The Good Eaton Club

Please Note: In Cincinnati we helped run a meat and cheese CSA-type thing that is now run by our friends.  We're thinking of getting something similar going in Columbus, but I'm leaving this page up because I think it's a good model that others may be interested in replicating.  So... This message went out to anyone who has previously expressed interest on March 2, 2011.  Please email me if you'd like to be on the list if there are openings.  The order form that is mentioned will be emailed to those who request it.

Hello Everyone,

While there are still plenty of spots available, it'll be first come first serve until the freezer is full, so we’d strongly encourage you to put in your order ASAP if you want a spot.  Please feel free to forward this to friends or family who may be interested.

The final order deadline is March 10th, with payment due by March 15th.
    Without further ado, here are the details...

    Overview: Vegetable CSAs are becoming more popular by the year, and as the number of farmer’s markets in Cincinnati has grown, Sarah and I wanted easy access to high quality local meat.  Last spring at Findlay Market, we happened upon a farmer/producer selling ground beef, pork, and chicken.  Soon thereafter, we took a trip out to meet Jerry and Elizabeth Eaton, and to see their farm (photos) and how they are raising their animals.  For the Eatons, marketing to city dwellers from out on the farm can be difficult.  For us, finding good meat was the problem.  A “consumer-driven” meat CSA seemed to be the best solution for everyone – we find the people, they provide the goods.  We’d also been seeking an option for local cheese, and found out about Simply Cheese, so we’ve worked with them to add this to our offerings.  We put all the meat in our freezer and the cheese and eggs in our fridge just before the…

    Pick-ups: Once a month – second Mondays from 6-8pm at our house (4313 Haight Ave. 45223 in Northside).  If we can’t be there, or there are any changes for any reason, we’ll let you know in advance.  It is very helpful to us if you can pick up, or arrange for someone else to pick up, on the assigned pick up day during the assigned hours.  This round we will not be doing any early pickups on the day of, but folks who need to come a bit late are a-okay.  And if for some reason you can’t make it, I’m sure we can find an alternative pick up time that works for you – we simply ask that you be respectful of our time and do your best to make it easy.  Now, you’re probably wondering about…

    What You Get & How Much it Costs: You pick how much of each item you want to receive per month for the duration of the Good Eaton Club.  There is no minimum order!  The attached order form shows the options and prices for each “package” – “packages” are generally between 1 and 2 pounds.

    You will pay up front for your full order based on “package” amounts, but then we will tally up the actual dollar amount owed based on per pound prices that are listed and printed on each packaged meat or cheese.  Then, at the final pickup, you will bring your checkbook or cash and either a) pay for any additional product that you did not initially or b) we will pay you back if you did not get as much product as you paid for.  This way, you are paying for exactly as much meat or cheese as you are getting, and the producers are getting paid fairly too.

    Attached to this message is an Excel order form where you can choose how much of each item you want and automatically see what you owe (there are 2 tabs at the bottom left – Sarah and I’s order as a sample, and a blank form for you to complete).  Please do not make any changes to the columns or formulas on this order form, as your order will be compiled with others and any changes can create problems.  Also, using Excel, not any other program, is strongly preferred if at all possible.  Unlike a typical CSA, where the share size is set in advance, or many buying clubs, where you order on a weekly or monthly basis, we’re creating a setup that we think is the best of both worlds.  You get the customization of what you think you’ll use every month, without the hassle of filling out a form every week to say what you’d like.  You’ll get great meat and cheese at fair prices and support local farmers/producers.  Excited?!  Then…

    Sign up: All you have to do is email saying “I’m in!” and attach the filled out Excel order form so we know how much of each product you’d like every month.  We’ll send you a confirmation email so you know you’re on our list.  The final order deadline will be March 10th.  Either way, we’re going until our freezer is projected to be full.  Now, how about some details, like…

    Duration & Payment Plan: April 11th will be the first pick up, and the round will last 6 months.  Your payment is due by March 15th – and that’s it!  This will keep admin work on our end easy and help the producers ensure they have a steady income.  If you want to work with us on a different payment plan, I’m sure we can figure something out.  The final pick up for this 6 month cycle will be on September 12th.  We’ll gather feedback along the way and then decide if we want to start another round in October.  Oh, and here’s more…

    Info on the Producers:  The Eaton Farm, where the meat comes from – here on Local Harvest, and they are listed in the Central Ohio River Valley (CORV) Guide as well (available at the Civic Garden Center, College Hill Farmer’s Market, etc.).  Their farm is located in Jefferson County, Indiana – relatively close to Rising Sun.  The large majority of the cheese is coming from Middlefield Original Cheese Co-op in Middlefield, OH, and some comes from other nearby Amish Farms.  Simply Cheese is the distributor for this co-op, and you can find info about them and their products here (if you search around their site, you’ll note they do have other cheese options available – we are not able to provide all options through the Good Eaton Club due to the amount of space we have).

    And then…

    Info on the Meat and How it is Raised:
    Beef: Humanely raised and grass-fed, which results in lower cholesterol and higher concentrations of healthful omega three fatty acids. In the winter, the cattle are also fed farm-raised hay and small amounts of grain that contains no animal by-products, hormones, or antibiotics. 
    Chicken: Raised on pasture with local feeds, no antibiotics, hormones, or by-products and moved every few days; protected from predators with electric netting.  This is beyond free-range and makes a flavorful chicken.
    Eggs: From happy hens, fed natural, local feed, moved weekly, and protected within electric netting.  The laying house is mobile, and the hens spend their days foraging and scratching in the grass in the sunshine.
    Pork:  Raised on rotated pasture, with plenty of shade.  They are free to eat roots and grasses, while having access to local feed without animal by-products, hormones or antibiotics.  As if they did not have enough activities, they also enjoy their wallow.
    Cheese: Go here for information on the process by which the cheese is made.

    Whether it’s because you care about eating the best tasting food, our environment and its sustainability, believe our food and where we get is an important social justice issue, or all three, we hope you’ll be joining us again!

    If you have more questions, please let us know.  We’d also love any feedback or thoughts, so whether you’re in or out, let us know what you think.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    Gavin DeVore Leonard

    PS – Keep the Eaton’s in mind for your veggie CSA and/or your Thanksgiving turkey!  The veggie CSA is filling up now, so let us know if you're interested.  We’ll keep you posted when turkey time comes around.