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The Farm at Sunnyside


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Sunnyside hasn't had flat irons in weeks :lol:   I asked about them a couple of weeks ago but couldn't get an answer as to why other than they didn't have any to sell.

The woman at the stand told me that Wegman's has been claiming all of their hanger and flat irons. Hope is on the horizon as they have some new butchering arrangement that should lead to more regular appearance of these cuts at the market starting in a few weeks. She told me this change was in large part due to the many complaints they've been getting from regular market customers so we all need to keep complaining even as we buy other stuff!

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At the DuPont market on Sunday Sunnyside had whole flatiron primal cuts for those of you that would like to cut your own steaks. From what they told me you need to split the cut lengthwise along a piece of connective tissue and then portion into steaks. Looks like I may need to attend a butchering session at Ray's! :P

More info at Ask the Meatman.

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I bought a tri-tip from Sunnyside Organics this morning. It's the first time I've ever seen one for sale from them. Not a popular cut here on the right coast, but ubiquitous on the left. It's a very flavorful cut, one of my favorites. I can't wait to try my first wagyu tri-tip.

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Lots of unhappy carnivores at the Dupont Market found out this morning that after next weekend, Sunnyside Organics is discontinuing their Virginia Kobe beef. I talked to Gustavo Diaz, who has been managing the booth and the restaurant/retail sales since Brian left and Jonathan became chef at the Burger Barn in Sperryville. He said that despite all of his entreaties, he was unable to convince the owner that this was a bad decision, and there would be many unhappy customers. The herd of Wagyu cattle is in the process of bieng sold off to an operation in Missouri, and Sunnyside will no longer raise their own cattle. In the future, they will sell Angus beef that someone else will raise for them, and which will not be Certified Organic. They will not be allowed to sell this meat at the Dupont Market, because they don't raise it themselves--it is a producers-only market. Gustavo was clearly in a very low mood about this change, and he kept apologising to everyone. It's going to be a long day for him and his co-workers today, as will next Sunday --their last to sell meat at the market.

When I stopped at the Polyface booth afterward, they had not yet heard the news. According to the person I spoke with there, the Sunnyside beef was always an issue of contention at the farmers' meetings, because their practice was to ship the animals to the Midwest for the last few months, for "finishing" (fed an all grain diet) and butchering. It was the opinion of some that while most of them have their animals slaughtered and butchered by professional meat-packing companies, the last few months of "finishing" meant that the meat wasn't really in compliance with the mandate of the market. Apparently the folks who run the market didn't agree, because the decision to stop selling the Virginia Kobe beef was entirely made by the owner of Sunnyside Organics.

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Lots of unhappy carnivores at the Dupont Market found out this morning that after next weekend, Sunnyside Organics is discontinuing their Virginia Kobe beef. I talked to Gustavo Diaz, who has been managing the booth and the restaurant/retail sales since Brian left and Jonathan became chef at the Burger Barn in Sperryville. He said that despite all of his entreaties, he was unable to convince the owner that this was a bad decision, and there would be many unhappy customers. The herd of Wagyu cattle is in the process of bieng sold off to an operation in Missouri, and Sunnyside will no longer raise their own cattle. In the future, they will sell Angus beef that someone else will raise for them, and which will not be Certified Organic. They will not be allowed to sell this meat at the Dupont Market, because they don't raise it themselves--it is a producers-only market. Gustavo was clearly in a very low mood about this change, and he kept apologising to everyone. It's going to be a long day for  him and his co-workers today, as will next Sunday --their last to sell meat at the market.

When I stopped at the Polyface booth afterward, they had not yet heard the news. According to the person I spoke with there, the Sunnyside beef was always an issue of contention at the farmers' meetings, because their practice was to ship the animals to the Midwest for the last few months, for "finishing" (fed an all grain diet) and butchering. It was the opinion of some that while most of them have their animals slaughtered and butchered by professional meat-packing companies, the last few months of "finishing" meant that the meat wasn't really in compliance with the mandate of the market. Apparently the folks who run the market didn't agree, because the decision to stop selling the Virginia Kobe beef was entirely made by the owner of Sunnyside Organics.

This sucks! They consistently had good product and this is very sad news, but from what I know the owner has a huge herd out in the midwest and supplies Wegman's with meat so perhaps our market was not his major concern. I wonder if they are going to discontinue that meat production too?

Now I will need to find a new meat vendor that provides non-frozen steaks, which does not exist either market. I guess I will have to give the meats that Jill @ Cheesetique sells a try.

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This sucks!  They consistently had good product and this is very sad news, but from what I know the owner has a huge herd out in the midwest and supplies Wegman's with meat so perhaps our market was not his major concern.  I wonder if they are going to discontinue that meat production too?

If the operation in Missouri that is buying the Wagyu herd sells to Wegman's, they'll have it to sell. Sunnyside will only have Angus beef from here on out. Wegman's might carry it, but I'm not sure it will be any better than the Angus beef they already sell there.

Gustavo did tell me that the plan is to increase chicken production and possibly raise pork as well. I'm probably going to be getting more meat from Halalco from now on. I haven't tried their beef yet, but the lamb, goat and veal have been quite good. And it's not frozen.

A lot of people were buying Sunnyside meat in quantity this morning. Sort of a shame to freeze it, but I bought the two tri-tips that were there and some hamburger meat. Better get there early next week for the last hurrah.

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"Cole and his wife Maggie made Hawaii their principal home in 2003 when he was named chief executive of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., an agricultural and resort operation. AOL founder Steve Case is a majority owner.

"Over the past three years, we have spent a total of nine days at Sunnyside," Cole wrote in an e-mail."

That certainly puts it into perspective...

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Don Rockwell asked if we all could pitch in and do a good deed.

I realize a bake sale is not going to do much.

Starting a commune of Donrockwellians would be a foolish idea even if we did go splitsies on a lottery ticket and win enough millions to buy the place, replenish livestock, pay for medical insurance, overalls, sunblock, full tuition for Noah, et al.

However, does anyone know anything about ways to prevent the redevelopment of an organic farm that has been established over a period of ten years?

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Don Rockwell asked if we all could pitch in and do a good deed.

I realize a bake sale is not going to do much.

Starting a commune of Donrockwellians would be a foolish idea even if we did go splitsies on a lottery ticket and win enough millions to buy the place, replenish livestock, pay for medical insurance, overalls, sunblock, full tuition for Noah, et al.

However, does anyone know anything about ways to prevent the redevelopment of an organic farm that has been established over a period of ten years?

Not I, but I can be fairly certain that it will take many, many greenbacks.

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However, does anyone know anything about ways to prevent the redevelopment of an organic farm that has been established over a period of ten years?

I guess somebody should ask Sandy Lerner who owns Ayrshire Farm in Upperville if she has a little extra time to run Sunnyside...

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does anyone know anything about ways to prevent the redevelopment of an organic farm that has been established over a period of ten years?
Not I, but I can be fairly certain that it will take many, many greenbacks.

The saga of South Central Farm makes interesting reading. What you are talking about is trying to prevent a farmer from selling his property to a buyer who may want to develop it in a way for which the land is (or could be) legally zoned. I suppose one could mount a battle against a proposed rezoning. That would take many, many years and greenbacks...

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Yes, you're right. The AOL exec who established an organic farm as a useful, interesting thing to do with his money invested a lot more in the property than he is asking for as a selling price. The buyer is free to do with the land what s/he wishes.

Incidentally, the D.C. Slow Food convivium is holding a fund-raiser (?), or at least a tour of the Ayshire Farm in Upperville, VA on Saturday July 8. Click.

One of the SF folks wondered why the Inn at Little Washington hasn't snatched up the property since it's right next door.

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Yes, you're right. The AOL exec who established an organic farm as a useful, interesting thing to do with his money invested a lot more in the property than he is asking for as a selling price. The buyer is free to do with the land what s/he wishes.

Incidentally, the D.C. Slow Food convivium is holding a fund-raiser (?), or at least a tour of the Ayshire Farm in Upperville, VA on Saturday July 8. Click.

One of the SF folks wondered why the Inn at Little Washington hasn't snatched up the property since it's right next door.

I believe that a small retail establishment is just down the street (not right next door, if I recall) from the Inn, but that the bulk of the property is a bit out of town.

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Note the one comment, or possibly first comment, added this morning to the online version of the article.
To whit:
Good riddance I say. He ruthlessly crushed long time local businesses who were doing fine on their own. He became the landlord for a great deli in the Sunnyside complex and proceeded to raise her rent to the point the business could not continue. Then he was nice enough to offer the owner a job being a counter checker at his establishment. He also made her sign a non-compete contract. The food at the restaurant was okay but I was always taken back by the PETA style fanatic signs espousing Sunnysides point of view - if you are not smart enough to buy their overpriced organic food, you were responsible for killing mother earth.

Walter Nicholls really could have turned this into a much more interesting article with some deeper digging in the organic manure pile out there.

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