Breakfast and lunch sandwiches straight from the farm. You’ve probably devoured one or caught the aroma as you wander through the Leesburg Farmer’s Market. But, you can also rustle up these delicacies in your own kitchen. Yep! Susan Guest of Dancing Cow Farm sells heritage pork straight from her farm in Luray, Virginia. Just apply her ‘heritage pork cooking recommendations’ posted on the farm’s Facebook page, and…voila!
Susan has been a serious foodie for-ev-er, having been raised by two from-scratch, gourmet chefs. While living in Manhattan and traveling the world in her former corporate life, she began to dabble with a bit of her own culinary creativity. One day, she learned about industrial agriculture and its effects on natural resources and our bodies. She was horrified.
“Time to ‘re-career’”, she thought, and the ‘whole diet’ organic farmer was born. Following a three-year apprenticeship with the Steiner school’s biodynamic farm in upstate New York, Susan founded of a whole-diet multispecies farm in the Shenandoah Valley in 2004.
Recalling the lyrics of Vic Mizzy for the 1960’s sitcom, Green Acres:
Green Acres is the place to be.
Farm livin’ is the life for me.
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
Fast forward to 2017 and we meet up with Susan’s carefully chosen heritage breeds raised for both species propagation and food. These include beef (Angus and Hereford), dairy (Jersey), and pork (Tamworth). Let’s not forget the chickens, ducks and turkeys (Barred Rock, Cochin, Speckled Sussex, Indian Runner, and Narragansett). As you can tell, this farmer did her research. She brings only the best to market, so you can serve the best at your table.
Ok, sit back down, we’re not done here. A wide variety of fruits and nuts, annual and perennial vegetables, plus culinary and medicinal herbs – Susan grows it all. And, are you ready for this? For over a decade, she has eaten 100% from the farm. She refers to her life as ‘homesteading with an income’. Think about that: She Grows It, She Brings It To You, and She Eats It Herself. Like we said, QUALITY!
Know anyone who taps their own maple tree for syrup? No? Well, stop by and meet her. In her down time, Susan also enjoys experimenting with exotic and whimsical things like rose and violet jams, rose hip and tulsi teas, and wild edibles such as burdock and lamb’s quarters (look it up, it’s not meat) grown abundantly on her farm.
Tamworth pork is her main farmer’s market product. The piggies eat a wide variety of produce and produce leftovers (favorites include sweet potato vines, leftover dairy, hazelnuts and acorns) and feast on tons of pumpkins stored over the winter. This is supplemented with a non-GMO corn, barley and field pea mix during the winter months. These pigs live calm and natural lives which results in Susan’s signature pork and loin chops from 400 to 600-pound hogs, something NEVER seen in the industrial agriculture system.
At the market, Susan frequently samples her pulled pork, made from either shoulder/ Boston butt or neck roasts combined with her simply amazing organic dry rub, or her braised shanks and fresh pork roast. She will be happy to walk you through her cooking recommendations.
Whether it’s a breakfast sandwich, a bite for lunch or meat for your table at home, Susan Guest and her Dancing Cow Farm are waiting to serve you. Also visit her on Facebook.