Sometimes to find a story you don’t have to go any further than your own backyard.
Recently while enjoying a beer at one of my favorite local breweries, I noticed a display of Karl Family Farms Beef Jerky. Jerky and beer is always a winning combination, but you may not think it to be the healthiest of snacks and in many cases you would be right. That’s what makes Karl Family Farm jerky different.
Karl Family Farms jerky is made from 100 % Hudson Valley grown, humanely raised beef. It contains no nitrates, no MSG, no added hormones, no antibiotics, and no refined sugar. Made this way, jerky touts many health benefits and is a nutritious “go to” snack.
Karl Family Farms is located on Route 32 in Modena, just south of New Paltz. When I called for an interview, the owner Kris Karl, insisted that I come over for a tour of the farm to get the real deal feel of what makes their jerky so special.
Now I am not sure why but I have held the preconceived notion that the young farmers of today were those who grew up on a farm and when old enough, took over the family business. Also, probably because one of the first songs I learned as a kid was Old McDonald Had a Farm, my image of a farmer was a white haired, bearded, gruffy old man wearing overalls. The truth is the new generation of farmers in the Hudson Valley are young, vibrant and have a passion for bringing the world real, clean food.
Kris Karl, owner of Karl Family Farms is a prime example. He did not grow up on a farm, he did not wear overalls and he is definitely not old. He’s smart , very personable and holds the greatest respect for the land, the animals he is raising and the food he is producing.
Kris Karl bought the farm in 2011 with the intention of having a sustainable business that he could pass onto his three boys.
The farm, is graced by views of the pristine Shawangunk Mountains. On the approximately 175-acre parcel Karl humanely raises livestock including cattle, sheep, pigs chickens and turkeys.
What does humanely mean? It means that the animals are free to roam, graze and play in their pastures and woods, expressing their natural instincts.
All pastures are separated into one-to-two acres chunks and the animals are moved every day. This is called rotational grazing and at Karl Farms the rotation takes approximately 45 days before the animals are back where they started, and the rotation starts again--mimicking nature.
The cattle and sheep are 100% grass-fed and their chickens, pigs and turkey are raised on organic, non-GMO grains.
Now let’s talk jerky.
Jerky has been a staple of America since the Native Americans would dry buffalo, elk and deer so they would have healthy, lean protein always at their disposal. Later, it was an essential source of nutrition for pioneers and cowboys as they travelled and had limited accessibility to fresh food.
Recently, it has become popular with fitness followers because “clean” jerky, such as Karl Farms is making, contains a hefty dose of lean protein and is low in carbohydrates.
The actual process of making jerky gets rid of the excess fat in the meat, leaving a low-fat product, and the water lost concentrates the protein, so a portion of jerky will have nearly double the protein of uncured meat and more heart-heathy omega 3 fatty acids.
Yay! A guilt-free snack! Are you getting hungry yet?
Karl Family Farms offers two two signature dry beef jerkies, the original and the Bee Sting. Both are tender and perfectly seasoned. The original has a nice saltiness and the right amount of smoky flavor—tasty but not overpowering. The Bee Sting made with honey and chili pepper is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Both highly recommended
You can purchase Karl Family Farms in two ways. You can always go straight to the farm where you will find it in their self-serve farm stand. The farm stand is located about a half mile down their drive-way. It is a beautiful drive, just make sure you bring cash.
By far the easiest and most convenient way is to go to their website and have it delivered straight to your doorstep.
On the website you will also be able to shop for other of their products such as dry cured chorizo and fuet salami.
Coming soon, two all-natural beef sticks. One with cracked pepper and sea salt, and the other with a kick of jalapeno. For the kids, Beef Bites, softer and milder version of their traditional style jerky, will be available soon.
Great news! Use promo code HVEATS on your first order and receive 15% off your first online order.
Don't forget to ENTER TO WIN a gift basket filled with a selection of Karl Family Farm jerky and cured meats.
KARL FAMILY FARMS
2207 NEW YORK 32
MODENA, NY, 12548