Not long ago, small family farms dotted the countryside creating the patchwork of farm and forest that typifies Upstate New York. Small-scale farming was good for the environment and the meat products were healthy, robust in flavor and tender to the fork. At Hanova Hills Farm — a regular vendor at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market — they still follow this pattern. Their artisan beef is pasture-raised and finished without growth hormones or antibiotics, hand-processed in a local plant, then aged to concentrate flavor and ensure tenderness.
“Hanova Hills Farm is dedicated to the production of Lake Country Premium Natural Beef,” said owner Doug Bunker. “Located in northern Chautauqua County, about 45 miles south and west of Buffalo in the towns of Hanover and Villanova, our 550 acres are devoted to pasture for rotational grazing and to raising hay for our livestock. We are committed to the land; we enhance the environment by adhering to earth-friendly farming practices, and we want to preserve our natural habitat for generations to come.”
The mission at Hanova Hills Farm is to produce artisan, natural meats that combine superior taste and tenderness with assured food safety. Their beef animals are born and raised on the farm, and their approved “natural” label is a warranty that their beef is raised free of growth hormones and antibiotics.
“For us, this also means that our cattle enjoy a diet rich in quality pasture and hay with some corn added as they are finished,” added Bunker. “This careful feeding on the farm — rather than in a crowded feedlot — means our beef is healthier. You will notice a distinctive flavor, the way beef used to taste.”
Many of the farm’s customers from the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market continue to access Hanova’s beef through home delivery all winter long. They also supply their meat to several area restaurants and specialty markets.
The farm also welcomes guests, said Bunker. “We like to know when they’re coming so that we can be here to show them around and explain what we’re up to. People are welcome to give us a call and come down any time of the year.”
For more information, please visit www.lakecountrybeef.com or call the farm at 965-2249. Several delicious recipes, from vegetable soups to slow-cooked suppers, can also be found on the website.