Blossom Hill Farm
Jo'el Drajem's husband, Bruce, is full time military. While he's away she takes care of their children (ages 1 and 6), keeps up on the usual demands of running a household, and also manages the family business. That alone is impressive, but did I mention that the family business is a naturally raised livestock farm?
The Drajems raise Lowline Angus cross beef, Tamworth and Old Spot hogs, and chickens. Their mission is to naturally raise their animals from birth to finish; the animals are raised outside in a pasture, fed grain, and cared for without the use of hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. As they say at Blossom Hill, “We raise our animals the way nature intended.”
In fact, that's the inspiration behind Blossom Hill Farm; Jo'el and Bruce are both college graduates with successful careers (border agent and accountant/Military, respectively) but when they started learning about how commercial animals and meat are processed, their lives took a new direction. The entrepreneur in Jo'el awakened and she began researching the feasibility of raising livestock for their own consumption. What began as an attempt to feed their own family the best meat available, has developed into a farm that extends a quality product to the community.
Although Blossom Hill is not a CSA, they do have an Adopt-A-Chicken program. At the beginning of the season customers pre-purchase eggs, then pick up a dozen brown eggs each week at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market from June through November. When the season is over, they receive their hen as a delicious soup chicken (trust me, you cannot find soup chickens at retail grocery stores). For the cost of $60 you end up saving .50 a dozen, or $12 for the season. That may not seem like a lot, but with the exponential improvement in quality and flavor and the benefit of helping to stabilize the local economy, it's quite a deal.
Blossom Hill also sells various cuts of beef by the pound: short ribs, sirloin, porterhouse, chuck roasts, and London broil are just a few examples. But the star of the show is definitely their bologna rings. Their all beef, no nitrates, organic, seasoned bologna tastes more like summer sausage. You have to try it to believe it, and the best part is, unlike commercial bologna, there's no question about what it's made of.
In addition to the chicken, eggs, and beef, Blossom Hill also raises hogs. Pork products can also be purchased at the weekly Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market. Cuts like ribs, pork chops, pork roasts, bacon, ham, and sausage are available. Customers can also stock up and economize by purchasing a whole (100-120 lbs. of meat), half, or quarter of a pig. With the “Freezer Pork” program the pigs are sent to a custom butcher so that your purchase is portioned out into the cuts you like: 2 chops to a pack, 6 chops to a pack, smoked, a whole loin, etc. They are presently taking orders.
Beware, Blossom Hill's goods go quickly. According to Jo'el, she planned on taking 20 chickens to the Farmers Market one week, “I told customers I'd have them next Saturday and within an hour, they were all reserved.” So call, email, or stop by their booth at the market and reserve your chicken, eggs, beef, or pork.
You can find Blossom Hill products every Saturday at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market or in the freezer section at the Lexington Co-op.
Blossom Hill Farm
9419 Route 62
Gowanda, NY 14070