Hey lady, want a cow? Sure, who wouldn't want a cow, or a pig for that matter, but, gee, it's not like I have a meat freezer.
The idea of one's own personal livestock, grown by a responsible farmer, is appealing. But there are typically two deal-killers -- the expense and the required freezer space, even a side of beef, half the cow, yields somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 pounds.
Meat clubs, or meat shares, are a way of letting consumers cut their commitment to a whole-animal purchase. They have taken hold in other regions but are scarce in the Baltimore area.
Enter Genuine Food Co., a new collaboration between Winston Blick of Clementine restaurant, Steve Belkoff of Forever Endeavor Farm in Baldwin, and Bobby Prigel, of Prigel Family Creamery and Bellevale Organic Dairy in Glen Arm.
Genuine Food Co. is launching a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership. Members can choose to receive 60 pounds of beef ($420), 60 pounds of pork ($360) or a beef-pork combination ($420), which will be available for pick up, either at Clementine or Prigel Family Creamery in Glen Arm, in three monthly 20-pound installments.
Genuine Food is promising to help their members work with unusual cuts of meat with tips, advice and recipes from owner Winston Blick. "The whole point is to save money," Blick says. "If members are unable to use the meat, there's no point to it. We want to demystify this for the CSA members."
The Genuine Food Co. website has information about enrollment in its CSA, along with other buying options.
(Offhand, do you know how many pounds of beef a typical home freezer holds? Me neither. This Beef and Pork Whole Animal Buying Guide from the University of Iowa Extension answered every question I had about buying meat in bulk.)