In order to sell meat here in Connecticut, one must visit a USDA inspected processing plant/butcher. There are not any here in the state, believe it or not. There is one in Rhode Island, that once one pays a membership fee, will process meats. They do not, however, smoke any meats. Not too useful for farmers who want bacon, ham, and the like.
So, we found a new place in Athol, MA. It is 100 miles from our farm to theirs, but they are USDA inspected and will package our meats in individual cuts, labeled, and ready for farmers' markets. They, also, do not have a smoker, but we found a place just southeast of Hartford that will smoke our meats. They make a tasty kielbasa, too! Until we have our own labels that can be approved by the USDA, the smokehouse makes up some for us.
Not only do they do all this for us, but they offer curing WITHOUT nitrates and nitrites! Whoo hoo! Our customers have been pleased about this, for sure.
All in all, a good tasting product this time around! Next time we'll be trying some of their Bratworst and maybe some other German preparations, which seems to be their specialty.
Our grass fed beef is dry-curing as we speak, so we'll have that all packaged up in a couple of weeks. Grass fed, all beef hotdogs, anyone?