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Country Pleasures Farm


Heather
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Sounds like a lovely morning, Zora, but this is most depressing:

I bought a dozen Aracuna eggs (blue shells) from Country Pleasures--they said that  they are expecting that sometime in the summer, the state of MD will require that all chickens be raised indoors, and that  when that happens, they will no longer have eggs for sale, because they don't want to own chickens which can't be outdoors.
I mean, good for them for having standards - and bad for me because Country Pleasures' eggs are my favorites. Why on Earth is Maryland requiring something like that?
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I bought a dozen Aracuna eggs (blue shells) from Country Pleasures--they said that  they are expecting that sometime in the summer, the state of MD will require that all chickens be raised indoors, and that  when that happens, they will no longer have eggs for sale, because they don't want to own chickens which can't be outdoors.

This is bad news! Not that I'm familiar with Country Pleasures, but because I do notice a taste/quality difference with eggs from hens that get exposed to sunlight, and I've read that these eggs are more nutritious, as well.

I know that folks are paranoid about bird flu, but there's gotta be an alternative to shutting all the hens up in the dark! (I know, the barns probably aren't that dark, just making a point.)

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I also found a new source for organic meat!  Country Pleasures (where Zora and Heather get their eggs and I get my blueberry scones) sells ground beef and sirloin, t-bones and a couple of other cuts.  They have a tiny display which is easily overlooked because they keep most of the meat in a cooler.  Apparently they have always sold it but the Sunny Side people took most of the business.  At least I have a new source. I had a nice chat with Lori, one of the owners, who told me they were the first (or one of the first) farms in Maryland to sell organic, grass fed meat locally.

<cue broken record>

Is the meat frozen?

</cue broken record>

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I know that folks are paranoid about bird flu, but there's gotta be an alternative to shutting all the hens up in the dark! (I know, the barns probably aren't that dark, just making a point.)

How else are you going to prevent them from being infected by migrating birds?
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The following is information sent to me by Eric and Lori Rice of Country Pleasures about their meat:

We raise about a dozen cow/calf pairs of cattle on our 35+acre farm, situated along Catoctin Creek, a tributary of the Potomac in Western Maryland.  Our farm, the second farm certified as organic in the state of Maryland, is the remainder of a King's Grant property that was held in the same family for 200 years until our purchase of the ground almost 25 years ago.

When we bought the farm, we also bought the herd of certified Aberdeen Angus that had been pastured here for 2 generations.  Since that time, we have continually worked to improve the genetics of the herd by introducing Angus bulls (and several cows) from the University of Maryland's Wye Angus herd and by selecting (keeping and breeding) particular animals to enhance grass marbling, increase animal size and ease the calving process.  The result is Angus beef that is flavorful and tender and cows that continue to express the Angus traditions of disease resistance, wariness, and personality.

Our beef is raised as Certified Organic as authorized by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The cattle are raised and finished exclusively on our certified organic pasture and hay and therefore are not only antibiotic free, but also rich in Omega 3 (ALA) and Omega 7 (CLA) fatty acids.  They are feed no grain or by-products.  A full-time USDA-inspected butcher who works our animals first, on clean equipment, before any non-organic cattle so as to avoid cross-contamination, processes the cattle. He hangs and ages the meat for 3 weeks, for tenderness and flavor, before cutting and freezing the cuts and wrapping them in freezer paper. We continue to use freezer paper as wrapping rather than plastic packaging because paper is far more environmentally friendly.

We carry ground beef, ground round, ground sirloin, many different roasts, sirloin, rib, t-bone, porterhouse, minute, flank steaks, brisket, short ribs and organ meats.  We also make sausage from some of our ground beef. We sell the beef at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market and at the farm, by appointment.

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The following is information sent to me by Eric and Lori Rice of Country Pleasures about their meat:

So I take it this means that they will not have anything available unless you place an order? Do you have contact information?

Let's hope that they don't freeze the stuff because it sounds great!

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You didn't read carefully :)

They do freeze their meat...

He hangs and ages the meat for 3 weeks, for tenderness and flavor, before cutting and freezing the cuts and wrapping them in freezer paper. We continue to use freezer paper as wrapping rather than plastic packaging because paper is far more environmentally friendly.
...and have meat available at the market without having to preorder
We carry ground beef, ground round, ground sirloin, many different roasts, sirloin, rib, t-bone, porterhouse, minute, flank steaks, brisket, short ribs and organ meats. We also make sausage from some of our ground beef. We sell the beef at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market and at the farm, by appointment.

Last week they about 1/2 dozen different cuts. It's not out, you have to ask to see it.

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Nope I did not read carefully at all.  I guess I will just buy their braising cuts since they freeze everything.

I, too, prefer fresh meat over frozen.

However, in the last cooking class at Maestro, Chef Trabocchi told us that there is a tremendous difference in taste and texture between meat frozen in a normal freezer and meat frozen in a high-speed freezer. In the latter, the time required to freeze meat is measured in seconds, and the process has a minimal effect on quality.

Do we know what freezing equipment this butcher employs?

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I have Zora to thank for pointing me in the direction of Country Pleasures at the Dupont Circle market on Sunday. The farm has a small table on the street (as opposed to the parking lot), usually filled with jams and spreads. This weekend they were selling two different types of strawberries, including tiny ones that the farmer called alpine. All but one in my equally tiny container ($2.50 for about 6-8 oz. maybe) was perfectly shaped, ending in a point. Not enough of a connoisseur to distinguish flavors of berries, but they are delicious.

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I have Zora to thank for pointing me in the direction of Country Pleasures at the Dupont Circle market on Sunday. The farm has a small table on the street (as opposed to the parking lot), usually filled with jams and spreads. This weekend they were selling two different types of strawberries, including tiny ones that the farmer called alpine. All but one in my equally tiny container ($2.50 for about 6-8 oz. maybe) was perfectly shaped, ending in a point. Not enough of a connoisseur to distinguish flavors of berries, but they are delicious.

Fraises du bois, girlfriend!

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