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Long Island sources of grass fed, pastured, humanely and sustainably raised meat and dairy

mcf Feb 3, 2010 12:36 PM

This topic was raised in another topic, but it seemed like it might be very useful to have a dedicated thread to sources of all the above including stores, farmer's markets and individual farms.

Some of us want to know that our food comes from humanely treated animals, or from eco friendly, sustainable practices, or want the healthiest, purest we can buy and some want all the above. Some care about humane certification. I don't care about that label as long as I can find information on the farms involved or the store's standards for their products. I figure if a dairy cow is grass fed, it's living a superior quality of life to factory farmed critters.

Some folks care about buying locally produced farm products more than others.

I buy grass fed milk from Fairway in Plainview, more rarely at Wild by Nature. Seasonally, at least, I'm able to buy Organic Valley butter from grass fed cows.

I know I've seen info about LI farms that sell their own products directly spread out in other threads, so maybe Coll and who know such sources will be kind enough (noodge, noodge) to add those here?

I have yet to shop at my closest poultry and organic produce farmer, Makinajian's in Huntington, but will report here when I finally do.

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  1. l
    LondonS Feb 3, 2010 01:03 PM

    Thank you for posting.
    The east end of LI has a variety of organic farms, again seasonal and most are co-ops.
    The dairy on LI is what is difficult. We resort to Organic Valley, since we are out east and quite far from Plainview.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LondonS
      s
      Scott_R Feb 3, 2010 02:27 PM

      I do the winter share CSA at Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead, and that includes eggs from their range-raised chickens.

    2. coll Feb 3, 2010 04:24 PM

      Off the top of my head (and I will return to this, but I've been up almost 24 hours straight): certified organic or not, I can't verify this minute, but you see the livestock at the source so that's good enough for me. It's sort of seasonal, but since the animals are here year round, the product is mostly available year round too. Just knock on the front door of the farmhouse, they don't seem to mind.

      I get my eggs mostly at Lewins in Baiting Hollow, not the big touristy building in Wading River but at their house just east of there,and just west of Edwards Ave. All different sizes and colors of eggs mixed together in the carton. Chickens running around under your feet (and geese and ducks and so on) you can't miss it, although there is no sign, just an "Open" flag. A few years ago they were cheaper than the grocery store, sold on a card table roadside with a coffee can for money: but lately they moved into the barn and more than doubled the price. Still worth it. Other favorite egg places: the place on Noyac Road by Coast Grill, fresh chickens and eggs all year round. In East Hampton, Iancono on Long Lane, organic and free range for sure. Ty Llewlyn in Riverhead, mostly eggs and they put out a sign occasionally for stew hens. I mean , you see the chickens at all these places running around and they seem quite happy, so I would call that humane. Bayview in Aquebogue has their own eggs (chicken and duck) and up til last time I was there 99 cents/doz (for chicken, not duck). Ducks here are raised disgustingly, mostly at Crescent in Flanders (or Riverside) so can't recommend for what you're looking for. They do sell them at Bayview though if you want. Duck eggs at Milowski's on Rte 25 in Calverton.

      Cheese, either Catapano in Mattituck for goat or Mecox in Bridgehampton for cow. You can get these at local cheese stores, like Cavaniola in Sag Harbor, otherwise for Catapano go hang with the goats. Last time I was there, they let me milk one!

      For unusual, there is an oyster farm east of Greenport, and the lavender farm right at the crossroads there sells their own lavender honey (they are seasonally open though). And don't forget the Tweeds buffalo farm on Roanoke Ave in Riverhead, they used to import their bison meat from South Dakota but their herd grew so big they're harvesting it themselves. Mostly for their restaurant I think, if they sell it it's not at the farm, but fun to check out the herd.

      If you're looking for beef or pork, not sure if you will find it out here. At least not commercially. Never saw milk either.

      OK after some rest I will return to this with more ideas. Need...sleep.....

      8 Replies
      1. re: coll
        l
        LondonS Feb 4, 2010 07:57 AM

        Noyac Road by Coast Grill, fresh chickens and eggs all year round.

        I don't live all that way out, but I must admit that I do work on Projects that far and always stop in for eggs.

        I am part of the HOG farm (not pork just seasonal veggies and fruit) a CSA in Brookhaven Hamlet; some of the farmers there also sell their free roaming chicken eggs. Beaver Dam Road in Brookhaven if anyone is interested.

        The butter, yogurt, and milk have been the most difficult to find. I don't think there are any producing dairy's on LI. Organic Valley Dairy usually uses the local area farm for that region, and in my research somewhere I read that the local upstate farm is a pasture feed heard, so that is better than nothing. I do wish it could be confirmed, for both quality and humane reasons. The best I can do for yogurt that my son will eat is Stonyfield.
        But i haven't given up yet......Will post if I find anything more

        1. re: LondonS
          coll Feb 4, 2010 01:04 PM

          I passed by the chicken farm in Noyac today, it's called North Sea Farm. Got almost nine hours sleep so my brain was finally working on all cylinders.

          1. re: LondonS
            coll Feb 4, 2010 01:08 PM

            Ronnybrook from upstate Columbia County is really nice for top of the line milk and cream. Pasture fed, free range etc. I just love the old fashioned glass bottles, and the cream on top of the milk. I find it in most gourmet type supermarkets on Long Island.

            1. re: coll
              l
              LondonS Feb 5, 2010 09:56 AM

              Ronnybrook is sold at wild by nature, in Setauket. Stopped in just in case we snow tonight.

              1. re: LondonS
                coll Feb 5, 2010 11:43 AM

                I was trying to remember all the places I've bought it (Besides upstate when I lived right near them, so I'm prejudiced). Definitely found at Citarellas on the East End, and Whole Foods and of course Wild by Nature, they have such nice people working there.....stopped by Trader Joes in Lake Grove earlier for the same reason, and was shocked to see Whole Foods has opened on the other side of the mall, a perfect triumverate of those two and my Oriental store for future pantry stocking.

                1. re: coll
                  AlexClark Mar 14, 2010 12:40 PM

                  I have shopped at machinacians, and the chicken there is great...the kids love to see all the sheep and ducks out front, but these chickens and their eggs, while raised organically, are not pastured--they are cage free. I would recommend this farm for certified organic vegetables in the summer months--when you drive by they put up on their fence what they have available and in season...they do carry some organic non-homogenized milk there...Haig i think...i get that, but have seen that their is a real milk club on long island I am new hear so i dont know if you can post links, but here it is : http://www.immunitrition.com/wst_page... I am planning on joining the club in the near future and will post my thoughts on it. I couldnt get ronnybrook at wild by nature this past week, i was sad about that--i love their milk! Though i wish i could just buy raw milk in the store!!!

                  1. re: AlexClark
                    mcf Mar 14, 2010 05:17 PM

                    Thanks for the information on Makinajian's. I'm not concerned about organic or raw dairy so much as grass feeding/pasturing as a food source.

                2. re: LondonS
                  coll Jul 2, 2010 05:14 AM

                  Now that we have a Whole Foods nearby (only 45 minutes!) I've discovered Milk Thistle milk that comes (also) from near where I lived upstate, in Ghent. The best commercial milk I've ever tasted. http://www.milkthistlefarm.com/

          2. l
            LloydG Mar 15, 2010 11:42 AM

            I get grass-fed beef from Fresh Direct. I don't know where they source it, but at least it's grass fed. They also have Ronnybrook farm products, veggies from Satur Farms, and fruit from Red Jacket Orchards.

            8 Replies
            1. re: LloydG
              e
              EZ Pass Mar 15, 2010 12:36 PM

              I don't think Fresh Direct comes any farther into Long Island than Great Neck.

              1. re: EZ Pass
                t
                toby1355 Mar 15, 2010 07:11 PM

                I have bought into Michael Pollan also. As such, here are some of the things I've done, accomplished, discovered and failed at in an attempt to "convert". These are offered in no particular order.

                Makinajian's raises organic chickens but the main ingredient in their feed is still corn. That is not pasture raised as I understand it. In addition, the list of other ingredients was full of things I'd never heard of.

                I joined a CSA that gets its produce from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport. The winter CSA was full of root veggies but was fun nonetheless. Borscht, anyone? I've signed for the Spring-to-Fall season also. It costs $510, and starts 5/31 and ends 11/23.

                Whole Foods is not much help. Almost all their organic produce comes from California or South America. Their Organic chicken is on the expensive side and their grass-fed beef is expensive and very limited in terms of cuts of meet. Most has to be braised. They do have 90/10 grass-fed chopped meet. Also they have Neiman Ranch products. Although they are not, to my knowledge, grass-fed they are sustainably raised. They are also very high in fat content. Applegate also has grass-fed hotdogs.

                I have gone to Brooklyn to buy grass-fed meats. Because I live in Nassau county, when I go, I tend to buy $100 or so worth of meat. I've been to Marlow and Daughters and The Meat Hook , both in Williamsburg. The butchers at both are very patient and informative. I've bought whole chickens, steaks, chopped meat, lamb chops, pork products and various sausages from both. By and large I've been very happy with everything I've bought there.

                To fill in, I also go to Fairway, Waldbaums and Stop and Shop for organic milk products and some produce. Fairway has grass-fed milk. The produce is from California; Not thrilled but If i want a salad in winter, well.......

                Well that's it so far. It hasn't been real easy or very economical but I do feel good about the food "path" we've embarked on.

                1. re: toby1355
                  j
                  jmax Mar 16, 2010 06:10 AM

                  I just finished the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The story of a woman and her family's "food path." If you like Pollan's books - you should give this a try.

                  1. re: toby1355
                    s
                    Scott_R Mar 24, 2010 08:07 AM

                    Hi, there, Toby. I did the Golden Earthworm summer CSA last year and signed up again for this upcoming, but (as I'd mentioned above) for the winter I did Garden of Eve. The most recent pickup (first weekend of March) included three dozen eggs--and you can go there and SEE the chickens feeding in the pastures from the moveable chicken houses, just like that farm Pollan mentions (they also raised some dogs with the chickens, to protect the latter from foxes and raccoons. Neat.). Absolutely wonderful eggs; the stupidmarket eggs are inedible in comparison. AFAIK, they don't sell chicken.

                    I'd do Garden of Eve for the summer share, 'cept they don't have local pickups--I don't mind driving to Riverhead once a month, but every week (OK, there's a Sayville summer pickup, too, but I still can't count on being able to get there).

                    1. re: Scott_R
                      coll Mar 24, 2010 09:03 AM

                      You might think the dogs are neat, but don't get too close, they're pretty scary.
                      http://www.riverheadnewsreview.com/NR...

                      1. re: coll
                        s
                        Scott_R Mar 24, 2010 09:33 AM

                        "Neat" in that they raised the dogs with the chickens so they protect them, not in "aw, cute little doggy..."

                        1. re: Scott_R
                          coll Mar 24, 2010 04:23 PM

                          I guess that's what watchdogs are supposed to do......

                  2. re: EZ Pass
                    coll Aug 1, 2010 08:08 AM

                    Fresh Direct is all over the Hamptons, maybe it's only summertime though. I see caravans of their trucks all the time lately.

                2. Mawrter Jul 1, 2010 08:22 PM

                  HUGELY appreciating this thread - thank you, all!

                  1. c
                    carrie2126 Jul 31, 2010 06:19 PM

                    You should try Browder's Birds on the North Fork. Their chickens are pasture raised and certified organic. You can buy them at the farm in Southold, at the farmer's market in Westhampton Beach (on Saturdays), and they have recently partnered with a few CSA's who deliver around LI and NYC. Great chickens!

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: carrie2126
                      mcf Jul 31, 2010 08:25 PM

                      I just took a look at their web site. I have to say, they sure cram an awful lot of birds into a miserable, crowded space. Not ideal conditions to be packed so tightly like that, IMO.

                      1. re: mcf
                        coll Aug 1, 2010 08:05 AM

                        That containment house is so weird! Everywhere else on the North Fork you can see what I consider pasture raised, meaning you have to watch out when you drive by because they're wandering around freely. Although these birds may be pasture raised, it's definitely not free range, and now I see the difference.

                        1. re: coll
                          mcf Aug 1, 2010 11:55 AM

                          I don't understand why they can't just use chicken wire fence and netting and a less crowded enclosure if they need one at all?

                          1. re: mcf
                            coll Aug 1, 2010 01:18 PM

                            It looks so claustrophobic and makes me think if I want to go healthy, there is a lot more research that needs to be done. Or I'll buy a few chicks in the spring myself!

                            1. re: coll
                              mcf Aug 1, 2010 02:07 PM

                              That's the thing. From now on, I have to make sure that "pastured" isn't used to signify "chickens packed into a bottomless crate and left on the grass for hours" rather than chickens getting exercise, fresh air and the freedom that "pasturing" connotes. I mean, instead of moving packed crates of chickens around, why not let the chickens move around?

                        2. re: mcf
                          s
                          Scott_R Aug 1, 2010 08:14 PM

                          I'm not sure what we can tell from those pictures. If it's this one
                          http://www.browdersbirds.com/navigati...
                          that's attracting the comments, did the birds all move over to the uncovered 1/2 (i.e. to be in the sun)? If so, they're crowding themselves.

                          1. re: Scott_R
                            coll Aug 2, 2010 01:18 AM

                            It's still not what you think when you think "happy chickens". I like to see them running around like the little lunatics they are. These are cooped up, however you look at it.

                            1. re: coll
                              o
                              ospreycove Aug 2, 2010 05:34 AM

                              These portable, movable "chicken tractors" are a great step in naturally raised birds. The problem with "Seeing them running around like little lunatics", is the constant threat of predators, Hawks, dogs, feral cats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, etc. etc.

                              Much better to scratch the weedy earth, vs. being crammed into a growing shed where each bird has no room to move and exist on a wire floor.

                              1. re: ospreycove
                                mcf Aug 2, 2010 05:56 AM

                                They should be bigger.

                                1. re: mcf
                                  o
                                  ospreycove Aug 2, 2010 07:16 AM

                                  True but that depends on how you "drag" it around. From the photo it looks like thios one is a one person operation, no aux. power needed.

                      2. coll Aug 1, 2010 05:11 AM

                        Don't know why I didn't link this previously, but lots of info quarterly on East End Edibles, you can pick up for free out here all over, or subscribe to have delivered.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: coll
                          coll Aug 1, 2010 07:54 AM

                          http://www.edibleeastend.com/

                          1. re: coll
                            mcf Aug 1, 2010 02:03 PM

                            Thanks for the link, just subbed.

                        2. c
                          carrie2126 Aug 1, 2010 07:34 AM

                          Have you tried looking on eatwild.com?

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: carrie2126
                            coll Aug 1, 2010 07:57 AM

                            Just looked, nice if you live upstate but has nothing to do with Long Island, unfortunately.

                            1. re: coll
                              o
                              ospreycove Aug 1, 2010 02:10 PM

                              I have heard of a rabbit farm near Greenport , L.I but, it is not for the sqeamish. They only sell live since they do not have an approved processing ability. So, you take the live critter home and dispatch it yourself. That is about as fresh as you can get. Really no different than the demand for live lambs for the Middle East religious in NYC.

                              1. re: ospreycove
                                mcf Aug 1, 2010 02:18 PM

                                I can't bring myself to eat bunny even if someone else butchers and cooks it. Silly, I know, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

                                1. re: mcf
                                  o
                                  ospreycove Aug 1, 2010 02:34 PM

                                  Oh, a fine conlglio all'Aceto Balsamico alla Moda Estense, is a dish that will make anyone think they have crossed over to Nirvana..........

                                  1. re: ospreycove
                                    mcf Aug 1, 2010 02:40 PM

                                    but, but, but... it's BUNNY.

                                    1. re: mcf
                                      o
                                      ospreycove Aug 1, 2010 02:43 PM

                                      MCF....Yeah, that part is a little hard to get over, but how about those "Baby Lamb Chops", or that cute little quacker you scarfed up, come on you remember. Or, how about the Bambi steaks you got from your friend.......lol

                                      1. re: ospreycove
                                        mcf Aug 1, 2010 02:57 PM

                                        I don't eat Bambi *or* Thumper. One taste of venison once. Lamb got grandfathered in from childhood. Maybe if I'd been fed the others as a kid...?

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          o
                                          ospreycove Aug 1, 2010 03:04 PM

                                          MCF...You are right, My Dad always dragged me to all the "exotic" cookouts, hunters' Dinners, raw bars etc. Our neighbor raised pigeons and gave us squab. From that I guess I never looked back. Funny how childhood forms molds that are hard to break.

                                          1. re: ospreycove
                                            mcf Aug 1, 2010 03:09 PM

                                            I ate raw bar as a kid, loved oysters and clams, ate whole fish (terrified of the bones they left in even when I was little), loved chicken and calve's livers, spinach, tongue, sweet breads, escargot, etc. But I never had bunny or Bambi. I've tasted venison, and it was okay for a Lyme disease carrier, but I'm not a big fan of lean meat, either. We never got kid food in my house, we got what grownups ate or we didn't eat.

                                            My child started on calimari with her first teeth and has never looked back; she's very adventurous eater and scratch cook, too.

                                            1. re: mcf
                                              o
                                              ospreycove Aug 1, 2010 05:52 PM

                                              MCF.. You have a great attitude towards you child's concept of food..I think "Kids Menus," kids meals, etc. are the worst thing to come along in a long time.

                                              1. re: ospreycove
                                                mcf Aug 1, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                Yep. But a lot of their parents think that Happy Meals are food and eat that kind of crud, too. We had no stress with the "try one bite" rule, and no fights. If it grossed her out, she could make/have something else when she got old enough. She didn't abuse the privilege and knew no one was going to force her to do more than try a new food.

                                          2. re: mcf
                                            coll Aug 2, 2010 01:15 AM

                                            I have a customer who buys a live lamb every Easter and his son and he kill and butcher it in the backyard for the holiday. Italian, not Middle East. I never witnessed it but just the thought made me sad. If I had to do it myself, I think I'd live without meat. Lucky there are others out there that are used to it. Again, I guess if you grew up with it, there would be no problem.

                            2. mike259 Aug 31, 2013 10:57 PM

                              This place sells fresh brown eggs, seasonal vegetables, hay, raw milk, and potatoes.
                              5793 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901

                              (631) 722-4241

                              http://tyllwyd.wordpress.com/

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mike259
                                s
                                Scott_R Sep 1, 2013 03:45 AM

                                My only caveat there is that I don't think the chickens are pasture-raised. That is, I'm fairly sure they're raised entirely on feed--it looks like they do have outside access, but I haven't seen that its enough access to allow them to feed on their own.

                                That's in contrast to Garden of Eve farm down the road, where the chickens are moved around the fields in the back, where they eat plants and insects along with whatever feed.

                                In addition to being more natural, the eggs definitely taste better.

                                1. re: Scott_R
                                  coll Sep 1, 2013 05:50 AM

                                  Mary Lewin also has chickens that wander. Off season, she sells them on a card table in front of her house, just west on Sound Ave of Edwards; put the money in the box (or knock on the door if none are there). In season, she and her daughter have started selling them weekends at their barn a bit more west, just past all the chickens in the field. Sometimes in the spring, you get a box and it's three or four different colored eggs..blue, green, brown, tan. Sort of small that time of year, first time I saw what was in the carton, I thought she robbed a robin's nest!

                              2. f
                                Folcarelli Mar 25, 2014 04:57 PM

                                I am looking for lamb that is grass feed or organic,They don't sell lamp at Makinajian but the owner said maybe in the future

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Folcarelli
                                  s
                                  Scott_R Mar 25, 2014 08:04 PM

                                  Give The Fresh Market in Woodbury a call,
                                  http://www.thefreshmarket.com/directi...

                                  I know I've seen grass fed/organic meats in the display case, though I don't specifically recall what it said about lamb.

                                  1. re: Folcarelli
                                    EricMM Mar 26, 2014 07:55 AM

                                    I have heard that all lamb is grass fed. Organic is a different story.

                                    1. re: EricMM
                                      s
                                      Scott_R Mar 26, 2014 08:17 AM

                                      No, lambs can also be finished on concentrate diets.

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