FAQs

Following is a series of FAQs about our grass fed beef, our farm, and our processes. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Beef

Where can I buy Greenhill beef?
Do you sell in small quantities?
How do I order a pack?
Do you deliver packs?
Can we visit the farm and pickup our pack?
Can we visit the farm?
How much freezer space do I need for the bulk packs?
What happens after I put an order in online?
Do I have to have all the different cuts in the pack I choose?
Is the beef in the packs labelled?
Is the beef frozen?
How do I thaw the beef ready for use?
How long will the frozen meat last?
What are the advantages of buying a bulk pack?
Who shouldn’t buy a bulk pack?

Slaughter and Processing

How are the cattle slaughtered?
How are the cattle transported to the abattoir?
How can we be sure that it is our carcasses that come back from the abattoir?
Where is the meat butchered?
Is your beef aged?

The Cattle

Do you feed any grain at all?
Why don’t we feed grain?
Are you certified organic?
What happens if an animal gets sick?
Does all your beef come from animals on Greenhill?

The Beef

Where can I buy Greenhill beef?
You can take your choice of cuts or pickup pre-ordered packs at the farmers’ markets at EPIC in Canberra and Eveleigh in Sydney. We are at the Capital Region Farmers market every Saturday morning in Canberra and at the Eveleigh markets, Redfern on the second Saturday of the month. Their websites have location maps: www.capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au and www.eveleighmarket.com.au

Do you sell in small quantities?
Yes we usually have our full range of cuts at the Canberra and Sydney farmers’ markets. Here you can choose individual packets a steak or two, a roast, or small packets of mince or sausages.

How do I order a pack?
Bulk packs are an economical way to buy. You can phone or email us, or simply use the online form.

Do you deliver packs?
We can delivery to your door in Canberra. Sydney is too big and we are too small to do deliveries into Sydney. Drop-off points along the M5 on the second Saturday of the month can be organised as we return home from the Eveleigh markets. If you are interested in a whole carcase and are in Sydney, we may be able to arrange freight.

Can we visit the farm and pickup our pack?
Yes, you can pick up packs from the farm at a previously arranged time. However we are a busy farm and can’t give farm tours when picking up beef.

Can we visit the farm?
We try to hold open days at least once a year and you are very welcome to visit the farm then. You are free to roam around and we also do “tours” and show you how we run the farm and why. Lots of talk and lots of questions. A good day (provided the weather behaves!) for you and for us.

How much freezer space do I need for the bulk packs?
For the quarter pack, allow about 70 – 80 litres of freezer space. That’s about 50cm by 40cm by 40cm. A common small square chest freezer holds 160 litres, or two quarter packs. The eighth pack requires about 40 litres, the family about 20 and the gourmet about 10 litres. We suggest that for chest freezers, you store meats together that have similar cooking methods in a cloth bag. That way it is easier to lift out and find what you want!

What happens after I put an order in online?
When we receive your order, we will send you an email confirming that we have your order and when we can supply. A few days before the arranged day, we will pack your order and send you an email with the invoice that details exactly what is in the pack and the final weight and cost. You can pay by cash/cheque on pickup or by bank transfer beforehand.

Do I have to have all the different cuts in the pack I choose?
Yes, you get all the cuts listed in the pack you choose. You cannot pick and choose which cuts you want from each pack. There is some choice in the butchering method, such as roasts or slices. For example, some people want the topside as roasts, others as steaks, or thinly sliced minute steaks, or even minced. Mince and sausages can be added to packs that don’t have them included. These are charged at the market rate per kg, not the pack rate.

Is the beef in the packs labelled?
Yes, all the beef in the packs is labelled exactly as at the farmers’ market, with the name of the cut and the weight. It is fully butchered and packed – the steaks are usually two per bag, slices (eg topside, round, blade) one per bag, one roast per bag (1-1.5kg) mince 500 – 700gms per bag, sausages 10 per pack and so on.

Is the beef frozen?
Yes. Greenhill beef is always frozen at the butcher as soon as it is cut up. It is packed in bags, sealed, weighed and labelled. It is then put straight into the freezer room at the butchers and frozen down quickly. This retains the quality of the meat and takes the load off domestic freezers that are designed to store frozen goods – not freeze large quantities quickly. The meat is always stored and transported frozen. The heavy duty bags protect from freezer burn and maintain the quality of the beef. Mince and sausages are packed in standard freezer bags.

How do I thaw the beef ready for use?
When you are ready to use some meat, remove from the freezer, remove from the plastic bag and thaw in the fridge for 1 – 2 days depending on size. If your fridge is running at or below 4 degrees, the meat should last 3 -4 days. The mince and sausages have no preservatives added so best to use these immediately on thawing. You can thaw faster if you choose, but slower methods are best to maintain tenderness.

How long will the frozen meat last?
In a freezer running at -18 degrees, the beef will last at least until the use by date on the label, which is usually about 12 months. Mince and sausages have a shorter life due to the processing.

What are the advantages of buying a bulk pack?
It’s cheaper than buying individual cuts at the market (by at least 10% depending on the pack).
You’ve got beef on hand when you need it. If you don’t regularly go to the Farmers market you needn’t run out and have to resort to “supermarket meat”!

Who shouldn’t buy a bulk pack?
Those without the freezer space and who can’t/don’t want to share a pack with someone else.
Those who want to use only a few cuts of beef and don’t want to change that. To take full advantage of a bulk pack, you have to be prepared to match the cooking method to the type of cut, otherwise you might be disappointed with the results. See our website for information on the different cuts of beef.

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Slaughter and Processing

How are the cattle slaughtered?
All of our beef comes from cattle that are slaughtered in a government licensed facility. We use G.M Scotts at Cootamundra – the closest abattoir to our farm. We believe that this is a well run abattoir and the Australian standards are adhered too. All cattle are stunned before slaughter.

How are the cattle transported to the abattoir?
All of our cattle are taken to the abattoir in cattle transport vehicles. We do not mix them with any unknown cattle as this often causes stress. We use one of two carriers, and like the way they are calm and respectful of the cattle.

How can we be sure that it is our carcasses that come back from the abattoir?
Australia has a nationwide cattle identification scheme using electronic eartags or stomach boluses. Each number is unique, and no other animal in Australia has the same number. All cattle must present to the abattoir with the tag in place. The eartag is scanned and the number recorded against the processing number of the body. The bodies are marked with a computer generated sticker and a tag is also tied on. The abattoir sends us an email with the relevant numbers and other details. We record all eartags as calves, and also scan the eartags before the cattle leave the farm and so can pick up any discrepancies if they were to occur. To date, we have never had any discrepancies.

Where is the meat butchered?
The carcasses are brought from the abattoir in refrigerated trucks to the Braidwood butchery which is fully licensed with the NSW Health Authority. All aging, butchering and packaging is done there.

Is your beef aged?
Yes. The carcasses are dry aged for two weeks before butchering. We never “wet age” (inside airtight plastic packages).

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The Cattle

Do you feed any grain at all?
No, never. All of our cattle only graze the pasture on Greenhill. If we have hay that is cut from our paddocks, we may use that to supplement during feed troughs – mostly winter and end of hot dry summers. We rotationally graze the cattle and plan the moves several months ahead. If we feel that the pasture is not growing fast enough for whatever reason (usually lack of rain!) we will reduce cattle numbers rather than supplement with grain.

Why don’t we feed grain?
Because the beef fat changes to the unhealthy omega 6 fatty acids, which causes hardening of the arteries and other health problems. The fatty acids in grass-fed beef are mainly the omega 3 and 9 kind, as found in fish and olive oil. Also, feeding grain to cattle uses more resources such as fossil fuel and water, and it is not good for the animal’s health or wellbeing.

Are you certified organic?
Greenhill farm is certified biodynamic with DEMETER. Biodynamics is similar to organics in that no chemicals are used on the animals or pastures, but we also use preparations that are spread on the pasture to enliven the soil. Some refer to biodynamics as “advanced organics”.

What happens if an animal gets sick?
We rarely get sick animals, and we think the reason is the way we manage them and the pasture they eat. However If an animal is in need of veterinary treatment, it gets it. If antibiotics or any other medication is needed, the animal receives them. We do not let any animal suffer if it needs a treatment that falls out of the organically allowable medications. That animal is then kept in “quarantine” for double the withholding period specified for the drug used. It can then return to the herd, but it never enters the organic chain. Some of our animals are sold into the conventional market for various reasons, and any treated animal is sold in this way.

Does all your beef come from animals on Greenhill?
Yes, every animal that is processed as Greenhill beef is born and raised on our farm. We do not buy in any animals that end up as Greenhill beef.

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