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How the Sausage is Made

It was the saddest of sad moments finding the Ye Old Mill ride closed when we attended the Iowa State Fair in 2021. John stood there in disbelief, hands in the air, as if someone had just told him summer in Iowa would not be green this year. A tried and true Hogeland family tradition, we had floated the (excruciatingly slow) tunnels of the “mill” together for a few years by then, the husband dragging his wife along, the wife wondering (aloud) what all the fuss was about a boat ride in the dark.

An out of focus, and sad, John

Instead, we found other ways to experience the fair that year, improvising when the Ye Old rug was pulled out from under us. We ate a fried Ruben sandwich (not my favorite thing ever), checked out some face-high floating fish at the DNR display, and saw some incredible art. We made do, and had a good time doing it, even if we didn’t get to sit in the cool and the dark for 10 minutes (for an extra $3 each). It turns out it is good to try something new at the fair, even if it is also fun to do the old.

This year we will be doing something very new for us, even if the Mill is open: we will be on display, much like the goats and Butter Cow. John and I will be doing a cooking demo in the Maytag Family Theater on August 16th (at 5pm and 7 pm) for the Iowa Farmers Union, teaching others how to cook Iowa-raised foods.

John has taught many cooking classes before, but now we have more skin in the game. We are not only a couple who cares about food—we are a brand, representing Whippoorwill Creek Farm and food-farmers throughout the state. We have to worry about things like getting new customers, selling beef, and encouraging people to visit the farm, all while demonstrating how to make sausage and learn about the Iowa Farmers Union.

To that end, we are raffling off a very special Whippoorwill Creek Farm tour and 5-pound sampler of beef for those who attend our sessions at the fair. Some lucky someone will add another cool Fair experience to add to their memory banks—winning a day out at the farm, beef included.

It might not be part of your Fair tradition to watch a cooking demo, and possibly you don’t regularly go to the Fair in the first place. But it would be great to see some of you there, and to feel the support of our readers. Come learn how the sausage is made (literally) and to hear more about our farm—we would love to meet you in person!

Our 10 pound bundle is $150 and includes approximately:

  • 5 pounds ground beef

  • a 2-3 pound roast or stew meat

  • 2 pounds of steaks

Our 25 pound bundle is $325 and includes approximately:

  • 10 pounds of ground beef

  • three, 3 pound roasts or stew meat

  • 6 pounds of steak

  • 2 packages of beef bones or

  • offal if desired (heart, tongue, liver and / or tallow) while available​

Ground beef bundle:

  • 10 pounds for $90

  • 30 pounds for $240

Dog goodie bundle $40:

  • Two packages beef bones (about 8 bones total)

  • Two packages ground beef

  • One package Beef liver

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