Happy New Year!
It's a New Year. That makes it a natural time to reflect on how Brookshire Farm got to this point and where we'd like to be going.
Ben, my husband, and I were interviewed recently by a beef magazine and were asked how we got into this business. The real question
was, "Why would two middle class yuppies put time and income into a farm instead of, say, to a vacation at the beach?" For us, the
farm is both our heritage and a way of life.
Ben's family has been in the cattle business in Vermilion Parish since 1795. Brookshire Farm has produced grass fed beef since the
1840's. We are gradually restoring and improving our pastures. This was a prairie with roaming buffalo when our house was built.
Don't get me wrong; Brookshire Farm is a business, not a landscaping project. But in our quest for tender and tastier meat we have
discovered that the closer we can bring the land to its natural state, the better our meat is.
This "way of life" does include coaxing the 30-year-old tractor to start on cold, rainy winter mornings and keeping a constant eye on
the weather. Before I was a grass farmer, I wondered why my neighbors were obsessed with the weather. It's because a farmer's daily
schedule is ruled by it. Our social lives and vacation plans are ruled by weather. Financial goals are determined by the weather.
And, the heart of the matter is our hopes and dreams depend on weather's good favor.
Mr. Brookshire, Ben's grandfather, had a story about a neighboring farm's manager who picked up the landowner in town early one morning
to drive out to the farm. "My goodness, what a beautiful sunrise!" the landowner exclaimed. A few miles down the road the town dweller
continued to be overwhelmed by the emerging beauty. "Why, that's absolutely the prettiest thing!" A few minutes later a third
utterance of admiration. The farmer's response was, "Mr. Johnny, it looks like that ev'ry mornin'."
We do revel in living under these 200-year-old live oaks and the history they have witnessed. And, we enjoy the satisfaction of
producing a unique, healthy product in a way that is so traditional it is innovative. Yes, we are lucky to see the sunrise so
often, even though one has to get up awfully early to do it.
Beef-When Do We Eat?
The feeder steers started on Spring rye grass the last week in January. If Mother Nature cooperates even a little, harvest will
take place late March/early April and delivery will be mid to late April.
There are only 5 quarters still available, and we take reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. Please get your
$200 deposit in NOW if you want grass-finished beef for your freezer. See our website for how to place your order, or call us for details.
The kids were born the third week in December. It's only our second year to have goats, but so far that's the norm. Eventually,
we plan to produce pastured goat meat for the public. Also, the natural biological niche of goats, controlling weeds and brush,
makes our pastures' ecosystems healthier and more diverse.
Goat meat is significantly lower in fat than lamb--too lean for dry aging. The cooking technique is very similar to lamb. Leg
steaks, ribs and loin chops are suitable for roasting or barbeque. We've had some terrific stews from shoulder chops and roasts
cut into stew meat.
Some dishes we have prepared and like are posted at the web site brookshirefarm.com. One of our favorites for goat is
Potted Goat with Lemon. Spring goat will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis in mid to late March.
Since we are growing our herd right now, we won't have many to offer, and we have to save at least one for our daughter. So if you're interested in
pastured goat meat, please contact us now, either through our website or by telephone, to reserve yours.