Unless you're a vegetarian, you may be wondering, "Where's the meat?" The answer is often as close as your nearest butcher shop or farm and includes farm fresh beef, pork, lamb and poultry. You can even find local sources for farm raised rabbit, venison and other game meats. While local butcher shops offer made to order cuts & small quantities of meats, most farm sources sell meat in whole animal, half or quarter portions. If that quantity doesn't fit your budget, freezer or family, arrange to share the purchase (and cost) with a friend or neighbor.
These days, buying beef direct from the farm generally means you will get pasture raised, grass fed beef. This beef can be organic or non-organic as well as antibiotic and hormone free or not and any combination of these characteristics. Grass fed beef can be a little more expensive than grain fed beef and the health benefits of each are the subject of current debate. To fully understand the product you are buying, talk to the farmers and find out how they care for their herd. As with fresh produce, buying fresh meat from the farm is seasonal and most farmers require advance reservations for your purchase to ensure availability. Some farmers also encourage farm visits for you and your family so you can really get to know where your food comes from.
A sample list of retail butcher shops offering locally sourced meat products:
Nema Food Co: Beef, Lamb, Goat, Veal
800 Manning Ave.
McKeesport, PA 15132
McGinnis Sisters: Special Food Stores: Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Veal
Locations in Mars (north) Brentwood (south) Monroeville (east)
Visit their website for location details
Weiss Meats: Beef, Pork, Chicken, Turkey
100 Terence Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
412.650.8560 OR toll free 800.870.0545
Here are just a few of the Pittsburgh area farmers who sell their farm fresh meats directly to consumers:
Grazy Days Ranch: Beef, Pork, Goat, Duck, Turkey
Located northwest of Pittsburgh in New Galilee, Grazy Days Ranch is a 153-acre ranch currently producing 100% grass fed beef and goat meat and will soon be taking orders for their summer production of ducks, turkeys and hogs. The ranch is conveniently located close to the PA Turnpike.
Owner: John Lamb
Weatherbury Farm: Beef
Located southwest of Pittsburgh in Avella, Weatherbury Farm is a sustainable, family-owned beef and sheep farm offering beef and lamb in half and split quarter; available by pre-order. Cut lists for beef and lamb can be found on our website. Both the beef and lamb are processed locally using dry-aging. Customers receive a copy of Jo Robinson's Pasture Perfect with their first order. We also publish an email grass-fed newsletter--please sign up on our website. We also offer farm vacations to educate about farming/agriculture.
Owners: Dale or Nigel Tudor
Overlook Farm: Beef
Located just north of Pittsburgh in northeastern Butler County, Overlook Farm is a 55-acre grass farm raising grass fed Angus, Hereford, and Shorthorn beeves in a minimal stress environment. In the spring, summer and fall their herd is rotated through native grass pastures. Steers are processed at a USDA inspected processing plant in Saxonburg, just north of Pittsburgh, PA. The beef is dry-age our beef for about two weeks to enhance both flavor and tenderness. Beef is sold in front and hind quarters, halves, and whole steers from May through November. Customers pick up their orders at the butcher shop in Saxonburg.
Owners: Rob and Alanna Reed
Triple B Farms: Beef (side and quarter sections; cut and freezer wrap available)
Located about 12 miles south east of Pittsburgh in Elizabeth, Triple B Farms has grown from raising a few head of cattle as a hobby in 1971 to a full time beef and berry farm today. Beef is hormone and steroid free. Please call ahead for purchase and availability. Triple B Farms also offers u-pick berries and pumpkins in season along with a bountiful on-site market with fresh jellies and jams as well as homemade gifts and crafts.
Owners: Ron and Carolyn Beinlich; Bill and Sue Beinlich
Phone: 724.258.3557 or 412.719.8404
Walnut Hill Farm: Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey
Located north of Pittsburgh in Sharpsville (Mercer County), Walnut Hill Farm is dedicated to raising high quality meat the old fashioned way. Their grass-fed Angus beef, lamb and summer pastured poultry (broilers and turkeys) are chemical-free, antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Except supplemental grains for the poultry, none of their stock is ever grained. They take pride in producing a high quality product in a sustainable fashion
Owners: Michael and Karen Kovach
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.