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Apr 7, 2012 12:37 PM

Best way to buy meat directly from farmers?

Hi All,

I've researched a little on how to buy meat directly from farmers and almost all of the options include buying large(r) quantities, which are too much for me.

So what are the options out there when you're a single person who wants to buy organic local meat in small(er) quantities and don't want to pay the inflated retail price?

Are there farms around Toronto who would let you buy smaller quantities of select cut?

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  1. It tends not to work that way. They usually don't run retail counters and don't offer their meats in less than halves or quarters cut to order. Think you might be stuck with boutique meat.

    1. go to a farmer's market -- both the evergreen brickworks and the wychwood one have farmers with coolers from whom you can buy various cuts. i've seen beef, chicken and pork, sausage as well. eggs, too, frequently.

      1 Reply
      1. re: autopi

        Yep. Farmers market.

        If they don't have what you want, ask them to bring it to you next time. Really, your best bet is to ask what they have and plan around that. Same with the other goodies at the farmers market.


      2. Small town abattoirs often have a retail counter, and reasonable prices.
        You have to do a telephone search and drive out of town, but it may work for you.
        Here is a list

        2 Replies
        1. re: jayt90

          This sounds like the most reasonable option (with more research) ... I have a feeling Toronto farmer's markets still have inflated prices, even though they're may not be as high as the boutique butcher shops. Thanks jayt90

          1. re: Radoslav

            There are also 25 lb mixed boxes of beef or pork delivered periodically from

        2. West Side Beef offers a 20lb box of various cuts and sausages., usually costs $ 150.

          1 Reply
          1. re: meatnveg

            West Side Beef's boxes work out to $7.50 a pound for 20 lbs. of ground beef, steaks, sausages, roasts, etc.


              1. re: Mila

                I agree with Dave 5440.
                $19.50/lb for Tenderloin: Filet Mignon is a bit too much despite being grain fed.

                St. Lawrence Market butchers (and I know these are not grain fed, but we are going to assume they inflate the price so they can pay the hefty rent there) sell their tenderloin steak for $12.99 - $14.99 / lb.

                We're looking for a cheap way to get to the source here ;-). Most of the farms around toronto will sell their meat at about $7.50/lb when you average it out. This is close to triple.

                1. re: Radoslav

                  I think your confusing grain fed and grass fed. Most meat in Ontario is grain fed at somepoint as we have winter, All grass fed beef is much more expensive (and not as tasty as grain finished IMHO) than grain fed.

                  1. re: Radoslav

                    'despite' being grain fed? Grain fed is the norm and is the cheapest way to feed cattle.

                    Grass fed beef is the more expensive (and natural) way but is at least double the price or more.

                    1. re: Radoslav

                      I sure am glad I live way way outside of the GTA at these prices