Kaminski Farms specializes in fresh pork, beef products

Published 1:20 pm Friday, April 16, 2010

This little piglet peers out at his new surroundings. Each year the Kaminski farm raised thousands of pigs for its customers.

Spring is one of the best times to be out at the farm. One of my favorites is a farm just off the Pulaski Highway/U.S. Highway 12.

Kaminski Farms at 16682 Schwark Rd. in Three Oaks offers all varieties of locally raised meats. They are USDA pre-packaged frozen with custom orders for bulk available. A tour around the farm with Linda Kaminski offers new insight into how our local purveyors provide us with the freshest meat products from sources we can trust.
Farming, it seems, is in her husband David’s genes.

“David’s love of raising cattle began when his father Leonard purchased their first farm in Union Pier. The family originally farmed in Nebraska growing grain and raising dairy cattle before moving to Michigan,” Kaminski said.

“To David being out with the cows is totally relaxing,” she said. “He can solve problems, relieve stress and the cattle are great listeners. My son Aaron has inherited his father’s love for the farm.”

On my first visit to the farm early last winter, a bell announced a visitor to the new retail storefront on the farm property. Tom Gosh had come to pick up an order for his wife, Chef Judy-Kite Gosh, owner of Kite’s Kitchen and Retro Cafe in New Buffalo.

“Judy ordered some meat for the cafe and Tom picked up the steaks for their own use. She became sold on our beef after having the pot roast at the Harvest Feast last year,” Kaminski explained.

Harvest Feast is an annual event where local farmers and chefs combine their talents for one terrific multicourse meal. The event is the main fund-raiser for Support Local Agriculture (www.supportlocalagriculture.org) a nonprofit of which both Kaminski and Gosh are proud to be members.

As Gosh and Kaminski discuss the merits of a 1.25-inch cut for the steaks over the standard cut, another couple entered the store in search of lamb and ground beef. They found the store after friends gave them a gift certificate.

I couldn’t help but thinking what a perfect gift this was for any occasion. There is just so much to choose from.

Should beef be your preference, they have ground beef; chuck, arm, rolled rump and sirloin tip roasts; as well as those wonderful steaks. For the more adventurous appetite, there is liver, heart, tongue and oxtail. Here is the perfect place to pick up some soup bones for homemade stock.

Kaminski is proud of the quality of the pork sausage in bulk and links and claims many of her customers say theirs are the best bratwurst links around. My husband is great brat lover, and he agrees reminding me grill season is just around the corner.
Pork roasts – both seasoned and unseasoned – are a popular choice for those looking to tempt the family with a Sunday dinner to remember. Kaminski also offers both fresh and smoked hams.

To some, lamb may be an acquired taste, but I have fond memories of wonderful minted lamb chops or a roasted leg of lamb. Kaminski supplies succulent shoulder steaks and roasts, ground lamb, ribs, shank cuts and stew meat. If you have not had a lamb kabob, you may want to consider these fragrant and satisfying morsels as a change of pace for your grill. What better way to impress dinner guests?

When the holiday season rolls around, you will want to remember to get your order in to Kaminski’s for farm-raised, non-injected fresh turkeys. Orders are taken until mid-November and ready in time for Thanksgiving delivery. Our turkey from Kaminski’s this past Christmas was the best we have had in years.

Our interview was interrupted as a large tractor trailer made its way to one of the barns. A new load of piglets had arrived. Kaminskis receive thousands of pigs throughout the year which they raise for their customers.

We watched as the squealing herd scrambled down the plank into the barn where they will be sorted in small group pens and raised to market-ready size.

After the piglets were safely in the barn, we hopped into one of the trucks and headed to another farm located a country road away from the main house. It is where the Kaminskis raise their Black Angus stock.

Here is one of the most precious sites of spring. Mothers and babies seem as much a part of the dawning of a new growing season in the country as crocuses are in the city. On the family farm, the livestock is raised the good ole fashioned way – with love instead of chemicals.

Kaminski explains the beef product found in the grocery store normally goes from hoof to store in three days with no aging creating a problem with taste in addition to the public concern raised over large factory-styled processing. All the Kaminski beef is aged to tender perfection.

Still, competition from the big box stores is a genuine concern to the family farm. As we walk over to a beautiful 1880s farmhouse, Kaminski explains the couple completely renovated the home to accommodate families and groups who might want to have a real country-living retreat from a hectic city pace. The home is currently rented for an extended term.

“Children who visited loved to go hunting for the eggs the chickens we raise here deposit around the property and go running through the barns to find breakfast,” Kaminski said.
Don’t wait to enjoy the succulent fare of Kaminski Farms. The farm’s store is open year-round. However, this is a working farm with chores to do and unexpected errands for machinery parts can interrupt the best plans. It is always a good idea to call first.
Call (269) 756-7457 or (269) 930-7458 to visit the store or get on the list for a bulk custom order. With the approach of the outdoor barbeque season, you might want to consider one of those gift certificates.

Kaminski will even supply you with the best recipes. Whether you choose to serve teriyaki lamb steaks, lamb chops with wine sauce, Hungarian beef stroganoff, apricot mustard grilled pork tenderloin or some southwestern kabobs, you can be sure your guests will be impressed when you shop local and get your meat products from Kaminski Farms. She will be pleased to direct you to the Three Oaks Farm Market (open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Memorial Day to October) or to other local farms for the freshest produce to complement her meats.

It’s spring. A trip out to the farm is the perfect family outing. Plan yours soon.