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Welcome in the NEW YEAR with a "POP UP" Custom Beef Share



First things first, we are excited to announce that we have a special Custom Beef share "POP UP" for the month of February.

As many of you know, we completely SOLD OUT of all our remaining 2023 season custom beefs back in mid September and have been taking PRE ORDERS for the 2024 season already. Our 2024 harvest season for our 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 year old steers and heifers does not start till May and we are already 11 beefs PreSold into that season. As the 2023 custom beefs moved so quickly back in the fall, with some customers not getting a preorder in at all, many interested customers did not get to stock up their freezers as much as wanted to account for the long winter/early spring gap in our custom beef offerings.

As we have one remaining harvest date on Feb. 1st, we have decided to offer one more Custom Beef named "Veggie Girl" L21. Her custom beef share offering is unique as she is actually a young, 5 year old cow that is huge, beautiful, healthy and will provide a large volume of edible custom beef, almost double of that of our 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 year olds.

As a farmer, I have to take end of year evaluations on all of our girls in what I call our Main Breeding Herd and as the name implies, girls that are in our main breeding herd need to show fairly consistent pregnancy and calving rates. Albeit, for certain not perfect always, but at least a promising track record. To be so large and beefy, she did not breed in 2023 and therefore would not give birth to a calf in our 2024 calving season and that would make her 1 calf, for 6 years. Normally girls in our main breeding herd would have 4 calves in a six year period, as they have their first calf around the age of 3. As she was a favorite and especially selected as one of our saved Heifers back in 2020, we gave her more chances to get pregnant than normal and sure enough she finally did have her first calf "Thanksgiving at Last" in the late Fall of 2022. With this, my experiment was to see when a Heifer that has had trouble breeding from the start finally does have a calf, if that would help her be a consistent regular calving Mamma Cow in the future? If this would have been the case with "Veggie Girl" then she should have breed back and calved this past 2023 Fall, but she did not and she is not even pregnant currently. So, this is why we have made the decision to offer her as a custom beef.


Allie's TOP reasons of what makes this "POP UP" custom beef for mid February pick up so GREAT....

  1. Excellent Price Value as VOLUME of edible beef is higher. For example "Veggie Girl's" 1/16th has more volume than our Normal 1/8th shares.

  2. All her ground will be a Ground Beef + Vital Organs Blend, which is an exceptional way to have a more power packed nutrient base in the ground beef, without a noticeable alteration of taste.   We have had a few customers choose this option on their 1/2 and Whole Customizable Beefs and the blend has only been given a THUMBS UP and 5 STAR rating by us and our shareholders.  For certain the best way to consume organs, without even knowing it!!  Also the ground will have a little more fat % than our young steers and heifers ground beef. This 85/15 to 80/20 makes for the best grilled hamburgers and for sauteeing along with vegetables without having to add oil into iron skillet...immense flavor as this is one of our families favorites!

  3. Our Young Cows make for delicious Roast. So flavorful, perhaps even a pinch better than a 2 1/2 year old's roast, if we have to say so ourselves. Winter time and early spring is a great time to enjoy Roast.

  4. This gives you the customer a good chance to have some Foothill Frolic Farm custom beef in the freezer until the 2024 harvest season on farm pick up starts in May.

  5. As always our custom beefs are 100% grassfed & grassfinished, and are raised their whole lives from "Birth to Beef" WITHOUT THE USE of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, routine antibiotics/medications, vaccines, or GMO's.  










 

Week One of 2024, FOOTHILL FROLIC FARM POST



The Holidays seem to have come and gone so quickly. The cousins (my sister's family) from Houston, TX came in for their annual holiday visit and so Eastenn Dutch had a little change up of play and we enjoyed some good eatings and festive occasions mixed in with our new daily winter feeding bonanza. With the Custom Beef offerings and the goal of keeping our beefs local, we have so many cows, steers, heifers, and calves to feed these days. Grampy and I set out to feed three separate herds twice a day, which is a lot. Thus far, the cattle have been very approving of our 2023 hay bale crop, eating away like champs, not even really leaving any for us to scatter and spread like sometimes we do. We are feeding out about 4 1/2 - 5 1/2 round bales a day currently and hoping to have enough round bales at this rate to make it till the end of March. The hardest part for me about winter cattle farming, this year in particular, is not the actual rhythm and work load of the day, it is just the relentless day in day out feeding that leaves one with not much cozy reading time or inside project time or baking time, or really anytime. I knew it was a lost cause over the holidays when I left butter out to soften for 4 days, in hopes to make gingerbread with the children, that never happened. This very well might be the first year, perhaps in my entire life that I did not do any holiday baking. Any extra time goes to the basics of meal prep and eating, along with the responsibilities of being a mother of a 9 year old.


2023 Left us on a Beautiful Sun filled day only to be greeted by dreary clouds and cold for the first day of 2024. The first week of the New Year has presented itself with too many cloudy days, as it has felt a little heavy, when I think of the New Year as needing to have a light feel. On Saturday we accumulated about .6" of rain, which was the most rain we had had since the weening of our 2023 calf herd. Fortunately for the calves, come this Tuesday, their 4 week corralled barn yard stay will have come to an end and they will get to move onto a new paddock. Really, their area is a very pleasant place to be weened and they have eaten well and made the transition from the main herd to their own sub herd very nicely and fairly stress free as all their Mamma's were just a nose away on the other side of the fence. My favorite most personal calf for the 2023 season has presented himself within the intimate feeding scenario of when we ween calves. It came out of the blue really and he is a steer named "Quick Whitt" 319S. When we are putting hay out he is always the one right there beside me on purpose. He is a calf of one of our best Mamma Cows, G3, and I think he was just so loved and cared for that he needed to reconnect with a being that would give him special attention and that being was me!


On January 4th, we rounded up and brought our yearling herd back to the home farm in our across the road field to rotate through for the rest of the winter. It took Matthew 5 loads to get the herd of 56 steers and heifers back home from their time in the Mill Paddock on Maple View, just a few miles away. That is where we started their hay feeding season, and as it has been abnormally drier for the late Fall/Early Winter we were able to feed on practically every square foot without much disruption of the soil structure. This equates to lots of manure evenly spread along with spent hay pieces, which is what regenerative cattle farming is all about...using cattle to create fertilization.


We have been having a little starter bendix trouble on our 94 FORD tractor, which is our main winter feeding tractor here. Sometimes it starts right up and other times the key has to be turned 13 times, before it will catch and start. Dad is hoping here soon to be able to get it taken off so it can be reworked. Until he does though, I have watched how he puts his head down on the steering wheel as if he is saying prayers to the tractor gods and when it starts, his head pops up so quickly like a pop up toy.


That is a quick wrap on the First Week here at Foothill Frolic Farm in the Appalachian Highlands of East TN.


 

Foothill Frolic Farm's 3 Generation Cattle Series Feature


This Photo Series is an idea I had to show the relation of generations within a "Birth to Beef" Regenerative Cattle Farm.

We will start with featuring Mamma Cow L9 and her 3 calves she has birthed since 2021. Mamma COW L9, is currently pregnant with her calf that will be born in the spring of ouru 2024 calving season.



Mamma COW L9, 1st Generation


"Hang Ten" L115S, Born in April of 2021, 2nd Generation (Already Harvested as a Custom Beef)


"Leo the Great" 217S, Born in March 6th 2022, 3rd Generation


"Killdeer Run" 341H Born on March 24th 2023, 4th Generation



Until Next Time, Eat Well and Be Well and Pass Along,

Allison Mills Neal of Foothill Frolic Farm

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