Kookoolan farms: a place where animals are treated with respect and care.
I've only been eating meat again for 2 years (after being a vegetarian for 5) so you could say I care about animal welfare. I also want to be eating animals that have been raised in their natural setting: on pasture. That goes for pigs, chickens, everything.
Ever since I started eating meat again I've been wanting to find a farm I could buy straight from. And from the looks of it, this is the cheapest way to get high quality meat, that is if you can afford the upfront cost. You see, these cows are slaughtered on their property, which is not regulated by the USDA. That means you have to buy straight from them and you have to buy a portion of the cow. The cheapest portion is 1/8th of the cow for $4.40 a pound. I usually spend $6 or more a pound at the store for grass fed beef so this is quite a savings when you add it up over time. But again, there is that upfront cost of buying it all at once and some people don't have that ability. The one way I can see around this would be starting some kind of buying group, or buying club. Get your friends together who also want grass fed, humanely raised meat and buy a portion together. I am even thinking of starting something like this for my friends and family.
This also works with their eggs. They sell them for $6 a dozen when you're just buying one, but they sell them for $5 a dozen when you buy 15.
Another huge bonus to buying from Kookoolan farm is they give you as many bones and organs as you want for free! As I've mentioned before, bones are insanely high in minerals and you can make healing soups with them…FOR FREE! Organs like Liver can be made into a pate'.
Benefits of Liver:
Cassie, one of the owners of Kookoolan, told me they also sell their meat at the Hillsdale Farmers market in SW Portland. In that case you can use your food stamps and she sells it for the same price. She also mentioned that they donate their left over produce to food banks out in that area (they are located in Yamhill). It's good to know that these kinds of foods are making their way into food banks. It's actually a win win, she explained to me, low income families get un-sprayed produce for free and the farm gets a tax credit for donating.
A few other low priced things they offer:
Chicken: they have the option of organic, and non-organic.
non-organic $4.99/lb vs. $5.89/lb organic
The non-organic's feed does have GMO's (because it's cheap) but the chickens aren't treated with antibiotics, hormones, or chemicals of any kind. They also are pasture raised. So if this is what someone can afford, I find it the best case scenario. Since the goal of this project is to buy the best of the best and still be able to afford it the ideal option would be buying in bulk with a group of people:
If you buy in bulk with a group its only $3.99/lb for the conventional and $4.71/lb for organic. So if you want organic chicken for cheaper than conventional this would be the way to do it!
Pork: They also have 2 options when it comes to Pork, the first is pasture raised, the second is what they call Pampered Pigs. These are raised with indoor and outdoor space, fed grains, fruits and vegetables. They are $4.75/lb vs. $5.75/lb for the pasture raised pigs. The pasture raised pigs live their lives outdoors where they are able to forage a lot of their food.
Here is what we got yesterday, I'll be rationing this out to fit the budget for the month, we got a 1/4 of a pig and an 1/8 of a cow. We also got a box of their eggs (eggs last a long time when they are from a farm. Conventional eggs are cleaned so that they become porous and let bacteria in, they put a coating on them to try and stop this from happening, but it's still recommend to refrigerate them. These eggs I'll keep in a cool basement for the month!) Not only did we get a great deal on meat and eggs, they also gave us gifts for picking up at the farm. We got a carton of free eggs and a bottle of mead. They also give you a free book for each share you buy! So we got books on humane butchering for Johnny to read. (since we'll be doing that in the future)
Since I wasn't able to get close enough to the cows for a picture, here is a little video:
Kookoolan Farms Website: www.kookoolanfarms.com
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David