Because we are such avid devotees of Grazin Angus, we were devastated when they stopped coming to Friday's Union Square Greenmarket. (Even though they cut back for a good reason - the amazing Grazin Diner.) Yes, they are still in Union Square on Saturdays and yes, we still buy their product when we can. But we are often away on the weekends - and even when we're in town we try to avoid the Saturday market crowds. Anyway, that left us looking for another grass-fed beef source at the market and, thanks to Grazin, we have pretty high standards.
Luckily, Sun Fed Beef filled the Friday slot. We started out slowly with their grain-finished hanger, which was good enough to write about. Then, we branched out with their 100% grass-fed beef for Borscht and a T-bone for Valentine's day. We ran the gamut from low to high price points and from grain-finished to 100% grass-fed. And let us tell you, we weren't disappointed once.
Not only do we love their product, but we really like the guys who man the Sun Fed stand. You can usually find young, good looking, smiley Alex working - always ready and eager to talk meat. He was an obvious choice for our interview and as luck would have it, farmers Harmon and Eve Anne were there for our meeting as well.
Sun Fed is the brand name of the beef sold and raised by Maple Avenue Farms. Maple Avenue is a third-generation farm that has been raising Black Angus beef in the Sangerfield River Valley of NY State since 1940! Originally they produced both dairy and beef but in the 70's - when the small dairy farm economy was destroyed - they consolidated.
It's pretty amazing to see a third-generation beef farm that has always pastured it's beef - not to mention, one that has been selling at NYC Farmer's Markets since the 80's. But what's really unique about Sun Fed is that they offer both grain-finished and 100% grass-fed beef. While we prefer grass-fed, we understand that many people prefer grain-finished... and this beef is finished almost exclusively with Maple Avenue Farms' grain! What's cooler - the farm has only produced their grass-fed line for about 5 years... a result of high customer demand. What a great sign for the future!
If you'd like to hear full interviews with the wonderful people at Maple Avenue Farms, please listen below: