51. Support your local farmers #2!

First of all, I know a couple of people are curious to hear about the beef…

We picked it up just over a week ago. It was a quick and easy pick up near Bloor and Bathurst but the fact that you are buying from a farmer, who is so thankful for your business (“Thanks so much for buying from us – we really appreciate it!”), is really gratifying. My parents were farmers for many years, and our favourite business was directly with the customer (we had pick-your-own apples on weekends), rather than the retailers and wholesalers. The beef itself is delicious and you can really taste a difference. It’s richer than store-bought, much more flavourful. We’ve had burgers (best burgers I’ve had in quite some time – I had two!) and last night we had a rib steak which was delicious (as I’ve said before, we don’t eat a lot of meat). As for the beef, we bought 25 lbs which was broken down into: 5 lbs of ground beef, 2 lbs of stew beef, 2 t-bones, 3 rib steaks, a large round steak, a large sirloin, 2 shank slices, a prime rib roast and a cross rib roast. It was actually just over 25 lbs. On the box label they tell you the name and info of the farm the beef was produced on, which is great! I highly recommend Beef Connections.

Secondly, although we really like Front Door Organics, we’ve signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer. Again, I really like the idea of cutting out the middleman and supporting the farmer directly. Community supported agriculture is basically about consumers signing up and paying the farmer a lump sum (paid in installments or whatever) so that the farmer has a budget from which to work with (buy seeds, etc.) for the year. The consumer then receives produce from the farmer for a set number of weeks during the harvest season. There is risk involved because you’re basically investing in the farmer. Whatever they produce, they divvy up between their shareholders. I’ve been looking for CSAs that deliver to Toronto and only managed to find two this year. We are going with PlanB Organics, and I’m looking forward to the growing season! I’ll miss the farmers markets, but the one in walking distance isn’t organic anyway. In the late fall we’ll likely sign up with one of the organic food delivery services again.

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