Meat processing plants across the U.S. are slowing production because of coronavirus outbreaks within their workforce. With the threat of shortages looming, now is a good time to take a look at what local ranchers and farmers have to offer.
You might be surprised to learn there’s plenty of meat nearby, available simply by placing an order. You can find good sources for beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Some offer eggs and produce, and several will set up at local farmers markets this summer. You’ll be feeding yourself well and supporting local agriculture in the process.
Here’s a look at some of these sources:
Sangres Best: I learned about this company from Elaine and Dominic Chavanon, who owned Marigold Café & Bakery for years before retiring to Westcliffe. Music Meadows Ranch is owned and operated by one of their neighbors, Elin Parker, whose family raises and packages grass-fed beef. You can buy the beef from the ranch’s website, sangresbest.com. Since the spread of the virus, the company has been delivering orders to customers in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.
Parker estimates she has 10,000 pounds of 100 percent grass-fed beef ready to go. The ranch sells quarter and half cows, which are great for stocking a freezer. The ranch also offers a summer stocker package: 40 to 60 pounds of meat at $8.49 a pound. It’s about an eighth of a cow and includes a mix of ground beef, roast, stew meat, brisket, ribs, oxtail, soup bones and steaks such as minute, skirt, flank, bavette, rib eye, New York and top sirloin. You also can order smaller boxes, such as a 5-pound package of ground beef for $39.99. Deposits for whole, halves, quarters and eighths are due June 1.
Frost Livestock: Beef, lamb, eggs, honey and produce can be ordered online (frost-livestock.com) for pickup at the ranch in Fountain Valley. Frost also offers shares of community-supported agriculture, which ensures fresh produce weekly throughout the growing and harvesting season.
Beasts & Brews: This full-service butcher shop, located at 7 Spectrum Loop on the city’s north side, is filled with Colorado-sourced meat. Beef from 7X Beef in Longmont and Sangres Best currently is being offered. The pork is from Rocky Mountain Organic Farms in Victor and McDonald Family Farm in Brush. Whole animals are aged and processed in-house. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Details: 247-1040, beastsandbrews.com.
Larga Vista Ranch & Dairy: This ranch east of Pueblo offers grass-fed beef, bacon, sausage, lard and shares of raw milk. It sells whole and quarters of beef and pigs. Shop online at largavistaranch.com. Food can be picked up at the farm or at other locations noted when ordering.