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Field Trip: Middlebrook Farm (Three Oaks, MI)

June 8, 2012

So while this week is all about recipe testing the newest in rhubarb treats, last week was all about family, what with mom’s 80th birthday and all. The entire family trekked to Harbor country in southwestern Michigan and converged on my sister for a weekend of togetherness. And while there wasn’t cooking and heirloom recipe testing on the order of last fall’s trip (see: mom’s apple salad, and farmor’s æbleskiver for a taste of that trip), there was still alot of good food to be hand.

One of the highlights was a field trip to the amazing Middlebrook Farm in Three Oaks. Mostly done with their chores for the day, proprietors Bob and Janet were even available to show us around a bit. We visited the chickens, scratched behind the ear of a barn cat or two, marveled at the old silo with a perfect tree now growing inside, and heard a bit of the story that took them from downtown Chicago dwelling city folk to cattle farmers (and learned that, like many around here, they employ a ‘guard llama.’)

When we got to see the second level of their amazing barn – now fitted with electricity and transformed into a gorgeous event space (farm to table dinner anyone?) – their herd of lowline angus returned from the pasture they’d been in that day. We watched as a quiet and orderly procession of cattle filed in to quench the thirst a 95 degree day works up (especially if you’ve yet to fully lose your winter coat, which was the case with many of them).

In a departure from some of the other beef cattle I’ve visited, I noticed then that each yellow ear tag sported a name. Instead of the emotional distance a number designation may give, each resident of Middlebrook is given a right proper name. (we’re pretty sure the steaks and ground beef we bought that day belonged to “Fred.”) It is indeed a circle of life business, and it was nice to see the sense of humor that Bob & Janet deployed at what could be the hard part of raising cattle for beef.

Coming soon: Middlebrook Farm ground beef made into the quintessential old-fashioned Danish farm dinner: bøf med løg (aka fancified hamburgers in gravy with carmelized onions)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. janet schuttler permalink
    June 11, 2012 3:37 pm

    We enjoyed to

    • June 11, 2012 4:13 pm

      Thanks Janet! We can’t wait for our next trip to Harbor Country (what a great part of the world you guys live in down there!) for more of your delicious beef.

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