November 20, 2011
Hardler Farm near Honesdale Pennsylvania
There were people there from both sides of the Delaware River. All of the 20 attendees at the co-sponosored Weston A. Price Foundation Delaware Chapter and Transition Honesdale meat processing event, left impressed with the ingenuity of dairy farmer Mike Hardler and his wife Tammy on how they diversified their dairy operation. The workshop/demo was initially focused on butchering whole animals and processing some of the cuts into value added products such as bacon and sausauge through brining and smoking.
Besides watching an artist at work at cutting meat. I was, personally, even more impressed with the way the Hardler farm handles the waste from their “small” (by industrial standards) slaughter house and meat processing operation. All of the waste and by products of slaughtering and processing, is dealt with on the farm through specialized composting techniques. The finished compost is returned to the soil, keeping the fertility high for Hardler’s grass fed, beef, dairy cows, goats and pigs to forage. “The next project”, said Mike Hardler is a “methane digestor/convertor to convert the gas emitted from the composting facilities into a usable energy resource to use onsite.” Tammy Hardler said when it came to operations and marketing “You’ve got to think out of the box.”
Besides selling meat and value-added products, (delicious sausages) at the farm and at the Honesdale Farmers Market, the Hardler farm has obtained a raw milk license for both cow and goat milk which is sold according to Pennsylvania State regulations. This farm is worth a visit for beginning farmers, or any agricultural education organization whose mission is to offer solutions to profitability and sustainability of Northeast farms.,,,,,, Or for anyone who wants to buy really delicious, grass-fed, meat.
For more information contact Tammy or Mike at the Hardler Farm