We used a lot of complicated farming jargon when I visited Katie Belle Miller of Heritage Belle Farms in Calhan. Phrases like, “holistic management”, “dryland farming” and sustainable agriculture” fell from our lips. But I really have only one word to describe the resulting food.
Bear with me for a moment while I wax poetic about these grass-finished steaks Katie gave me to try. I had thought they might be tough since the longhorn cattle from which they came were raised on the dry pasture of the Colorado Eastern Plains.
“You know to how to cook them, right?”, Katie had asked when she handed them to me. “Slow.”
They were not tough. They were tender and a solid beef flavor just bloomed from them when I took a bite. I knew it would. The whole house smelled wonderful and beefy while they were cooking.
You can also see the prairie grassland in the picture above. Katie moves the cattle every week. She has 40 acres and eight cattle to work with. She moves the animals, encouraging them to eat what nature grows, but without killing it. The animals move on and the pasture recovers without any special planting or supplemental watering.
Following the same principal of using what is available, the pigs keep thousands of pounds of human quality food out of landfills.
“Food banks get a lot of food they can’t give to humans,” Katie explains. “The boxes are opened or the cans have dents. They can’t give dented cans to humans because of fear of botulism.”
Katie became interested in ranching at a young age. She got a horse and two chickens as a child when her family bought land in rural Colorado. The land had a variance for a horse, but they would have lost it if they didn’t keep one. She participated in 4-H and then got a job with the USDA at the tender age of 16!
Her roots here are deep. She attended Colorado College where two of her grandparents were professors and designed her own major in Sustainable Agriculture. She worked at Venetucci Farm and still consults for farms in Northern Colorado.
You can buy beef, pork and eggs from the farm. Visit the Heritage Belle website to order. If you saw Right to Thrive’s recent posts on pig farming, you already know why it’s better to order your pork from local family farms.
And I’ve already told you why it’s best to order beef from them too. Yum!
© 2013 Hungry Chicken Homestead
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