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Posts by Jaime Martinez

Turkey & More For Your Festive Holiday Meal

BREAKING NEWS! We will have a limited supply of LOCAL Spring Hill Farms Turkeys.

  • Hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and fed on locally produced non-GMO, soy-free, vegetarian-feed.
  • They will be ready to roast - not frozen!
  • These Broad Breasted White turkeys are raised on Eric & Charlotte Schramm’s family farm, just 100 miles away in Anderson Texas

The holidays are a time of year when you come together with family and friends to enjoy great food, company and share priceless memories. Wheatsville is committed to providing the very best options for you that focus on humanely raised animals, high quality products and that personal touch that helps take the stress of figuring out your memorable holiday dinner.

Turkey has traditionally been the go to protein for holiday meals. Turkeys are low fat, big enough to feed a crowd of hungry holiday eaters and can be prepared multiple ways including traditional roasting, smoking with your favorite woods, and frying for a juicy unconventional eating experience.

This year Wheatsville will also have some other options for your special holiday meal. Rib Roasts and Beef Tenderloins from Meyer Natural Beef— who pride themselves on humanely raised beef. Also, In-House Seasoned Pork Rib Roasts, with a Hickory Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper could make your holiday dinner take on a new tradition. Choosing any of these options will make your special meal a hit!

Best Value Mary’s Turkeys

Mary’ Natural and Organic Turkeys – Both are fed a Non-GMO
vegetarian diet. No pre-order necessary.

Mary’s Heritage Turkeys – Limited Supply, Pre-order suggested.
A uniquely American turkey, the authentic Heritage Turkey is the turkey that our forefathers knew and cherished. The Narragansett, the oldest United States turkey breed, and the Bourbon Red are the two varieties that are considered Heritage turkeys. These turkeys can fly and still roost in trees. They have naturally darker meat, larger thighs and smaller breasts. This can cause changes to the cooking times so we recommend a thermometer to cook that turkey to perfection.

Mary’s Organic and Natural Turkey Breasts
These are smaller which make them great for extra guests or instead of a whole bird for a smaller dinner group.

Ferndale Smoked Turkeys
This family farm from Cannon Falls, Minnesota prides themselves on a three generation family tradition of providing the very best free-range turkeys. Perfect for a heat and eat dinner!

Beef and More!

Meyer Natural Angus Beef
Rib Roast

These roasts are great for a larger dinner party. You buy these buy the rib and each rib weighs about 2lbs and feeds 1-2 persons. Our experienced Butchers can help you pick the right size!

Meyer Natural Angus Beef Tenderloin
This elegant cut of beef is also known by Chateaubriand which is the center cut of the Tenderloin. You need 8oz per person and a whole Tenderloin weighs 3-5lbs.

Seasoned In-House Coleman Natural Pork
Hickory Smoked Salt & Pepper Crusted Bone In Pork Roast

Spice up your holiday meal with this cut that is seasoned in house and tied by our experienced butchers. This cut is typically 8 ribs and feeds about 8 people. Each rib is basically a bone in pork chop.

Seasonings

This year we will offer Bill Baron’s Turkey Brine Kits, Holiday Poultry Mix, Hickory Smoked Sea Salt & Pepper Blend and Honey Orange Ham Glaze to help you season your protein to perfection. All these seasonings are MSG-free and made in small batches to ensure optimum taste. Ask your friendly Wheatsville Butchers for more information!

Holiday Hams

Niman Ranch
Niman Ranch and its network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers raise livestock, humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting meat in the world. Their network has over 750 family owned farms!

Niman Ranch smoked hams are brined in a salt and maple sugar solution, then slow smoked over apple-wood. These hams are fully cooked, but for larger hams we recommend an hour or more in the oven to heat it through. Remember to add a glaze before it goes in the oven.

Niman Ranch Spiral Cut Bone-In Half Ham
A traditional holiday ham. It’s about 8-10 lbs, and can feed 10 to 14 people. It comes with a packet of glazing seasoning, but you can use your own or none.

Niman Ranch Jambon Royal Ham
Prepared in a European style, this 4-5 lb ham is cut in a different shape and packed with smokier and saltier flavor.

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Vendors Are Partners: Thousand Hills100% Grassfed Beef

Thousand Hills Founder, Todd Churchill, shares their story.

Beginning in 2001, I began a personal quest to learn more about my food; where it came from, what was in it, its nutritional value, its affect ecologically, etc. Having a young family, my interest in nutrition rose to a new level. In 2002, I came across Michael Pollan’s article, Power Steer, published in the The New York Times Magazine. His well-researched, all encompassing article opened my eyes to our conventional beef production model and, frankly, how it could be improved through keeping cattle on grass throughout their life.

This revelation led me to purchasing and sampling various types of grassfed beef. Some delivered delicious taste and texture and some, well, let’s just say, left room for improvement. I quickly learned that raising delicious 100% grassfed beef was both a science and an art. Cattle genetics, types of forage, forage diversity, seasons, moisture, minerals, soils and many other factors all play a role in raising delicious-tasting, healthful grassfed beef.In 2003, I launched Thousand Hills Cattle Co. I was raising 100% grassfed beef on my farm and sourcing from local farmers who were already committed to this model of raising beef. We learned from each other as we strived to produce the best beef possible. My goal in the first year was to sell two carcasses per week to restaurants and natural food co-ops in the Twin Cities area. I am eternally grateful for those precious few chefs and retailers who were ready and willing to purchase our grassfed beef.

Thousand Hills Cattle Co., now is represented on store shelves across our great nation as more and more people find themselves on the same quest I was on…to KNOW more about their food. Thank you for allowing us to play a role in your nourishment.

At Thousand Hills 100% Grass Fed Beef we focus on one MISSION: Nourishing soil, plants, cattle and people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime A myriad of factors are required to achieve this mission: sourcing cattle from small Midwestern independent family farms who strictly follow our protocol of NON-GMO, holistically managed, free-range grazing environments, suitable heritage breed cattle genetics, raised and finished on a 100% grass and forage diet, proven humane handling through the entire life of the animal and, finally, processed at the cleanest facilities possible, with stringent, proactive food safety testing. Thank you for trusting us to be a part of your family's "know your food" solution.

No Antibiotics, No Artificial Hormones and No Grain

Our cattle live freely on grass pastures and are never confined to a feedlot. In the winter, cattle consume stockpiled and/or stored forages, like hay. To qualify for our program, cattle must never be given antibiotics, never implanted with or given artificial growth hormones and never given grain in their lifetime. In the rare case an animal does require antibiotics due to illness or injury, it is treated and diverted to the conventional beef market, never to be used under our brand. In short, 100% Grass Fed to us means: No Antibiotics, No Artificial Hormones and No Grain—ever in the animal's life. Now you "Know No".

The difference between healthy and unhealthy red meat is as simple as their diet: grass versus grain. The majority of health research that is based on red meat, until more recently, contains negative results due to the cattle being grain-fed.

Featured health benefits of eating 100% grass-fed beef are, but not limited to, increased amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, & K2, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), lower in cholesterol, saturated fats, and calories when compared to grain-fed beef. We do NOT give any antibiotics or hormones to our cattle and the grasses they eat are NOT sprayed with synthetic pesticides or herbicides.

Cattle are ruminants. All ruminants have more than one stomach and contain a different set of enzymes and bacteria in their digestive tracts than non-ruminants. Ruminants thrive on digesting a salad bar variety of grasses and not grains. Because of a 100% grass-fed diet, this kind of beef contains a seemingly endless array of health benefits.

100% grass-fed diets coupled with holistic cattle management and rotational grazing is beneficial to the environment. Through this method, by default, oil-dependent machinery to work the land is virtually eliminated. When cattle eat their diet made up entirely of grasses, their carbon emissions are not only drastically reduced, but carbon dioxide is worked into the soil where it helps create new plant growth; this is also known as carbon sequestration. Additionally, the soil quality and fertility increases from the manure.

For more information and recipes, please visit:

Recipes: http://www.thousandhillslifetimegrazed.com/recipes.asp

Know Your Farmer: http://www.thousandhillslifetimegrazed.com/farmers.asp

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Local Vendor Spotlight: Dewberry Hills Farm

Really Good Chicken — We Promise:

Good Stewardship  All our animals are raised compassionately and with a deep appreciation of the gift they give us. We never fed them anything we would be afraid to eat ourselves. By managing the pastures properly and rotating our chickens, we naturally fertilize and restore the earth.

Environmental Responsibility  We work with the seasons and the land. We recycle every part of the chicken but the feathers. We minimize the fossil fuel imprint by only selling locally.

Absolute Honesty  We encourages farm visits by appointment. (Drop-in visitors will be handed a shovel and put to work!) Come see for yourself.

Community Building  We try to source all our supplies locally and we do 95% of our business with small businesses in the area. Our special grain mixture is grown and ground just 15 miles down the road which helps support another farmer in Lee County.

Dewberry Hills Farm, owned by Jane and Terry Levan, has been a partner here at Wheatsville since 2008.  Jane’s a former city slicker who’d always dreamed of moving to the country. Terry was raised on a farm in northern Illinois and majored in livestock nutrition while at university. Terry was disheartened by what was being taught—methods that turned animals into commercial commodities with complete disregard to both the health of the animal and the quality and safety of the meat produced.

In 1999, they purchased 20 acres near Lexington Texas, about 50 miles from Austin. After reading Joel Salatin’s books on beef and poultry, they agreed this was the model they would use—diverse, sustainable and run in accordance with nature. They realized that the best use of their limited acreage was to focus on raising really good chicken for their neighbors in the city. They still use sustainable natural methods—rotating their pastures, moving the tents daily and processing onsite.

The life of a farmer can be very difficult. The weather is a huge factor and is beyond the control of the farmer. Here in Texas we have heat and thunderstorms and hurricanes and the occasional cold snap. Another substantial factor is predators. All sorts of wildlife like to eat chickens—from coyotes to predatory birds. There are some collateral pests, like feral hogs, that do not necessarily want to eat the chickens, but want the chicken’s feed and water. The damage can destroy the chicken’s shelter and feeders.

For most chicken farms, the way to deal with both of these issues is to house the chickens in a barn. Controlled climates and four walls will solve both of those issues. Jane and Terry use a different method, based on the Salatin model. “Tents” are constructed in the pasture to work more closely with the needs of the land and the animals. This allows protection from the elements and relative security. A chicken’s digestive system requires small rocks or pebbles to aid in digestion. By letting them roam from an open shelter, they are able to keep busy engaging in what chickens do and they stay happy and healthy. By moving the tents frequently, the fields are fertilized by the chickens.

One of Jane and Terry’s biggest problems, and they agree that it is a good problem, is keeping up with the demand for their chicken. As Wheatsville was setting up it’s own expansion to a second location, Terry and Jane decided it was time to grow as well. Overcoming the limitations of cold storage and the number of chickens they can raise at a time, takes money and time. Luckily Jane and Terry have always supported their fellow local farmers and that kind of goodwill, has been rewarded. Having investment partners like David Perkins at Beatnik Foods and having a guaranteed placement of their product is bringing that expansion to a reality.

Over the years of our relationship with the Dewberry Hills Farm, we have brought in everything that we can, up to and including chicken feet. With the help of Wheatsville owners we have been able to help Dewberry Hills Farm utilize the whole bird and contribute to their sustainability as a business and as stewards of their land and animals.

One of the best things about having such great local products is being able to shake the hand of the person that is raising your food. We have known Terry and Jane now for about nine years and it is always a pleasure to work and grow with them.

Terry’s Simple Roast Chicken

Ingredients:
1 Dewberry Hills broiler
Fresh finely chopped rosemary 4-5 sprigs
Fresh finely chopped garlic 3-4 cloves
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Mix garlic and rosemary in olive oil.
3. Gently loosen skin on chicken breast by sliding your hand underneath skin without tearing.
4. Rub skin under breast with oil-herb mixture. Use any leftover mix in cavity.
5. Place chicken breast side up in rack on roasting pan.
6. Roast at 450° for 15-20 minutes or until skin begins to turn a light golden brown.
7. Carefully flip chicken over (Inserting a wooden spoon in the cavity helps with this) and roast an additional 15-20 minutes. Immediately turn oven down to 350°. Turn bird several times as it roasts. It will take about 1.5 hours total to roast a 4.5 pound bird. Your chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the breast reaches 165°.
8. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Warning: as you roast the chicken, a wonderful smell pervades your kitchen and may attract members of your family.

To read Jane’s own words about farming visit
wheatsville.coop/news-and-events/news/dewberry-hills-chicken#more

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