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Blood Farm experience?

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Anyone familiar with the meat from Blood Farms in Groton?
Had brunch at a friend's house that included their bacon. It was quite tasty.
I am curious about their farming methi\ods (antibiotics?, grass fed?, etc) and don't find anything on the web. Thought I would get your feedback before I call them directly...

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    1. re: ScubaSteve

      Do a search on the New Englad board. There are more posts there, not sure if that will answer your question.

    2. I don't know any specifics about their farming methods, but we have about 12 pounds of Blood Farm bacon in our basement freezer, which will probably get us through the rest of the spring before we need to head back out to load back up. So consider that an unqualified endorsement of the bacon, at least.

      2 Replies
      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        Ah, a P.G. Wodehouse fan....fine him 5 pounds!! (Only kidding!)

        Where is Blood Farm located??? We would be driving north from Lancaster, MA

        1. re: Lilibet

          The street address is 94 W Main St, West Groton, MA, which is also known as Route 225. According to Google Maps, it's only about 15 miles from Lancaster, and the directions look quite straightforward.

      2. We are Blood Farm regulars, buying just about all our meat from them. This is mostly pork (we get whole hogs, cut to our specifications), some lamb and occasional beef and veal. When we first visited, I asked lots of questions about their farming practices and they told me they farm fairly small numbers of pigs and cattle. I think (not sure now, it's been a few years) that they do not routinely feed antibiotics. Lamb comes from other farms, mostly 4-H programs. They invited me to go down and see the animals in their barns, something I didn't do at the time but I think the invitation is open to anyone asking about how they keep their animals.

        They butcher their own meat and are USDA inspected just about daily. Because they are a small, family-owned and operated business you can look into the workroom where they cut and wrap the meat. You can also visit the smoke room where they smoke bacon, hams and special orders like turkeys.

        Why don't you visit the shop and talk to the people? They are straightforward, plain-speaking people and didn't seem bothered by my questions.

        9 Replies
        1. re: cheryl_h

          Do you happen to know their hours? I've had no luck phoning. Tx.

          1. re: Aromatherapy

            I think they're open from about 9am weekday mornings, closing at 5pm. I usually stop in on Saturdays when they're open from 9 until about 1 or 2pm, I'm not sure because I go in the mornings.

            They're a small, not very modern operation. I've been in the butcher shop when there's only one person handling the phone as well as the customers and it can be very slow.

            1. re: cheryl_h

              i called yesterday to get their website info (nope) and the phone rang busy for about half an hour. i think when they are not near the phone they take it off the hook.

              1. re: ScubaSteve

                I have tried calling several times and get a busy signal. I'll keep trying but in the mean time, if anybody out there knows.....my main concern is the anti-biotic question. Thanks for your help.

                1. re: pasta

                  i think, but i'm not sure, that they only use anti-biotics as needed not prophylacticly. and since their herd is tiny i suspect that any used would be narrow rather than wide spectrum.

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    Has anybody got a ballpark figure what a whole hog costs at Blood farm?

                    1. re: janzy

                      It's $1.50 per pound, dressed weight. A typical hog weighs around 150 lbs, dressed weight, and the net weight of the meat you get is around 120 - 130 lbs. This is from memory so my figures may not be exact.

              2. re: cheryl_h

                I managed to get through:
                Hours: 8-5 M-F, 8-1 Sat, closed Sun.
                I got a fatback from them, but missed their christmastime leaf lard. Hopefully they'll have some more next time I'm back there.

            2. re: cheryl_h

              According to the current Blood Farm Price List, hours of operation are: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat, 8am-1pm.

            3. Due to the responses to this thread, I made a custom order from Blood Farm this past weekend. I ordered four seven pound Boston Butts (Bone In) for Pulled Pork. I was told by one of the employees that their pork is organic. I smoked them for 12 hours on my Weber kettle Grill and they came out perfectly.

              Best Pulled pork recipe ever BTW:

              I also tried their Bacon, which was thick cut and freshly smoked - delicious! Waiting for a good time to try the Hot Italian Sausages too.

              You need to call your meat orders in a couple of days ahead of time since it's mainly a wholesale operation. They raise their own Pigs and Beef, they also take in Lamb, Chicken and Veal from other sources and retail that too.

              They definitely have a new regular for their Pork products.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mjg0725

                It's certainly a good idea to call in orders in advance, but I've actually had good luck just walking in and getting smaller orders filled on the spot. They were happy to cut me a 5 pound piece of bone-in pork shoulder a few weeks ago which made an excellent slow roast. In any case, I completely agree about their pork, both fresh and smoked -- excellent. And the price is right as well.

                I'm curious what others think of their beef - I've tried it but I found it a bit bloody-tasting. I think that the super-freshness is an advantage with pork but that beef calls for a bit of (properly managed) aging. Does anyone know whether they age their beef at all? - mine didn't taste as if they had, but I don't know for a fact if they do or not.

              2. It's a bit far from my home in Acton to buy all my meat there, but they are great. I bought a 22-lb. goat (cabrito) from them to spit roast last July 4 and I plan to do so again this year. I had called in advance to reserve one, but when I got there they had 3 to choose from all in the same weight range. Their bacon and sausage is good too. The goat cooked up beautifully with some whole lemons and sprigs of thyme and garlic in the cavity and a basting of lemon juice and olive oil and served with a chimichurri dipping sauce.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodfight54

                  I picked up some hog jowls from Blood last year. They were a special order item, so I had to wait until their next hog slaughter, which ended up being a couple of weeks. They called me when the jowls were ready. They were beautifully fresh and had the sweet aroma indicative of great, fresh pork. I cured and dried them to make guanciale and the results were quite good.

                2. I must say that we've been very happy with pretty much everything we've bought at Blood Farm. Their bacon is the best, smoked and quite tasty.
                  Most recently we tried their goat meat, but as we're not goat meat experts, we found it a bit lacking... However we have some ground goat in the freezer after a trip to BF last weekend, and can't wait to try it out. Recipes anyone?
                  Overall Blood Farm is a great resource in the 'burbs of Boston. I think they are the last abattoir in the area.
                  Our freezer is currently loaded with their Bacon, Bacon, and a bit more Bacon. Also in there is their ground lamb, as well as some Texas beef ribs.
                  Highly recommended!

                  1. Blood farm sells a small selection of their own meats. Everything else there is purchased from commercial growers (reluctant to use the word farmers). They are not grass fed, chemical free, humanely raised or slaughtered. I've always been under the impression that I was buying "farmed" meats when I went to their butcher shop at the farm. I'm really disappionted and finding another farm that sells with integrity.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: LindaLeland

                      I'm sorry that you didn't know it was a slaughterhouse and butcher, but...it's a slaughterhouse and butcher.

                      They've never made any claims that they farm the majority of their meat, or that the meat they sell is grass fed, humanely raised, or chemical free. Again, I'm sorry that you didn't know this, but it's a bit out of line for you to impugn their integrity because you were "under the impression" of something that they've never, ever claimed to be.

                      1. re: LindaLeland

                        Purchased from commercial growers where? And where did you get this information?

                        They do run a feed lot at Blood Farm, grain-finishing livestock from other New England farmers, as well as selling meat from their own livestock and from animals raised by 4-H Club kids throughout the region. They definitely slaughter and butcher livestock for many of the other small farmers throughout Massachusetts and even adjoining states. But I really don't know what you mean by "[e]verything else there is purchased from commercial growers (reluctant to use the word farmers)."

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          If you go there and ask where it comes from, they'll tell you.

                          Upshot is that a lot of the lamb and pork and chicken are local and humane, but there's less local/organic beef around, so if you're getting beef you're looking at mostly midwestern non-organic commercial beef.

                          1. re: secretlyironic

                            Well, yes. The question is, why on earth did LindaLeland find herself "under the assumption" that she WASN'T getting mostly midwestern non-organic commercial beef?

                            1. re: secretlyironic

                              In addition to whole goats, I have bought whole lambs and pigs from Blood Farm, and have been very happy with what I got. Often, when I am there to pick up a whole animal, I will load up on some frozen meats, including some great lamb sausage (the closest thing I have found in this country to South African boerewors), rabbits, bacon, etc. I don't think I have ever bought beef from them, since I generally prefer grass-fed, which I can buy in a couple of outlets in Metrowest (especially Debra's Natural Gourmet in West Concord), supplied by Steady Lane Farm in Ashfield, MA. Whole Foods also carries grass-fed beef, though I don't know where it comes from. I have never assumed anything about the provenance of the meat I buy or the conditions under which it was raised, though I do know that a lot does come from New England farmers and is then finished in Blood Farm's feedlot. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that conditions on smaller local farms, if not organic, are better than on massive factory farms in the Midwest, and probably less reliant on hormones and antibiotics.

                          2. re: LindaLeland

                            Agree with the other comments - there's nothing about the place to suggest that their meats are grass fed, organic, etc. The quality of their meats is excellent, however, and definitely superior to what you'd likely get at a supermarket, sourced from a giant feed lot. It's also very reasonably priced.

                            1. re: LindaLeland

                              I'll echo the previous posters - give Blood Farm a break. They are a small slaughterhouse, and ANY farmer - pasture fed or not - needs a USDA-approved slaughterhouse to process their animals. You can't just do it out in the barn if you want to sell anything.

                              Be glad they exist - all of your beloved "farmers" need small operations like Blood Farm..