I hesitate, with my fingers hovering above the keyboard, thinking how to launch into this post about meat. You see, meat is a very emotive topic, worldwide, these days. Animal welfare, human health, peak oil, river contamination, water usage etc etc etc etc, are all hot topics. There is not just one answer; there are complexities, often not realised and sometimes misunderstood, by people in different countries and even within countries.
In South Australia I ate only feral meat. There are a lot of non-native animals there, that have become established in the wild. They cause massive erosion, eat vegetation down to the bare, hot, dry, rocky soil and destroy food and habitat for wild animals. So, shooters were allowed licenses to hunt them. The animals included goats, deer, rabbits, pigs and even camel. When a shop started up selling this feral meat, shot on the hoof, I was probably their first customer and shopped there exclusively from then on. In doing so, I was saving the terribly fragile, semi-arid landscape (mostly of the Flinders Ranges and north) and the native animals that call it home.
Here, in rural, southern Tasmania there are wild rabbits and that’s about all. Neither of the butchers in Cygnet sell local or organic meat!!! So, a quandary existed for me when I moved here and I mostly ate locally shot wallaby because at least it was local and wasn’t from a an animal factory. Since then I have met some wonderful people who raise meat for eating and I am comfortable saying that for this part of Australia, where pasture, water and space are plentiful and the farms and abattoir close by, that this is how I now choose to eat meat. Let me introduce you….
Gerard and Deb produce everything organically. Here, this means REAL organics and includes care of the land that is not farmed, as well as the land that is. You won’t find their cattle in feed lots; they live their lives entirely on the farm. These are REAL people, with a passion for excellent quality, organic food, whether it be meat or vegetables.
Gerard has sown his pastures with herbs and grasses and all things that keep his cattle healthy. When other farms in the area have short, dry grass, Nicholls Rivulet Organic Farm still has knee high, green pasture.
The rest of the world would die for meat like this at the prices that Gerard sells it for. You can contact him direct or find him at the Cygnet Market, 1st and 3rd Sundays.
Check them out on Facebook too.
Hogget, Mutton and Some Piglets
Next is man who raises a few animals, usually sheep and pigs, for his own meat and to sell to locals. His name is Bud and he was originally from Texas, about a million years ago.
We are incredibly lucky to have him in our community, offering us free range, ethically reared meat with old fashioned flavour. Slaughtered at the Cradoc Abattoir, only minutes from Bud’s home, these animals have had no stress. There they are hung for 1 – 2 weeks. Bud will provide you with any cuts you desire and his meat is available most of the year.
If you have only eaten shop bought lamb until now, you are in for a real treat. I eat Bud’s meat with my eyes closed, savouring the wonderful flavour and texture. Not just for the slow cooker, the loin chops grill beautifully too and you’ll get all the bones, for stock, as well as any offal.
Right now he also has a family of piglets for sale, the likes of which you probably won’t have seen before as they are striped. Ready to go straight away, to be further raised or eaten as suckling pig, don’t miss out!!
Give Bud a call any time on (03)6295 1580 or send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The thing about Gerard and Bud is that they use the land they have in the old fashioned way; no over-grazing, no artificial feeding, no irrigation, no chemicals, just living off the land and sharing the proceeds.
I am so lucky to be able to call these farmers and their families, my friends. This is how life is meant to be.