Group Seed Order

Riversong Farm will be placing our annual order with Fedco Seeds on February 5. Local folks are welcome to order with us, receive whatever volume discount we qualify for plus free shipping, and pick up your seeds when they arrive. To order, email me and I will send you the instructions to set up your order through the Fedco website. The deadline for seed orders and payments will be February 3. Please let me know as soon as possible if you’re planning to participate.

If you aren’t familiar with them, Fedco is a worker-owned cooperative that provides the highest quality and most affordable heirloom, organic, biodynamic, non-GMO, and non-proprietary seeds and plants for cold climates (they’re in Maine). Check out their offerings at fedcoseeds.com.

Fill Your Freezer with Pastured Heritage Pork!

Get a whole hog’s worth of rotationally-grazed pastured heritage pork at butcher weight, raised with the highest ethical standards at our small family farm.  They are out of our best Tamworth sow crossed with an award-winning performance Berkshire boar.  Pastured Tamworth x Berkshire produces a rich, dark, marbled pork that is the slow food gourmet standard. It is delicious.

How it Works

You choose your cuts, sausage flavors, smoking, etc. and we handle delivery to the USDA butcher.  When your pig is ready, you pick it up at the farm in boxes of convenient shrink-wrapped cuts, labeled and weighed and ready for your freezer.

How Much Does it Cost, and How Much Meat is it?

$5 per pound based on hanging weight.  Price includes the butcher costs but smoking is extra.  Discount available for 2 animals.

Our average hanging weight is 160 lbs, which yields a total of about 138 lbs of meat to take home, including about 110 lbs of typical cuts plus the atypical cuts or sausage, for a final average price of $5.79 per pound–a deep discount from retail!  Consider splitting one with a friend if it’s too much meat for your household.

Sign Up

$150 deposit required with reservation, payable by check, cash in person, or Paypal/credit card (with 3% Paypal fee).  Balance is due prior to pick up.  Please Contact Us to reserve–only a few animals are available!

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Early Bird Special on Thanksgiving Turkeys

Reserve your holiday turkeys in advance to lock in the discounted Early Bird Special price of $5/lb until May 1st!

Our pastured, heritage turkeys are raised without any hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or anything gross or unpronounceable, just like everything else we raise.  They average 17 to 24 lbs and are processed at a local USDA butcher following Animal Welfare Approved guidelines.

Reserving your turkeys in advance helps us plan our season, so we thank our loyal customers by offering this discounted rate and guaranteeing your price, regardless of fluctuations in market price due to rainfall, grain prices, etc.  Everyone wins!

Contact us for more information & to reserve your turkey.  $25 deposit to reserve.

Reserve Easter & Passover Meats Now

We are now accepting holiday reservations for Pastured Heritage Meat
Chemical Free, Rotationally Grazed,
and raised right here in Southern Vermont

Number of cuts is limited: please reserve in advance if possible!  Contact Us

For Easter

Ham, both smoked & fresh, available whole and quartered, $10/lb

Lamb: Leg, $13.50/lb; Shank, $12/lb; Half-Rack, $19/lb; & Shoulder Roast, $13.50/lb

Pork Loin Roast, $10/lb

For Passover

Lamb: Leg, $13.50/lb; Shank, $12/lb; Half-Rack, $19/lb; & Shoulder Roast, $13.50/lb

Brisket, $7.50/lb

Roasting Chicken, $25

Please note: We have put aside a number of prime cuts of lamb for Pesach, as we’ve noticed in past years that local farms do not seem to make an effort to serve our sizable Jewish community for important holidays.  However, our meat is not kosher for Pesach.  It is the highest quality, most ethically raised treyf meat available, and so is appropriate for members of the Jewish community who do not keep kosher.

Group Seed & Tree Order

We will be placing our annual order with Fedco Seeds on February 5.  You are welcome to order with us, receive whatever volume discount we qualify for plus free shipping, and pick up your seeds when they arrive either at the farm or in Brattleboro.

If you aren’t familiar with them, Fedco is a worker-owned cooperative that provides the highest quality and most affordable heirloom, organic, biodynamic, non-GMO, and non-proprietary seeds and plants for cold climates (they’re in Maine). Check out their offerings here.  Lots of cold-hardy medicinal fabulousness from the most ethical of companies.

We will also be ordering from Fedco Trees (native heirloom and hybrid fruit, nut, ornamental, & forest trees, plus many perennials), and you can order with us to save on shipping, although there is no volume discount.

The deadline for seed orders and payments will be February 4; trees, February 14.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you’re planning to participate.  To get in on the order, contact me and I will send you the instructions to set up your order through the Fedco website.

Incredibly Fast Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Roast

This is an easy weeknight meal that looks & tastes impressive, without all the elbow grease.  Prep time: 10 minutes  Cook time: 1-1.5 hours

3-4 lb pork roast (loin or shoulder work equally well)
Several sliced shallots
2 tablespoons cumin
4 tablespoons butter
3/8 cup maple syrup (preferably dark or grade b)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350.  Rub pork with cumin, salt, and pepper.  Cook pork in melted butter in an oven-safe skillet on stove top, turning until brown on all sides.

Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard in small bowl and set aside.

Remove pork from skillet.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Return pork and any accumulated juices to skillet; add glaze and shallots.  Turn pork in glaze just until coated–don’t worry if it seems thin at first, it will thicken and caramelize in the oven.

Move skillet to oven and roast at 350 for 20-25 minutes per pound, estimated 60-80 minutes, turning or basting occasionally.  When thermometer reads 145, remove & rest 5 minutes.

Stir and thin remaining glaze with 1 tablespoon syrup if needed.  Slice pork into medallions, drizzle with glaze, and serve with garlic mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, and arugula salad.

Chicken Week

Making use of the whole animal is unfortunately a skill that many of us have lost over recent generations.  The prepackaged grocery store model of meat delivery—boneless, skinless, with added colorants and injected saline for plumpness—has destroyed many people’s ancestral knowledge of how to cook and eat healthy food.  The idea of throwing out the ingredients for bone broth (one of the healthiest things you can possibly eat, and the reason your grandmother’s chicken soup really DID have magical healing properties) and then reaching into the pantry for a can of high sodium, low nutrient broth from a faraway processing plant with questionable ethics is anathema to conscientious eating.

One of the great things about raising your own meat is it forces a certain creativity and resourcefulness that is lacking in mainstream food culture (although also definitely growing thanks to behavior movements like locavore, slow food, and artisanal foodie culture).  This is also true in a meat CSA: “what do I do with this?” is a common email topic around here.

Over the last few months, I’ve been surprised to hear how many people find a whole chicken daunting, but upon reflection it makes sense that many of us simply haven’t learned.  I even had one person tell me cooking a whole chicken was “wasteful,” which was shocking—they were throwing out the leftovers!  I find a whole chicken to be one of the most versatile, useful, healthful, easiest supper cheats ever, since one chicken used right can feed our little family for a week, especially since our lovely pastured Freedom Rangers tend to be 5-7 pounds.

Here is a basic schedule of what around here we call a “chicken week.”  I’m not doing a whole bunch of recipes with it, because Google, Epicurious, the Joy of Cooking, Sally Fallon, and Mark Bittman all exist, so feel free to find recipes that will make your family forget they’re eating chicken every night for a week and have at it.

Sunday
Stuff and roast a large chicken; serve with a potato dish or grain, pan gravy, salad, and a vegetable.  Altogether it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to prep the chicken and make the sides, then a couple hours in the oven, so start late afternoon.  I add the preserved bounty of other seasons to the stuffing to boost nutrition and deliciousness, like cranberries, mushrooms, and nuts.  I also rub the skin of the chicken with salt and herb butter or frozen herb cubes (recipe on my blog), but there’s a million ways to roast a chicken and they’re all right.

Throughout the week, save discarded vegetable ends, especially onion, garlic, and roots, in a bag in the freezer instead of composting them.  Be sure to save any picked-over bones, discarded skin, and congealed fat from the cooking process.

Monday: White Meat
Use the larger pieces first

  • Chicken parm with pasta and salad
  • Breaded, fried, and served with baked beans, mashed potatoes, greens, and cornbread
  • Sautéed with pesto and served with a grain and salad or greens

Tuesday: White Meat, the sequel
Use the small pieces of white meat for shreddy foods

  • Stir fry—generally, 3-4 vegetables, a nut, and a fruit make you seem like a genius; serve with rice and spring rolls
  • Chicken salad sandwiches with a potato side, sauerkraut or pickles or something tangy, and a green thing

Wednesday: Dark Meat
Use the larger pieces first

  • Marinated, sautéed, and served with herb butter, dilly beans, a grain, and salad
  • Fried, as above

Thursday: Dark Meat, the sequel
Use the little bits for shreddy foods that benefit from the higher fat content

  • Chicken, black bean, and vegetable enchiladas, served with brown rice and salad
  • Pulled chicken, served with baked beans, greens, sauerkraut, and cornbread

Friday
Pick the carcass clean of all residual meat shreds

  • Chicken pot pie with salad
  • Tortilla soup with yeast rolls and salad, or quesadillas and spicy fruit salad
  • Chicken and dumpling soup with sourdough rolls and salad

Get your bone broth started.  As soon as you’ve removed all the meat you’re going to use, put the remainder of the carcass into the slow cooker.  It should be bones and cartilage at this point.  Add the bag of vegetable scraps from the freezer, and any bones, skin, or fat that was discarded throughout the week.  Add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a couple of mushroom ice cubes if you have them (recipe on my blog).  Fill slow cooker the rest of the way with water and set on high.

Saturday: Bone Broth
Late afternoon or so, strain the contents of the slow cooker and discard all solids.  Reserve enough for supper tonight and store the rest as follows

  • Fill 2 ice cubes trays and freeze.  Remove frozen broth cubes and store in a bag or jar in the freezer to use as bouillon in future recipes.
  • Pour 1 cup into quart freezer bags or pint jars, label, and freeze.  If using bags, store all bags in 1 larger gallon bag for easy access.  Use in place of regular broth, or some people drink it as a supplement.
  • Or can using a pressure canner

Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you could possibly eat, as it is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and high quality fat.  This is the magic marrow in your grandmother’s chicken soup.  Read Sally Fallon’s various odes to bone broth, or just do a quickie internet search and you’ll find lots of interesting anecdotal science and folk practice around the health maintenance and healing properties of bone broth.

For tonight, use bone broth as a base for something really delicious and easy, since you’ve already cooked today and you deserve a break

  • French onion soup with salad
  • Miso soup with spring rolls

…And that’s how we honor the life of the bird, treat our food supply with respect, and afford to eat ethical meat on a shoestring budget.