introducing Almanack Farm
We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Almanack Farm!
Owned and operated by Justin and Rachel Sauerwein, Almanack Farm raises pasture-finished grass-fed beef on a scenic 240 acres in neighboring Chelsea, VT.
As Vermonters, we are fortunate to savor the vast offerings provided by our local farms―from produce to cattle and everything in between. BB&P founders, Peter and Lauren, are committed to sourcing these products for our dishes while connecting customers with the folks who motivate the philosophy behind our store. On collaborating with Almanack, Peter comments, “I have always envisioned a successful farm to business relationship based on quality, transparency and value. Justin and Rachel have committed their family’s future toward a goal we stand behind.”
BB&P will offer a range of Almanack’s premium cuts including top sirloin, ground chuck & hindquarter, forequarter, rib sections and many more. Look out for our Daily BBQ plate, Butcher’s Burger, the House Hot Dog and other favorites for a taste of this flavorful partnership!
We asked Justin and Rachel to share a little about themselves and how Almanack came to be one of the leading cattle farms in the state. Check out the Q&A below to get to know this incredible duo! Happy scrolling.
Can you tell us about yourselves and Almanack Farm’s background?
Rachel and I moved to Vermont in 2008 and bought part of an old hill farm in Chelsea in 2010. That first year we raised a few cows, kept chickens, grew a garden, sugared, really a homestead focus. Over time, we realized we had a knack for working with animals and bringing abandoned farmland back to life; we wanted to make it a family business and raise our kids on the farm. We established Almanack Farm in 2015 with a focus on pasture-raised and finished beef. We moved about a mile down the road this year to a recently closed dairy farm and are working with the Vermont Land Trust to conserve the farm.
What is the mission and inspiration behind your farm?
We think there is a real need for family farms and family-scale operations; farms that can regenerate the landscape, produce affordable food, and be an anchor for the community. There is tremendous opportunity in Vermont to make better use of grassland and fill the void left by retiring farmers. It is amazing what can be accomplished with good grazing practices and modern fence technology. Many of the hay fields around us haven’t seen manure or fertilizer in years and the plants and soil life are starved.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Success and improvement is tangible and unmistakable-- the pastures get better with every rotation, the cattle fatten, folks stop by regularly to tell us how happy they are to see the farm being cleaned up and how nice the cows look. Of course, I really enjoy working with cattle and developing trust with them; it removes so much stress and worry when you can easily handle tame cattle. We have some long moves we make on foot through the woods over terrain where it is not practical to fence. You need a good working relationship with the cows to have the herd follow you no matter where you go. It’s a fun job leading 90 cows in a line when I know they trust I will bring them to nice grass (and they behave)!
What excites you most about partnering with BB&P?
Working with Pete and Lauren is ideal for a family farm. Marketing is always a challenge; selling wholesale often means little profit for the farmer, but retailing adds significant labor and overhead costs and is difficult to do well and sustain over the years. A local butcher shop is a “sweet spot” that combines the simplicity of wholesale with the value creation of processing and retail.
Is there a takeaway you hope for BB&P customers after they experience Almanack’s product?
I hope that people gain an understanding that a family farm can produce a high-quality product at an affordable price and be an asset to the community and environment. An important part of that quality is our herd of Wagyu X Angus cattle. The Wagyu genetics mean more marbling from a grass-fed beef; we can have all the benefits of grass-fed and top quality meat.
Head over to Almanack’s website to learn more about the farm.
Blog Written by Lucie Bodnar