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New @ 95: Meat, Cheese, and More for the Locavore

March 15, 2012

New @ 95: Week 7, Meat, Cheese, and More for the Locavore, or

Steve has an uncomfortable discussion with kitchen appliances.

If you hadn’t noticed, we’re big on local. Obsessive really. This obsession has always meant that from the moment you walk onto our farm, you’re confronted with a selection of products hand-picked to be the best of the best, the most local of the local. In the old farmstand (R.I.P.) this local theme was not forgotten in the modest three-door refrigerator that would purr away on the hot summer days, keeping fresh a small amount of marinated steak tips from Malden, jersey cow milk from Lee, dips from Concord, and a couple other heat-shy local items. In spite of the attention so many of you gave our humble refrigerator, it complained of a persistent loneliness for several years. Eager to solve the problem, we adopted a small freezer to cheer up our sad three-door (and also to fill with that delicious local ice cream, gelato, and pie), but this proved unsatisfactory.

“I want more!” it cried.

“But how much more!?” I cried back at the inanimate object, much to the chagrin of my sane co-workers.

“Thirty-four feet more!”

“Wow seriously? That’s a really specific request coming from a fridge…”

As one of the area's first sellers of High Lawn Milk from all Jersey cows in Lee, MA, we are thrilled to be offering their outstanding products in the new stand as well.

Long story short we gave in, and with a planned 34 feet of refrigerated display we had to come up with some way to fill it while staying true to our local roots. Good news: we did just that. We’ve made it nearly impossible for you to glance at the case and not end up leaving with something locally produced. Don’t worry though, we’ve kept all the old offerings too (as per the three-door’s request).

Robinson Family Farm is going to provide us with their excellent artisanal cheese direct from Hardwick, MA along with many other local cheese makers.

For starters, we’ve got milk. Were carrying High Lawn’s incredible all-jersey milk from Lee, alongside Shaw Farm’s delicious organic milk from Dracut. So close you can hear the cows moo…among other things. Moving through the list of bovine bliss we have our expanded cheese lineup. In addition to Mozzarella House out of Everett and their unbeatable products, we’re going to showcase cheese from Jasper Hill, Blue Ledge, Vermont Creamery (all from Vermont), Robinson Family Farm, Berkshire Farms, and Westfield Creamery (all from Massachusetts) to name a few. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t find a genuine parmigiano reggiano produced in New England (go figure) so you’ll have to settle for the best Italian cheese we’ve ever eaten that comes straight from the homeland (so sorry). You can tell us yourselves how much you like it during our grand opening when we’ll be sampling out all of this stuff by the wheel-full.

Be an instant gourmet by treating your guests to these decadent dips and spreads from To Die For.

For those of you who can’t get enough of those lovely dips from our friends at To Die For, or those addictive marinated meats from Dom’s, you’ll be happy to know that with all of this new space we will be able to carry an even wider selection and variety, which means no more high-speed shopping cart showdowns over the last of tub of mango chutney (see? It’s a safety thing too).

In the rest of the space, it starts to get really exciting. We’ve gotten together with the folks at Hillcrest Farm in Auburn (some of you may know it as “The Farmers Daughter”) to bring you a selection of locally raised beef available in our freezer. It’s amazing how much better beef tastes when it’s free of antibiotics, hormones, and additives. It’s really like a whole new food.

Over in the refrigerator you’ll find individual cuts of meat from Aspen Ridge, a humane, all natural, 100% Angus beef brand, and Brandt Beef, which is the best darn steak we’ve had in a long time. For those of you who don’t eat red meat seven days a week we have whole and portioned chickens from Misty Knoll (New Haven, VT), which might be the best tasting meat we sell. But then there’s the pork from American Homestead that apparently tastes like pork used to. I haven’t been around long enough to know what this means, or what it was like to walk up hill to school both ways, but I do know that it’s really good pork. It’s also the same pork used to make Bianco Sausages (also in our case) which is a very happy coincidence. For the local pork option we’ve got hog from Brambly Farm in Norfolk, MA, and much like the Hillcrest beef, this product comes from very happy animals who live right next door. Dig the oink.

This lovely pastured pig from Brambly Farms in nearby Norfolk MA is just one of the many options in tasty, local, and responsible meat options available at our new Farmstand.

If you find yourself stuck walking up and down the refrigerated aisle, drooling over the aforementioned spread, but wondering where you can find yourself a turkey and local eggs we will point you down the road to our friends at Owens poultry farm. If you find yourself out of time to make a meal for the evening, or just don’t feel like cooking, then we will happily point you to the vast selection of prepared foods down at the end of our refrigerated case. We figured the best way to welcome aboard our new chef Todd Heberlein, who some of you may know from Wilson’s Farm over in Lexington, was to give him ample space to prove his talents as a farm savvy, culinary guru. I don’t want to spoil next week’s blog post (which will be written by the man in the chef coat), but the menu is chock full of incredibly appealing items that are sure to become a staple on your kitchen table.

Consider this tour a brief one. I have tried to mention all of the items that are of significant interest but more often than not I get carried away thinking about all the great things that can be done with all of the local products we are going to have for you all, and end up missing something that you’ll just end up discovering yourself. I wasn’t kidding when I said we were obsessive about this stuff, and I sincerely can’t wait to open the front doors of our new farmstand for the first time and blow you away. This stuff is great and we really can’t wait for you all to try it.

See you in two weeks!

Next week: Our Farm Kitchen, inside the menu of the new kitchen, deli and bakery.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Patricia Rivers permalink
    March 16, 2012 9:21 am

    Can’t wait till opening day. Really excited to shop at Volante, and excited that Needham is home to such a great place!

  2. Shereen Berlin permalink
    March 16, 2012 9:32 am

    Looking very forward to your opening! Your emails have been informative and truly convey your passion. Thanks and best of luck.

  3. Margaret Farley permalink
    March 17, 2012 6:36 am

    I really loved Steve’s conversation with the refrigerators. He has a tremendous sense of humor and love of what he is doing, that is, getting special treats ready for all the customers who will come.
    I can’t wait for the sampling of some of these local goodies. The news about prepared entries was just the thing for me since I live alone and probably don’t need a whole list of groceries in my cart.
    I think what your doing at Volante’s is very exciting. I hope the parking will accommodate all the cars coming and going. Steve’s humor should be a regular feature. Who else is able to think like that?

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  1. New @ 95: Keeping it Local « Volante Farms

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