Far across the dim, hazy grass field, a strand of young pine trees stood at stark attention against the otherwise open landscape. Michael Cordray, his farm hat casting a shadow over all but a thick beard, leaned into the split rail fence and called “heeeeeyyyyyoooo”, cupping his hands in the direction of the copse. Suddenly, what looked like shadow began to move and grow legs. Three, five, then a several dozen dark shapes rose from their pine straw beds beneath the shade trees and quickly trotted to the gate, moo-ing for their morning meal.
It’s a sharp taste of reality when you meet your meat for the first time and for many, it’s a life-changing experience. For me, it was the realization that I would much rather see where my food is coming from than assume that whatever I purchased at the grocery store was healthy, well taken care of, and given feed that was grown no more than a few miles away. At Cordray’s, I didn’t have to hope that the label on my pre-packaged free-range sirloin was telling the truth: it knew it. The cows were comfortable in their several acres of open grazing fields, and I was happy to know that they couldn’t have asked for a more contented life. What’s more, the purchase of Cordray’s beef helps to sustain local business and agriculture; a need which has become all the more pressing in the past few years.
The same applies to Legare Farms. Many island children have had the opportunity to meet the Legare livestock; whether it was during a field trip or on a Halloween hayride. The animals are a point of pride for the Legare family, and this pride is reflected in their care of the animals, as well as their preparation.
For a limited time, both of these well-known Johns Island cattle farmers are offering beef shares at discounted prices. This offer provides residents with the chance to purchase a significant quantity of beef at a price which never needed to include storage, shipping or middleman fees; as well as the opportunity to experience the pride that comes with knowing that your food is not only available practically at your back door, you’re also supporting local industries and encouraging the continuation of local farming.
Shares are 1/8 of a steer. They are about 55 to 60 lbs. and the cost is $4.95 per lb. A share contains steaks, roasts, stew beef, stir-fry and hamburger. To reserve yours, please send, or drop by, a deposit of $100. Be sure to include your phone number on the check and we will call you to arrange a pickup appointment. For the sides, you will need to send $200 for a deposit. We’ll also need your phone number to call you for instructions on how to custom cut your beef. Sides weigh approximately 325-350 lbs. and are priced based on the precut weight at $3.25 per lb. All cuts are vacuum sealed and frozen, unless you specially request fresh, never frozen packaging, which are available for immediate pickup. Send your deposit to: Cordray Farms, 6708 County Line Rd., Ravenel, SC 29470. For more info, call 766-7922.
Legare Farms, which has been raising beef cattle since 1725, guarantees that their beef is pasture raised, antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Beef shares of approximately 50 lbs. are available until the end of June for $250 a share (regular price: $300) and the cost is $5 per pound. Half shares are also available for $125. Beef shares include 10-12 lbs. of steaks (ribeye, sirloin, t-bones, flat iron or mock tender), 8-10 lbs. of roast (London broil, sirloin roast, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, top round, bottom round, rump roast), 6-8 lbs. of ribs, beef stew and cubed steak, 12 lbs. of sausage (includes two packages each of maple breakfast sausage, chorizo, hot Italian, zesty Italian, Bratwurst and garlic Bratwurst), and 10-12lbs. of ground beef. Individual cuts are also available in all of the cuts listed above, plus several more, ranging from $2.99 – $21.99/lb. Shares are available now and can be ordered by calling 559-0788, writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the farm, located just off River Road at 2620 Hanscombe Point Road, Johns Island. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships, which include a full box of seasonal fruits, veggies and starches, are still available for the summer at a pro-rated rate. After July, Legare Farms’ CSA will be available again in September. For more info or to join the CSA, please call the farm at the above number.