Everything You Need to Know About Buying Beef + Pork

We’re getting close to taking beef & pork orders for 2019! Woo hoo!

We’ve had so many newbies join our community and there’s been lots of questions about our process for buying a quarter beef or half hog.

So the purpose of this post is to answer all of your questions and fill you in on what to expect.

**Please read the entire post as it contains very important information and should answer any questions you may have.**


First things first.  Here’s a breakdown of what happens when you order:

-6 Simple Steps to Buying in Bulk-

1) Decide how much and what kind of meat you would like to purchase

We raise 100% Grass-fed Beef, Pastured Pork and Pastured Chickens all without hormones or antibiotics.

2) Reserve your meat by placing a non-refundable deposit

Beef deposit: $400 - Pork deposit: $150

We accept cash, check, Venmo and credit cards. This deposit gets applied to your final total cost.

3) You pick your butcher + We'll notify you of the butcher date via email

This year you have the option to choose your butcher.  You may choose from George’s City Meats (Nicollet), Schmidts Meat Market (Nicollet) or Odenthal Meats (New Prague)

4)  You’ll get a “cheat sheet” emailed to you

The cheat sheet covers the questions the butcher will be asking you when you call in your cutting instructions.  This gives you an opportunity to figure out things like how thick you’d like your steaks or decide if you want brats or breakfast sausage made.  

5) We’ll email you with the hanging weight of the animal

This is the weight given to us by the butcher after all the inedible parts are removed (head, hooves, carcass etc).  This is how we determine the final price for your meat. Your deposit is then subtracted from this total amount.  At this time the remaining balance is due.

6) About 2 weeks after delivery of the animal, the butcher will call you when your meat is ready to be picked up

It will be frozen so you’ll need to make sure you bring coolers to get it home.  You are also in charge of paying the butcher for their hard work cutting up and packaging your meat.  For easy math, you can figure about $1/pound.

Let's get down to the most important part...Cost.  

2019 pricing - Beef: $4.00/lb  Pork: $2.75/lb

 Here's an example:

Quarter beef hanging weight: 185#. Price of beef: $4.00/# x 185#  = $740.00 paid to Nature’s Pantry for the meat +$185 to butcher = $925.00

Due to trimming, you can expect to take home about 85% of the hanging weight - about 160# of meat.


Ready for the magic?

Grand total paid = $925 / 160# of meat = $5.78/# of meat. 

Compare Nature’s Pantry Ribeye steak for $5.78/lb to buying an individual pack of steaks at the store for $11.49/lb. 

There's no argument...buying in bulk is way more affordable than buying meat by the individual cut, especially grass-fed meat.

However, I completely understand the big upfront cost of buying a year's supply of meat isn't feasible for some families.

However, if you’re in a position to buy in bulk you can save hundreds off your food budget for the year and help save your sanity because you'll always have meat on hand.

A few more questions...

How do I know how much to get?

It’ll depend how much you cook and how big your family is.  We rarely go out to eat so that leaves a lot of cooking for me.

We are a family of 5 and we go through ¾ beef, a whole hog, and about 45 chickens/year.


When will the meat be ready?

We only butcher during our grazing season so your meat has the highest nutritional value.  You can expect your meat to be ready sometime between late summer & early fall.


Do I need a freezer?

Yes, thankfully the polar vortex won’t last forever so you’re going to need a place to keep your meat.  Here’s some approximations I found online.

-4 cubic foot freezer can hold about 175# of meat

-8 cubic foot freezer can hold about 350# of meat

-16 cubic foot freezer can hold about 700# of meat

We have a 16 and an 8 cubic foot freezer to hold our meat and we still have lots of room to spare.


How long does the meat last?

Beef and chicken will last for a year in the freezer.  I’ve read that pork only lasts 6 months in the freezer, but I beg to differ.  I make sure I have enough pork in the freezer to last a year and I’ve never had an issue with the way it tastes after 6 months.


When will you start taking orders?

I will send out an email in early March with all the details to place your order.

I will NOT be sending out individual emails to people who have emailed me throughout the year asking for meat.  With 3 small kids, a farm, and working part time I simply don't have time to keep track of all the requests we get throughout the year.  

If you are interested in receiving the email about ordering meat you can sign up here:

Orders will be fulfilled on a first come first serve basis.

I'm not able to honor verbal requests to “hold” meat... a down-payment will be required to secure your order.


Last year our beef sold out within 3 weeks and we've had had families wait over a year for meat.  My hope is that by providing this information you can talk it over with your spouse and determine if buying meat in bulk is right for your family.


Can we come and see how you raise your animals?

Can we be best friends?!  OF COURSE YOU CAN!  I would love nothing more than to show you around our farm.  I know you won't be disappointed.  Summer tour dates will also be announced via email.


Are you selling chickens this year?

Yes, we will be offering pastured chicken again.  I'll be sending you an email with more details in the coming months.

How do I know we’ll like the meat?

Here’s what a few customers had to say…

“The beef is amazing!!! Satisfied is an understatement. The ground burger is great, the steaks are delicious and the roasts are fantastic! Thanks for the email and I will for sure refer anyone that is looking for high quality beef to you guys! Thank you!” -T.H.

“Wow! Just about ate the whole package of bacon myself! Very good!!” -L.H.

“We absolutely love the pork and beef we got from you this fall and the other couples we are sharing it with say the same. Thank you for all you do to make it happen!” -C.H.

“I have so much respect for you and your family, and the way you take care of the land, the animals, and your committment to providing Real Food for the health of us and our kids.” -A.J.


We’ve covered a lot of information.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Is there anything I forgot?  Send me an email with your questions: sarah@naturespantry-farm.com

Do you have friends or family who are also looking for food they can trust?  Please send them this info and encourage them to get on the list!


Let Nature’s Pantry take the stress out of worrying about finding food you can trust.  

We promise to raise the highest quality products for your family (and ours) so you can feel good about the food you’re feeding them.

To great food & great health,