One question that arose from my recent post was “how much space does a quarter (or half) cow take up in a freezer?” Good question! Another good question – “how do I go in on it with someone?” Excellent!
I’m going to address both questions quickly so we can all get on with the business of being healthier.
Rule of thumb…figure about 30 lbs of meat per cubic foot of space. A quarter cow is generally about 300 lbs so you’re talking a 10 cubic foot freezer. Generally, though, you can fit a little more. It depends on how the meat is packed and what packaging it is in. The meat I last got was packed fairly flat and I had 2olbs in a reasonably small (1cf) space. You can get a small freezer (like 8.3 cf) but really, what you want is something bigger. Craigslist is an excellent way to find a chest freezer for cheap. If you don’t have access to one, ask a friend to share in exchange for some of the meat.
Next question… if you don’t have local friends or family that are purchasing a pig or cow, check this out: http://bamcsa.ning.com/. This is the Bay Area Meat CSA and yes, it is only setup for people the San Francisco Bay Area. However, I am positive, without any looking around and verification for sure, that there are these types of groups in many suburban and urban areas. This is a great idea for picking up smaller quantities of sustainably-raised, organic meats of a wide variety. I would even say that for the majority of households, this is a great way to get started. This site puts together a network of people who work directly with the ranchers and producers of meat – so you don’t have to struggle in a vacuum! They have many local subgroups and a lot of topics at any one time. I really encourage you to sign up if you are the least bit interested in finding quality meat!
If you don’t have one of these kinds of sites that address your locality, think about creating one. I’m betting there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other suburbanites and urbanites who want it, too!