While many people immediately associate their local farms with the availability of fresh produce, farm-raised meat is another option that’s becoming increasingly popular. Here are outlets where you too can enjoy the benefits of locally raised and/or butchered meat in the central New Jersey region:
Profeta Farms, Neshonic Station
Launched in 2012, Profeta Farms has enjoyed steadily growing demand for its products by a loyal following.
Along with fresh produce, the farm offers grass-fed beef, chicken, pork, and eggs thanks to its Angus cattle, hogs, hens yielding some 60 dozen eggs per day, and broiler chickens. “A large factor in the quality of the meat is in the soil and its mineralization,” says farmer John Place. If you give back to your soil, it produces forage for the animals that’s more nutritious and passes on a more robust flavor.
“We’re concerned with people’s health and what they put in their bodies. At Profeta Farms, you know the effort has been made to grow the healthiest options possible.”
Lima Family Farms, Hillsborough
Though owner John Lima originally bought his 150-acre Hillsborough-based farm in 2007 to harvest straw for use in keeping soil from eroding when constructing housing developments, “I started growing pasture grass and then added animals,” ultimately swelling his ranks to 1,000 laying hens, 125 cows, and 2,000 broiler chickens and pigs.
“We don’t use any kind of chemicals on the grass or hormones on the animals,” Lima said. “When you allow animals to live in the pasture and have exposure to sun and grass, it results in much higher-quality, more nutritious, and better-tasting meat and eggs.”
In addition to selling products at the own farm market, open four days a week, “our products are also available at the Princeton Farmer’s Market, the Whole Earth Center in Princeton, and at a number of other local restaurants and specialty outlets,” he says.
Beiler’s Fresh Meats, Princeton
Owned by Vernon Beiler for the past 23 years, Beiler’s Fresh Meats at the Dutch Farmer’s Market in Princeton offers products that are raised and butchered on a collection of largely Amish-owned farms located throughout Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“We pay attention to what we feed the animals, using no antibiotic, hormones, or GMOs,” he explained. “We offer a line of beef that’s strictly grass-fed, with no grains, and an all-natural line fed with barley and wheat.
“There’s no comparison in the taste and freshness. Our meats aren’t sourced from big factory farms, so they’re fresher, better-tasting, and customers can know where they came from.”
Griggstown Farm, Montgomery/Princeton
The family-owned Griggstown Farm has since enjoyed more than 40 years of success offering fresh, natural poultry products to a broad range of outlets statewide.
In addition to their popular 3- to 4-pound chickens, “our chicken pot pies are hands-down our best sellers, and we also offer everything from chicken sausage, burgers, meatballs, soup, and chili to 16- to 20-ounce ‘poissin’ chickens, Thanksgiving turkeys, and more,” Operations Manager George Rude Jr. said.
“All of our tens of thousands of birds are happy, free-roaming, and cage-free, and we raise, slaughter, and package everything here, so the chickens aren’t handled excessively or transported back and forth and stressed out in the process,” he says. As a result, “there’s no comparison in the taste of our products versus commercial brands!”