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Fried Cutlets

Box H grass finished beef cutlets are a tenderized steak from the “round”, the rear leg/rump area of the cow. This area is well exercised, and is also quite lean. Slow cooking roasts and steaks from the round is a great way to tenderize this meat, but we don’t always have time for that!  These thin, tenderized steaks make for a very quick and tasty meal.  My recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman’s Fried Round Steak. Check out her website to see photos and further directions. If you’d prefer not to fry your steaks, there are plenty of oven-baked tenderized round steak recipes out there too!

How to buy

Our cutlets are available directly from Box H Farm. Visit our farm shop online or in person to buy. We are offering free delivery on all beef orders in November to Regina, Weyburn and surrounding rural areas! Contact us or read more here to learn about this special. You can also buy our 2 lb cutlet and sausage package from Local & Fresh. Enjoy 1 pound of beef and onion sausage and 1 pound of cutlets, delivered to you by the great team at Local & Fresh!

November *free delivery* special!

In the month of November, we are offering free delivery to your home in Regina or Weyburn on all beef purchases!  Order online or contact us by phone or email to place your order.

How do I get free delivery?

Shop for your beef package and use the coupon code FreeDelivery2017 to apply the free shipping option. We will contact you at the phone number or email you provide to set up a delivery date. There is no minimum order amount!  Add honey to your beef purchase and we will deliver that too!  We can’t wait to meet you!Two boxes stacked. Grass finished mixed eighth pack

Still have questions?

Call or email us anytime to learn more about our grass-finished beef or how the free delivery option works. Our contact info is at: https://www.boxhfarm.ca/contact-us/

Priazo

This recipe makes two “pies” bakes in bread dough and filled with ground beef and pepperoni. They puff up when you bake them and my family really likes this meal. The leftovers seem to disappear too, but with two teenagers in the house, leftovers seem to be rare!  I think this recipe came from the Western Producer paper originally.

Grass fed beef

Box H Farm’s lean ground beef packages are sold through Local & Fresh and on our website. If you’re in Regina or Weyburn, we have a special coming up with free delivery to those cities. Contact us to learn more.

No clouds but some silver linings

No clouds

If the news reports are right, our little part of the world is experiencing one of the driest summers in the past 150 years. With only about two inches of rain since our snow melted, this has been a tough summer.  We’ve done all we can to protect our land including selling cows and buying hay.  We have spent years trying to build soil, but this has been a year to try not to lose ground.

Silver linings

The Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA)

While we haven’t enjoyed the weather much, this has been a great summer overall!  We were honoured to receive Saskatchewan’s TESA award this summer.  This award recognized cattle producers for excellence in protecting and enhancing the environment. Winning the award gave us the chance to attend the Canadian Beef Industry Conference, and meet environmental award recipients from the other provinces. It was inspiring to hear about the great work others are doing for the environment and their communities. You can read an article about the award here.

Family receiving environmental stewardship award on stage

Our family receiving the Saskatchewan TESA Award in Moose Jaw in June.

Great partnerships

Working with some great people to sell our beef has also been a highlight!  We’ve been lucky to sell our beef through Local & Fresh in Regina and Weyburn, and to sell beef to Reid’s Artisanal Butchery.  It’s been such a good learning experience for us to work with Greg Reid, and learn more about beef from the point of view of a chef and butcher.

My takeaway from this summer is that while we do have to deal with the realities of life, we shouldn’t spend time dwelling on what we can’t change. Weather will always be a challenge to those of us who earn our living from the land. Let’s celebrate our successes, and those of others.

But I still can’t help checking out the window for clouds each morning…

-Laura

 

Connecting producers and consumers

Consumers want to feel a greater connection to their food. This isn’t anything new or earth shattering, in fact it’s almost been discussed to death. It’s hard to read anything these days without coming across someone’s opinion on how to better link up consumers to the people who raise their food. While I do agree this is important I think we’ve largely been ignoring the flip side of this coin.  Primary producers of the food want to connect with consumers too.  Woman and child looking at bulls through a fence

Our surprising honey experience

In the spring of 2016 our farm got two hives of honeybees. With some study and some help from a friend who raises bees we fumbled our way through our first season.  We came out the other end with hundreds of pounds of honey more than our family could possibly eat.

So with no clearly defined plan as to what we wanted, we simply bottled it and started selling the honey to our friends family and anyone else who seemed interested. And that’s when something completely foreign happened, the people that we sold the honey to came back to us and told us how much they loved it. People were not only ecstatic with they taste but wanted to hear how it was raised, from start to finish. I’ve been selling calves for over 20 years, I’ve sold grain and hay, but I have never once experienced the satisfaction that I got from listening to people talk about the honey that we had produced.

For all the times that I’ve heard people talk about how much people crave an understanding of where their food comes from it never once crossed my mind that I might enjoy people’s feedback and interest in my part in it.

Looking ahead

2017 will be the first year that our ranch will market grass finished beef directly to the people who will consume it. We will still be marketing most of our calves to auction marts and order buyers, as a commodity. However;  this will also be the first year that we have raised and sold beef as food. It may not seem like a big difference, but it has changed the way we look at things on our farm. I believe for the better.

-Mark

Species at risk and pastured cattle

A chestnut-collared longspur landed on a rock in front of me in the pasture earlier this summer. This bird is one of many species at risk identified in Saskatchewan. Like many species, the longspur depends on native grasslands for its habitat.

Last summer I attended a pilot of the Saskatchewan Species at Risk program and I learned more about the bird and animal species of concern in my area.  While every species has its own special needs, many of these species rely on native prairie, and have become scarcer as the prairie is increasingly fragmentedFamily on prairie hill.

I’ve struggled with how we can manage our grasslands in a way that helps one species survive without causing unintended consequences for the other plants, animals, birds, insects and microbes that share the ecosystem. One thing seems to be clear: nature thrives on complexity and it is naturally built into the grassland system.  If our management plan supports and encourages this diversity, I think we can do the most good for the greatest number of species.

Projects enhancing species at risk habitat

We have planned species at risk projects that will support species needing the most help, but these projects will benefit other species as well.  Our piping plover and burrowing owl project will enhance our cross fencing in native prairie. The fencing will help us manage grazing and to ensure cattle spend a shorter time in each area. Forages will have plenty of rest and nesting birds will be undisturbed.

I feel that we can successfully manage our grasslands so that we all win.  Our native prairie can support a profitable livestock operation, and be a place for wildlife to survive and thrive, while remaining a beautiful space for us to enjoy. I hope you get a chance to spend some time with nature this summer!

-Laura

Onion Balsamic Meatloaf

Raising beef cattle means that we often have ground beef on hand! This is my go-to meatloaf recipe. Everyone in the family loves it and it’s great with potatoes and garden veggies or a side salad. It takes awhile to cook, but the preparation is quick and easy. You could easily split this recipe in half if you are serving one or two people and don’t want tons of leftovers!

Spring honey from the prairie

The Box H bees have been busy and so have we! We’re excited to have our spring honey extracted and bottled. We took this early batch to get a taste of honey from the spring flowers. Now that the field crops are blooming, the bees will be drawn to those big fields, but the honey up until this time has been from native flowers in the prairie, early spring dandelions, and a bit of blooming sweet clover.  It tastes sweet and floral.

Extracting

Honey frame with wax capping

Honey frame with was capping

After we gather the frames full of honey, we bring them back to our screened porch for extracting. The bees fill the wax cells in the frames with nectar and cap the cells with wax when the honey is cured and has reached the right moisture level.

We use a hot knife to remove the wax capping, so the honey can spin out of the frames in the extractor, which works like a centrifuge. The wax that is removed is melted down and saved as beeswax for candles and more.

Once we spin out both sides of the frame, all that’s left behind is the wax comb. The frame can then be stored until we are ready to give it back to the bees to make more honey! In the final picture you can see a frame that no longer contains honey. The dark spots are where the bees have stored pollen in the cells instead of nectar.  Pollen is the main protein source for the bees, while the honey gives them the carbohydrates they need to work so hard.

Box H Honey

Frame of honey with wax capping removed

Frame of honey with wax capping removed

Frame of honey extracted

Frame that has had the honey  removed, using the extractor

Our two hives give us so much more honey than our family can use! Honey will be available in three sizes this year.

Check out our online shop or drop by and visit us to see the honey we offer.  We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!

 

Spring update and website launch

We’ve had a busy spring at Box H Farm! Our short Saskatchewan growing season makes every spring busy for farmers and ranchers and this year was no exception. One our first priorities each spring is (sigh) fencing.  Fixing fences early means our cows can get out to fresh pastures when they need to move.  We’ve had a busy calving season, and are getting close to being done. Mark sorts pairs off of the herd after the cows calve. This makes it easier to check cows that haven’t calved and keeps everyone healthy and on fresh, clean grass. 

The Grazing Season

We look forward to the summer grazing season. It’s busy, but satisfying. Our cows move every day or two during the summer, but we find it’s important to be flexible. Depending on weather, growing conditions and how many cows are grazing, we vary pasture size and how often we move. By doing this we ensure hat we leave the ground covered to protect the soil.   We also leave enough vegetation behind so the plants can regrow. Cows moving to fresh pastures regularly are eager to move and stay very healthy. There’s no need to “chase” cows when they’re going where they want to go!

Website Launch

We’re very excited that our website www.boxhfarm.ca is up and running! We’re can’t wait to share updates from the farm and connect with others who share our passion for healthy, local food.  You can subscribe to the Blog, connect through Twitter and Facebook, and read more about our farm on the website. Feel free to give us a shout if you have questions and watch our website for updates on our online store, coming soon.

-Laura