Fall in Love With Our Grass-Fed Beef Stew Meat!

Fall and cooler weather is arriving and there's nothing more comforting when the cold temps hit than enjoying a big bowl of hearty, flavor-packed stew! Our 100% Grass-Fed Beef Stew Meat and our Grass-Fed/Grain-Allowed Beef Stew Meat is a favorite among our top customers because it comes in easy 1 lb packages full of big chunks of our local, tasty grass-fed beef. Use our beef stew meat in soups and stews, or throw the beef on the grill or in the oven to create a shish kabob you'll want to sink your teeth into! You really can't go wrong when you choose our beef stew meat and now is the perfect time to try it! SAVE 10% online now with code STEW10.
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Party Hors D'oeuvres: Chicken, Bacon, Mild Italian Sausage!


It's a threefer!  One blog post, THREE hors d'oeuvres!


'Tis the season for football games, school functions, and upcoming (gasp) holidays.  Is it really fall already?  I love love love appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, starters, finger foods... whatever you want to call them.  I'm the person who is perfectly content eating appetizers for a meal.  If I put enough meat into them, I can convince my husband of their meal status, too!


Today, I have three easy recipes for you:  chicken ranch pinwheels, sweet & spicy bacon wrapped chicken w/ honey mustard dip, and Italian tomato basil bites. Pinwheels or roll-ups can be made in so many different ways.  I like them all.  I had some red bell pepper to use, so I chose this ranch flavor.  Plus, I like the pretty green tortillas. Next... sweet, spicy, bacon... enough said.  Really.  The Italian tomato basil bites are so pretty to look at, but are incredibly simple!  If you don't have cherry tomatoes available, just cut nice chunks of larger firm tomatoes.


Chicken Ranch Pinwheels





2 c. cooked finely shredded TPF chicken (try slow-cooking a whole chicken)

1 - 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened

4 T. finely diced red or orange sweet bell pepper

2 T. finely chopped cucumber

2 t. dried dill

1 t. salt

1 t. onion powder

1 t. garlic powder

1 package spinach herb flour tortilla wraps

**TIP:  Pat your bell peppers and cucumbers dry with a paper towel before adding to cream cheese.




1.  Mix filling ingredients into large mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.


2.  Evenly spread mixture over wrap.  Roll it up, then cut into roughly 1/2" widths.     






Sweet & Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken w/ Honey Mustard Dip





2 TPF Chicken Breasts

1 lb. TPF Bacon

3 T. brown sugar

2 t. salt

2 t. mustard powder

1 t. onion powder

1 t. oregano

1/2 t. cayenne pepper

1/4 t. chili flakes

toothpicks soaked in water


Honey Mustard Dip - mix thoroughly into small bowl

1 part honey

1 part Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard

splash of white wine vinegar


Directions: Preheat oven to 350°


1.  Mix seasonings together in medium bowl.


2.  Cut chicken into roughly 3/4" x 1" pieces.  Cut bacon strips into thirds (one strip into three even pieces).  **Make sure your bacon is long enough and your chicken is small enough that the bacon overlaps by about 1/2" when wrapped around the chicken. This ensures the bacon with crisp without too much interior portion staying soft.



3.  Dredge chicken in seasoning to coat each piece.  Roll chicken up into a strip of bacon and secure with soaked toothpick. **soaking the toothpick prevents it from burning in the oven.




4. Place rolls on preheated broiler pan and bake at 350° for about 35 minutes or until bacon is bubbling and crisp.  Serve with honey mustard dip.




Italian Sausage Tomato Basil Bites 





TPF Mild Italian Sausage

cherry tomatoes

block or soft mozarella cheese

fresh basil leaves





1. In a skillet, brown sausage links over medium heat until cooked through.



2.  Slice links about 1/2" on the diagonal and cut mozzarella about 1/4" thick and just wide enough to fit nicely on top of the links and under the tomatoes.


3.  Stack a slice of Italian sausage, chunk of cheese, basil leaf, and tomato.  Secure with toothpick.




Making hors d'oeuvres can be so much fun.  I hope you enjoy them and have fun at your party, whatever the occasion!


Add one more finger food with my recipe for deviled eggs.  


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Sous-Vide Pork Loin with Lemon Dijon Sauce

Sous Vide Pork Loin

Sous-vide is a French term that means 'under vacuum.'  The idea behind it is that vacuum-sealed foods placed in a water bath at a controlled temperature will produce evenly cooked results.  This prevents overcooking the outside while trying to get the inside to a desired temperature.  Think about how well done the outside of a thick ribeye gets in order to cook the inside to medium rare, or how a chicken breast can become dry while trying to get the center done.  Instead, sous-vide allows the desired doneness to be applied from edge to edge without risk of overcooking or drying.  This recipe for sous-vide pork with lemon Dijon sauce is one of the first I tried and it's become a regular on the weekly menu.


For the sauce (optional):

  • 1/4 stick unsalted organic butter
  • 1 cup stock, chicken or vegetable
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Dijon mustard

What You'll Need:

  • Large stockpot
  • Immersion circulator/sous-vide device
  • Gallon size Ziploc bag 
  • Kitchen torch (optional)


Sous Vous Pork Loin

1. Fill the stockpot most of the way with water.  Leave around 4-5" of space for the circulator and the roast.


2. Clamp the immersion circulator to the side of the stockpot. Plug it in, set the temperature to 135F,  and press start.  The water will begin heating and circulating.

3. Remove the pork loin from the fridge and open it.  There's no need to let it warm up before cooking.  

4. Dry the roast with paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt, ground pepper, rosemary, and garlic and onion powders.  It's also fine to marinate with your favorite sauce for a few hours or overnight.

5. Place the roast in a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Add four or five pats of butter if making a sauce.

6. Close the bag most of the way across.  Leave an inch unsealed at one corner.

7. Holding the bag by the unsealed corner, slowly lower it into the water.  The roast will sink and the water will displace the air in the bag.  It's preferable to use a vacuum sealer however I got along fine using Ziplocs for months.  The key is to eliminate all air so that the water is touching the plastic that in turn is in direct contact with all of the surface area of the meat.  

8. Seal the last inch.  Use a clip to pin the bag to the side of the stockpot.  Clip it so the pork loin is not resting on the bottom.  The water currents should be able to move all around the loin.  Be sure the water doesn’t get higher than the “MAX” line on the sous vide device.  

9. Wait ninety minutes up to two and a half hours.  Since it's not going to get any hotter than 135 degrees it won't overcook.  

10. Remove the bag from the stockpot.  Unzip one corner and pour the accumulated juices into a small saucepan.  Seal the bag and place back in the water to keep heated.  

11. Add about a cup of stock to the saucepan.  I used five cubes of Tyner Pond Farm chicken stock that I freeze in ice cube trays.  Vegetable stock is fine, too.  

12. Simmer to reduce.  This can take five to ten minutes depending on the amount.  Turn to low, add the juice from half a lemon and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and whisk thoroughly.

13. Remove loin from bag, adding to the sauce any new juices that accumulated. 

14. Thoroughly dry the loin with paper towels.  Notice that while it is fully cooked it's still lacking a certain something.  What's missing is the sear, also called the Maillard reaction, those crispy darkened bits on the outside of food that taste so good. 

15. There are a few options for searing.  A very hot grill is an option as is a hot cast iron pan with fat or oil.  However, the simplest, fastest, and least messy option is a kitchen torch. 


16. Transfer the dry loin to a rack on a baking sheet on a heatproof surface.  Start torching the pork loin while slowing moving and turning it to get all sides.  Use metal tongs to keep your hands away.  

Sour Vide Pork Loin

17. The loin should end up looking like it was under a broiler. Slice and serve immediately with the lemon Dijon sauce drizzled on top.  Enjoy!

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Meet Brad Gruell, Our Butcher at Tyner Pond Farm

Meet Brad Gruell
On a beautiful day this week at the farm 
sat down with Brad Gruell, to learn more about his job as our on-site butcher and get to know him a bit better. Ever since I've met Brad, he has always greeted me and everyone else at the farm with a giant smile. He is kind, always positive, and extremely hardworking. Brad is also a big jokester and you can always count on him to bring a great laugh to the room. Of course, I bribed him to do the interview by bringing him a burger from The Mug while we chatted about work, life, family, etc. What a full circle way to do the interview than over enjoying a TPF burger that was directly connected back to him? It's really incredible, actually. 

Kelly: First off, tell me about how you got into the business of being a butcher. How does one become a butcher?  

Brad: It runs in our family. I was born and raised in Greenfield and my dad was a butcher and it's what I knew growing up. I first started when I was 9-years-old and began my first apprenticeship when I was 20. It was at Kroger.  

Kelly: So you started your career as a butcher at Kroger? Tell me a little bit about your time there.  

Brad: I actually worked at Kroger for 30 years. I worked at 47 different stores all around Central Indiana. I learned a lot about the business during those 30 years, but it's nothing like working directly at the farm.

Kelly: Which brings me to the question, what is the best part about working for Tyner Pond Farm now?  

Brad: Oh man. Just look at this. (Brad raises his arms and points to the beautiful, quiet scenery filled with beef cattle far in the background on this perfect September day). Well, it's obviously a lot different than working inside a grocery store. I never got to see all of this inside a store all day. The atmosphere and driving to a farm every single day is what makes it so rewarding. To be a part of the entire process of raising the animals and knowing the farmers personally, it's such an incredible thingMost people have no idea where their food comes from and this view right now is really what it's all about.  

Kelly: Okay, let's get a little personal. What is one thing you want our customers to other know about you?  

Brad: I went through wrestling school in the late 80s and I was a professional wrestler for 5 years. I was also a bouncer and that's how I met my wife.

Kelly: This is great stuff, Brad! Well, of course now I have to ask, did you have a professional wrestling name?  

Brad: (Brad laughs) Yes, I did. It was PitBull Brad Gruell. There's actually a video online. (And of course, we found it here.) 


Kelly: So when you're not working, we can find you wrestling and...? 

Brad: Family is very important to me so you'll find me doing family activities and going to my daughter's basketball games. I'm always outdoors or in the woods, too. I like hunting and have been hunting my entire life.

The Gruell Family

Kelly: Since you’re the butcher, I have to ask about your favorite Tyner Pond Farm products. Do you have any that you always go back to? 

Brad: I like all of our products but I especially enjoy our pork productsI love our bacon and bratwurstI also make a special beef summer sausage that we bring back for the holidays and it's delicious. It was a hit and we're bringing it back this year again.    

Kelly: Okay, one last question because you have to get back to work! What do you like best about working alongside your brother, Monte? (Monte works with Brad as a butcher at our farm as well.)  

Brad: Staying tight. Staying close. We lost our mom when we were young and that keeps our family close. We don’t argue or fight at all. We get each other and that makes our jobs easier. Monte is a great guy and we both love what we do. We feel lucky to work here each day at the farm. 

Meet The Chaves Family, another important family at our farm. 

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Breakfast. It's What's For Dinner.

When it's been a crazy day, in a crazy week, and your whole family is crazy hungry... there is nothing sweeter, and simpler than Breakfast for Dinner!  Since my kids could basically live on Eggo Waffles, there is no better way to get the whole gang down at the table for a family meal that ends with full bellies than to announce, "Tonight is breakfast for dinner!!!"  This declaration is immediately followed by a stampede and chants of, "Brinner!  Brinner!  Brinner!"  Bingo.

So, while I'm unloading the dishwasher, and collecting rogue Legos, and wiping a few tears... I can whip this up in no time.
Breakfast for Dinner, aka Brinner


You would never know that while I am throwing this meal together, a "ghost" is moving some of the chairs in my kitchen.  Actually, it's some preschoolers with a dog leash and some serious imaginations.

Anyways, the best part of this meal (besides no complaints) is that the French Toast can be made ahead of time and just popped in the toaster OR I can use this chance to make a big batch and freeze it for later!

And here are a couple little French Toast tricks...

Trick #1: Toast the toast for a minute first!  It will literally soak up the egg mixture like a sponge in 2 seconds!

Trick #2:  When the fully-cooked French Toast has just come off the griddle and is still bubbling and piping hot, sprinkle on cinnamon sugar!  It creates a crunchy and sweet little crust.  C'est bon! 

So, while I am in breakfast mode, I am going to cook another whole pack of Tyner Pond Farm Breakfast Sausage Patties, and throw together some Breakfast Sandwiches that I can throw in the freezer and pop in the microwave on busy mornings.  So, every morning.  Stay tuned to see what the Jimmy Dean king himself (my 6-year-old) thinks of my non-GMO, pasture-raised version of frozen breakfast!

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Summer Stew with Smoked Polish Kielbasa


The dog days.  Late summer, signs of impending autumn with stifling heat.  I still have to feed my family, but turning on the oven, standing over the stove, or facing the grill all feel like too much.  So often, the slow cooker invokes images of crisp cool air, comfy sweaters, and hearty meals.  However, the slow-cooker is also a summertime friend helping you to prepare meals without heating up the house. Why make your air conditioner work in overdrive?


Summer stew is a simple meal perfect for a busy weeknight (or any day I finally have a totally clean kitchen and don't want to trash it again making dinner). It's warm and filling without being heavy.  Because I want that fresh garden flavor, I do not precook the onions. My husband especially likes his topped with sour cream and paired with a slice of buttered bread.  I've seen this dish prepared in a few different ways.  Slow-cooked, sautéed in a frying pan, stewed in the oven, or steamed on the stove top.  In the winter, I like using the oven to help warm up the house.


Before becoming a loyal Tyner Pond Farm customer, I always used a conventionally prepared smoked sausage for this dish.  TPF's smoked Polish kielbasa made from heritage pigs is the perfect local, pasture-raised alternative, providing the same smoked flavor and texture the dish requires without all the questionable additives.  You won't believe how easy this is!


Ingredients:  (makes four small servings - easily doubles or triples, just increase cooking time)

  • 1 lb. TPF Smoked Polish Kielbasa
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed (or more smaller red ones... this is not an exact science!)
  • 1  package frozen Husk green beans (rinse to thaw and break up)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. water 
  • salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • pinch or two of red chili flakes and sour cream to serve




1. Slice kielbasa about 1/4" or so.  I like to kinda fancy things up a little by slicing on the diagonal. 


2. Dice onions and potatoes.


3. Layer ingredients into slow cooker with potatoes and onions on bottom, green beans over onions, and sausage on top.  Salt and pepper layers to taste.



4.  Cover and slow cook on high for abut 2 hrs. or until potatoes are at desired tenderness. Stir it all up a bout halfway through cooking.


Serve topped with a sprinkle of crushed red peppers and dollop of sour cream.  Blow... it'll be hot! 


Alternative cooking methods:


Oven:  Place ingredients in a covered dish and cook at 350° until vegetables are tender. Stir a couple of times throughout.


Pan sautéed:  Place ingredients into a large frying pan and cook covered over medium/low heat about 20 minutes or until everything is tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally and add more moisture if necessary.  


Steamer:  Place ingredients into steamer pot and steam about 10 minutes or until tender.  


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Beat the Last Dog Days of Summer With a Cool, Crunchy Oriental Chicken Salad

Easy Oriental Chicken Salad

Labor Day weekend has just passed, and with it, the final days of summer.  Although, you would never guess that Starbucks has switched to its "fall offerings" by the weather over the past weekend with high temps in the 90s and plus high humidity. 

I should be thinking about pumpkin spice lattes, hearty bowls of chili, and football.  But, instead, I'm sweating.  The "dog days of summer" look like they are going to stick around this year for a few weeks.  So instead of pumpkin bread and chili, all I am craving is a crisp, refreshing salad. 


Easy Oriental Chicken Salad

  • 1 Pound Cooked Tyner Pond Chicken Breast, Shredded
  • 1 Head Iceberg Lettuce, Shredded
  • 1 Package Shredded Cole Slaw
  • 1 Bunch Green Onion, Diced
  • 1 Package La Choy Noodles
  • 1/2 Cup Shelled Edamame
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Small Bag Sliced Almonds

*Hint: Throw frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot in 2" of water and forget about them for about 4 hours.  Then shred them with a couple forks.  They will be tender, juicy, and most-importantly, simple!


Oriental Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 4 T. White Vinegar
  • 4 T. White Sugar
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Pepper
  • 1/8 C. Poppy Seeds or Sesame Seeds (Your Choice)

*Another Hint: Add a shot of Sriracha for an extra heat blast!

I'm not gonna lie, my kids are not going to touch this salad.  Well, Baby Girl will.  She found some bunny poop out in the yard, and well, you can guess where that went.  So, I am going to double-duty this batch of chicken!  The recipe calls for 1 lb. so whatever is left over is going to end up on "The Brothers" plates as bbq pulled chicken sandwich or a shredded chicken quesadilla. 

This crisp, refreshing salad is my favorite way to enjoy local, pasture-raised, drug-free meats.  At least until the heat wave rolls out and a pot roast begins to sound this yummy!


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How to Achieve Amazing Grilled Barbecued Chicken Leg Quarters

Barbecued Chicken Leg Quarters

Leg quarters are perhaps the most grill-friendly part of a chicken.  The dark meat has a higher fat content that keeps it juicy in the heat while the thigh and leg bones add flavor.  They are a great choice for the backyard barbecue where the cook may get distracted breaking in a new cornhole set or simply doesn't want to watch a timer.  Leg quarters are also more economical than chicken breasts and every bit as versatile.

This is my recipe for grilled Tyner Pond Farm leg quarters and homemade barbecue sauce.  I served these with fresh local sweet corn and kale.  For the kale, steam it, then toss it in a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, smashed diced garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.


For the sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon local honey, from the Tyner Pond farm store
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • several dashes liquid smoke, if desired
  • several dashes hot sauce, if desired
  • water to thin sauce, if needed

1. Start by making the sauce so it can refrigerate and mingle.  The great thing about barbeque sauce is that there's practically no wrong way to do it.  It can have three ingredients or thirty.  Combine all the ingredients, stir, and refrigerate.  Alternatively, use a favorite bottled sauce.

2. Set the leg quarters out to begin warming.  Never put cold meat on a hot grill!  It will stick badly.

3. Light the grill and preheat.  If using a charcoal grill prepare it for indirect cooking.  Indirect cooking means that the food isn't going to be directly over hot coals, and is best for bone-in or larger items.

4. Clean and oil the grill grate.

5. Rinse the leg quarters and dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.

6. Turn off a burner to create an indirect cooking zone.  With the middle burner off, my grill stays at a consistent 350 degrees.  Place the chicken, skin side down, on the front (or back) of the grill so it's over direct heat.  Close the lid and let cook.

7. Wait five minutes, loosen the chicken, turn over and move to the indirect zone.

8. Close the lid.  Wait ten minutes.  

9. Turn the quarters over and brush barbecue sauce on the underside.  Flip them back over and brush sauce on top.  Close the lid.  

10. Wait five minutes, repeat the brushing process, and close the lid.  

11. After five more minutes, for twenty-five total, brush with sauce one more time and remove from heat.  Serve with additional sauce on the side and enjoy!

Read Scott's recipe for the Best Breakfast Casserole You'll Ever Eat and see Why Switching to Local Was Easy for Scott with Tyner Pond Farm.  


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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken: Easy, Versatile

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken


Putting a whole bird into the slow cooker and letting time take care of the rest is my favorite way to handle dinner when I'm expecting a busy evening.  It makes me feel like the dinner fairies came while I worked on other things.  A 4-5 lb. whole pasture-raised chicken feeds my little family of three (2 adults, 1 preschooler) for two suppers plus a lunch, or three suppers if I make BBQ chicken pizza.  My husband always gets a leg and thigh on the first night, while my daughter and I share a breast. 


I've suggested here, here, and here to use meat from a slow-cooked whole chicken. Hmm...cart before the horse maybe?  A blog post about actually making the chicken is probably way past due! When it comes to whole chickens, I especially like working with TPF birds because I don't experience the salmonella paranoia I dealt with when I used to buy factory-farmed chickens. Of course, proper food handling is ALWAYS recommended.  Wash your hands between touching your raw bird and touching anything else in your kitchen, then clean up your sink afterwards.  


In the past, I've typically taken the easy route and simply doused my chicken with salt and pepper and set it in the crock.  I've been experimenting lately and come up with a method for versatile, flavorful, tender but not mushy, slow-cooked chicken.  The longer you cook the chicken, the softer the meat becomes and the more it will begin to fall apart. Begin checking the temp at 5 hours to prevent overcooked mushy meat.




1 TPF Whole Chicken (buy whatever size whole chicken you want)

1 medium onion

2 T. kosher salt

2 T. sage (optional)

2 T. thyme (optional)

1 T. smoked paprika

1 t. ground black pepper

red potatoes or other root vegetables (optional)




1.  Remove thawed chicken from packaging and rinse under cold water.  Pat dry with paper towel and place in crock breast side down. 


2.  Mix seasonings together and rub liberally on both the outside and inside the cavity. Quarter onion and place inside cavity.



3.  Cover and set slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours.  Set at high for the last additional hour of cooking for a total of 5-6 hours depending on the size of your bird.  Chicken is ready when a thermometer placed into the breast reads 165°.  A larger bird will take a bit more time.  A 5 lb. chicken reaches temperature in just around 5 hours.


***If you want to add potatoes or other root veggies, put them into the crock after two hours, or with roughly three hours left to cook depending on the size of your chicken.  



4.  There is no step-four.  That's it.  Chicken is finished.  I told you it was easy!



***TIP: Remove the meat from the bone while the chicken is still warm.  Makes it much easier to simply pull it off with your hands.  SAVE YOUR BONES for chicken stock!



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The Best Breakfast Casserole You'll Ever Eat

Best Breakfast Casserole

This breakfast casserole is ideal for a lazy weekend morning or a holiday.  It takes a little time to get the bacon crispy and make the hash browns but the investment is well worth it.  It can also be made a day or two in advance, cooked most of the way, and then finished later on a busy morning.  This recipe easily feeds six and makes fantastic leftovers, too.


1. The key to pretty much everything is bacon.  Bacon should be crispy and the best way to get crispy bacon is to cook it very low for half an hour or more.  It's also a great test of self control to let bacon cook for thirty minutes without eating it. 

2. Cut the bacon in half and place in double layers to cover the bottom of a skillet.  It's ok if it overlaps, there will be plenty of heat to go around.  Set the burner to medium-low and cook for fifteen minutes, turn, and wait another ten minutes.  The bacon will be slowly cooking in the rendered fat with very little popping.  If it's popping or splattering the heat is too high.  Start moving pieces around to get the uncooked parts to the middle.  When it's done it'll be deeply colored and super crunchy.  Leave it to drain on paper towels.  

3. While the bacon cooks, place the sausage links in a skillet and add half an inch of water.  Set the heat to medium and let the sausage cook while the water evaporates, turning once or twice.  This way the sausage cooks without burning the casings.  After the water cooks off, turn the links a couple more times to add color.  Remove from heat and set aside.  

Sausage Links4. While the bacon cooks and the sausage simmers, it's time to use a slicer on the potatoes.  I'm using a small julienne blade to make quick work of four peeled medium potatoes.  Place the slicer on top of a large bowl that's half full of cold water.  Always use the  safety guard when using a slicer.

5. Two minutes later, here's a bowl full of matchstick potatoes.  These need to soak to remove the starch or they'll turn into a discolored, oxidized, gelatinous blob instead of crispy hash browns.  Replace the cloudy water several times over the course of ten minutes.  

6. Drain the potato sticks and spread over layers of paper towels to dry.  Blot the top with additional paper towels.  Heat a large griddle on medium high heat and add a heavy tablespoon of Tyner Pond Farm lard.

7. Add the potato sticks to the hot griddle.  I decided to use a small red onion and ran it over the slicer, too, to dice.  Mix the potatoes around to distribute the lard.

8. Continue to mix periodically while letting the heat cook away moisture.  Start adding a pinch of salt and a few turns of the peppermill each time.  The potatoes will begin to reduce and brown.

9. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

10. While the potatoes finish browning, use a bit more Tyner Pond Farm lard to grease a baking dish.  

11. Break the bacon into pieces, slice the sausage, and dice the scallions.

12. Crack and season the eggs.  I add slivers of scallions along with salt and pepper, garlic powder, parsley, dill, and a quarter cup of milk.  I'm using ten eggs here because let's face it I'm a couple eggs short of a dozen.

13. Line the bottom of the greased baking dish with the hash browns and spread around most of the bacon, sausage, scallions and cheese.  Blend the egg mixture together and pour on top. 

 Breakfast Casserole

14. Place the baking dish on the center rack of a preheated oven and cook for 35 minutes.  When finished, remove from heat and let rest for five minutes before serving.  Sprinkle on the remaining bacon, sausage, scallions and cheese.  I like to drizzle on a little hot sauce, too, when serving.  Enjoy!

See Scott's recipe for the Perfect Grass-Fed Burgers with Indiana Sweet Corn

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An Eggsperiment: Eggs From Pastured Hens vs. Conventional Eggs

One of life's great quandaries...which is better...eggs from pasture-raised hens, or the "other kind"?  Ok, well maybe you won't find a bunch of high-powered attorneys hashing this one out in a courtroom.  But, I bet it is something the average family talks about at the breakfast table.  We all hear that pasture-raised, non-GMO meat and dairy is superior.  But why?  And what makes it different?


A team of highly-skilled scientists will be performing an "egg"speriment.  The thing is, they look like a couple of pre-schoolers with a 20-month-old lurking in the background.


Today we will be determining the difference between the following subjects:

Tyner Pond Farm eggs from pastured hens  VS. conventional, store-bought eggs.


Initial observations

Characteristics of the TPF eggs via the mouths of a 6-year-old and "almost" 5-year-old

  • Pretty
  • Some are green, brown and some have spots
  • All are different shapes and sizes
  • They smell "like a beautiful, fresh stream"

Characteristics of Store-bought Conventional Eggs

  • They are all white
  • They all look the same
  • "They are copying each other"


Cracking the Eggs: We observed that the Tyner Pond Farm eggs had a much stronger shell and needed a good, solid whack to break it.  The conventional eggshells were "pretty crumbly".


What's Inside: This is where we noticed the biggest difference, and the most important one since this is what you put into your body! 

Tyner Pond Farm Eggs

  • Large, golden-hued yolks
  • Yolk is standing up tall and proud
  • Crystal clear egg whites

Conventional Eggs

  • "That egg is boring"
  • Small, pale-colored yolk
  • Whites are milky in appearance

How They Cook:  What an amazing difference!  The Tyner Pond Farm pasture-raised eggs cooked more quickly and evenly.  On a piece of toast, this yolk poured out and had a ooey, gooey, creamy goodness.  The conventional egg yolk just kind of sat there. Get with it!

In Conclusion
Our two different subjects, Tyner Pond Farm eggs and Conventional eggs, were examined in identical conditions.  Our team of scientists concluded that:

  • Eggs from pasture-raised hens have a varying color, shape, and size while conventional eggs look like clones.
  • Eggs from pasture-raised hens have a strong shell, golden-hued yolk and cook more quickly than conventional eggs.
  • Eggs from pasture-raised hens have a creamy, fresh flavor that is superior to conventional eggs.

We believe these difference can be attributed to the source of the pasture-raised eggs.  The hens do not eat any genetically-modified food.  They enjoy sunshine, air, and are treated humanely.

Studies show that pasture-raised eggs provide:

  • Less cholesterol
  • More vitamin E
  • Twice as many omega-3 fatty acids
  • More than twice the Vitamin D of confined chickens due to their direct exposure to sunlight
  • Are from happy chickens and make you feel good about consuming them (okay, I added that one)

Or you could just ask a 6-year-old...

"Tyner Pond Eggs are better eggs because the chickens get to play outside with their friends and they don't have to be squished together covered in poop."

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The Families of Our Farm: Meet The Chaves Crew

Farming at TPF is All About Family  
When it comes to getting stuff done at Tyner Pond Farm, it's a family affair. We're different than a lot of businesses in that we actually like and encourage family members to work together. Ha! We have several families that work for our farm, spending countless hours making sure our animals are raised properly on pasture, that our meats are cut correctly, and that our customers are satisfied with their purchases and free delivery. Each family member has a unique role that enables us do what we do - bring local, pastured, drug-free meat directly to you. 

Meet The Chaves Family
Husband and wife team, Ryan and Chandra, are a huge part of the crew at our farm. Chandra is our Director of Operations and Ryan is a full-time Farmer. Chances are you've spoken to Chandra on the phone, or maybe you've emailed with her - either way, she's the go-to gal for our farm staff and customers - she helps make the farm go round! Bottom line, if you have a question, Chandra will know the answer.

Ryan is one of the most hardworking, selfless and humble people you will ever meet. If you've been out to the farm, you may have run into him or seen him out on pasture doing what he does best; tending to our hundreds of animals. Ryan spends his time managing multiple TPF farm properties and rarely gets a day off, even on the coldest days of the year. We are so grateful for his commitment to our animals and our farm. 

Let's not forget the Chaves' sons, Nick and Logan, who have been working at the farm, too! They gather and wash the eggs from our hens, collect our chickens, feed animals and do loads of other day-to-day farm work that needs get done. 

The best thing about this fantastic crew is that they "get it". They wholeheartedly understand why we do what we do and they live it each day. They put their family and the farm first. It's why we're bringing back the Family Favorites Bundle - to celebrate family at our farm. This bundle includes: 

  • All-Natural Hot Dogs (8 per pack)
  • Chicken Breasts (2 per pack, ~1.25-1.5lbs.)
  • 100% Grass-fed Ground Beef (1lb)
  • Pork Tenderloin (~1lb)
  • One Dozen Farm Fresh Eggs


See Chandra's delicious and easy go-to recipe for Chicken and Noodles

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Make the Perfect Grilled Grass-fed Burgers and Sweet Corn

Grass-Fed Burgers with Indiana Sweet Corn

Summer comes with two of my favorite things:  grilling and sweet corn.  Certainly grilling can be done 
year round, however there's something about hanging out in the back yard, cooking over fire, and smelling the smoke in the warm air that's impossible to resist.  This cheeseburger and corn on the cob recipe is one of my favorite summer meals and is quick enough to do on a weeknight.  The best possible quality ground beef and the freshest sweet corn and tomatoes available from your local farmer's market or garden are essential for making the most of this meal.


  • 1 lb Tyner Pond Farm grass-fed ground beef (or more depending on number of people)
  • Tyner Pond Farm bacon, precooked
  • Toppings of choice (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles)
  • Wheat buns, or preference
  • Favorite condiments (mustard, ketchup, mayo, etc.)
  • Worcestershire (optional)
  • Basic seasoning (blend of equal parts sea salt, ground pepper, garlic and onion powders)
  • Cheese (classic yellow American and sharp white cheddar are favorites)
  • Fresh corn on the cob

Clean grill drip pan and burner guard bars if using a gas grill.  If using charcoal, empty ash and prepare charcoal fire in advance to allow coals to heat.  These instructions use a gas grill, however it adapts well to charcoal as both items cook over direct heat.


1. Clean the corn by removing the outermost layer of loose husk and cutting off excess silk.

2. Fill a sink (a clean bucket works well when cooking outside) with cold water and add the corn.  Let it soak for 20-30 minutes.  This will help prevent burning.

3. While the corn soaks, set your thawed Tyner Pond Farm ground beef, still in the package, out to warm.  This helps it cook more evenly as the center won't be cold when it hits the grill.

4. While the corn soaks and the ground beef sits, slice toppings.  It will be too much of a distraction while cooking!

5. Light the grill and set to preheat to 450 450


Ground Beef

6. Open the ground beef and slide onto a plate or cutting board.  Remove the slip of paper that will be on one side. Using a fork and going with the grain, gently pull the meat apart.  It should separate into strands that formed as it came through the grinder.  If not, use fingers to separate the meat into small pieces spread thinly across the plate. The goal is to distribute the seasonings through the meat without having to mix it through by hand.

7. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the basic seasoning evenly over the meat.  Add three or four dashes of Worcestershire. I particularly like to include this on the 100% grass-fed beef since the lower fat content means the burger benefits from a little extra moisture.

8. Pile the outer pieces of meat onto the middle. Run fingers through the meat a couple of times to distribute seasonings and combine it. Don't overwork it as handling the meat can make it tough.

Ground Beef Burger Balls9. Form the meat into a loaf and slice it in equal sizes for however many burgers you're making.  I'm going all-in here and making half pounders so I cut it in half.  Pick up one chunk of meat and give it a quick roll between your palms to form a ball.  Depending on how well combined the meat is there may be cracks on the surface.  These will only get worse when flattened into a patty and allow juices to escape.  To remove, toss the ball between cupped hands a few times like a baseball, slightly turning it each time so it stays rounded and smoothes out as shown here.

10. Flatten the meat by pressing between the palms of your hands, rotating slightly, and repeating until an inch thick.  Doing it this way reduces the cracks that can form along the edges of the patty.  Finally, use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of each to reduce plumping while cooking.

Grass Fed Burgers Flattened
11. Cut buns in half and set out cheese.  I like to break off each corner of the cheese and set it in the middle.  The corners are just going to melt and drip off, so why not keep them on your burger?

12. Verify your grill is heated to 450o.  The more the grill smokes while heating the more stuff that needs to cook off.  When the smoke stops, the grates are ready for cleaning.

13. Use a wire brush to scour the grates clean.  Next, layer a few paper towels and fold them over twice into a square, put a tablespoon of cooking oil on one side, and use an oven mitt to run the oiled towel over the grates.  This lubricates and removes any remaining debris from the grates.

14. Shake excess water off the corn and place on the clean grill grates.  Close the lid.  Note the time.

15. Wait ten minutes.  Turn the corn over and add the burgers.  Be careful not to drop or toss the patties on the grill. That will cause the meat to go between the grates and be sliced off by the spatula.  Close the lid and wait three minutes.  Don’t peek!  It's particularly important with grass-fed beef to stay nearby and keep an eye on the time to avoid overcooking.

16. At the three minute mark slide a metal spatula under each burger, rotate each patty a quarter way around and slide it (this is another reason to oil the grates) to a new spot.  The new spot will be hotter and make for better grill marks.  Avoid pressing on the patties or trying to flatten, as this will squeeze juices out and force meat between the grates.

17. Wait three more minutes and flip each patty.  If cooking smaller burgers (or bigger for that matter), the way to know when to flip them is to watch for smoke.  Cooking times will always vary so when the grill starts smoking moderately it means the patty is releasing juices and needs to be turned. Move the corn as needed so sides that are green face the heat and darkened parts face away.  Close the grill lid.  

18. After 4 minutes, or when the grill has started smoking again, add the cheese and bacon to each patty and close the lid. Wait two minutes for the cheese to melt.  By now there should be ample sizzling meaning it’s time to come off.  Once the cheese melts remove the burgers to a plate and let sit.  Remove the corn as well.  

19. If toasting the buns place each half cut-side down on clean spots of the grate and close the lid.  This only takes a minute so be careful not to burn.  Remove buns and turn off grill.

20. Shuck the corn while the burgers rest.  I also like to cut each cob in half.  Not only does this fit better on plates, it also caters to folks who want more than an ear but not two whole ears.  

21. Add mustard, ketchup, etc. to toasted bun halves, load up on toppings, and build a burger.  If you're like me and built a burger too tall, squish it a little and poke a wood skewer down the middle to help hold it all together.  Season corn and grab a slice of watermelon.  

Enjoy your dinner, summer, and the bounty of Indiana.  

Read more about Why Switching to Local Was Easy for our customer, Scott Andrews. 


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More Than Meat: Old Fashioned Lard and Butter Pie Crust


When we think Tyner Pond Farm, we typically think pasture-raised meat or maybe farm fresh eggs. But, with real unadulterated lard available from their heritage hogs, I also think PIE! Spring and summer harvests beg to be made into pie, and there's no better pie crust than one made with lard. My efforts to support local food have made my freezer nicely stocked with 12 lbs. of blueberries from Driving Wind Blueberry Farm.  Since I also had a couple of peaches that needed to be eaten, I decided to use those two fruits together for my filling.


I've written before about the health benefits of whole natural fats from healthy grass fed animals.  When you use a combination of lard and butter in your pie crust, the lightness and flakiness is off the charts!  I've made lots of pies before with homemade pie crust, but never with lard until recently.  I've always wanted to, but never had good quality lard readily available.  There are a few variations in the making of pie crust, but most recipes are basically the same. Fat, flour, salt, sugar, and cold water. You can make a pie crust with lard only, but I like to do half butter just for flavor. 


Two important things to remember when making pie crust is to keep things very cold and don't over work the dough.  You want those little chunks of fat to melt in the oven, layering in the flour and creating that delicious flakiness.  If it's warm and overworked, it becomes harder and more dense because the fat has been more thoroughly distributed through the flour.  


Pie Crust Ingredients: (makes two crusts for a 9" pie)


2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (or a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend)

2 t. sugar (omit for savory pies)

1 t. salt

1/2 c. lard

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. + 2 T. ice cold water 


Fruit Filling Ingredients:


4 c. fresh or frozen fruit (I used a mix of blueberries and peaches)

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

2 T. butter (in chunks)


Directions:  (Preheat oven to 475°)


1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In a large mixing bowl, cut very cold butter and lard into chunks.




2.  Add dry ingredients to the large bowl of fats and incorporate until you get even crumbles.  There are a few ways you can do this:  pulse with a food processor, use a pastry blender, or cut in with two butter knives.  The pastry blender is my favorite.  If you use a food processor, be gentle with it, using it as little as necessary because it can tend to warm the fats.




3.  Sprinkle the ice cold water over the crumbles.  Using a fork, mix in the water.  Mix the dough just until it forms a ball and no more!



4.  Divide the dough into two balls.  Place one ball in between two sheets of very lightly floured parchment paper and begin rolling from the center out until you've made about a 13" circle approximately 1/8" thick.  Put your first crust into the refrigerator to keep cool and roll out second ball of dough.


**TIP:  Every few rolls, gently peel back the parchment paper, flipping it to peel back the other side, too.  If the parchment wants to stick, vigorously rub your hand back and forth over the paper like you're smoothing it out as you pull the paper back.


5.  Place second rolled out crust into pie pan.  I like to keep the bottom paper in place, turn the pie pan upside down on top the crust, then flip the whole thing over and remove the bottom (now top) paper.  Press it gently into the pan.  Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling.



6.  Mix together dry ingredients for pie filling and toss with fruit until evenly coated.  Fill pie crust and place cut up butter around the top of fruit.  



7.  At this point, you can fancy it up by cutting the first crust you rolled into lattice strips and weaving them over the top. You can go the traditional route by laying it over the top and crimping the edges.  Be sure to cut slits in the top for ventilation. You can get creative and cut out pretty shapes, too!  Personally, I love the ease and simple rustic look of a crust's raw edge folded over the top leaving the center exposed.  Moisten the top crust with a dab of water using a pastry brush and sprinkle with sugar.


8. Place in 425° oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 375° and cook for another 35-45 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbling.  Allow to cool at least 2 hours for filling to set.



***TIP:  If your crust is browning too quickly, take a sheet of aluminum foil, fold into quarters, and cut the folded corner off in a quarter round shape.  Size it so the center of your pie is exposed, but the edges are covered.





***TIP:  If you decided to use only one crust, you can save the other in the freezer.  Leave the bottom parchment paper in place, roll it up, and wrap it in plastic.  Allow to sit at room temperature just until thawed and pliable.  



Enjoy!  I'm looking so forward to making this crust for a savory pot pie once the weather cools off.  
















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The Real Deal with Terms "Free Range" and "Cage Free"

What Pasture-Raised Poultry Looks Like at Our Farm 
Last week, we posted some photos of our pastured egg layer hens (Red Sex Link breed) on our Facebook page. The hens were shown happily roaming and enjoying fresh air and new, lush pasture right next to Tyner Pond. This is truly how you'll see our hens and our chickens when you visit our farm. It's the reason why we have an open farm, too - we want you to see up close and personal how your food is produced. The truth is, happier and healthier hens create better tasting eggs and happy meat chickens make for more delicious meals.  

Why "Free Range" and "Cage Free" Are Misleading Terms
The issue with the terms "Free Range" and "Cage Free" are that they're misnomers. Many companies slap these labels on their egg and chicken packaging, tricking consumers into thinking they're buying eggs and meat from hens & chickens that led natural, happy lives...when they in fact didn't al all. "Free range" and "cage-free" can still mean cooped up by the thousands in a building, walking all over each other without room to spread their wings, and completely without grass, bugs, sunshine and fresh air. Awful, right?  

Make the Switch to "Pasture-Raised" 
If you're already committed to buying TPF local, drug-free chicken and eggs from our pastured hens, congrats! You've made a big step to a healthier lifestyle that supports local farmers, the local economy and treats animals how they deserve to be treated. If you find yourself standing in your local grocery store in the egg or poultry section, looking at all the options and debating on what to buy between free range, cage free, all natural, etc., ask yourself first, do I really have any clue how this product was raised and where it’s from? Or is it just false marketing? 

Here Are the Reasons Why Our Indiana Pastured Poultry is Unparalleled:

  • It's local! You know where and how your eggs and meat were produced
  • Botton line, our chicken and eggs are a higher quality, better tasting product
  • Our birds are rotated weekly on pasture in a stress-free environment
  • We never give our chickens or hens antibiotics or drugs
  • You're supporting local farmers and the local economy
  • Online ordering is EASY and we provide FREE weekly delivery 

Shop Pastured Poultry

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Managing Back-to-School Meals Like a Boss with TPF

It's "Back to School" time!  Busy, crazy mornings are about to get a whole lot crazier...  Kids refusing to get out of their pajamas, no more lounging around watching Power Rangers, plenty of complaining about what is served for breakfast, and a whole lot of stress over packing the lunch!  But, wait!  That doesn't have to be how we start off our school year! Not this year!  I just have to get back the mindset I had in Winter, when I was really on top of my game.  I will apply some of the same methods I talked about in Baby Steps to Buying and Eating Local for the Busy Family!  I will not be intimidated by my picky eaters, hectic mornings, crazy dinners, and ugh... complaints about their lunches.


Once I go back to Shoe Carnival for the 3rd time in 24 hours and finally find 15 8-Packs of Crayola Primary Color standard-sized crayons at Target, then I will have the time to get started on all the right feet for Back to School 2015!


Here's the plan...


Step 1 - Outline the week's meals on Sunday

Step 2  - A reminder in each week's calendar to place my Tyner Pond Farm order by 6pm the night before my delivery day

Step 3 - Make grocery lists and farmer's market lists.

Step 4 - Make easy-to-reheat breakfast meals in bulk or buy Tyner Pond Farm Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches

Step 5 - Make the kids' lunches the night before.  No matter what.  It's really kind of fun when paired with a glass of wine.  That's way better than a cold morning cup of coffee and an angry 19 month old on your leg.


Winter meal preparation involves a lot of "crock potting".  The one great thing about late summer/early fall meal planning is the ability to depend on local fruits and vegetables.  Some even from our own yard!



***Little Brother in the Big Bro shirt is not very excited about our first harvest of jalapenos.  He made sure to hold on to a large stick and a bag of BBQ chips to ensure he was never hungry enough to try whatever I was making.


Nothing will let us hold on to every last sunbeam of summer like cooking on the grill.  It's always easy and healthy, and requires literally no clean up!  Mommy likey.  Tonight we are going to grill a  Tyner Pond Farm Whole Chicken, "Indiana style", with a beer can stuffed up it's you-know-what.  The kids think this is absolutely the most hilarious thing they have ever heard of.  We will enjoy some barbequed Chicken Drumsticks we are grilling on the side tonight, and then tomorrow, I will dice the chicken breast meat to make a batch of chicken salad for the week.  I also will thinly carve any remaining meat to use for this week's lunches.  Here are a few easy lunch menus for this school year that I can make the night before...


Chicken Salad Pita Pocket

Grapes, Pretzels, Yogurt


Chicken Sandwich

Sliced chicken on a Hawaiian sweet roll

Apple, Wheat Thins, Cheese cubes


Plain Pulled Chicken (For Little Brother who isn't a big fan of carbs)

Side of ketchup or BBQ.  We will see how this goes.

Chips, Gogurt, A Little Treat

Tyner Pond Farm Bacon, Lightly toasted bread, lettuce, and tomato all separated for a MYO sandwich
Grapes, Carrots, A little treat

Of course, one of the keys to kiddo happiness is variety!  They love to find something different or surprising in their lunch.  And I mean a new snack food, unique fruit, or a hand-written note from mom or dad.  I'm not talking about "mystery meat".


I am so grateful to have access to locally-sourced, non-GMO, delicious meat!  Tyner Pond Farm and their free delivery have made my hectic weeks a little less chaotic!

If things are running a little too smoothly, I think I am going to mix it up and try to make a vegetable that my boys will eat.  I've repeatedly told them that they, "just haven't truly experienced summer without Indiana farm-grown green beans".  They don't believe me.

I would love a quick and easy way to make crunchy, tasty green beans that they will at least try!  Someone out there, please share a recipe that I can whip up with delicious HUSK non-gmo Green Beans!  Email me at megan@yourbestnestindy.com!


Happy Back to School!!!


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The Beef with Feedlots and a Lesson in TPF Beef

Tyner Pond Farm Pastured-Rasied Beef Cattle 

The Difference with Tyner Pond Farm Pastured Beef Cattle

At Tyner Pond Farm, we seperate our 100% grass-fed beef cattle and our grass-fed/grain-option beef cattle--they live on different farms. We raise our all our cattle the same way on pasture, but there is just one difference; our grass-fed/grain-option cattle get the choice to eat grass and corn. 

The Beef with Feedlots  Feedlot Beef Cattle
Beef cattle taken to feedlots are given formulated feed rations designed to make the animals grow as fast and​ as big as possible. In many cases, their feed has as much as 75% corn - which is the biggest problem with the feedlot "solution"; cows are not evolved to digest corn. In feedlots, cattle can experience severe stress due to the crowded living conditions and consumption of too much grain. Too much grain causes ulcers in cows and feedlots easily become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. That's why feedlot beef cattle are constantly given antibiotics and we, in turn, can later be exposed to antibiotic resistant bacteria. 

The Scoop with Our Grass-Fed/Grain-Option Beef
Our pastured, grass-fed/grain-option beef cattle use grain (corn) only as a supplement vs. a crowded feedlot, where it's their entire diet. Just like our 100% grass-fed beef cattle, our corn-finished cows live on open pasture; they're just given the option to eat grass and/or corn grain. Every cow is different, but typically, with our grain-option beef, only 15% of their diet is corn. That’s why our grass/fed corn-finished beef just tastes better - when you treat animals the way nature intended, plain and simple, you just get better tasting beef.

To sum it up, here are some benefits to TPF Grass-Fed/Grain-Option Beef:

  • It's locally grown - you know exactly where your meat comes from
  • Grain-option beef produces more marbling than our 100% grass-fed beef, which some customers prefer 
  • Our beef is high quality and better tasting
  • Our cows are pasture-raised in a stress-free environment
  • Our cattle are never given drugs or antibitotics 

So, if you like your beef with more fat than our 100% grass-fed, but still want a local, healthy, delicious option, our grass-fed/grain-option ground beef, beef patties, filets, chuck roast, stew meat and more are the perfect option for you & your family!  



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Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken Breast


Mmm... honey mustard grilled chicken.  In my days before more conscientious eating, I usually dipped drive-through chicken nuggets into a faux honey mustard sauce.  Real mustard and real honey is soooo much better, especially when you add fresh steamed veggies or a bed of lettuce with honey mustard vinaigrette to make a well-rounded meal!


My husband recently told me that if I had the grill heated up and the meat thawed by the time he got home from work, then he'd make dinner.  Didn't have to tell me twice!  These TPF chicken breasts were already thawed, so I thought I'd try something different.  I was in the mood for caramelized goodness, so I knew honey had to be a part of it. 


I am not the grill master in my family, my husband is.  I'm easing into it a bit more lately and am learning as I go.  Not just how to properly light the charcoal and bring it to temperature, but also how to prepare the meat for grilling.  This time, when I poured the marinade over my chicken, it quickly became too watery. I should have placed my rinsed chicken breasts on a paper towel and blotted them dry before marinating.  Then, after using up all the marinade, I realized that I should have kept some of it aside to brush on during grilling.  I whipped up a quick half-batch to compensate.  In the end, after reading even more about grilling, I'm thinking a mustard dry rub may be the way to go with the glaze added towards the end.  I'll have to try that next time!  Another thing both my husband and I are still in the process of mastering is cooking pasture-raised meats a little slower than what we're used to.  These breasts should have probably been moved off of the hot spot a little sooner, but they were still delicious. One thing at time, I suppose!



4 TPF chicken breasts

1/2 c. honey

2 T. dijon mustard

2 T. yellow mustard

2 t. white wine vinegar

1 t. salt

1 t. fresh ground pepper

1/4 t. onion powder (you may add 2 T. fresh minced onion instead)


Directions:  Preheat grill to high - 450° (where you can hold hand your hand 5" over the grate for only 2-4 seconds)


1. Mix ingredients (except for chicken) into a small bowl until well blended.  Set aside 1/3 c. and pour remainder over refrigerator-thawed chicken breasts (rinsed and patted dry).  Let stand, covered, until chicken reaches room temperature.



2. Place on hot grill until just seared, both sides. Either reduce grill temperature to medium-low (325° - 350°), or move chicken away from the direct heat to a spot where you can hold your hand for about 7-8 seconds.


3.  Once both sides are seared, continue grilling at medium-low and brush both sides with saved marinade.  Cook until inner temperature reach 165°.  






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My Kids' Top 5 From Their Visit to the Farm


Every little kid, and big kid, wants to visit a real, working, all-American farm.  My two oldest, both dirty, rough-and-tumble boys, have been anxiously awaiting a trip to Tyner Pond Farm since we first talked about What Preschoolers Think a Real Farm Looks Like.  So, we set out to Greenfield, IN on a beautiful afternoon, ready to discover where all our meat comes from, Tyner Pond Farm!  Here are a 4 year old and 5 year old's Top 5 from their first trip to a living, working farm...


#5  Baby turkeys

These little guys were just about ready to head out to pasture when we visited them.  They were very friendly and chatty.  My boys loved meeting them and someone commented that we will see them again at Thanksgiving.




#4  The dock at Tyner Pond

Yes, we found the "real" Tyner Pond for which the farm bares its name.  A quaint watering hole in the cow pasture with a little dock.  A young cow who had gone "rogue" from the rest of the cow gang was comfortable enough with my little guys for an almost face-to-face chat.




#3  Cow pasture

Walking out into the cow pasture is amazing!  It's grass and sky for as far thee eye can see.  The cows very curiously eyed us, and seemed to enjoy our presence. 



#2  Getting inside the hen house

This is an amazing experience!  The hens are a rowdy bunch, so be ready for a lot of clucking and a little pecking.  Don't worry, it doesn't hurt.  You can actually reach in and grab a freshly laid egg!  Just like my kids, you always know that the chicken lays the egg, but until you see it happen, you don't appreciate the process. 



#1 Poop

 Yes, coming in at their absolute favorite part of their visit to the farm is how amazingly huge cow patties are.  They were fascinated.  They told everyone they saw for the next few days; neighbors, a priest, the guy at Kroger.  They are pretty big, and they are everywhere in the pasture.  As my kids pointed out, "you can't potty train a cow".  Which brings me to a farm tip.. Don't plan on wearing any cute new shoes when you make the trip!  Old sneakers or rubber boots are the most ideal.  Sorry, no pictures.  So, come on out and see for yourselves! 

Next adventure... an overnight stay at The Farmhouse!  The boys have already picked out their bunks.  We will escape the city for a few days and experience life in the beautiful country.  The Farmhouse even has a Keurig, so I'm on board.  These farm boys are ready to get back to Tyner Pond Farm!


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Sara's Bona Fide Beans and Weenies

I find it fascinating to learn about the foods people ate or didn't eat while they were children. So much of what we choose to eat as adults is shaped by what we learn about food when we are young. My mother was buying organic, sustainable food from a co-op long before Whole Foods arrived, and while I can't say I've made the best decisions all the time (we all need some potato chips every so often, right?), I know that many of my choices are based on the knowledge my mother gave while I grew up.

Beans & Weenies

Beans and weenies is a meal I never ate that others did. Hot dogs were a rare treat for me as were baked beans, and so I never had the craving to make it myself when I got older. Now that I've found high quality hot dogs and bacon ends from Tyner Pond Farm, I decided to make an attempt at beans and weenies. Surly I could make a dish that resembled what you found upon opening a can but with better ingredients, I thought. 

I was right. This dish is sticky, saucy, chunky, and has layers upon layers of flavors. Once John and I took a bite, we knew we had a home run and needed to keep this recipe we just created. 

To achieve a thick syrup that covers the beans and hot dogs, I used maple syrup, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. A vinegar kick from the mustard balances the sweetness of the other ingredients, and everything cooks down to a sticky sauce. Diced onions and garlic deepen the flavors of the sauce without fighting for the smoke of the Tyner Pond Farm bacon ends. Seriously - the smoke on the bacon ends and pulled pork is incredible, and I cannot replicate the flavor at home. I don't have a smoker, so I rely on the smoked meats that Tyner Pond Farm offers.

Cornbread compliments the beans and weenies with color and texture. You may just want to crumble it on top! 

Beans and Weenies

Serves 4


  • 1 handful Tyner Pond Farm bacon ends
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Tyner Pond Farm hot dogs sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1. In a large skillet, begin to brown the bacon ends over medium heat. Stir to brown on all sides. Remove and set aside on a paper towel.

2. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Cook the minced shallots and garlic for two minutes.

3. Add the sliced hot dogs and brown on each side for about 2 minutes. 

4. Pour in the brown sugar, ketchup, yellow mustard and maple syrup and stir. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper, and stir in the pinto beans. 

5. Set the heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes. Chop the bacon into small pieces and then add it to the beans and weenies. Serve with or without cornbread.


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