Thursday, June 19, 2014

New cowies on ranch!

Mercury and Red joined the fold yesterday from friend's farm: 

They're settling in well and it's great to see new faces! These two beautiful cows will add to the herd's genetic diversity as well as contribute more cowpower to improving the soils and forages for all. 


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flehmen Response

Val checks out the baby while dad Fergus does his Elvis impression.

That lip curl is called the Flehmen Response and allows the bull to better detect the hormones from the heifer or cow and whether or not she is in heat 'n such. It's also used for other inter-herd communication. Sooo many ways to figure out what's going on! 

#flehming #calf

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Michael Pollan comes to Pittsburgh for a conversation

We're honored to be invited to A Conversation with Michael Pollan at the Hillman Center this Saturday evening. We'll be sampling North Woods Ranch fare before the event and look forward to seeing other like minded folk. 

As Michael Pollan's 2006 The Omnivore's Dilemma was my "lightbulb" moment it is quite the thrill to see Michael who has been such an instrumental voice in fostering the local sustainable food movement right here in our backyard. 

While the pre-event VIP Locavore Supper has been sold out (still click on the link to check out the awesome chefs queued up) there are still a handful of seats in the way back available for the interview portion of the evening. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Our Region's Business" TV Segment

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North Woods Ranch was recently featured on "Our Region's Business" TV show w/ Bill Flanagan on WPXI television (over the Thanksgiving weekend). They've now made the show available via YouTube; here's link:

This is certainly not your grocery store variety of beef and pork. North Wood Ranch's ultra-organic animal rearing practices are producing some of the healthiest and tastiest meat you can find anywhere. The Marshal Township ranch is the brainchild of Oliver Griswold, a one-time aeronautical engineer who decided to create the ranch after reading the "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan.
To further our message we're very grateful to Bill and his show for this exposure. That said, it was an experience well outside of this rancher's comfort zone <g>. But, certainly a neat experience and I'm very grateful to show producer Don Gawryla's wonderful enthusiasm and determination to visit on ranch and film our animals directly for the show. Don was extraordinarily comfortable with our big critters and that shines through in the video he shot!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Pears and Rosemary

Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Pears and Rosemary
I finally tried my friend Amy's recipe and it is a real keeper.  It is simple, and as her husband says, "good enough for company!"  Also, I substituted with red potatoes and apples, because that is what I had on hand - but I think the sweet potatoes and pears would add even more delicious flavor.  

5 lb. bone-in, center cut loin roast
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for serving (or 1 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper
3 lbs (about 8 medium) sweet potatoes , peeled, cut lengthwise into

4 firm/ripe Bosc pears, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored
16 oz of apple cider or hard cider, or a mixture of 1 cup apple juice and ½ cup dry

Preheat oven to 450 F. Rub pork with oil. Mix rosemary, ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in
bowl. Rub mixture over pork.

Place pork, bone side down, fat side up, in large roasting pan. Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 F. Roast 15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and pears to pan, stir gently to coat with
pan juices or use basting bulb. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, occasionally stirring sweet potato mixture, until thermometer inserted in center of roast reads 145 F and potatoes and pears are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer pork to carving board and let stand 10-15 minutes.
Place sweet potato mixture into ovenproof bowl and tent with aluminum foil. Keep warm in turned-off while pork rests.

Heat roasting pan over high heat. Add cider, bring to a boil, and scrape up browned bits
in pan with a wooden spoon, boil until reduced to ¾ cup, about 5 minutes. Pour into
sauce boat.

Carve pork. Transfer to serving platter and surround with sweet potato mixture, drizzle
with 3 tbsp of cider sauce and sprinkle with rosemary. Service with remaining sauce on
the side.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Hi and welcome to all folks coming from today's (Sunday 11.25) Our Region's Business TV show (this clip will be available to view online shortly).

Bellina with calf Mocha
Please browse our blog and note that I post daily to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter with photos and videos. If you'd like to have them in your stream please go ahead and "Like" us there.

To find out more about how to order our 100% grass-fed Scottish Highland beef and pastured heritage Berkshire pork please click here: NWR Beef and Pork Offerings.

Thanks and we look forward to meeting many of you down the road!

Oliver, Jodi, Beck, Meghan, and Trey Griswold...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Italian Skillet Meatballs

Italian Skillet Meatballs

I first learned to make meatballs from a dear friend's Italian mom. Hers were incredible and literally the size of a small fist. They were served on a plate by themselves with pasta and sauce served on the side. I have modified a couple of items, including removing the breadcrumbs to attempt a more Paleo-diet friendly version. Feel free to put them back in if you like the softness the breadcrumbs add. Add about a half-cup per pound of ground beef. Forgive the "handful" measurements! It allows you to play a bit with these ingredients and make it more your own recipe.

Makes approximately 40-1.5 inch meatballs

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef

6 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
a handful fresh parsley, chopped
a small handful dried oregano 

a small handful salt
1 cup grated romano or parmigiana cheese, plus add'l for serving
a small handful fresh ground Pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil of choice (our favorite is coconut oil)

Helpful Tools
 - Meatball tongs (aka melon baller).  This keeps you from forever forming the meatballs and keeps your hands cleaner!
- Regular tongs - great for flipping meatballs.

Fried Meatballs:  Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. Form meat mixture into about 40 1.5 inch meatballs, using dampened hands or your meatball tongs.  Place each meatball onto a plate.  Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown meatballs in 2 batches (without crowding), turning frequently, about 8 minutes per batch or until cooked through.  Place 1st batch into an oven safe dish and into a warm oven (300 degrees) while second batch is cooking. Add more oil if needed to keep the pan covered.  

Serve in warmed dish from oven. Top with sauce and additional cheese. Add cooked noodles if you choose.

Meatballs in Sauce:  Cooking your meatballs in sauce will make them softer. Simply reduce the cook time to 4-5 minutes, only browning the outsides of the meatballs.  Then add to your favorite pot of sauce and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through.