You just need to know what you think you are getting is what you are really getting, right?
There are so many claims in marketing of food - how do you know that what you think you are getting is really what you are getting? The best way is to ASK your LOCAL FARMERthe correct questions face-to-face.
Organic ... is it really feasible to obtain "organic" meat locally?
Fact: There are currently no organic USDA meat processing plants within 200 miles of Pittsburgh or our farm, so it is doubtful that you will find locally produced or processed beef, pork or lamb with the "certified organic" sticker on it as the organic meat has to be harvested and processed using organic methods to qualify. Because of this, few local farms have pursued organic certification. Some farms have incurred the expense and rigorous record keeping requirements to become certified organic but the product will still not be truly "organic" unless harvested and processed in a certified organic plant.
You have to dig a little deeper to find out if the farm is really producing what you are searching for. Questions to ask include:
Do you provide minerals to your livestock that are permitted in organic production (more on minerals later)?
Do you use herbicides or pesticides on your fields or on/in your animals? Organic certification does not mean no chemicals are ever used - it just means that the chemicals are of organic origin or have been accepted as permitted in organic production.
Are your animals raised on pasture (more on pasture-raised later)?
Old Time products are often referred to as "organic" - full disclosure we are NOT certified organic and there are penalties for claiming your products are "organic" without the certification, so I try to be clear about what organic practices we use and do not.
Pasture-raised - does that mean free range?
Old Time chickens, turkeys and cattle are all pasture-raised on Old Time Farm from birth to harvest - ALL have access to grass in the growing season and hay in the winter (including our poultry). Our poultry are locked in their houses/barn at night to protect them from predators and the cattle always have access to shade/shelter.
Our poultry are all "free range" or "day range" - we do NOT put them in small pens and move them on the grass during the day like some pasture-raised poultry operations do. If they are contained during the day for some reason (ie breeding season), they are kept in a fenced in area that is an actual pasture where they can exhibit natural behaviors, move around and receive plenty of sunlight.
Thank You!! Your purchase helps conserve rare breeds!