Today we speak with Jackie Cleary from Auburn Meadow Farm in West Middlesex, PA.
I run a one-woman farm, which may make me more insane than heroic, in case you were thinking that is badass.
I started the farm from my concerns about the loss of genetics happening in commodity livestock production, and the animal welfare aspects of commodity meat production, as well as the spectrum of flavor we rarely get to experience because our food is raised for maximum quantity, sturdiness for shipping, and long shelf life. Commodity livestock require a very intensive management process, which conflicts with that of allowing animals to lead natural lives, soil restoration, and biodiversity. I wanted to explore old-fashioned, forgotten food ways, and am still amazed by how much we have lost.
All the animals are born here, raised here, and I practice conservation breeding of rare and endangered breeds. These animals are not precious or ornamental, though they are unique and beautiful. They are very important and practical genetics that need to be preserved to help adapt to changes in climate and markets. Small, diverse farms are able to pivot when our large supply chains become too unwieldy to adapt. The animals are unique, the flavor of their meat is vastly richer, and they are physically able to enjoy vibrant, independent lives while leaving a much lighter ecological footprint.
I do not have a commercial kitchen at the moment, but one of my big goals is to show you how to make the most of your meat and market purchases, and to eat clean, healthful, unprocessed food, hopefully, purchased directly from farmers.
I coordinate off-season delivery runs but primarily focus on local sales. On-farm pickups are possible by appointment, and I sell quarters, halves, and whole beeves and hogs for those interested in larger quantities.
This is my first year attending the Bellevue Farmers Market myself, however, in prior years, my friend Shelly from Old Time Farm brought my pork. I try to introduce cuts of meat you may not be in the habit of using, designed to go well with what is currently in season, and what the other vendors are offering. I love the vibe of the market, here in a lovely park, easily accessible from all sides of the city, by the fantastic Carnegie library, with live music and food trucks – it’s a really great way to buy your groceries. The varied vendor mix makes it truly possible to make this your main grocery run, grab dinner, and enjoy the vibe.
My website is a work in progress always, www.AuburnMeadowFarm.com, and I keep a mailing list for subscribers if you wish to sign up for farm news via the contact page there.
I have a Facebook page, where I post commentary on food, farming, and happenings on the farm, and a page on Instagram with lots of animal pics and posts about eating local food.
I host an Auburn Meadow Farm Virtual Farmstand group on Facebook, posting recipes and food tips using locally produced foods.