Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Here's why Melo Farms deserves your help

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 7:30 AM

For almost five years, the husband-and-wife team behind Yale's Melo Farms has endeavored to produce great-tasting pork, all while sticking to some pretty exacting ideals: "natural farming practices - including rotational grazing, grass-based animal husbandry and humane handling." Chances are you may have had some of their delicious proteins. They've been on the menu at such places as St. Cece's (when Adam Verville ran their kitchen) and Forest Grill (owner Brian Polcyn is a huge supporter of the farm). You'll sometimes find their pork served at Michael Symon's Roast, Selden Standard, and Assaggi Bistro, as well as at pop-ups by Brad Greenhill at Hamtramck's Revolver space, or Dorothy Hernandez and Jake Williams' Filipino pop-up, Sarap.

If you don't find their pork on more menus, it's because the kind of pig farming done by Melody and Lynn Nye requires a lot of planning. If a restaurant wants seasonality, special cuts, heritage breeds, and animals at the appropriate age, the discussion has to begin a long way off. That's one of the hurdles of running a pig farm the way the Nyes do, but it's also why those who do work with them sing their praises. Melody tells us: "Our customer base has been fantastic."

Well, it has been a difficult winter on the farm for the Nyes, and the straw that really broke the camel's back was the death of their long-suffering tractor, without which the farm cannot be properly run. "That poor thing," Melody says with a laugh, "it needs its own little funeral."

That's why they've put out a funding appeal to help keep their operation up and running. Having this sort of operation — the largest heritage pastured pork farm in the region — near metro Detroit means our restaurants have access to a culinary resource beyond compare. Not every restaurant can be like Gold Cash Gold, where the chef's father raises high-quality animals. As the eat-local movement continues to gain more steam, and as local appreciation for humanely raised meat grows apace, Melo just needs a temporary boost to turn that corner. Please give generously.

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