Summer and fall are typical times of year for harvesting and preserving fruit and vegetables. But there’s still more of the year left for another kind of harvest as the weather turns cold. Late fall and early winter are the traditional season for butchering animals. There are several reasons for this seasonal rhythm. First of all, it makes more sense for farmers to butcher meat animals in the fall, rather than providing them with food and water through the harsh temperatures of another winter. In addition, in the ages before refrigeration, butchering animals in cold weather (40 degrees and below) reduced the risk of meat spoiling during processing. Without modern freezing and refrigeration, butchered meat was commonly preserved in many of the ways we now choose primarily for their flavor such as curing (think bacon and hams!), smoking, or drying (jerky).
Of course, with modern refrigeration and freezing devices, butchery isn’t primarily confined to the cooler months of the year as it once was. Nevertheless, fall is a great time to shine a light on local, humane meat production and some of the delicious meat products you can find around Front Royal. Read on to discover Front Royal’s local meats.
Front Royal’s Local Meat Farms
Grass is a healthy cow’s natural diet, and grass-fed beef is a healthy and delicious food for humans. In the Front Royal area, you can find local, grass-fed beef at Cottonwood Ranch, a family-owned and operated farm just a few miles from town. Cottonwood’s cows receive humane treatment throughout their lives, graze happily on pasture, and have their diet supplemented by high protein beer mash from local breweries. Manor Line Ranch in nearby Browntown, VA is another great source of local grass-fed beef. You’ll find the same high standards of humane treatment, environmental stewardship, and delicious food here too. Manor Line Ranch also produces high quality pork, lamb, and goat.
Head to their websites to purchase meat from both farms directly. Save some money and stock the freezer by placing a bulk order. You can purchase a whole, half, or quarter cow and enjoy a variety of healthy, grass-fed steaks, roasts, and hamburger, while having your freezer stocked so you’re never caught off guard.
Restaurants Serving Local Meats in Front Royal
If you want someone else to cook your local meat for your, check out you can find some great farm-to-table restaurants in the Front Royal area. Head to PaveMint Smokin’ Tap House to find delicious, local, smoked meats, burgers from local farms, and more. You’ll even find some meat from Manor Line Ranch on the menu. The made-over gas station provides a fun and unique atmosphere for enjoying your food.
For another local food experience, try Region’s 117 at Lake Frederick. This local fine dining option boasts a menu of “regionally inspired” dishes, with most of their ingredients sourced within 117 miles of the restaurant. Head here for beautiful views, delicious cuisine, and a fine dining experience you won’t forget!
Pick up more Meats and Local Products
In search of even more local products? Stop by Dusty’s Country Store and explore a wide variety of local, Virginia-produced food. Check out their jerky for meat preserved the old-fashioned way. The Apple House in Linden is another local favorite; find Virginia hams in the gift shop, as well as a range of other local products, or grab a bite in the restaurant or Bushel Pub.
Celebrate fall by bringing home some delicious local meats to enjoy with your family. Whether it’s Thanksgiving Dinner, another special occasion, or a simple weeknight meal with the family, local meat is a great addition to any table.
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