Ordering quality meats right from the farm

July 31, 2012 6:39:26 AM PDT
Most people buy meat from the supermarket. Some like the convenience of a butcher shop. But for those who want still higher quality, choices are limited, unless you know a farmer. But now a Chester County farm famous for its meats has partnered with a cooking school off Rittenhouse Square.

The arrangement gives you the opportunity to order meats cut to your specifications, and pick them up right in Center City.

Wyebrook Farm of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania offers chicken, pork and beef from animals raised free-range and pasture-fed.

It's a popular weekend destination, but what if you can't get there? Now they're delivering their products to Cook, the cooking school just off Rittenhouse Square.

You order from the farm online by Monday evening, and your order is delivered to Cook the next day. Farmer Dean Carlson likes being able to get his products into the hands of more consumers.

He says Wyebrook's meats are beyond organic. Everything is sustainably-produced to his exacting standards. For example, cattle are tested while still growing up, and if an ultrasound shows they might not grow to the size he prefers, those animals are sold wholesale to other farms.

Most farms raise chickens and pigs indoors...easier for the farmer. But his animals roam pastures every day. By changing fields daily, he can see how much grass chickens consume.

Diets are supplemented by grains and other products to maintain health. The farm employs its own chef who oversees butchering...again, a way to keep standards at their highest.

The farm is open to visitors Fridays from 3:00 to 7:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am to 6:00pm. It's a popular destination for families.

On the weekends a cafe on-site serves sandwiches and such made from the farm's own ingredients. Sunday's there's also a roast of some kind. And there's a store where you may buy food to cook at home.

Meats may be custom-ordered in case you need a special cut. You order online and pay by invoice. The website is Wyebrook Farm, where you may also sign up for a mailing list. Their phone number is 610-942-7481.

In addition to its own meats, Wyebrook sells organic vegetables from local farms and cheese produced by neighboring dairy farmers. There's often live entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays.

The opportunity to sell Wyebrook's products fits right in with the mission at Cook, a Center City school developed by restaurateur Audrey Claire Taichman.

Classes, generally single sessions, feature one ingredient and are taught by actual chefs. So you may pick by chef or by what you want to cook.

For the most part, students already were into organic, sustainable foods, so they're a natural audience for Wyebrook's products and message.

Executive director Lily Cope told Action News the "collaborative kitchen" offers lessons on everything from a simple hot dog to a complete exotic menu.

Cookbook authors also visit, and the space is often booked for private events. Fees vary based on chef and ingredient, and many sell out.

Students with food allergies and dietary restrictions are accommodated.

For information and enrollment opportunities, access Cook. You may also phone 215-735-2665. Cook is located at 253 S. 20th street in Center city, just off Rittenhouse Square.


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