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New Letters> Spring 2010

SPRING GREETINGS

We are happy to greet you as the warm weather warms our soul and our soil. If this continues, the fields will dry out, the grass will grow and we can move the cattle to fresh pastures. They are now in winter fields where we feed five tons of hay a day, and we will be glad to save that cost. The mother cows are in good condition and we have culled all that are not pregnant, so new calves will be born beginning the end of April and into May. That will be a good time to visit the farm.

CHANGE AND CONSISTENCY

The big winter event was that our meat processor closed suddenly and we had to scramble to find a high quality replacement. As you know, the packer is an important contributor to our premium product. We do everything we can to raise good beef, but our best genetics, feeding regime, and health program could be undone by a poor job at the packing plant. We are pleased to announce that we have a new arrangement with an excellent family business that will maintain high standards in cutting and packaging our beef and lamb. They also produce bacon, ham, sausage, and fresh pork cuts which we can include in our home delivery offerings. You will not notice any change in our quality as we complete the transition.

HOME DELIVERY WILL CONTINUE

Though the Farmer’s Markets will open in May, we will continue to offer home delivery of our full line of products including Springer Mountain Farms chicken and McDonald Pork products throughout the year. Orders can be placed by phone at 716-965-9606, 965-2249, or 888-332-9884. We also take orders by email at hanovahills@gmail.com. We have had a very active home delivery business all winter and many of you have participated. We thank you for your continuing patronage. We have talked with quite a few people who are contemplating stocking their freezer with a quarter or half of beef. Now that we have engaged a new packer, we can fill those orders when you are ready. Our service includes custom cutting to your specifications, cryovac packaging, labeling, flash freezing and delivery to your home.

SOME NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT HANOVA HILLS FARM

The members of Hanova Hills Farm, LLC have for several years included Douglas and Barbara Bunker and Dan and Susan Egan as principals. The division of labor has involved Dan Egan in managing farm operations with Doug Bunker handling marketing and administration and Barbara Bunker being active in the coordinating the farmer’s markets. Susan Egan, who has been teaching school has now resigned to become actively involved in our meat business. She will cover a lot of bases, but her primary role will be to share many of Doug’s responsibilities in marketing. We welcome this new help to continue building our distribution capacity and to assure continuity as we move forward. You will get acquainted with Susan on the telephone and at our farmer’s markets this summer.

NATURAL BEEF HAS NEVER BEEN MORE REASSURING

We recently came upon some startling information about antibiotics in animal feed. The following information made us very happy that we decided long ago to avoid the use of antibiotics and steroids in managing our herd. Two sets of facts combine to tell the story. The first is that 70 percent of all antibiotics manufactured are used in prophylactic doses in animal feed. This large volume is necessary in massive animal feedlot operations in which they bring together animals from many different sources and with differing immune systems for final finishing before harvest. An additional 14 percent of all antibiotics are used in clinical treatment of farm animal diseases. Only 16 percent of all antibiotics are devoted to treatment of humans and their household pets.

The second set of facts is from a CBS News Series aired in February in which they reported that workers on farms and feedlots on which antibiotics are routinely used are contracting drug resistant staphylococcus infections at an alarming rate. Many of these infections are fatal, and all are difficult to treat because of resistance induced by too much prior exposure to antibiotics just from handling the drug laced feed and the animals that ingest it.

This information confirms our judgment to follow our antibiotic free production model and to finish all of our animals on the farm without exposure to either animals from other sources or the treatments necessary to control disease in a large feedlot. This enables us to assure you of both food safety and superior meat eating experiences for your table.

THIS ISSUE’S RECIPE: CHEF JOHN UMLAUF’S YANKEE POT ROAST

Made from a beef chuck roast, this slow cooked recipe yields a rich, old fashioned flavor, “comfort food” at its best. Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place beef in Dutch Oven or heavy covered non- aluminum roaster. Mix tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper, bay leaves and water and pour over the meat. Cover and roast for 2 hours. Add potatoes, carrots and onions to the roaster. Roast another 1 to 2 hours until the meat is flaky tender, and the vegetables are done. Remove meat and vegetables to serving platter and keep warm. Skim excess fat from remaining sauce, stir and add sea salt & pepper to taste. Adjust consistency of sauce by adding a small amount of water or thicken to a gravy with a mixture of unbleached white flour and water. Simmer and pour over meat and vegetables. For added flavor, begin recipe by searing meat at high heat in food grade beef tallow or light olive oil.

GRILLING WEATHER IS HERE

I am writing on the first of April with bright sunshine and the temperature in the 70’s. We broke out our grill for steak last week. It wasn’t just the taste of the juicy steak that was cheering. Celebrating the end of winter added to our pleasure. We are ready with goodies for your grill. They range from our gourmet ground beef to filet mignon. In between we can offer succulent rib eyes (delmonicos), NY Strip Steaks, T-Bone, Porterhouse, flat irons, fajita flats, skirt steaks, flank steaks, sirloins, sirloin tri-tips, top round london broil steaks, and chuck eye steaks. There is a right occasion for every cut. Enjoy!

Consider also our steak-based variety packages:
The Steakhouse Selection:                        $179
4 Filet Mignon Tenderloin Steaks 2” thick
4 New York Strip Loin Steaks 1 ½” thick
4 Rib Eye Steaks ( Delmonico) 1 ½” thick

The Butcher Block Assortment:                $129
2 Full Cut Top Sirloin Steaks
2 London Broil Steaks from the  Top Round
2 Rib Eye (Delmonico) Steaks 1 ½” thick
2 New York Strip Steaks 1 ½” thick

New:  Summer Grill Value Pack                   $39
6 lbs. of gourmet ground beef
4 Chuck eye Steaks  ¾” thick
1 Top Round London Broil Family Steak 1 ½”
Remember also our Ground Beef Special      $99

25 lbs. of hand selected ground beef