From Farm to Table: Local Connections that Matter
Feb 05, 2014 06:13PM
● By Laura Ustanovska
Born in March and April at a friend’s certified organic farm just 20 minutes away, the lambs spend each day at their mothers’ sides, learning about milk and hay and grass—it is their education in how to be a sheep. After a few months, the lambs are ready to be weaned, leaving our friend’s farm for our pastures.
Brought to Iceland by Vikings 1100 years ago, Icelandic sheep have remained pure as a result of their isolation there. It is said that the Icelanders’ survival was dependent upon the Icelandic sheep’s meat, fiber and milk. As one can imagine, the rugged, cold terrain of the country also encouraged the sheep to become extra hardy themselves.
Because growing grain in Iceland is considered to be a difficult proposition, the Icelandic sheep evolved to grow efficiently on grass—thriving on quality pastures, but also surviving when given poorer grazing land. Our sheep get the best of both worlds—excellent pastures, combined with a small amount of certified organic grain. It is this formula that gives our lamb a taste that simply cannot be compared to store-bought meats.
Raising heritage-breed sheep like the Icelandic has given us the opportunity to participate in maintaining this beautiful breed. Our customers, in turn, get to experience the taste sensation of true organic-fed, pasture-raised, heritage lamb. It is a situation which makes one look forward to the cold, wet days of March, knowing that they signal the coming of another lambing season for Morning Star Family Farm.