Grass-fed beef at the Manitou

40 pound box of mixed cuts for $440. Order via email at craigdonavinanderson@gmail.com no later than November 20.

In 2019 we entered into the grass-fed beef cattle business, and are trying to do so in the most sustainable fashion possible. Our property has been used to raise cattle for decades, and we are putting a spin on this which suits our needs. Rather than maintaining a herd year-round and producing our own calves, we are instead purchasing yearling cows in the spring from the local auction house, feeding those animals only grass from our pastures through the summer and fall, and then selling the beef directly to consumers at the end of the fall season. This allows us to produce high quality beef but without having to be on site throughout the winter or to maintain all the infrastructure needed for a year-round operation. Our 10 cattle for 2019 came from from three different local farms in western Quebec and eastern Ontario (our 2019 cattle are pictured above).

We are selling our beef by the 40 pound box, which is a bit less than 1/8 of the meat from a full steer. Each box will contain a proportional amount of the cuts that would be found in a whole animal, which should work out to something like 16 pounds of ground and/or stewing beef, 10 pounds of steaks, 11 pounds of roasts, and 3 pounds of other cuts (e.g., ribs, brisket). All of the meat will be frozen in reasonable size portions, each vacuum packed and labeled. If you haven’t had grass-fed beef in the past, it is a bit leaner and has a bit stronger flavor than conventionally raised beef.

In selling our beef we are able to roughly match the price that you’d find at the grocery store for conventional feedlot beef. For this price you are getting locally, ethically and sustainably raised grass-fed beef that hasn’t been treated with antibiotics or hormones. You do, however, need to buy it in 40 pound increments. Our price for a box of mixed cuts is $11 per pound, putting the total price for a 40 pound box at $440. If you order at least a quarter beef (80 pounds), we can give a 5% discount, and if you order a half beef or more (160 pounds), there is a 10% discount.

We are hoping that most people will be able to come to pick up their meat at our city place in Sandy Hill, which is very close to downtown and the 417 highway. If the butcher stays on schedule, we will retrieve the boxes of frozen meat on Friday, December 6, with pickups happening Friday evening through Sunday, December 8. If you are interested in buying but cannot come to pick it up during that time (or at all), please get in touch with me to discuss options.

If you are wondering how much space this much meat occupies, each 40 pound box of beef should fill just over one cubic foot in your freezer. For reference, a typical full sized fridge/freezer combo would have 12-18 cubic feet in the fridge portion, and 2-5 cubic feet of freezer. A big chest freezer can be 15 cubic feet or more and can hold an entire beef of 450 pounds of meat.

The boxes of beef mentioned above will include only the ‘typical’ cuts of beef. It is also possible to get some of the other parts of the cow that aren’t so commonly consumed, including heart, kidney, liver, oxtail, and tongue. Let me know if you are interested in these other cuts and I can provide further details.

If you would like to place an order for beef or have any questions about our beef or the farm, you can reach me at craigdonavinanderson@gmail.com. We are asking for a deposit of $100 for each order, with the balance due by the pickup date. We can accept cash, cheque, or e-transfer to the email address above. As we don’t have long term storage space for the meat, we need to receive your order in no later than November 20, sooner would be better.

Farmer and daughter inspecting the fields.
In years past, our fields have been cut for hay by one of the neighbors who maintains a herd year-round.