My order of a split side of beef arrived from the Tawanda Ranch in Northern California last week. My daughter and I will be enjoying nutritious grass fed beef throughout the winter. We are sharing this shipment because she is the one with the stand alone freezer. Since this is our first year doing this we weren't sure how things would work and if it would all fit in the freezer. That's why we ordered a split side instead of a full side.
A split side means that when the butcher is carving the steer, he cuts one whole side but puts matching cuts in two piles so you get cuts from all the parts of the steer, but only 84 pounds worth and not 165. I also requested liver and soup bones which were extra. You place your order in the spring with a deposit, your very own steer grows all summer munching on healthy grasses, and then it is butchered to your specifications in the fall at a USDA facility. All the beef comes from one steer, your steer. The cuts are packaged in two-serving size portions (you can probably request larger ones) and they arrive already aged and frozen. You pop them in the freezer and then when the mood for a great T-bone steaks hits, you just pull it out and thaw it.
The meat is delicious, by the way, besides being nutritious. Grass fed beef has a better ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats, is less fatty overall, and has a great texture as well. There are many sites that talk about the advantages of grass fed beef, but here is the one Tawanda Farms put up.
I was desperate to find another source of grass fed beef, which I had gotten used to, when Whole Foods price went up to $20 per pound. Even I, who am willing to pay extra for organic produce, blanch a little at that price. The shipping charges are rather high when ordering beef direct from the rancher, but the price per pound including the shipping from Tawanda was only $9.65. Granted that includes the soup bones and a lot of ground beef, but you pay that much for ground beef at Whole Foods. And I know where my beef came from.
The best part of the whole thing was when I discovered that the owners of the ranch are two women—two sisters who have forsaken city life to live the way they want to live. I think that's great.