Meat Share: Chestnut Farms in Hardwick, MA and Meat Sauce

I haven’t yet given appropriate due to my new, beloved meat share. Chestnut Farms offers a great deal – 10 pounds of meat per month (on a six month committment) for $80. I pick it up at in Arlington (the next town over) and if I get there early enough, I can even buy farm fresh eggs for $4/ dozen. We typically get a mix of chicken (legs, breast on bone), pork (chops on the bone, thinner boneless chops, ground), and beef (all cuts from filet to skirt to ground to burger patties). I’ve been told that once the lambs are big enough we’ll be getting some of their gracious offerings as well.

The pork sausage this month was fantastic. I took one link out of its casing and browned it in olive oil, then added chopped garlic, then tossed in a bunch of fresh tomatoes and cooked until it turned into a chunky sauce, seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh basil and oregano from the garden.

What I love about this meat is that it is so flavorful and so guilt-free. I know where these animals came from (all CSA members are welcome to visit the farm) and I know that they lived a satisfying, clean, and hormone- and antibiotic- free life. I know that I am supporting a family farm. I know that I am paying a fair price for my meal. And because I am savoring my food, and supplementing my mostly local veggies and grains with flavorful meat instead of building my meal around the protein, I eat less but still feel satisfied. The downside is that when I eat meat while dining out, it never quite satiates body or soul. A small price to pay.

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