Monday, January 23, 2017

Got to be NC Beef Hearty Chili - Summerfield Farms Farm Tour

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the North Carolina Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I was compensated and received
delicious beef in exchange for sharing my experience at Summerfield Farms
But really, I woulda done it for free! Before we chit-chat about the awesomeness of
grass-fed Beef and the ah-mazing team at Summerfield Farms, I want to thank
my blog-buddy, Jenni Field for inviting me to participate in this campaign and for
all she did to keep me and my fellow bloggers mooooooving in the right direction!
Let me tell you... Summerfield Farms is a treasure that is located practically
in my own backyard. Not only does Summerfield Farms produce top-quality
grass-fed beef, they have successfully monetized this working farm so that it has
become the go-to spot for surrounding communities hungry for locally grown
and produced food as well as agra-social events. It is the opinion of this blogger
and recent guest of Summerfield Farms that owner David Couch and his team
have nailed the concept of farm-to-fork in a very unique and comprehensive way!
Meet Sky... She and Daniel Johnson, Farm Facilities and Operations
Manager at Summerfield Farms were my hosts for this farm tour!
Although he's been at Summerfield Farms less than a year, Daniel spoke
about the animals, this land and their facilities as if he had been born there...
In fact, Daniel is a native of coastal North Carolina; born and raised in
Elizabeth City, he received his bachelor's degree from Western Carolina and
earned his Master's in Sustainable Tourism at Eastern Carolina University. He
told me Summerfield Farms is 660 acres with 120 acres currently reserved
for grazing. Daniel explained the science behind and, the seriousness with which Summerfield Farms approaches the health of not only their herd but also the
pastureland and organic gardens, which produce nutrient-dense food sold to area
restaurants and a community following that is loyal to SF's on-site Market!
I know grass-fed beef is often said to be less tender and more gamey
tasting; however, that's not the case with the grass-fed beef produced at
Summerfield Farms. While other producers supplement the diet of their
cattle with grain or other non-grass product during the finishing stage,
the steers at Summerfield Farms are 100% grass-fed. Also, Summerfield
Farms doesn't rush its beef. While other producers rush their animals to
slaughter, Summerfield Farms is content keeping their herd grazing to
1,200 pounds and not an ounce less. Daniel said it and I whole-heartedly
agree; the way animals are treated, the level of stress endured during their
lives and how they are handled all directly affects the way the meat tastes...
And, judging by the docile nature of these happy, laid-back
cows, there's no doubt at all that Summerfield Farms is producing
only the most delicious and most tender 100% grass-fed beef!
Speaking of docile and sweet... Meet Preacher! Preacher is a darling and he
is the lead steer at Summerfield Farms. Part of the first lot purchased by
Summerfield Farms, Preacher's earned his position due to his reliability
in guiding new livestock to fresh pastures, which is a requirement of the
farm's intensive grazing plan. With a deeply gentle nature, Preacher is so
named for the counsel and comfort he provides his peers during and on the
last night of their stay at Summerfield Farms. Preacher will live out his natural
life on these gentle rolling hills, so do feel free to pop by to see him! He even
has his own blend of coffee that is sold at the Summerfield Farms Market...
While I don't drink coffee, I couldn't help but buy some to send to our son!
These Photos in Collage Courtesy of Summerfield Farms
Part of the monetization of this farm I referred to earlier comes from the
tremendous effort Summerfield Farms makes to providing spectacular
venues for corporate and community events, family reunions and high-end
farm weddings. Summerfield Farms prides itself on being a working farm
that is also a destination. And, again, from what I saw... They have it nailed!
These Photos in Collage Courtesy of Summerfield Farms
See what I mean? Summerfield Farms is committed to healthy living, even
offering Yoga classes at the barn! Summerfield Farms passionately believes that
healthy eating is medicine and therefore the key to wellness... This goes for the
animals they raise, the soil they manage and food they produce for you and me!
Summerfield Farms recently listed one of their cottages at Airbnb for anyone
seeking to get away from it all and experience life on a picturesque cattle farm...
These Photos in Collage Courtesy of Summerfield Farms
A picturesque cattle farm with its own full-service Market, featuring locally produced
and sourced meats, cheeses, produce, beverages and Summerfield Farms gift items too!
To learn more about Summerfield Farms and the many community events
they host throughout the year, visit the events page at their website here
These Collage Photos Courtesy of Summerfield Farms
As you can see, I truly enjoyed my tour and cannot thank Daniel
enough for his time and the effort he and the whole Summerfield
Farms team put into making my tour the best farm tour, ever!
So, I bet you're wondering... Where's the beef?
Here it is! In addition to the stew meat Summerfield Farms provided to help
make this the best pot of chili I have ever made, I also picked up a Ribeye to
prepare on the grill later this week while my kitchen is under construction...
Oh, yes... There was a flood at Casa Captain's Daughter over the
holidays; so as of this morning, the hardwood flooring is being replaced!
But more on that in a another blog post later! Right now...
It is time to put all of this beautiful Summerfield Farms 100%
grass-fed beef to work in an easy-to-throw together, hearty chili!
Over medium-high heat, cook three crushed cloves of garlic, five stalks celery, sliced
and one whole, chopped white onion in four tablespoons olive oil until tender...
Transfer cooked garlic/veg to a plate and add two tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil to the same pan. When oil is hot, add stew meat and season liberally
with coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Brown beef on all sides...
After beef is browned, add garlic/veg mixture and cook an additional five minutes...
Add two cans diced tomatoes with juice...
Cook over medium heat for ten minutes, then add your favorite beans. I always
use a mix of pinto, black and kidney beans for added depth of flavor and texture
Add spices to your liking... I prefer a blend of cumin, paprika and oregano. Stir
to combine spices and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow chili to cook for two
hours (or until stew meat is fork-tender); stirring every thirty minutes or so...
My guy loves my chili dressed up with a dollop of
cool sour cream, diced tomatoes and sliced avocado!
And, fresh-baked sweet cornbread slathered
in unsalted butter and drizzled with local honey!
To learn more about Agriculture in North Carolina, click here
To learn how to support local growers all throughout North Carolina
and where to buy their products, visit the Got to be NC website here
Hungry for more delicious Beef Recipes? Then I invite you to check out
these posts by my fellow bloggers who also participated in this campaign!


  1. Wow, I could tell by their website that they are a serious operation, but goodness! Gorgeous venue for weddings and events, serious science and passion behind raising their cattle and their own coffee blend to boot! Dang! Thanks very much for being a part of the tour, Janet. The chili looks fantastic--and good luck with the floors!

    1. Thank you, Jenni - This was soooooo much fun and I sooooo appreciate being included. You're an amazing friend. xo

  2. Ah your cows pictures are beautiful!! I hope the flooring and other items to be fixed happen quickly and to your standard-- no come backs to fix!! Any more posts from the cruise to Alaska? Andrea

    1. Thank you, Andrea! Love that you are (still) reading along!

  3. I just love your photo of Preacher! Best cow photo ever! <3 Oh my gosh and he has his own coffee blend hahahaha that's awesome!! That is one beautiful venue too! Wow this farm is the whole package! AND an air bnb! What!!! I need to stay there! Can't wait to make this chili! Thomas will love it!

    1. Honestly, Preacher stole my heart... His little red toupee... OMG, the cutest! How lucky I feel to have had the opportunity to participate in this campaign with you. And, yes... You do need to stay at SF and come see me too! I miss you! xo

  4. Summerfield is SO POPULAR at many restaurants in our area. Now I see why! I didn't know about the market. Wow! Color me impressed. And I didn't know about the coffee, either.

  5. Love their store - I could spend a few hours in there and be very happy, I'm sure!Looks like an amazing place and your chili sounds great :)

  6. We love Chili in this house and will definitely put this in the rotation. And what a lovely spot! Thanks for sharing it.

    Have a great day...Lynn

  7. Oh my goodness that chili looks amazing and I know it is because of that delicious beef! The store looks so fun and the whole post has me inspired to go hug a cow. :-) Thanks for a great report of what had to have been a fun day.

  8. What a beautiful farm. I want to live in that cottage! Your chili and cornbread look delicious. My girls love chili and it's perfect for those chilly days! Can't wait to try the recipe.

  9. I have always heard such great things about Summerfield Farms, but I love that your post showcases the details. That farm looks like a place that I need to visit asap! (Especially that market!!!) The country girl in me also is fascinated by the cottage available on Airbnb there. I had no idea! I would go stay on a farm in a heartbeat. But Janet, I have to be honest with you, as fun and informative as this post was... I'm really just here for the chili. ;) I love a delicious hearty, chunky chili and your recipe is just that! YUM!! I'm pretty sure I could eat it for an entire month. haha


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