Buying half a cow might sound daunting. But if you have enough freezer space and like to get creative with unusual cuts of meat, buying bulk orders of beef, lamb, and pork straight from the farm save money. Here are three farms area locavores swear by.
Polyface 43 Pure Meadows La., Swoope, Va.; 540-885-3590 Joel Salatin’s acclaimed farm sells bulk beef packs in themes such as Country Club—filet mignon, New York strip, and other steaks (60 to 100 pounds at $6 a pound)—and Slow-Cooker’s Dream, a mix of roasts, shanks, and bones (70 to 110 pounds at $5.25 a pound). Pork is available, too.
Touchstone Farm 140 Touchstone La., Amissville, Va.; 540-270-8150 Free-range whole lambs (about 50 pounds) can be butchered to your specifications, and precut half lambs are available, too. The lambs—$7 a pound for whole, $10 a pound for packages—are slaughtered in the fall, so order earlier in the year to ensure availability.
Wolf Creek Farm 4345 Wolftown-Hood Rd., Madison, Va.; 540-948-5574 Cow breeds such as Red Devon and Polled Hereford, which yield flavorful, tender meat, are the focus here. A 188-pound half cow is $1,034; dry-aged cuts are also sold.
This article appears in the May 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.