Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Field Trip - Where's the Beef? Christmas Open House

Come along with me. We've been invited to a Christmas Open House at the Schramer family farm. I want you to meet a local farm family.


Several years ago the Schramer's decided to offer their Black Angus beef directly to customers. They attend the local farmer's martkets during the season and operate a store out at the farm.

We're going to head west on Route 64 towards Sycamore.


The abandoned Maple Park Motel on the right.


Our landmark is the Sycamore Speedway and Bob-Jo cycle shop. We're going to turn just past the speedway.


After turning on McGough Road and traveling for a few miles I see the sign for the farm.


This is a country road so it is a little rough. After a short distance it turns sharply to the right.


Here's their driveway leading to the farm. You can see their silos in the distance on the left.


Four wheel drive comes in handy in these parts.

The driveway turns again, this time to the left. As you complete the turn you're greeted with this sight. Isn't this farm beautiful?


Just behind the farmhouse is an outbuilding that serves as the farm store. The farm dogs greet the customers. Just inside the door is a heater and some cool seating.


Linda Schramer and her elves have decorated the store with antiques and wonderful decorations. Here's an old desk and an old postage scale.


She knew we were coming so she set out a table with chips and rolls. What's inside that large roaster? Shredded Black Angus pot roast for sandwiches.


OH MY GOSH!!!! It was delicious. Seriously delicious. Nothing beats pot roast cooked slowly in a roaster. Twelve hours is good.


I'm sorry, I don't mean to tease you because i know you can only have a taste in the cyber sense, but can't you smell how good it is? As you can see she also served hot chocolate and coffee. There was a pot of gingerbread flavored coffee that was wonderful.

Visitors sat at a picnic table and enjoyed the food and the warm atmosphere.


This is just one of the freezer cases filled with locally raised beef. You'll see some free-range chickens in that case also. They were HUGE - 10 lbs. They looked like little turkeys.


Here's another look at Linda's decorations. That's an old butcher's scale on the top of the freezer case.


Left to right: Linda Schramer, Kris Flint (her sister-in-law) and Barbara Wojnicki (friend and helper). They were very helpful and answered lots of questions.


The Schramer's originally marketed their beef based on the fact that it's hormone free. Loyal customers are strongly committed to buying their beef from local farmers.

You can find the Schramer's at their website:


The would be happy to answer any questions you might have. And guess what? They ship via UPS.

Look what I loaded up in the back of the Red Sled. It's a Winter Pack.


As we pull out of the driveway I want to thank you for coming along on my little adventure.


I hope you enjoyed meeting one of our local farmers and having a pot roast sandwich at the open house.


Heidi said...

You are going to have a WONDERFUL meal with what is in that box my friend! NOTHING beats angus baby!!! Ours are hormone free also - if they are well feed and cared for they grow great guns on thier own. Its the huge beef lots that put hormones under the skin because they first want to make more money and use less feed, second they cant possibly manage a 'good herd' with 5-6 THOUSAND cattle, no matter how much hired help they have!

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Yes, I can see the photos.

The farm is lovely, especially with the snow. Thanks for taking me along on your trip... enjoyed it very much.

The Blue Ridge Gal

*eat beef.

Jen said...

Yum! I'm so hungry now! Your pictures, and journey, were great. Thanks for sharing with us.

Sarah said...

How wonderful it is that you can get fresh beef like that. Oh how I wish I could find something like that here. That farm is gorgeous and your pictures are fabulous! Have a Merry Christmas!

Tara said...

Greart photos--enjoy the holiday season!

Mim said...

Oh that sounds so tasty! Isn't it great finding a local source for your food. BTW, I felt like I was right there with you on the road as I've been to Bob-Jo cycle and I knew right where you were talking about. Merry Christmas.

Joanna said...

You always put a lot of work into your blog and I really appreciate the adventures you take me on. Thanks so much. Joanna

Patricia said...

The photo's are beautiful ! So interesting to see something like that, especially for a 'big city girl' like me !! Very interesting. I'm going on their website to see if I can order.....

Becky said...

Thanks for the visit! I loved going with you and my mouth watered thinking about the Angus. My grandfather raised Angus and there is nothing better!! Becky

Trish said...

Thanks for the tour...simply wonderful...gorgeous little trek to make to 'buy local' which I heartily endorse!

martina said...

The photos are great-thanks for theh field trip.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Now what's in that winter pack? We do have local growers who sell their black angus right here in my own hometown. I am ashamed to say that I have never purchased their product because of its cost. But I wish that I could! I wanted to purchase a free range turkey for Thanksgiving last year and it would've cost me nearly $80. Nope, not gonna happen.

I am giving my father two boxes of frozen angus burgers from Wal*Mart for Christmas. If the hormones kill'im, well, so be it. (I can hardly wait to see what someone has to say about that one! LOL!)

Your pictures are perfectly visible to me. Such pretty snow and you can see far and wide.

lifeinredshoes said...

The pictures are wonderful, and the farm is wonderful and slow cooked beef is wonderful and you are wonderful for including us in your visit.

Jill said...

I had no trouble viewing the photos either! Wow - what a fun trip, and a crazy drive in the snow! Boy do I miss that!

And actually needing the 4 wheel part of the 4wheel drive. Amazing. Californians haven't quite figured that part out - that most likely they'll never need it (regardless of the fact that they want it) on their overpriced cars. Though I digress...

Jill said...

P.s. Pot roast sandwiches? Ooohhh, my favorite!

BittersweetPunkin said...

Oh how wonderful! My mouth is watering...

Merry Christmas Suzanne!

Suzanne said...

Heidi - Their business is based on the trust you have with local farmers. Black Angus beef is so wonderful.

Blue Ridge Gal - The farm is really beautiful. I've been wanting to see it for awhile but I wanted to wait for an open house because I'm certainly not one to drive up the road and say "hey! Can I photograph your farm?" I guess I should though.

Jen - I'm so glad you could come along.

Sarah - They ship UPS!!

Tara - Thanks. We are going to enjoy a low key Christmas.

Mim- Ha ha. Re: Bob Jo Cycle. Well, there aren't many landmarks around here. I know that Kuiper Family Farm (the pumpkin farm) somehow got a road sign erected that designates them as a tourist site.

Joanna - I'm so glad you could come along with me. It's more fun when you have a navigator.

Patricia - I was born a big city girl (within spitting distance of the city of Chicago) but the Farmer and I started heading west as soon as we were able.

Becky - Then you know the work that goes into raising beef cattle.

Trish - The Schramer's have found that the buy local trend continues to build their business.

Martina - I'm glad that you we along also. I'm going to need a bigger bus for the next trip, huh?

Vee - The Winter Pack has a pot roast, 5 or 6 pounds of hamburger, a soup bone and stew meat. Just the right cuts of meat to make some comfort foods. This beef is more expensive. We don't buy it on a regular basis, but it is a treat. I'm dying to try one of their prime rib roasts.

Little Red Shoes - I'm going to have to show everyone how to prepare shredded beef in the near future.

Jill - Yes! Snow is something that you really miss if you were raised in a place that had full-on winter. It's beautiful. It's a challenge at times, but the change of the seasons is so wonderful.

Punkin - Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Thanks everyone for visiting with me today.

Liane said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog and I feel right at home. Thank you for taking me along on this trip. My mouth was watering for that roast and it's 8:30 in the morning!
Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

How lovely...it reminds me of the butcher shop that my family goes to...they always go all out at Christmas.