Sunday, September 7, 2014

Two Thousand Fourteen Meat Season

I recently realized that the puzzle pieces were in place for this fall's meat season.  The cattle have been luxuriating in lots of grass.  The calving season is over and the breeding season for next year is nearly over for that matter.  We have slaughter dates which will again be getting our first orders to customers in the middle of October.  Unfortunately because of the full schedule of the State slaughter house we will not be able to finish processing until late into November.  Since we go from the top of the list to the bottom the timing of filling orders will depend where you are on the list.

Another issue finalized recently was the price.  If you remember last year we raised our price for the first time in seven years when we realized that the national markets had jumped over thirty percent in that same time frame.  We could have justified jumping a full dollar a pound last year but decided to raise the price 25 cents a pound and re evaluate again this year.  Well,  since last year the national prices have gone up another twenty five percent so we are going to set our price for this fall at $4.50 a pound on the hanging weight and hold the processing fee at $1 a pound.  Please remember that we are trying to sustain not only our own cattle business but other ranchers that are also growing into the business of local, clean, grass fed beef.  Those farmers that grow to our specifications get one hundred percent of the $4.50 that you pay for your meat.

We are in the process of building our own custom slaughter floor on the farm in hopes that we can start and finish our meat cycle in a compact period of time of our choosing instead of fitting around the State's schedule.  In early October I will be spending a few days on Sitkinak Island with the Mudd family to learn how their relatively new slaughter facility works.  We will no doubt be posting pictures about that.

Rather than rehearse the slaughter routine I am going to refer you to last year's post in September on this blog.  What I am going to mention is some features that will be different.  A new cut in our "standard" cutting package will be a knuckle roast.  This is a large bone that is difficult to bone out cleanly and is served in Italian restaurants in South America.

We are still waiting on a request to Alaska Butcher Supply to provide us with organic summer sausage ingredients.  The long delay in their response suggests that this may not be possible but we are trying.  In any event you will know when you order if it can be organic or not.

I hope you enjoy your meat again this year.