Last weekend, K and I took a drive to Predel’s Ranch in Rexford, about 15 minutes away from our house. Predel’s is a farm/farm store run by Mary Predel that sells all sorts of items from local farms, but specializes itself in pastured meat. While the meat is both grain fed and grass fed, I can now attest (in our first farm visit of the season) that the animals have room to roam, space to be with their babies, and have it pretty good for life on a farm that will inevitably lead to someone’s dinner plate.
Besides meat and eggs from their own farm, Predel’s also sells delicious creations from Smith’s Orchard Pies in Charlton. You can take a pie home and bake it yourself, or call ahead and they’ll pop it in the oven for you to be bubbling hot when you come get it. We saw two steaming on the counter for someone to pick up and it looked SO good.
They also have ice cream from The Ice Cream Man in Greenwich, cheese from Palatine Valley Cheese near Amsterdam (we’ve eaten their cheese curds before at the market and Indian ladder and they are great!), bread from Josephine’s Whole Grain in Glenville,(another staple at the Schenectady Greenmarket), and milk from Meadowbrook Farm. They even sell the honey made by their vet! In addition, they also sell locally made bath soap, kitchen items, etc.
Before heading out to look at the animals, we first headed into the store to see what they had. Jen gave us a tour.
This room had huge freezer chests running down both sides containing basically any sort of meat you could want, either from their farm, or another local farm. Any kind of steak, ground beef, roast, stew meat, soup bones, lamb, turkey, pork, and chicken (I can’t remember if they had duck, but they might have) you could find there in almost any cut. Ribs, loin, wings, thighs, skinless or not – and all for great prices as far as eating local goes! We bought a slightly more than 4lb box of *just* chicken thighs for less than $15. A pound of chicken thighs (which come connected to the drumstick) from the farmer’s market is $6.50.
Though you can’t see it, where I was standing to take the picture are a few refrigerated cases carrying the cheese, eggs, milk, and amish-made butter. While Predel’s has chickens, they keep them for their egg production and the chicken you can buy from them actually comes from another farm.
Here’s the main part of the store, with the locally produced goods, ice cream, jams (nope, got enough of those!), sauces, and on the other (unseen) side, pies, stove/sink and cash register.
Here is one of my favorite pictures because it looks like a working farm kitchen, albeit a modern one with a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee on the counter. Look at all those eggs!
Eggs, eggs everywhere as they are putting them BY HAND into the egg cartons for sale.
A closer view:
After our tour inside, we headed out on our own to see the farm.
Here’s the farmhouse.
We didn’t know quite where we were walking, so I squealed when the first thing I saw was the pig pen!
What’s this? You can see the little guy on the left has just spotted us. Visitors MUST mean good things because in the next second…
They all came BOUNDING over to us. Well, I guess except that guy with his head in the dirt. Dirt is much, much nicer.
They were so cute and so friendly. Sorry little guys, we don’t have any food for you!
Aww, I stuck my hand out to pet them, but when they started trying to eat my sweatshirt sleeve, that was the end of that.
How cute is this picture?
We headed around the bend to a little shed where younger piglets were staying dry from the rain. These guys were NOT used to company, and they began running around crazy trying to get away. Rather than stress them out too much, I took a pic and we kept moving.
Next we headed down the hill. We could see in the distance cattle all together, but couldn’t get much closer.
As we headed back up the hill, we saw their fruit trees/bushes. They seemed to have a few apple trees, cherry trees, raspberry/blackberry bushes. But the only ones enclosed were the blueberry bushes. Do birds/animals only go for blueberries?
This picture shows their garden on the left, and the fruit area to the right. The garden was at least half full of tomato plants. Hurray for lots of sauce later in the summer!
Seriously, with that garden and fruit area, add in a goat and a couple of chickens, and I would be so happy.
Before we left, we found multiple chicken coops, with most of the chickens inside to stay out of the rain. These guys are layers, not meat chickens.
Hope you enjoyed our visit to Predel’s!
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