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Stillman's Meat CSA: New Pick-up Location/Quincy, MA

k
keencook1 Feb 18, 2009 08:16 AM

I've been getting a 1/4 share meat CSA from Stillman's for over a year now, picking up in JP. Just found out from them that they're trying to organize a pick-up location for Quincy. I believe they need 50 folks to make it worthwhile. Just thought South Shore hounds would like the information.

  1. cassoulady Sep 10, 2010 06:09 AM

    Here is a pic of a sirloin from River Rock I cooked last night. The piece was quite big, I cut it into three pieces. It was delicious.

     
    1. cassoulady Sep 1, 2010 07:39 AM

      Although they only offer beef, I have been thrilled with River Rock Farm. I have tried the meat CSA from Austin Brothers as well but the beef from River Rock is amazing. They are great to work with and I am really happy with the amount, variety of cuts and quality.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cassoulady
        c
        Cork Sep 1, 2010 09:22 AM

        and at ~7-8$/lb (high and low end cuts combined in a small share), this doesn't seem like a bad deal either. Might be worth checking out!

        1. re: Cork
          cassoulady Sep 1, 2010 10:31 AM

          I will report back on exactly what I got this month in my small share when I go home tonight. The rib eyes and NY strips are always very large ( more than a lb) and easily serve a few people assuming you are serving sides. I get a lot of mileage out of my share.

      2. r
        Richard Hurts Feb 24, 2009 06:30 AM

        The other thing I'm curious about is the taste of grass fed beef in contrast to corn fed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Richard Hurts
          p
          pasta Feb 25, 2009 07:16 AM

          I think this is personal taste. I know people who won't eat anything else and say it tastes like "real beef" and others who think that corn fed is superior. If you've never had it, I'd suggest trying the burger at Ashmont Grill. They use grass fed beef from River Rock Farm.

        2. SeaSide Tomato Feb 18, 2009 06:29 PM

          KC1-

          Thanks for posting--I would love if they had a pick up in Quincy!!

          14 Replies
          1. re: SeaSide Tomato
            p
            pasta Feb 19, 2009 07:58 AM

            I just clarified with Stillmans, that it will in deed be a year round pickup and not just in the summer. I have a half share and have been very pleased so far. Each time its a different combo. So far I have gotten whole chickens, ground lamb, beef & pork, pork cutlets, pork chops, lamb shoulder chops, lamb stew, pork belly (which I used to make bacon which was delicious) ham steak , sausage, and bacon. They usually have a variety of other meats not contained in the share, for purchase as well, at a discount.

            Another big selling point from a health stand point, is that their animals are 100% grass fed. Many farms finish their animals on grain, which diminishes the health benefits of grass fed meat.

            1. re: pasta
              SeaSide Tomato Feb 19, 2009 08:36 AM

              oooh, that is wonderful! Thank you!

              1. re: SeaSide Tomato
                r
                Richard Hurts Feb 19, 2009 10:08 AM

                Can someone explain to me what the shares consist of. I don't know much about meat. I do know I love good steak and buy it regularly from Allen Brothers.

                I am located in Quincy.

                1. re: Richard Hurts
                  p
                  pasta Feb 19, 2009 12:10 PM

                  Its the size of your order. You can but whole, half or quarter shares. I have a half and that equates to 10 lbs of meat. Check out their website referenced above and it will give you a complete overview of the program.

              2. re: pasta
                d
                DotDiner Feb 24, 2009 06:24 AM

                I've been a bit disappointed so far with my meat share from Stillmans. I have a half share which is 10 lbs. per month. Last month we got 2 lbs of assorted meats (bacon, ham, lamb chops, ground beef) plus an 8 lb. chicken. An 8-lb chicken?!! Since the share averages to around $7 per pound, that is one expensive chicken. In the end we made 5 meals out of the chicken, so I got over the price. But this month we got 1 lb of kielbasa, 1 lb of italian sausage, and an 8-lb smoked ham. They market these 1/2 shares as perfect for 2 people, but it doesn't feel like it. The meat comes frozen, so I can't divide and freeze very easily. I guess next week is ham for dinner...every night. Curious what people with full shares get...do you get two 8 lb hams?

                1. re: DotDiner
                  Chris VR Feb 25, 2009 05:38 AM

                  That's good feedback -- have you raised it with Stillman's? My meat CSA doesn't offer roasts or larger cuts in smaller shares because of exactly this issue. Maybe Stillman's doesn't realize some customers would prefer smaller cuts of meat; it's definitely worth letting them know.

                  1. re: DotDiner
                    s
                    smtucker Feb 25, 2009 06:11 AM

                    You are not alone in your assessment of the Stillman Meat CSA. I commented on this last year after I dropped my membership.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563422

                    1. re: smtucker
                      p
                      pasta Feb 25, 2009 06:39 AM

                      Kate & Aiden are very new at this so they do have some kinks to work out.
                      I think if you are concerned about what you are getting you should contact them and I bet they would work something out for you.

                      1. re: pasta
                        d
                        DotDiner Feb 25, 2009 06:42 AM

                        thanks, i'm definitely going to send an email.

                        1. re: DotDiner
                          p
                          pasta Feb 25, 2009 07:08 AM

                          Great. Let us know how you make out.

                    2. re: DotDiner
                      d
                      DotRes Sep 1, 2010 06:59 AM

                      I'm sad to say that I agree. I love their vegetable CSA, but their meat has not held up to my expectations. My expectations: a good balance of subprime and prime cuts of meat which are not full of chewy connective tissue, chicken and/or other stuff (sausages, breakfast sausages, ham etc). We have a half a share. My first pick up was alright, we got some ground lamb (made great burgers), lamb shank, pork chops, Italian sausages and chicken. I was not completely disappointed with the taste and variety. The pork chops were a bit tough, but I blamed it on my cooking. Then last month we picked up a giant chicken, and a giant smoked ham, pork chops, chuck steak and lamb chops. Now I was disappointed. I still found the meats very chewy and lacking depth even though I was very careful when cooking them. The chicken was not vacuumed sealed, like the rest of the items, and it was freezer burned. This is only my second pick up; I am still hoping it gets better. We really want to support the local community, and I understand they are new, but it's not cheap and you have to pay upfront. Again, I want to support the local community, so I am going to take the advice from this forum and email them. I am really pushing for them, but if it does not improve I might not renew. I have to say that their vegetables are great. They are, by far, the best variety I have seen compared to other farm shares.

                      1. re: DotRes
                        s
                        smtucker Sep 1, 2010 07:41 AM

                        I didn't renew. I didn't feel that I was getting value for my dollar and found the family unresponsive to my concerns. I know that they are a favorite amongst this board, and expect to be slammed a touch for taking this position, but month after month we received shares that didn't reflect the 1/2 + 1/2 combination stated as their share policy.

                        1. re: smtucker
                          s
                          skordalia Sep 1, 2010 08:13 AM

                          I'm not going to slam you, but I do want to stick up for the stillmans and say that I've been with them for a while now and I've found them to be very responsive to any problems or questions- especially when discussed in a friendly fashion face-to-face at the pickup. They're usually really busy working on the farm and selling at farmers markets and I don't think email is the best way to communicate with them.

                          In general, I think their meat is excellent and that variations in taste and texture are part of what makes non-factory meat interesting. After doing the math for my situation, I found that the cost/quality/choice ratio makes sense- though it's definitely more expensive and less flexible than some of the other options. I guess it's all part of the game when supporting local farming and consuming meat from reliable sources. And I'm cool with it but I can see how others would not be.

                          1. re: skordalia
                            s
                            smtucker Sep 1, 2010 12:41 PM

                            I am going to protest the implication that I was ever less than friendly at pickups. At pickup when I tried to talk to him, he told me to email his wife. When I emailed his wife, I received no response.

                            Three of my six months, we calculated that approximately 40% of our share was pork fat and one month we received a huge, frost-bitten chicken. The other two months were spectacular with a wonderful mix of lamb and pork, cuts that we could braise or grill. If every month had been like those two, we would still be loyal customers.

                            I love supporting local farming families and only wish that we had felt that we had gotten better value.

                2. C. Hamster Feb 18, 2009 11:45 AM

                  Any details on where and how much$ ?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    t
                    TheScribe Feb 18, 2009 12:03 PM

                    Here is the link for the Stillman meat CSA: http://stillmansfarm.com/meatcsa.html

                    1. re: TheScribe
                      C. Hamster Feb 18, 2009 12:41 PM

                      THANKS!!

                  2. p
                    pasta Feb 18, 2009 11:22 AM

                    This would be great news. I have been picking up in JP since October. I thought they were just going to offer it in the summer, as part of the Friday market. Are you saying that they are thinking of doing it separate from that year round?

                    1. t
                      TheScribe Feb 18, 2009 10:48 AM

                      I am going to be taking a quarter-share of meat this year for the first time, with pickup in JP. It seems to me a great way to get grass-fed meat easily. As you know, it's catch as catch can at supermarkets.

                      1. m
                        mwk Feb 18, 2009 08:52 AM

                        I am a Stillman's vegetable CSA member in Quincy. Do you have details on the proposed Meat CSA pickup?

                        By the way, how do you like the meat CSA?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mwk
                          k
                          keencook1 Feb 20, 2009 07:54 AM

                          You can go to their web site; they don't seem to have all the details yet. I love the meat I've gotten. I've gotten lamb (chops, ground); pork (belly, sliced bacon, chops, sausage); beef (ground, stew, steak); chicken (whole).

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