By now you’ve probably been convinced that shopping local is the way to go, especially when it comes to your food. Score a point for the farm-to-table movement. But sometimes—even for the most passionate believers—executing your best intentions can be tricky. Maybe you like to sleep in on Saturdays, so you miss the farmers’ markets. Or you find that local groceries from your favorite retailer are too expensive for your family’s budget. Good news: now there’s a service that will deliver sustainably raised Arkansas meat right to your front door.
The Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative—an organization committed to environmentally sound farming techniques and carefully studied animal-welfare practices—is now offering its home-delivery meat-share program to residents of Northwest Arkansas.
Affectionately titled Herds to Homes, this service functions much like a vegetable CSA. But instead of picking up vegetables every week during a growing season, frozen meat is delivered to your home every three months for a year.
The concept is simple; you buy into the success of a farm, and the return on your investment is paid out as food. So, with the basic share you get 24 chickens, half a hog, and a quarter of a cow. The program is designed to support small farmers and make the most efficient use of their animals. This approach to sustainable consumption—folks in the biz like to call it “nose-to-tail eating”—means that you get a little taste of everything. And because nothing is wasted, the co-op is able to offer meat at a lower cost.
Grass Roots is a farmer owned and operated cooperative whose members formally joined together to make products more accessible to their customers and farming more sustainable for them. They hold themselves accountable to standards that ensure that their animals and the land they are raised on are treated with respect.
All fifteen of the farms—which are located throughout the Ozarks, River Valley, and Delta of Arkansas—rotate their animals around their fields, which means that the animals eat on fresh pasture every day and that the land is not overgrazed. None of the meat produced by the co-op contains hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs.