Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section… 

 If you have questions that you would like to see listed here, or would like more information on a particular issue, please feel free to contact us. Thanks! 

Let's get Started…

Why is our beef so cheap compared to grocery store prices?

Well, the top 4 factors are that we:

  • Raise our own beef (we don't usually buy our cattle, we breed them)
  • Grow almost all of our own (grass, hay, grain) feed rather than having to buy it
  • Cut out the middleman by selling our beef to you directly
  • Sell beef in bulk or by box only (which keeps the butcher's fee and packaging costs down)

When can I order my beef? Well, that depends: 

  • Bulk orders: Generally speaking, we offer beef in bulk every fall, when we harvest our beef. We are planning to start harvesting in the spring as demand increases.
  • By the box orders: We are able to provide you with freezer beef by the box year round - as availability allows.
  • Burgers and Summer Sausage: As with beef by the box, we have burgers and summer sausage available year round - again as availability allows.

How long before placing order do you receive your product? 

  • Beef in Bulk:  If you are placing an order for beef in bulk, it is usually approximately 4-6 weeks. This allows you to get your freezer ready, and us the chance to harvest and process the beef. 
  • All other products:  If you are ordering any other products, if we have it available, we can deliver it within a week, or you can pick it up at our place even sooner.

Why is beef only available in the fall and spring? 

When it comes to the business of having and raising their little ones, cows are very much like us humans. That is to say, cows get pregnant (and stay that way) for 9 months, just like us. As a result, we can't presto-magico suddenly produce cattle to harvest anymore than we can will a baby to be born next week from a woman who's not already pregnant. Some things take time… Until now we've only had beef available in late fall. This year we are happy to announce that we will have beef available in the spring as well. We  hope you agree with us that - like much of life - the greatest things are worth waiting for…

What about the organ meats? 

  • Do we sell organ meats? Well, we are happy to offer liver, tongue, and/or heart, but supply is limited (only one heart in one cow after all). Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing any of these items.
  • Do you have to take organ meats? No. Some of our customers prefer to never have to even see the organ meats, and don't want to take them home. Other's can't get enough of them. So, whenever we've a surplus of these, we donate them (and other cuts of beef too) to a local organization we love who also happen to love making and eating liver with onions and other such meals. So fear not, if you don't take the organ meats they will still be used. 

Do we deliver? 

  • If you live in Kitchener-Waterloo
    • We are happy to delivery to those in K-W free of charge. 
  • If you don't live in Kitchener-Waterloo:
    • Delivery outside of the K-W area is negotiable. Please contact us for more information.
  • Pick-Up: 
    • You are more than welcome to pick up your order at our farm.

Where do we process or beef? 

We use a local, and very skilled, government inspected butcher. We've tried a few different butchers over the years, and the butcher we've been using these last few years is a "cut above the rest" for sure (yes, I can hear you groaning and I'm still keeping the pun there)!!

Paper or plastic?

Much like Christmas, we've discovered that some people are particularly particular about wrapping. We are asked the "paper or plastic" question often, and the answer is: mostly paper. That's the short answer. Different butchers use different methods of packaging, but our beef comes as follows:

  • Hamburger and stewing beef: Both items are one pound portions, packaged in plastic bags.

  • Everything else: Paper. 

What is the "dressed" weight? 
Well, contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with wearing sweaters and a hat… It's often referred to as the “hanging” weight. In other words, the dressed weight is the weight of the animal after it is harvested at the harvesting plant (while it’s hanging), but before the butcher gets busy doing his part of the job. 

Here’s where it gets tricky:
When the butcher is doing his thing – which includes cutting out fat and bones – 20% to 40% of the original dressed (hanging) weight is lost. But price is still determined by the dressed weight. And when the butcher gives us his bill so we can make your bill, it is the dressed weight that he gives us. 

Note: This pricing method is only applied to beef in bulk (when you buy a quarter, half, or full animal). When you specifically buy a smaller amount of certain cuts,  the pricing is most commonly either based on the end/final weight (e.g. when you buy 20lbs of our our ground beef, you will have 20lbs in your hand), or by a fixed rate (e.g.  our variety boxes do weigh 30lbs each, and cost a fixed amount, always).  Have no fear though, all our beef will still be the same dry- aged, natural beef as always (an as yummy as ever!).

Why do WE use the dressed weight in calculating Bulk Beef prices?
It's the industry standard. Truth be told I don't get it (at all – it just doesn’t seem logical to me, but I am sure that whoever decided that it had to be this way did so for a reason…). But I do know that if we didn’t price our beef in bulk using the industry standard you would not have an accurate way to compare prices between us and other beef producers.

Here’s the good news though:  As noted above, 20-40% of the dressed weight is lost as a result of the butcher cutting away fat and bone. When you buy beef from us, you are at the smallest end of the scale because we have so much control over so many of the factors that determine how lean the beef will become.
 When you buy beef via retail, you can expect beef to be closer to the top end of that scale. Why? We are able to ensure lean meat because we control who gets bred with whom, and when the cows are bred, born, and harvested. We also control how long our calves feed from Mom, what they eat, and that they are raised naturally right from birth.

Again please note: This pricing method is only applied to beef in bulk (when you buy a quarter, half, or full animal). When you specifically buy a smaller amount of certain cuts the pricing is fixed (like our variety boxes in which you 30lbs in your hand for a fixed rate), or calculated by end weight (like our ground beef only option... You get 20lbs in your hand for a price per pound). Again, have no fear, all our beef is  still the same dry-aged, natural beef as always! 

Does anything else factor into the weight or cost of the Bulk Beef?
The bottom line is that yes the weight is affected, but no, the price is not.
Most retailers (ie. Grocery stores), wet-age their beef. Essentially that means that they vacuum seal their beef within two days of it being cut by the butcher. It is an inexpensive way to age beef for tender and widely distributed beef. Using this process doesn’t change the weight of the beef or it’s cost.

However, we choose to dry-age our beef.  Dry-aging is a much more intensive and extensive way to age beef, and is the aging choice of most high end restaurants who serve beef. We choose this method in order to provide you with very tender, extremely flavorful, and arguably better beef.  While this does not affect the cost, dry aging affects the weight of the final product resulting in another 10-15% loss after the weight is dressed. Basically it is similar to paying the same for a grape or a raisin, but the raisin weighs less than the grape.

What’s the final run down on the weight and price of our beef? After harvesting the beef (at about 1300lbs), the dressed weight is about 700 or 800 pounds. There is about a 20% loss attributed to butchering in general (just as there is for retail beef), and because we dry-age our beef there is an additional loss of 10-15%.

How much freezer space will you need?
Well, the good news is that our butcher is very efficient when it comes to packaging well. Here's the breakdown of the space you'll need:
  • Burger Boxes are approximately 4" x 15" x 11"
  • Summer Sausage is (by the stick) approximately 10" x 3"
  • Beef by the Box is 1 box total, approximate size 15" x 14" x 9"
  • Beef in bulk -  each box is approximately 15"x14"x9" (same as beef by the box); you will get 3 boxes for a quarter5 boxes for a side, and approximately 10 boxes for an entire animal.
Do we have a guarantee?
We are committed to providing you an excellent product. Click here for more information on our commitment to you. Please contact us should you have any concerns about your beef. We want to make sure you have great tasting beef, and a great experience with our products and services.

How do I carve a roast?

The easiest instructions for carving a roast that I have ever seen are on in this very short (under 2 min) video from the "Dummies Guide" line of videos, entitled "Dummies guide to carving roast beef."

At What temperature is our beef officially cooked?

As you know some people like their beef done, well-done, and other hybrids of done-ness, and the best way to safely accomplish the right temperature is to check it with a meat thermometer. See the Government of Canada's "Healthy Canadian" Website for exact temperatures (and not just of beef, but of chicken and other meats/poultry as well).