Organic Grass Fed Beef raised at Winter Green Farm
Here on the Farm we put a lot of energy into growing high quality grasses, legumes and forage herbs. However, you won't see these crops at our Farmers Markets or in our CSA boxes. These crops are grown specifically for the 100% organic grass fed beef herd.
Grain-fed cows have become the norm in American agriculture, but the natural diet of cattle is grass. Feeding them on a diverse pasture results in a healthier animal and in turn, healthier and delicious meat for you. Learn more about the nutritional benefits of grass fed meat.
Since 2004, our beef herd has been certified organic. This certification ensures that our animals have not been given any growth hormones or antibiotics and have only eaten organic feed since birth. For more information see our current annual beef letter.
Our cows live on pasture all spring, summer and fall. In the winter, our cows and calves are comfortably protected in light, airy barns and fed our own organic hay and balage (fermented grass). Housing our herd in this fashion has multiple benefits. Keeping these heavy animals off the pastures during our wet winters ensures the health of the herd, the land, and our waterways. We are also Salmon-Safe Certified.
Another benefit of wintering our cows in this way is to capture their manure. We bed the cows down twice a week with straw. In the early summer we use this nitrogen rich bedding mixture in our compost piles for the farm's fertility needs.
Usually, organic farms rely on some form of animal manure for their fertility needs, but most of them use manure from large operations where it is hard to know exactly how the animals have been treated, fed or medicated. We have chosen to be responsible for our sources of fertility.
Honoring the cow benefits the farm as a whole. Our cattle serve us by providing food, fertility, and entertainment. In return, we provide for their needs with respect, care, and love.
The cow plays an important role in helping create a balanced and healthy farm organism. At Winter Green we strive to have the right number of cattle to provide enough manure for the composts that we make that in turn fertilize our soils. This is quite different from the standard reliance on importing fertility so common on most American farms. Our cows in the course of our 6-year crop rotation move through most of our acreage and in doing so both are nourished and nourish the land. They also provide important ingredients for the biodynamic preparations that we make and use on the farm. Biodynamic preparations can be viewed as medicines for the healing of the earth.