Frequently Asked Questions
- What’s the difference between pastured and organic? Organic means that the feed that the animals consume is certified organic. Just because animals are certified organic does not control how they are treated, slaughtered nor does it mean that they have access to the outdoors. We are not certified organic due to the additional cost of organic feeds, grass seeds, processing, and the additional government intervention. Pastured means the animals are allowed full access to grass, which all of our animals are. The chickens roam around the farm scratching for bugs and grass. The sheep are wherever they would like to be, eating the grass they desire. The pigs are able to root for bugs, eat grass and wallow in the mud. The cattle are part of an intense grazing system that allows them to have access to highly nutritious grass constantly.
- Are your animals free range? Free range only applies to poultry and simply means they have access to the outdoors. Our poultry goes a step beyond being just free range, they are also pastured. This means they have constant access to the outdoors in their natural environment where they can scratch for bugs and grass.
- Why are your eggs different colors? We have many different breeds of chickens that produce different colored eggs. Some are brown, speckled, white and even green. Arancanas lay the green eggs.
- Are there nitrates in your bacon? There are nitrates from celery in our bacon. The curing process include a recipe of a salt cure finished with a hickory smoke.
- Do any of your products contain sugar? The Polish Sausage is the ONLY product containing sugar.
- Do any of your products contain gluten? No.
- Do you spray your fields with fertilizers or weed control? No, we do not spray our pastures with any fertilizer or weed control. We are heavily involved in pasture rotation which allows the cattle to graze one pasture at a time giving the fallow pasture time to grow before being grazed again. The animals provide a natural fertilizer (manure) that promotes the growth of more grass. The animals are also a natural weed control. We have begun to teach our herds to consume the weeds, especially the thistle.
- Do you feed your animals anything besides grass? The layers are fed shelled corn in the winter when there is no grass. The pigs are fed ground corn and oats. Other than that, all of the animals are grass fed, meaning they eat a diet consisting entirely of grass, legumes, etc.
- What’s a CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a way to deliver a variety of our meats to families. When signed up for a CSA, you will receive a variety of meats in monthly or bi-monthly instalments. You can learn more about how our CSA works and how to sign up here.
- Where do you take your animals to be harvested? The cattle that are harvested are taken to a family run processing facility in Tennessee. The pork and lamb are done at another family owned facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The poultry are processed in Indiana by yet another family business. All of these facilities are USDA inspected.
- Do your meats cook differently? Since our meats are lean and there are no additives such as water, they will cook faster. For cooking instructions please see our web site. You may also e-mail Miss Jenny for instructions or recipes.
- Where are you located? Peaceful Pastures is located in Lancaster, Tennessee, in Smith County, about an hour east of Nashville.
Meat Products Beef/Pork/Lamb
- Do you sell lard? No. We offer un-rendered kidney fat, often called "leaf lard".
- Can I buy fresh (unfrozen) meat from you? In order to comply with State of Tennessee retail regulations, all of our meat products may only be sold frozen under our category of license.
- Can I get beef hooves, sweetbreads, or brains? No, the USDA will not allow us to have these items back from the processor.
- Where is your meat processed and is it inspected? All meats are processed in small, family run USDA inspected facilities. A USDA inspector is on premises during all hours of operation to oversee humane treatment and product safety.
- What if I don't like the meat? Please notify us immediately if you have any problems or questions about your order. Be sure to read the Special Cooking Considerations before you begin; all of our meats will cook much faster than what you normally prepare. Please use a good thermometer to avoid overcooking! Because our meats are not factory raised, they will have much more flavor than supermarket meats. Sometimes children who are used to bland and processed foods will need to eat a few servings to become accustomed to the new food, which actually has taste.
- Are you Certified Organic? This is probably the most common question we are asked. The answer is, "No," for several reasons:
- To become certified is expensive and governmentally invasive. When applying for the proposed federal certification, you sign that any government agency has full access to your property at any time. (Would you sign that?)
- Certified organic feeds are scarce and VERY expensive; but remember that we use NO commercial feeds, and we actually feed very little grain. If we were to switch to certified organic hay and grain, we would have to more than triple our prices.
- "Organic" applies only to the feed the animal consumes. It does NOT mean the animals are on pasture, not confined and treated humanely! Commercial chicken operations (AKA "Chicken Prisons") are "going organic" only by changing their feed, yet the poor birds remain in deplorable conditions.
- Some organic feeds sold are actually grown in China or Mexico, countries which have VERY different, lesser standards than U.S. growers, yet the feed can still legally be labeled “organic!”
- What does lamb taste like? Lamb has a sweeter taste than beef and is very tender. All cuts are highly recommended and can be cooked just like beef.
Poultry Products- Chicken
- What is the diet of the poultry? Chickens eat grass, insects, vegetables from our garden and a custom blend feed from local grains that is free from soy, antibiotics, hormones, blood meal and bone meal.
- How do you cook a whole chicken? You can do anything from grilling the chicken in two halves to baking it in the oven.
- What is the difference between pastured poultry and free range? "Free range" by definition means only that the animals have access to the outside. Poultry can "free range" on sand, dirt or even concrete! Pastured poultry are housed on grass, with grass, legumes and insects comprising a large portion of their diet.
Ordering and Paying
- I placed an order online. When is my credit card charged? We never charge a credit card until the day we compile the order. GA/FL orders are charged starting 10-14 days prior to our leaving.
- Why is my total on the invoice different than what the web site gave me? The web site gives only an estimate of your total based on average weights. Each package is sold by weight, and each package is weighed at the time your order is compiled.
- What forms of payment do you accept? We accept all major credit cards. Checks may only be written as a deposit for whole, half, or quarter animals. Cash is accepted for pick-up at the farm and at some of the markets.
- How are your animals slaughtered? All of our animals are slaughtered according to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) protocol in a federally licensed facility under the constant supervision of a USDA inspector.
- How do you know it is humane? Although we are not allowed to be present on the kill floor due to USDA regulations, we have built a good relationship with the processor and have confidence in their procedures. We stand by our commitment to the humane treatment of all animals from the beginning of their lives until the end.
- How do you know it is clean? Each step of the process from slaughter through packaging and storage is regulated and supervised by an onsite USDA inspector. The inspector is present during all hours of operation and requires strict compliance with all procedures.
- How is your meat packaged? Our meat is packaged in vacuum sealed bags which are designed to go directly into your freezer upon purchase. This reduces freezer burn and allows for great long-term storage.
- Do you have a catalog? Due to the high costs associated with publishing and the seasonal availability of our products, we do not publish a catalog. However, all of our products with descriptions, pricing and availability are located right here on our web site. If you have questions that you would like answered by a live person, please contact Customer Service at 615-683-4291 M-F, 7:00am-3 pm CST.
- Can I come out to the farm on Sunday if its just to pick up an order? We are sorry, but we do not conduct any business on Sunday as we are closed for worship and rest.
- Why do I need an appointment to come to the farm? Since we are a small family operated farm, we are frequently out working at various locations on the farm. We ask that you make an appointment in advance so we may schedule someone to meet you at the retail building (Icehouse).
- When can I call and talk to a real person? Please contact Customer Service at (615) 683-4291 Monday Friday 7:00am-3 pm CST. If you are connected to voicemail, please leave a message as another customer is likely being helped.
- Do you ever sell any live animals? We have a limited number of live animals available each year. Please contact us for more information.
- Do any stores in my area carry your products? At this time we offer direct to consumer products only and our products are not available at local retail locations, but we do offer sales at local Farmers’ Markets-please check under the Pickup Location section.
- Do you sell organic produce/vegetables/fruit/grains or flour? We do not sell these items on our farm. We recommend that you look for a local farm in your area or check out your local farmers market as many are now offering organically grown products.