which does not happen magically. A solid 7 or 8 days, morning and evening, were spent hunting and smashing squash bugs and their eggs. Definitely gross but much less gross than spraying down my whole garden with random bug killer. But I won and the squash and zucchini are still growing strong, cucumbers, okra, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, all our assortment of hot peppers, lima beans, pole beans, heirloom tomatoes that are just now coming through. Our summer brussel sprouts could not win the organic war against caterpillars and they’ve since been pulled out the ground and replaced by peanuts which will hopefully be ready just in time for early fall boiled peanuts and homemade peanut butter! I will be very sad for this summer garden to end and while a fall garden is definitely in the works, we also figured it was time to stock up on our other harvests for fall and winter—beef and fish.

We’ve been wanting to purchase local, grass-fed beef from Cordrays Beef Farms in Ravenel for probably the past two years—before we had 1 house or even lived in the same zip code. All things that made it very hard to commit to buying 55 pounds of beef at one time. But all those obstacles have been overcome and then some and we’re buying a beef share! If you’re not familiar with the program—it’s very similar to your local farmer CSA programs with the difference being you’re not receiving a portion every week. Cordrays is particularly a preference of ours for being a local, family owned company that’s been providing for the Lowcountry as a wild game processor and taxidermist for years. And having privately raised beef cattle for over 100 years, they’ve just recently begun bringing them to the market for the public. We have no other affiliation with them just to clarify.

As pulled from their website, “Since we provide beef only from animals we hand raise ourselves, our quantities are limited. We process only a few cattle a year. It takes about 2 years for a steer to mature. We are slowly increasing our herd, planning now for the 2013 season! As you’ll see when you come to visit, our cows graze at will on grass and hay. We grind our own feed from locally grown corn, soybean meal and molasses to help “finish” them during the last few months. They never receive injections, antibiotics, artificial growth hormones or anything that cattle didn’t get 100 years ago when Cordrays first started raising all natural beef.” How awesome does that sound!

You can opt to by a share of beef—which we have—which is equivalent to an 1/8 of a cow. Each share is full combination of cuts from steaks, to roasts, to hamburger. You can also purchase a side—which as it sounds—is 1/2 a cow. If you have several families interested, you can all go in together to each purchase a a share or a side and mix and match what you want after receiving the whole shebang. That takes care of stocking our freezer with beef and hopefully this weekend, we’ll be able to add a little more to the dwindling fish supply! We’ll keep you posted.

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