Plus the food lacked substance for what you paid for. The poor communication often gave me the troubled feeling like I was solving a mystery rather then asking a few simple questions. I was starting to fell like there was a cover up! The Coen's are so easy to communicate with and their entire ordering and delivery process is seamless and effortless. Knowing that transparency was a priority for this farm and the dignity in which they conduct their practices is apparent. We feel the money we spend is well worth the treatment we get and the quality of our food is beyond anything I have come across. The quality of their food and professionalism is rare.
We are the Hons family, Michael, Tawnya, Claire, Violet and McKinley and we live in Calgary, Alberta. I, Tawnya, learned of the amazing things that Coen Farm is doing through the Permaculture Calgary Guild. Their practices align with our families values and I am so grateful that they provide us with an avenue to live in a way that upholds these values. At the core is a deep respect for life. I was honoured to be able to attend the beef harvest last year, which was a first for me. To visit Coen Farm, and see how the land is stewarded, and experience just a days worth of the care and concern they take was deeply impactful to me. I wasn’t sure how I would feel being there when an animal was harvested, but felt that since I have been consuming meat my whole life it was an oversight on my part to ignore this any longer. I was not invited to be where the animal was when it was shot, which I found deeply respectful to both the animal and the person killing it. Valentine, the butcher, is an artist in his craft and as an anatomist I was enthralled to see the precision and care he used, speaking to a deep respect he holds for the animals. What I experienced that day was what I would hope for any animal that gives its life for our family, and it has changed me. We cannot raise beef in the city but because of the choices that are being made at Coen Farm, our family can choose to support practices that are producing nutritionally sound meat, improving soil and landscapes, providing data and education so others can learn, and pushing for the most humane and respectful animal harvest. We are so grateful to provide financial support and receive such an amazing benefit.
Thank you so much!
The Hons Family
I've always loved pork. My grandparents had a hobby farm and kept the family in chicken, eggs, beef, but mostly in pork. Like I say, I loved that pork. They ranged free. They ate some grain, some grass - and slop - leftover people food mixed with milk and some grain. I always thought that was just pork. I didn't realize it was anything special until years later. My grandfather died in 1980. I've been craving that pork ever since. In July of 2018 I met Takota Coen at a permaculture convergence. He told me that his family grew pork better pork than any other I'd be able to find. I had to try it. I bought a side of pork in September. His promise was accurate. It's the best pork I've eaten in 40 years. The pork chops are excellent. There's a taste to the fat in great pork that's impossible to describe unless you've tried it. This pork has that incredible taste. The first ham I tried was the best ham I've ever eaten. The bacon is amazing. I've eaten in restaurants a lot over the years, but lately I have little desire to go out any more. The thought that keeps crossing my mind is that I can't find a restaurant that serves food as good as what i can take out of my own freezer and cook in the comfort of my own home. In October I got to go on a tour of the Coen Farm and it made sense why this pork reminded me of the food from my childhood. The animals are fed fermented grass and grain, Bentonite clay, milk from their own cows. It reminds me a lot of how my grandparents did it.
The other thing that reminds me of my grandparents is the people feeding these animals. These are honourable, good people trying to created the best, healthiest, most nutritious food they can - and they're doing one heck of a job. They treat the animals with care and affection. The animals are happy - they get to range and are well fed. They feed organic food, primarily raised right there and Takota claims the nutrition in the meat is higher than anything you can buy in any store - organic or not. After meeting them, touring the farm and eating a lot of their meat, I have zero doubt he's right. It's a much higher caliber meat at a much lower price than what you might buy from an organic grocery store. To me, it's an amazing deal. I'll be buying from the Coen farm for years to come.
Try it. You'll like it.
Prior to sourcing my pork and beef from the Coen Farm, I was pretty much a vegetarian, as it was difficult for me to be sure that meat at the grocery store (even in the organics section) was raised ethically and ecologically. This uncertainty, coupled with my lack of skill in cooking anything other than the occasional organic ground beef pasta sauce, had led me to view meat as an expensive and unnecessary risk. Buying my pork and beef from the Coen Farm over the last couple of years has proven to be a delicious way of transforming a “risk” into a staple for me. I have full confidence that the animals I’m eating had healthy, happy lives (I’ve seen the Coens’ pigs enthusiastically chomping down cattails and milk-fermented grain, and calves running and jumping around in new pastures), and continue to gain confidence in my ability to cook everything from roasts to lard to liver pate (the Coens and my own grandmother have been great resources with this!). Two years in, it’s difficult for me to imagine getting my pork and beef in any other way.
In the last five years I have slowly become more aware of the great environmental and ethical dilemmas that arise when purchasing industrially grown food that is shipped from afar. As a result I am now continually trying to engage in the context in which my food is produced, including growing my own vegetables, buying grain and animal products from Alberta, and going on as many farms tours as I can. The Coen Farm embodies these same principles and the family has a deep respect for the animals they raise and the environment they raise them in. I'm happy to say that by purchasing their meat I am supporting a local food economy that has restorative environmental and ethical practices. The meat quality is phenomenal and I have also enjoyed learning how to cook as much of the animal as possible. It's truly a win-win when you eat an incredible meal and know that the animal was part of the same context as you!
Thank you Coen Family!
Trying to decided what farm to source our meat from was very difficult. We had purchased pork from several other producers, but after coming on a farm tour and seeing the care and extra mile the Coen's go to grow the most nutrient-dense food possible, and the level of education they provide to their customers and community we decided to give them a try. The first pork chop I ate from was amazing. Even the fat is delicious! I never used to eat the fat because it was always gross and slimy. I always new I was supposed to eat the fat, but I could never make myself do it. Now I crave the fat just as much as the meat! Since I started eating all the fat I find I am eating way less meat at each meal and I only need to eat twice a day because I feel so satiated. Because I'm eating less it is so much more affordable compared to our previous source. Not to mention my kids love the pork chops, I’ve never seen them eat anything with such enthusiasm!
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