Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sage Mountain Farms Amps Up Sage Mountain Beef

Farmer Phil Noble is just a little busy these days. He's still working his Hemet farm, producing beautiful vegetables that you can find at various farmers markets around San Diego. But he's also ramped up the offerings of his beef production, which he officially launched a year ago June. Instead of customers just being able to buy a half, quarter, or eighth of a cow, we have some choices via his online store and at the Hillcrest Farmers Market.


First, you can join the Green-Fed™Beef CSA he launched. Green-Fed means that his cattle are eating what Noble refers to as a "salad-bar buffet," basically the organic watermelon and squash, alfalfa, wheatgrass, and other forages they come across in the pastures. In fact, Noble told me years ago that he'll let his cattle feed on the remnants of his farm harvests to clear the field and give the cattle a hearty meal. Now, I guess, he's started an actual program. And the beef is all the tastier for it.


The CSA has six- and 12-month subscription options and even then you can choose a price point for shares that range from five to 20 pounds.

You can also buy one-off packages from the online store, which meat lovers outside of San Diego should consider. You can get ground beef or London Broil. Or you can get a sampler of cuts totaling about 22 pounds of meat. Or, you can go with the eighth, quarter, half, or whole "pledge." That is, you're not actually ordering the full amount then and there, but pre-ordering that portion for purchase and pick up when it's available.

Of course, as a single person, I'm actually focused in on what Noble brings to the Hillcrest Farmers Market, which is the market where he sells his beef, along with his vegetables. Until recently, all you could get were one-pound packages of ground beef, which is very good. I've made very juicy burgers with it, as well as meatloaf and chile.


But now Noble also carries about 32 cuts at the market, ranging from filet mignon and Porterhouse steaks to rib-eyes, skirt, short ribs, soup bones, and breakfast sirloin. Many of the packages are in the one-pound range.


You can find Sage Mountain Beef at the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. alongside the DMV parking lot.


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