I'm having the last of the 1/4 cow I got last season for dinner tonight. And I only have a little ground Buffalo and Lamb left as well. So it was time to stock up a bit.
As you can see, I went for ground Goat this time. 27 pounds of Goatalicious, and some beef soup bones. I got it from an interesting farm/ranch located in Silt (50 miles downvalley from here) called Eagle Springs Organic. I tried one pound of this stuff last Fall and was impressed. I found it at a new little shop in town, and both the shop and the farm/ranch have a bit of an interesting story.
The shop is called Eagle Springs Aspen Market. It sells the items from the farm/ranch as well as some other 'natural' items they order from a distributor. Mostly they feature their own produce and meat products. It's been open several months now, and will be open year round. Not terribly unusual until you consider where we are (the middle of the Rocky Mountain's) and where the shop is (downtown Aspen). The story begins with the location.
With ridiculous rents in Aspen, there is no way a small farm/ranch shop could normally survive. We've had a great Farmers Market in the Summer here for a number of years now, but a shop in a downtown building, open all year, is odd. As in there has to be a catch. And, indeed, there is. Money. Good old greenbacks. Good old Aspen greenbacks. In this case, however, I'm not complaining as I'm a benefiting from the situation. So the story goes some billionaire buys a farm/ranch where he wants to go all green and sustainable. Hence, Eagle Springs Organics. Now, this is not the farm your Grandparents grew up on. As you can see from their website, they're installing a 1.1 megawatt Solar-field to negate 100% of their electrical consumption ... you know, like most farms are doing nowadays . They also have a 58,000 sqft. greenhouse with 5 different 'zones' as they call them (holy Toledo, is that time zones?). And one of those zones is a Fish House. Yep, they even have Tilapia on this farm. You get the point, this is not your average Rural spread. With a greenhouse the size of a small moon though, we now have fresh produce up here all year round. Nice.
The billionaire also bought a building in downtown Aspen where he plans on having some retail shops. Nothing unusual there. But for some reason the shops he has planned are on hold (I can't remember why). So, in the meantime, he comes up with the idea to sell product from his farm/ranch in the building, and calls it Eagle Springs Aspen Market. Thusly, we now have a little 'hippie' farm shop surrounded by the likes of Gucci, Prada, The Caribou Club, and lots of sushi restaurants. Turns out this guy plans on keeping the farm shop now, putting it in the basement of his building when the 'real' merchandise goes into the street level space. Again, Nice.
Eagle Springs raises a number of different animals, including Goats, Lambs, Cattle, and Pigs. Cool. As you can see in the picture, the ground Goat has 'not for sale' on it. The farm manager called me to make sure this was okay and that I didn't intend it for resale. I assured him that it's very shortly headed for my belly. Apparently, they have a couple of different processing places they use, and the one that they really like is not certified to package stuff up for sale at retail venues. They just process for people buying the whole animal ... like a contract buy. He had some ground Goat left over and I'm the lucky beneficiary. Yum Yum Goat!