Pastured Meat Share Details

Pork Chop

Pastured pork chops, uncured bacon, steaks, specialty sausages, ground beef, roasts, ribs and more come in the Summer Pastured Meat Share!

We are very excited to offer Pastured Meat Shares from our farmer friends at Walnut Hill Farm and their neighbors at Haystack Farmstead. By offering this new share, we are hoping to connect people to these farmers who we know are doing their best to make a sustainable system in raising local meat.

See pricing and details for Pastured Meat Shares here.

Sign up for a share.

They gathered these answers to common questions about how they raise the meat for our Pastured Meat Shares. Please learn more about the farms here.

Walnut Hill Farm and Haystack Farmstead FAQ

from the farmers, Jill and Rico, and Brian and Breya

About Walnut Hill Farm
Walnut Hill Farm is run by wife and husband team, Jill and Rico, and their two little boys in Vermont’s Mettawee Valley. Together, they raise heritage pigs on pasture with a mixed supplemental diet of non-gmo grain, vegetables, fruit and dairy, plus hay in winter.  Walnut Hill Farm is committed to agricultural systems that are humane, regenerative, and innovative. You might have known them as Little Lake Orchard before they changed farm locations.

About Haystack Farmstead
Haystack Farmstead is a small family farm located in the beautiful Mettawee Valley of Southern Vermont just up the road from Walnut Hill. Brian and Breya produce grass-fed beef from animals raised in a rotational grazing system. During the summer months, the herd is moved to fresh, leafy pasture every day. During the winter months, they are fed hay harvested on the farm and preserved to exacting standards.

Q:  What exactly is pastured pork?  How is it different from grass-fed beef?

Walnut Hill Farmers

Jill, Rico, Julian and Leo run Walnut Hill Farm, raising heritage-breed pork on pasture in southern Vermont. They contribute the pork aspect of our Summer Pastured Meat Share.

A:   Pastured pork generally refers to pork that is from animals raised outdoors for at least part of the year.  Actual practices relating to animal welfare and the environment can vary greatly from farm to farm. At Walnut Hill Farm, we raise our animals outdoors—on rotated pasture—from April to October.  While outdoors, the animals are moved to fresh pasture when the green cover wears thin, and recently vacated pastures may be seeded down with interesting grasses or forage crops for the next group.  In the winter, our animals have ample shelter in a large, airy barn with outdoor access. In addition to mixed grains, the pigs have constant access to hay and are provided with fun extras from nearby farms like apples and sweet potatoes.

Pastured pork is a little different from grass-fed beef.  Unlike beef cows (and dairy cows, goats, and sheep) pigs don’t have a rumen that enables them to live exclusively on a grass diet.  They require a more varied diet that includes grains and may include fruits, vegetables, nuts or dairy products like milk or whey. We have always found that pasture, greenery, and fruit, nut, vegetable, and dairy supplements make our pigs happy and provide our customers with incredibly delicious meat.

Q: What are the advantages of eating grass-fed beef?

A: Cows evolved to thrive on grasses alone. In our experience, animals are healthiest when allowed to do what nature has designed them to do. Beef raised on properly managed pasture are both healthier and happier than those raised in a feedlot setting. This reason alone is worth choosing grass-fed over conventional. However, there are other benefits that include the meat’s healthier fat profile, environmental benefits such as a lightened carbon footprint and net soil improvement and erosion reduction.  And, good grass-fed beef simply tastes better!

Q: What breed of animals do you raise?

A: Haystack Farmstead’s cattle are a cross between Holstein, Black Angus, and soon to come, Wagyu. The Holstein heritage gives our brood cows excellent milk production which enables us to raise healthy, thrifty calves. The beef heritage adds vigor and heartiness that enable these cattle to thrive in a natural pasture system.

Walnut Hill Farm raises pure-bred Berkshires and Gloustershire old spot, large black, Tamworth and Berkshire crosses.  These breeds are vigorous and well-adapted to life outdoors; they love browsing grass and rooting in the dirt.

Q:  How do you manage animal health and welfare?

A:  Both of our farms make animal welfare a priority through calm handling, ample feeding and bedding, and dedication to pasture management. Our animals never receive any hormones and are never treated with unnecessary antibiotics.  We work closely with our local large animal veterinarian, and we find that an attentive eye and a little extra TLC generally prevents any need for medical intervention. Walnut Hill Farm is committed to the stringent standards of the Animal Welfare Approved third party auditing program and is in the process of being certified.

Q:  How do your farms protect the environment?

A:  Our farms protect the environment in many ways.  Both Walnut Hill Farm and Haystack Farmstead are conserved farms; this means that the land is preserved intact for farming in future generations.  Both of our farms rotate animal pastures, which conserves soil and requires fewer energy inputs overall than non-pasture systems. Both farms also practice regenerative agriculture, which emphasizes soil health through cover cropping and reduced tillage—practices that increase biodiversity and sequester carbon.

Q:  What is the difference between this meat and the meat I can purchase at a specialty grocery store?

Haystack Farmstead Farmers

Brian and Breya manage Haystack Farmstead, with rotational grazing for their beef cattle. They grow the winter hay for their grass-fed herd and store it with specific conditions for the best winter eating.

A: Fundamentally, there is a difference in quality; even if meat carries an organic label, it doesn’t necessarily mean the animals live a healthy life, or that the workers on the farm are paid fairly.  Our meat is single source, meaning it only comes from animals born and raised gently on our farms. Additionally, as a CSA customer, you already know that through this arrangement, you develop a relationship with your farmer and his or her family.  This relationship provides you with transparency and security and enables your farmer to produce the highest quality product while making a living and offering fair wages to employees. It sounds simple, but CSA is still a revolutionary idea in the world of food.


Thank you for reading!