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A behind-the-scenes look from our farm's Customer Spotlight Writer!

July 20, 2022

I never imagined ever writing for a regenerative farm but it certainly has been a blessing promoting a business where I strongly believe in the mission to glorify God by helping busy, informed consumers gain access to safe and ethical foods they can eat with confidence. Foods that heal our bodies and heal our land are very important to me.

There are a plethora of reasons why I appreciate eating the meat raised by this loving family and today I want to share with you a little behind-the-scenes insight as to what it's like working with The Maker's Meadow and the Filbrun Family.

Normally I conduct the interviews for our Customer Spotlights but today I hand the reins over to John who will ask the questions.

John: Tell us Jana - What do you like most about working for our farm?

Jana: Every time you, your sister and I meet, it is an honor to begin and end our meetings with prayer. To pray for the direction of this company, for each other and our families and especially to pray for our customers is really something I appreciate above all else. It sets the tone that we can trust whatever lies ahead and know that the Lord is going to lead us in the right direction.

I also have so enjoyed getting to know our customers and your family!You all bring a different perspective to the jobs you do. You run a very lean operation evidenced by your hard work and yet I don't hear you complain. It is clear how much you truly love and have a passion for regenerative farming.

My favorite time of year is when you conduct farm tours. You light up like a candle John when you talk about regenerative farming and the benefits of following the cycle of nature designed by God. I learn something new every time I take a tour of the farm. It amazes me to see how many nutrients derive from a diverse meadow and to know that it all can be passed down to us when we consume the meats!

John: How has eating meat from The Maker's Meadow changed the way you cook?

Jana: I have purchased organic, grassfed meats from the store for many years and was willing to pay more but I never knew the farmer nor the farm from which it was raised. My relationship as a Maker's Meadow customer marks the first time in my life that I actually know the farmers and have visited the farm from where my food was raised!! I thought eating lamb from Australia and New Zealand was pretty authentic even though sometimes the smell of the lamb or grassfed ground beef or steak was a little off.Once we tried the ground beef and the lamb chops from your farm, there was never any going back! The taste was rich yet mild and not gamey at all. I was under the impression that grassfed lamb or beef was just that - always gamey tasting until The MAKER'S MEADOW LAMB and BEEF PROVED OTHERWISE!!

Another revelation is that great tasting meat does not have to be seasoned much at all. The flavor is so good that it really speaks for itself! A little salt, pepper and maybe a little olive oil (depending upon the meat) allows the flavor of the meat to stand out.

I recently slow-roasted The Maker's Meadow Chicken Thighs uncovered in the oven at 250 degrees for a couple of hours. I just added a little sea salt, garlic powder, a little fresh herb like oregano or rosemary and a little olive oil. I love how the thighs come with the skin on them. Honestly, after it came out of the oven, we licked the platter clean and wished we had more. It was the best roasted chicken I have eaten in a long time!!

This is a picture of my husband Mark and me as we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary this June and we like to go on date nights every week or stay home and cook up a good meal. Mark is terrific at grilling the perfect steak and The Maker's Meadow's Ribeyes and New York Strips are better than any I've eaten at a restaurant! If anyone dares to think that grassfed meat is significantly leaner than grain-fed beef, I say the proof is in the pudding (or at least in the fat!) Have you seen the layer of healthy FAT on The Maker's Meadow steaks and on the beef short ribs? Whoaaa! Look at all that great fat!

Also, the fat on the steak is flavorful and clean enough that, yes, I will actually eat the fat knowing it's not filled with toxins that store-bought steaks would contain. I will even purchase fat pieces to add to my simmering bone broth!

And what a terrific advantage you've given us all by adding sustainably sourced wild seafood to our online store! We really enjoy grilled or baked salmon and my son and I enjoy the Royal Red Patagonian Shrimp with butter, garlic, lemon and fresh basil or topped with homemade pesto sauce served over noodles.

John: Have you tried anything new since you've become our customer?

Jana: My family and I like to be adventurous eaters! We have a 20-year old daughter Jillian who is studying pre-med in college and a 16-year old son Mitchell who also enjoys learning and playing the piano. Both really love our home-cooked meals and have a palate for a variety of dishes including Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Mediterranean, Lebanese, Mexican, etc. We love experimenting and trying new recipes from around the world!

This year I made Pork Liver for the first time by cooking it in a cast-iron skillet with onions, red pepper, salt, pepper, green onions and rosemary. It was so mild and wonderful. Now I realize that if anyone wants to try liver for the first time, I would highly recommend mild-tasting Pork Liver (though I know we tend to sell out of liver quickly). The fact that the farm's pork is soy-free finished is truly a treat coming from someone who struggles with a severe soy allergy!!

Also I am so thankful to learn some of your mom's recipes! (I love this picture of your youngest brother Jay hugging on your mom as she cooks!)Rebecca is such a natural in the kitchen! She cooks from the heart without any real recipes (she just knows what to do!) She also knows so much about herbs and healthy foods - I want to learn so much from her!! And she is a terrific conversationalist. When I stop by the farm, she and I can talk for hours!

A while back we asked your mom to walk us through how to make bone broth, and now I use her turkey bone broth recipe every time I make a chicken or beef bone broth! Her recipe is a keeper!

Your mom taught me that ROASTING is the key to great flavor followed by boiling the bones or carcass. Of course, I must also mention that part of my adventurous spirit means that I like using chicken feet in my stock to add extra gelatin! And then I will send my friends this picture of the feet cooking in the pot... just for fun. :)

Honestly, having bone broth on hand (frozen in wide mouth mason jars) is a true gift because when I hear that a friend is sick or has Covid, upon approval, I will often leave several jars of frozen broth at their door.

John: Any other favorite farm experiences you'd like to share?

Jana: When you invited me to attend "Acres" - a Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Cincinnati with you and Mary this past winter, I was so excited to attend and was really taken back by the number of experts in the field who are paving the way to help return land back to its uncompromised roots. We are so fortunate to have a farm as close as yours that not only believes in regenerative farming but goes the extra mile to utilize organic farming practices. It is my hope that The Maker's Meadow will be here for many years to come as you all are such a blessing in so many ways to our community. We and the land are better off because of you.

I should also add that when it comes time for farm tours, I take delight in tasting the garden herb tea that your sisters and mom make from scratch with your garden herbs and honey. Always such a special treat!

Lastly, I am in awe of the pictures that your sisters capture in the meadow. I never tire of seeing God's beauty!


Jana Gruber

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