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Locally-sourced: From farm to fork

Staff writer

While Dale Buller is putting in another day’s work tending to cattle and checking fields on his farm east of Peabody, Lindsey Marshall, owner of Coneburg Inn, can be found in the kitchen slinging up a specialty burger as twangy bluegrass floats out of speakers.

Buller, a longtime farmer, begins the cycle that ends when Marshall serves the plate carrying a burger made with locally-grown beef.

“I’ve got ten of them on feed right now,” Buller said Thursday as he talked with Mike Burger, owner of Peabody Sausage House, which serves as a middle stop between Buller’s farm and Coneburg Inn’s kitchen.

Buller brings the cattle to the sausage house where Burger butchers and processes the meat that eventually lands at Coneburg Inn, where between 50 and 60 pounds of beef are served weekly.

Marshall said that she has been utilizing locally raised beef for about five years.

“I started with Wildcat Creek Ranch in 2013,” she said. “I started going through the Sausage House as soon as they closed.”

Like many higher quality products, Marshall said she pays slightly more through the Sausage House than if she were to go through her food distributors.

“It tends to be a little more, but the quality of it is way worth it,” she said while preparing a “Scandalous” burger off her menu.

“It’s worth it to just know where your product is coming from instead of it being shipped in from somewhere else,” she said. “It makes a big difference not only to consumers, but to local businesses, too.”

The relationship between small local businesses comes with perks outside of fresh, better quality product and happy consumers, it also comes with hometown customer service.

“They take such good care of us, too,” she said. “When we’re in a bind, he’s gone so far as to leave his house when the Sausage House is closed to come deliver beef.

“He also calls to let me know when they’re processing to make sure I have the option of getting it fresh instead of frozen.”

Burger, who has owned and operated Peabody Sausage House since 1994, says the quality of beef Marshall is serving is unlike anything you can find in other stores.

“It’s totally different,” he said. “It’s not just the trimmings or chuck, it’s the whole beef.”

The Sausage House also carries fresh beef raised from Buller in their meat case.

“In a town this size, it’s important to patronize local businesses,” Burger said. “I try to get everything local myself.”

From the farmland of rural Marion County, to the processing plant that lies just up the street from the beef’s final destination, this locally grown product ends its journey by fulfilling its purpose to a tee. Just ask Coneburg Inn patrons Todd Simmons and Cindy Ratts.

“We love it here,” said Ratts. “I love the atmosphere.”

“It’s a better quality burger if you’re getting it local,” said Simmons, as he sank a knife into his juicy, homegrown, burger.

Last modified May 10, 2018

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