When we first arrived we were taken to through the field to see the bison. We had to be really quiet so that we wouldn't scare them away. Anything more than a breath and they would all run away. My daughter thought it was hilarious. Eventually they did settle down though and stayed nearby. Apparently they're quite shy, or cautious, rather.
Bruce (the farmer) told us that they had 95 bison on the farm but that there would be more very soon as many calfs were expected to be born within the next few days. When we were there only one had been born so far. It was adorable - looked just like a baby cow. I guess they don't get their 'bison' look until later.
Speaking with Bruce he told us that business was really, really, really good. In fact, they could barely keep up with the demand. This is because there aren't many bison farms in Ontario at the moment. It's not too often that you hear a farmer say that business is so good he could barely keep up.
So why is Bison so much in demand? Well,...
- bison are grass-fed and spend very little time in a feedlot
- bison are not subjected to drugs, chemicals or hormones
- bison is very high in iron
- bison is extremely low in fat, calories and cholesterol but tastes just like beef
- bison has 26 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in one serving
- bison just tastes really good!
Bruce and Shirley Mills of Blanbrook Bison farm are available at the Covent Garden Farmers' Outdoor Market on Thursdays and Saturdays from May until December. They usually have a cooler full of products like ground bison, bison sausages, bison burgers, bison tenderloin, etc.. Get there early though for the best selection!!
AAAAHHHH!!!! What is that? Oh, it's just a bison head coming through the wall. No big deal, right? Now that's a keepsake!!
Despite the big bison head coming through the wall by daughter seemed to be more interested in the kittens that were hanging out in the kitchen. Given her way we would have come home with the little calico kitten. They were sooooo cute!!
Before leaving the farm I picked out a few packages of ribs. My parents were coming over for a few days to visit so ribs seemed to fit the bill for a nice dinner with the folks. Paired with an asparagus risotto and a rhubarb crumble for dessert it sounded like the perfect meal.
Normally I prefer to barbecue my ribs but since we're in the process of preparing for our move we actually don't have a barbecue any longer. It ended up at the end of the driveway a couple of weeks ago to be delivered to barbecue heaven. Anyways, since we weren't able to barbecue I left the ribs in the slow-cooker for the day.
Before I left for work I rubbed some barbecue seasoning onto the ribs and then covered them with barbecue sauce and beef broth (the barbecue sauce was purchased from 'Caveman Crops' at the Stratford Sunday Slow Food Market). Set on low I left the ribs to cook for the day. When I returned home after work I started to prepare my rhubarb crisp and the risotto. In the meantime, however, I took the ribs out of the slow-cooker and placed them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. I spread some more barbecue sauce on top and then put them into a 375F oven for 10 or so to crisp them up a little.
These ribs were DELICIOUS!! The meat was just falling off the bone. It was so good that even the parents enjoyed them. Now, if you can impress your parents with something then they must really be good.
Have you had a chance to try some bison? Everybody I know that tries it for the first time is always surprised by how similar it is to beef. But you know what? You don't have to feel guilty about that - it's like eating chicken!