By Elizabeth Keyser
John Morosani started raising grass-fed cows in 2003, but it’s only now that Laurel Ridge Farm‘s capacity has grown enough so it’s offering a monthly CSA in Fairfield. Morosani comes to Reef Road in Fairfield the first Thursday of each month.
In 2006, the New York Times singled out Laurel Ridge’s grass-fed beef as one of the top four winners in a taste-test of 15 rib-eyes from grass-fed beef raised across the country. Marion Burros wrote that Laurel Ridge’s steak “brought back memories of the beefy flavor meat had before cattle were stuffed with grain in feedlots” and was “juicy and slightly chewy.”
Laurel Ridge’s CSA is a six-month commitment that offers members 30 percent steak, 30 percent slow-cooked meat (roasts and stews) and about 40 percent ground beef, which the farmer chooses for members based on what they had the previous month. The meat comes frozen and Cryovaced.
A commitment of $77.50 per month entitles the member to a 10% discount from retail prices (which range from $23 a pound for rib eye; $11 a pound for top round roast; and $6.50 for ground meat). Spending $150 per month will get you a 13% discount, and $217.50 per month a 16% discount.
The cows are born on the farm and put out to pasture in May. This past spring was unusually warm, so the cows got out a month earlier. In winter they eat hay grown on the farm. Although they are not certified organic, the farm does not use herbicides or pesticides. Clover is mixed with the grass to put nitrogen into the soil. Depending on the weather, however, the farm occasionally has to purchase hay. It’s not organic because the cost is 50 percent higher, Morosani says.
Morosani also offers pasture raised pork and chickens. They are not bred on the farm. He buys one-day old chicks, and three-week old piglets.
For more information and to purchase a CSA share, please visit the farm’s web site or contact John Morosi directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone number, email to respond to, and monthly level of commitment, or call 860-567-8122. PDF registration forms can be downloaded from the site.
Elizabeth Keyser is an award-winning freelance writer based in Fairfield, CT and regular contributor to the Fairfield Green Food Guide. Her work has been published in GQ, American Photo, The New York Times, The New York Post, Connecticut Magazine, Edible Nutmeg, the Yankee Brew News and newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts.