Our farming practices:
At Patriot Pastures, we understand as well as anyone how confusing the multitude of methods & claims in the local food market can be. Thats why we believe in putting the truth on the table and letting the consumer decide for themselves. Below is a list with brief explanations of our farming practices & claims for your review. Take some time to see the Patriot Pastures difference and see why we feel that "An educated consumer is our best customer".
- Our animals spend their entire lives out on the pasture. This practice is also sometimes referred to as "free range" although according to the USDA animals can be "free range" as long as they have access to the outdoors.
- In addition to spending their entire lives on pasture, our animals are periodically moved or "rotationally grazed" around the various pastures to increase the health and productivity of the pasture itself while limiting exposure to harmful parasites that may result from using the same pasture for extended periods.
- Our herds & flocks are an extension of our farming family and their care and comfort is our top priority. Our animals are always treated with the utmost respect & humane husbandry procedures to ensure their time with us is as happy as can be.
Although the term "All Natural" has no true, enforacable meaning in the food industry, for Patriot Pastures it means our products do not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives and our ingredients are only minimally processed.
No Added Hormones or Antibiotics
For this claim we have found no better, simple to understand article than this one from UNL Extension. Here is a brief summary: "All cellular organisms contain hormones, they are naturally occurring – there is no such thing as hormone free! When something is labeled “hormone free” or “no hormones”, it is a misnomer (as they are naturally occurring). The correct wording should be “no-added hormones”. Hormones are NOT allowed in hog, poultry, or bison production. The statement “no hormones added” CANNOT be used on any packaging for pork and/or poultry items, unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry/pork” so as not to mislead consumers into believing that these meat protein products were grown with additional hormones.
No Antibiotics Is also referred to as “raised without antibiotics” or “no antibiotics administered”. This indicates that no antibiotics were used on the animal in its lifetime.
Grass Fed - Grass Finished
- Keeping with their natural herbaceous design, our Black Angus Beef are pasture raised and consume a diet consisting 100% of grass forage. Started on grass, finished on grass - as nature intended.
A heritage livestock breed is one that was traditionally raised by farmers before the advent of massive-scale industrial agriculture and generally do better in a pasture raised, "slow food" environment. Our pasture raised pork is pure breed Berkshire, which has been defined as "a first class black pig with excellent lean meat. Occasionally, when commercial white pork becomes too bland and tasteless, some Berkshire genes are used to improve it."
At Patriot Pastures, we feel very strongly that ones eating experience is only as good as your ingredients. It doesn't matter how good your recipe or sauce is if the base meat is an inferior product. Thats why we take extra pride in raising animals that come from some of the most premium genetics in the country. We know you will be able to taste the difference true genetic quality makes.
- This is another claim that generally has no real enforceable significance in the marketplace although production mileage limits are suggested by various organizations. For Patriot Pastures, we are local to the Montgomery County, Maryland area: 15 miles outside of Frederick, MD & Leesburg, VA, 30 miles outside of Washington DC and 40 miles outside Baltimore, Maryland.
Farm fresh is a claim we use in reference to our pasture raised egg production which describes the fact that our eggs come straight from the chicken in the morning into the packaging process & retail location often on the same day. Some customers may confuse this claim with "Farm Raised" which is used often in the marketplace. We at Patriot Pastures personally feel this to be a laughable claim, as the USDA definition of a farm is “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.” Thus, all animals produced anywhere, ever, are "Farm Raised".
Our Angus Are:
Pasture Raised * Rotationally Grazed * Humanely Handled * Grass Fed - Grass Finished * All Natural * No Added Hormones or Antibiotics * Premium Genetics
Our pasture raised black Angus beef are rotationally grazed through our highly productive grass fields allowing them continuous access to forage, fresh air and exercise. These animals experience all that it means to be a beef in it's natural, grazing environment. The animals are always handled with care & respect, and are processed and packaged by a USDA certified facility.
Contrary to popular belief, it is"Premium Genetics", not a "splash of grain", that brings out an exceptional eating experience in pastured, grass fed beef. This is the precise reason why Patriot Pastures has been working tirelessly to develop our own private herd. Our Black Angus beef are born & bred to have exceptional eating traits such as marbling, ribeye area, tenderness and high yield grade among others. We believe these premium genetics, coupled with humane, pastured farming practices, produces a product that speaks for itself through the overall eating experience.
Beef is now available for purchase from our farm stores, online store & partners in individual cuts.
Our Pigs Are:
Pasture Raised * Rotationally Grazed * Humanely Handled * All Natural * No Added Hormones or Antibiotics * Heritage Breed * Premium Genetics
*"No Nitrate Added" Curing Available*
At Patriot Pastures, we raise high quality, heritage breed, "Berkshire" hogs to ensure a superior eating experience for our clients. Our pasture raised hogs rotationally graze, root and wallow in pasture & wooded areas better known as their natural environment. This allows the animal continuous access to forage, fresh air and exercise - thus fulfilling their ability to be a pig everyday of their life.
Our hogs also receive access to supplemental feed that we grow and produce ourselves. The animals are always handled with care & respect, and are processed and packaged by a USDA certified facility.
Our Chickens Are:
Pasture Raised * Rotationally Grazed * Humanely Handled * All Natural * No Added Hormones or Antibiotics * Farm Fresh
Pasture Raised Fed Eggs
Our Farm Fresh Eggs are produced by pasture raised, "layer" hens from our mobile egg wagon. The grain is grown and produced in house & specially formulated for our pasture raised flock. Our intensive rotational grazing model allows the hens to follow our beef herd ingesting insect larvi and breaking up "cow patties" helping for the distribution of nutrients back into the soil. This process builds high quality soils & makes for happy & healthy hens who in turn produce nutritionally superior, high quality eggs for your enjoyment and benefit.
Whole Bird (4-5 Lbs Avg.) Meat Chickens
Our pasture raised Cornish Rock X chickens are moved daily for exercise and fresh grass while also receiving supplemental feed that we grow and produce ourselves. The birds are processed and packaged by a USDA certified facility in Maryland and available for purchase as a whole bird.