Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rain...."but please sir may I have some more?"

The sheep were very happy to get some rain recently. We have been rotating them around some of our paddocks, but because they require different fencing, we were running out of grass and had to feed them (and the goats) hay. They've now got a nice green pick, which is just as well as we have also been doing more fencing to give them some more space, but haven't finished it yet!

We ended up with about 70mm. All of it soaked in, there was very little run off. One of the advantages of regenerative farming is that because you try and maintain a good ground cover of pasture, the rain tends to soak in rather than run off. This means that you get to hold onto the moisture and it also means that there is less run off/soil loss. This is also a benefit for the reef. So our kind of farming is also Reef Friendly, as well as Bush Friendly.

October has 5 weekends - the 1st of October was a Sunday, so that was a market weekend. This weekend coming - the 14th and 15th is the third weekend, so once again a market weekend. It does mean that there will be a two weekend break before the next market (4th and 5th November), so you may want to stock up! We will have pork, beef, lamb and goat.

A reminder too, that we will head down to Gladstone this weekend. We will park up under the trees near the nursery at the Benaraby Turnoff. We'll be there from 2.30 to 3.30. Thank you to those fantastic Gladstone Area customers that make the effort to come out and also for your referrals. It's always great to increase our customer base there.

I haven't had much of a response to my Oktoberfest Competition, so please have a think about cooking something and posting it on the Facebook Page.

The Rules:
  • The meat used must be Dawson Valley Free Range Pork. 
  • A photo and brief description of main ingredients and the connection to "German Style" to be posted on the DVFR Facebook Page between the 1st and 31st October. If you don't do Facebook, please email it to me and I will post it on your behalf.
  • Open to Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Gladstone Area customers only, as the vouchers and discount is only available to the regular market customers. If you are prepared to travel to a market to purchase our meat, then you can enter and be in the chance to win.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, as long as it's a different dish each time.
The prize winners will be chosen before the first market in November. 

  1. $50 Meat Voucher
  2. $20 Meat Voucher
  3. $10 Meat Voucher
Every entry will earn 10% off their next purchase - all meats are included in this offer.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


It's almost October and that means Oktoberfest in some places.  I've done a quick google on the origins and apparently it started in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of one of the Princes. It did change to be celebrated in September because the weather in Germany is better in September than October, however the name remained. I've decided that at Dawson Valley Free Range we are going to celebrate for the entire month of October - Starting on the 1st of October, as we will be at the markets that weekend.

To celebrate, we will start a competition for the month. I think that pork is synonymous with Oktoberfest, especially pork sausages and pork shanks/knuckles/hocks. To enter this competition, all you need to do is post a photo of your best German Style Pork dish on the Dawson Valley Free Range Facebook Page.  It is going to be hard to judge just by a photo, so a little description of the dish will be needed, as well as what makes it "German Style".

The Rules:
  • The meat used must be Dawson Valley Free Range Pork. 
  • A photo and brief description of main ingredients and the connection to "German Style" to be posted on the DVFR Facebook Page between the 1st and 31st October. If you don't do Facebook, please email it to me and I will post it on your behalf.
  • Open to Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Gladstone Area customers only, as the vouchers and discount is only available to the regular market customers. If you are prepared to travel to a market to purchase our meat, then you can enter and be in the chance to win.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, as long as it's a different dish each time.
The prize winners will be chosen before the first market in November. 

  1. $50 Meat Voucher
  2. $20 Meat Voucher
  3. $10 Meat Voucher
Every entry will earn 10% off their next purchase - all meats are included in this offer.

The meat doesn't need to be sausages or shanks, however I have reduced the price of shanks for the month. They are now $10/kg. 

Next Markets:
Yeppoon - 30th September
Rockhampton - 1st October
No Gladstone this time, but we will be there on the 14th October.

Disclaimer: These are not my photos, I didn't have any german style ones.......Just wanted to give you an idea or two.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Markets - Mid August

Since last post, we've had just over an inch of rain so the place has greened up a little. Hopefully that bodes well for a nice early start to Spring rain. The weather is still quite warm, so it's also good grass growing weather. Our sheep have finished lambing I think and the goats are almost finished. We have as many baby goats as we do adults now and we've got 3 poddy goats that we are hand feeding. We did have a fourth one, but we gave it away. Baby pigs, baby goats and baby sheep and out in the Bush Friendly Beef herd we've got calves starting to drop. Spring is Sprung (early).

The newest piglets on the farm. Bacon Seeds.

We've just had a visit from the owners of the Sunshine Coast Organic Meats butcher shop. The shop has recently changed hands (well about 3 months ago) and so we hadn't actually met these guys and they also wanted to see where the pigs come from that taste so incredibly good! We've been supplying this shop for quite a few years - it's the one in Forest Glen, next to Kunara.

Yesterday afternoon we went for a walk to show them the pigs and after fighting their way past the 3 pet lambs and one pet pig inside the house yard, they had to give the other pets outside a pat as well - the three musketeers, Charlie (pigs) and then Misty and Shifty the sheep and of course Patch the dog as well. Then Misty joined us for the paddock walk - I'm sure she thinks she is a dog. I've never met a pet like her. She will often follow us around the farm, running along behind or beside the quad bike.

You can't walk anywhere without pets crawling around your legs! Tripping Hazard!!!!

This morning they came back out to help us feed the pigs and to learn a bit more about how we farm. It's been great to meet them and for them to gain a better understanding of what it takes to provide them and the Sunshine Coast customers with our pork. It's all about building relationships and gaining an understanding from both points of view.

Markets are on this weekend in Yeppoon and Rockhampton. We will have Pasture Raised Pork, Bush Friendly Beef and Melt in the Mouth Mutton! Who enjoyed the mutton last time? I certainly did and in fact we are having a mutton roast for dinner tonight!

Looking forward to seeing you over the coming weekend.......


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Already!

Well, last month of Winter and we haven't even really had one! It's been a little cool at nights, but the days warm up nicely. It's also gotten very dry here, so a little rain wouldn't go farmers are never happy!!

Markets are this coming weekend and it will also be a Gladstone delivery.

Yeppoon Community Markets at the Yeppoon Showgrounds - Saturday 6 - 9.30am
Gladstone - Benaraby Turnoff under the shady trees - Saturday 2 to 3pm
Rockhampton Kern Arcade Carpark Markets - Sunday 6 -12.

We will have Pork, Bacon, Ham, Beef and Mutton available.  If you have been thinking about joining our Frequent Free Rangers Group (read more here) it's not to late - just send me an email with the necessary details (as per the link)

Pork - we should have plenty of paleo sausages (we do these in thick and thin), and I've asked for more diced pork and pork mince, as these two are proving very popular lately. Also should have heaps of chops, roasts and all the rest!

Bacon and Ham - Nitrate Free and Conventional - remember our conventional cure is simply the old style quick cure-it, no nasties like you would find in the supermarket or even the butchers bacon. If in doubt, ask the butcher for an ingredient list. So if you prefer the conventional bacon, you don't need to feel too guilty as there is very little nitrate left once it's been smoked and cooked.

Beef - there should be plenty of the usual cuts available - have you tried the beef ribs? I love these!

Mutton - we have had some mutton ordered already, but should have plenty left for on the day! I'm not sure what it will be like and I'm hoping to try it before Saturday. But I would imagine it will make the most delicious stews, casseroles or just roasted.

Just a final note that if you are sending in any orders or any other enquiries after Wednesday lunch time, I may be slow to respond. I am going into Rocky tomorrow afternoon for a family matter and won't really be doing any work until Friday the 4th August. Seeyou all on the weekend.....


Monday, July 17, 2017

Goat Meat

You either love goat or hate it! I certainly love it! We are developing quite a following for the goat meat that we supply, but I've noticed that the most popular by far is the diced goat, closely followed by the goat roasts and shanks. Neck chops, ribs and loin chops are not so popular. One of the reasons we do the little loin roasts are to do something other than chops. They are very good too and quite popular.

A lot of the traditional goat curries that you find in the restaurants are made with a bone in cut of meat. My butcher and I can't quite work out how to cut it like that, so the closest thing we do is offer the loin chop and just the bones. Some of our Frequent Free Rangers received goat loin chops in their order last week, so I thought I'd cook some last night just to confirm what I did suggest to a couple of people. It worked quite well.....

Chops or Ribs - oven baked with vegetables

Slice up some veg as you would if you were doing a potato bake and layer them in a baking dish. I used the following, because I wanted to clean out my fridge of old vegetables before I put in my new lot.

  • Potato - normal and sweet
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini 
  • squash
  • capsicum
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • onion
I sprinkled the layers with some salt, poured over about 1/2 cup of bone broth and then placed the chops and ribs on top. I baked them for 1.5 hours, turning the meat over half way, and then sprinkled with a mix of coriander, parsley and mint. Or you could layer the herbs in with the veg.

The chops were perfectly cooked and tender, but the ribs could've done with another 1/2 hour.


One thing to remember with our goat is that it will always need to be slow cooked in some form - either in the oven, crockpot/slowcooker or even just braised on top of the stove. I'm sure it would also work okay in a pressure cooker, I just haven't done it. Even the little loin roasts would need a good hour in the oven to ensure that they are tender and tasty. If you would like to have goat chops that look more like grilled chops, they can be oven roasted on their own, just toss them in something nice * and place on a tray on the oven and cook for a an hour and a half, turning half way. * I really like garlic, rosemary or parsley and lime juice as a marinade.

Goat is really flexible, so don't be scared to try it. If you have a favourite lamb shank recipe, try it with goat shanks. Cook the neck chops like you would cook beef osso bucco. Marinate and oven cook the ribs like you would beef or pork ribs. Slow cook the goat roast and pull it like pulled pork, and serve on tortillas with salsa, yoghurt and avocado. 

If you do something nice with Goat or even any of our meat, please feel free to post it on our Facebook page. It might help to give inspiration to someone else to give it a try.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Frequent Free Rangers, markets and recipe ideas

Markets again this weekend in Rockhampton and Yeppoon - 15/16th July. We will have beef, goat, pork, ham and bacon available. We will also be supplying our Frequent Free Rangers with some great value meat. If you haven't heard of our CSA style subscription, then please read through to the end for more information on it. If you want to be involved, please email me with the required information and we will include you in the next market delivery. We have a three week break before the next market - 5/6th August.

If you live in South East Queensland, Maitland our son will be visiting the area on the last weekend of July. If you would like some of our great tasting tender meat, please email me for more information.

Bacon Chops
This weekend we will have some bacon chops. We had some last night - ours were loin bacon chops from a sow we processed some time ago, where as the ones this weekend will be shoulder bacon chops. I just fried them and served with onion and parsley white sauce and vegetables. They were really good and a nice change. Why not give them a go?

Sausage Rolls
This is not my recipe, but an idea from one of That Wholefood Place's customers. Leanne bought some of our paleo sausages and made a quick dinner for her kids. Lucky them! What a great idea.

Frequent Free Ranger Group
This is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) inspired group, where subscribers pledge to purchase between 4-6 kg of meat on a regular basis, at the fixed price of $15/kg. The meat will be randomly chosen by Lucy House and will be roughly based on the following approximate amounts:
  • ·       1 pack Prime cuts of steak or chops (beef or pork)
  • ·       1 Roast Type (Beef, Pork or Goat) – this could include pickled pork or cornbeef
  • ·       1 Stewing cuts –  could include diced, osso bucco, chops, stewing steak, diced goat or bones etc
  • ·       1 Mince or sausages
  • ·       1kg Bacon and Ham
  • ·       or whatever else I have a lot of at the time

I will try to swap this around each week so that you don’t get the same cut, but if we have a lot of subscribers this may prove to be too difficult. Please let me know if you aren’t getting enough variety or if you really like one particular cut.  The main purpose of this is to clear some of the items of meat that don’t sell as readily, or that I have an abundance of one week. It is also a way to reward regular customers and to try to reduce the cost for those regulars.
  • ·       Nominate whether Fortnightly or Monthly
  • ·       Nominate if you don’t want goat
  • ·       Nominate preference for Nitrate Free or Conventional
  • ·       Nominate number of people to feed (eg, don’t include babies or toddlers that don’t eat any or much)
  • ·       If you are unable to collect – please arrange for someone else to, and failing that, you can drop out for that weekend, but please let me know by Friday night.
  • ·       Cancelation – if you find that you are not happy with the selection you get and want to opt out of the subscription, you can cancel at any time. Please give me as much warning as possible, but at least by the Friday night before the market.

If you would like to join the group, please email me on:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How can we Meat your needs?

Pigs are our main business and we sell free range pigs directly to a couple of butchers (Sunshine Coast Organic Meats and Sherwood Road Organic Meats in Brisbane). However when it comes to our local markets, we aren't just a free range pork business. Most of you are aware by now, that we also sell beef and goat. And Lambs are coming! We like the idea of being a one stop shop for our customers meat needs, although it may be a little while before we start doing chicken and fish!! We already have a few customers that buy most of their meat from us and we really appreciate this. Thankyou.....

I've been trying to work out a way that we can offer mixed packs of meat, a bit like a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you would get an order every fortnight that may include cuts that you wouldn't normally try, as well as the regular cuts. I've been worrying about how that would work, especially as I don't have a lot of control over the butchering and therefore packing at the butchers. But the idea of a CSA interests me as we could better manage our stock control and I would think that we could then offer that cheaper. One of the problems at the moment is having meat left over - which is why we've put meat in That Wholefood Place, to try and move some of the left over stuff. I'm open to suggestions, but the following is an idea that I would like to trial.

Customers would subscribe to a regular meat pack, that I will put together each market weekend. I'm thinking that it will be around 5kg's and $15/kg, which would be guaranteed to have a roast/corn meat, some steaks/chops, mince/stewing meat, ham and bacon. The fresh meat would be either beef, goat or pork.  I would package it up so it would be a bit of a surprise in the fact that one week it could be Roast Pork, Beef steaks, pork osso bucco, ham and bacon (which I'd try to keep around the 1kg combined) and the next it could be Beef Brisket, pork chops, pork mince etc. Ideally this would be a subscription type setup and you would get it each fortnight. I would keep a list of what you had each week so that it was different the following week. I may also include some other random cut if I had more of something than something else, sausages instead of mince or whatever......

You could also add to your order when you collected it, if you wanted something special or extra.

If this is something that would interest you, please send me an email and tell me your preference of nitrate free or conventional, and if you would prefer NOT to have goat included. Also let me know how many in your family - e.g. adults and kids, so that I can make sure the packs are big enough. After the first week, you can nominate whether you would like it fortnightly or monthly, or if you would prefer more meat than the approximate 5kg's. I can also send out recipes if you get something that you are unsure about cooking.
Pork Spare Ribs, marinated and then roasted in the oven

Paleo Pork Sausages, we also do beef, and you can choose fat ones (pictured) or skinny ones.

Corned Beef - we also do Pickled Pork and while this one is conventional, if you prefer Nitrate Free, we do that too.

Our steaks are becoming popular - they are tasty and tender. We do all the regular cuts. This one is Rump, but we also do Rib Fillet (Scotch Fillet), Porterhouse (Sirloin), Eye Fillet and Topside, which is a more economical cut of steak.