Let’s look at a few quick things here this week. Strawberries. We will finally start to see more berries hitting the scene. I always look forward to the berry season, but at the same time I hate being the first one at the party. The start of strawberry season usually is filled with colorful fruit but lacking in flavor. Growers fight so hard to extend their berry seasons, but flavor is usually sacrificed. So we sit back in the dugout and wait for our time. And this week begins “our time.” Look for berries to be around into June.
Along with the berries, late April is when we start to see Spring produce ramp up. From now until mid-June, we get some great growing weather. For those of you keep score at home, great growing weather means warm days and cool nights and hopefully to see the winds slow down a bit over the next few weeks. So the next 2 months really constitute the heart of the Spring harvest. Enjoy the season!
Meats. I have to tell you that trying to get a grip on the demand for meats has been like hanging on to a bucking bronco. For example, we added lamb chops to the web site over the weekend and sold out in one hour. I have never seen anything like it. But it leads me to a bigger discussion that I will start in the next paragraph after I take a sip of coffee.
OK I’m back, you still with me? So the bigger topic is really the shortage of sustainably produced meats. Ranchers have been under attack because of their over use of antibiotics and of how concentrated feed lot operations are hurting the environment. And you know what, they are. Large feed operations are terrible for the employees, the environment, the consumers, and most of all, the animals. But just as no two snowflakes are the same, ranchers are not the same. Therefore painting all animal operations with the same brush isn’t fair to consumers or the ranchers (and animals).
This is where I jump in and try and help the neighborhood kid kick the bully in the shins. You see my favorite part of this job is talking with some of the most incredible farmers, ranchers, and food producers you’ll ever meet. Their love of the food and of the land is apparent in every single person we work with. So when you see a baby calf standing under a tree nursing from his momma, you would be really hard-pressed to look at the rancher and think she is destroying the environment. Watching animals roam free on pasture is hard to imagine they are responsible for resistant super bugs.
The reason why it’s hard to picture these things is because these ranchers are truly the exception to the norm. Raising animals with reverence and respect should be the way everyone operates, but they do not. So when we find ranchers who believe like we do, I want them on our team. And we are fortunate to have a handful of really devoted ranchers with us.
With this gratitude of our producers and seeing the incredible demand from our membership, I am trying to build out a better sustainably-raised meat offering for you. This takes time to get the ranchers up to speed with your wants/needs. Our offering will continue to expand, but we will not be cutting any corners on with our ranchers or animals. So I ask for your patience as we expand these options for you.
Lastly this fine spring morning, a reminder about our Large Order Incentive. As I have written about in the past, it costs us about the same to stop our delivery van for a small order as it does for a larger order. Our driver still has to slam on the brakes and sprint to your door no matter what size the order. Therefore, a larger order is more profitable for us. And because of that, for larger orders we have room to give some of the savings back to you.
So for all orders $100 or more, we will automatically take 10% off your bill for the week. You do not need to sign up for a membership or know a special handshake or input a code. Just add items to your order and when you hit that lucky $100 mark, the web site will shave 10% from your tab. Simple as that.
So graze away amigos, Farmer Monte