Last week upped the ante at the Hartland Farmer's Market when they showed up with a refrigerated trailer.
The operation is an offshoot of Grostic Farms, a century-old dairy farm in the Brighton area. When the Grostic's quit dairying in 1997, Jason Grostic, 37, a fourth-generation farmer, decided to use what he knew about the business to raise beef cattle. He has been selling beef at the Harland market for two years.
He currently has a herd of 50 cattle with 10 more due later this summer. Grostic does all of the work himself with occasional help from his nieces, nephews, and his fiance Teresa.
The cattle, who have free range of a 15-acre pasture off of McClements Road in Genoa Township, are raised naturally without steroids, antibiotics, or hormones.
“My animals are not locked up in a barn,” Grostic said.
A local approach
To ensure proper nutrition, Grostic supplements their diet with chopped alfalfa and corn silage, a healthy alternative to cob-only feed.
In addition to being proud of the way his animals are raised, Grostic, who graduated from in 1992, is happy to offer his products to a local market.
“You're getting a grown and raised product from farm to table,” Grostic said. “You know what you're eating.”
Grostic's cattle are also bred on site. Each June and August, Grostic oversees the artificial insemination of his cows. If the process fails, a bull is let loose at the end of August to “do the clean-up breeding.”
After being processed at a USDA butcher shop in Yale, MI, Grostic's beef is fresh frozen.
Along with just about every bone-in and boneless cut of beef, Grostic fills his refrigerated trailer with beef jerky, bologna, hot dogs, and summer sausage every Sunday before he and Teresa head to the Hartland market.
“We sell everything from tongue to tail,” Grostic said.
Most popular items
So far the best seller at the farmers market is beef tenderloin, or filet mignon, which sells at $14.50 per pound. When asked what his favorite cut of beef is, Grostic said he enjoys any beef product but is partial to pit steak.
J.W. Meats & Cattle Co.'s products are also available at in Hartland as well as at Giegler's booth at the Milford Farmers Market. In return, Grostic sells Giegler Farms pork and eggs at the Hartland Farmers Market.
Beef sales have gone through the roof with Giegler's involvement, Grostic said.
“We've heard that people buy our steaks at the market … then head to Giegler's on Tuesday or Wednesday to re-stock for the rest of the week,” Grostic said.
When he encounters hesitant customers, Grostic said he invites them to his farm.
“I tell them to come see our animals,” he said. “Find out for yourself what makes your purchase worthwhile.”
Additional pricing is available at J.W. Meats & Cattle Co.'s website.
Editor's note: This is a first in a series of articles on vendors at the Hartland Farmer's Market that will run either on Friday or Saturday over the next several weeks. The market — which is in the parking lot of the , 9525 Highland Rd — is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October.