Nagging Questions

You aren't the only one wondering.

What is a CSA?

A CSA, or community supported agriculture, is a pre-paid installment plan for your farm fresh food. You will receive a box of hand-selected Big Horn cuts (also called a share), delivered to your door once a month.  Farmer Mike personally picks the season’s tastiest meats, and packs a different box for every customer. You cannot request specific products, but we promise to challenge your palate and culinary skills for the six-month term.

What do I get in my basket?

We have 8 different assortment packages, including chicken, beef, pork, and any combination in between. Each basket is 10 pounds, and contains a different mix of cuts every month. You can’t always expect a filet mignon, but we guarantee that our tour de meats will take you to flavors you didn’t even know existed.

How long does the CSA last?

Our CSA’s run for 6 month commitments, but you pay month to month. If you miss the sign up, prorated shares are also available, allowing you to pick up in the middle of the term and pay only for what you receive.

Why join a CSA?

CSA’s are a meeting of the producer and consumer’s interest. As a consumer, you know the person growing your food. Farmer Mike is neither a corporation nor a bulk buyer. His animals are his only livelihood, and he raises his flock from birth to slaughter. So you pay wholesale prices for meat that you trust. Your subscription also keeps you eating seasonally, reducing shipping and packaging waste, while also introducing variety into your diet. As for Farmer Mike, he gains a constant and predictable income. He knows what to breed and what to sell, keeping his to do list running smoothly.  Selling customer direct, he also maintains his full profit share, and can reinvest in the farm’s future (read: more cowies, more self sustaining technology).

But how much is 10 pounds? Can I really eat that much meat?

Consider that the USDA recommends 24-34 ounces of meat, poultry or eggs per week (35-42 ounces of protein in general). Our 10 pound shares are 160 ounces per month, so a two-person household can easily consume the 40 ounces of meat between them. Throw in a couple holidays and family meals, and you will have plenty of space in your freezer.

How does my meat get delivered?

That depends on where you live. If you are lucky enough to be passing through Erie, you can pick up your basket directly from the farm. If you live within the Greater Pittsburgh delivery route (see map),  a Big Horn driver will deliver your share to your door. Otherwise our good friends at UPS will handle your carefully packed and frozen meats, to arrive on your porch.  Prices do vary based on the delivery method, because we aren’t going to charge you if you do all the work.

Why should I buy from Big Horn Meats, instead of adding a meat share to my current vegetable CSA?

In short, vegetable CSA’s are run by vegetable farmers. Single farms cannot produce everything profitably, so they contract their meat shares elsewhere. The same goes for larger farming cooperatives and alliances. So you take one step away from your meat producer, and rely on someone else’s judgement about the quality of your food. And in the case of the larger cooperatives, decisions are no longer even made by the farmers themselves, but rather by business and marketing managers. With Big Horn Meats, Farmer Mike has his waders in the mud every day, and he can personally assure you of the meat’s quality and impact on the land. You are supporting a small Pennsylvania business, that you can visit and talk to in real time.

Why can't I choose what goes into my basket?

One cow can feed a lot of people. So when we send one of our prized beasts to slaughter, everyone has to share the different cuts that it provides (cows are not entirely made of New York Strip steaks). Livestock can have highly detrimental effects on the land if over grazed or over populated. In raising the fewest number of animals necessary, we ensure that our soil remains healthy for future generations.

How can I buy specific cuts if I have a CSA?

You can order any cut that your heart desires from our online retail store, and we will include it in your CSA box. You won’t even have to pay shipping. Because we like you.

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