Why doesn’t the farm have lamb for Easter?
Easter Sunday is here and that means lamb is in season and ready for our traditional Easter dinner….or does it?
You might think that eating lamb at Easter would have to do with the seasonality of lambs being born in spring, but not so fast.
If you are eating grass-fed lamb at Easter, then it’s most likely traveled all the way from another country with a warmer climate, such as New Zealand, to get to your plate. Or, it is frozen from last year.
In Pennsylvania, the ewe’s (female sheep) on Beiler Family Farm have just started giving birth in the last few weeks, and lambing season is just now starting to get into full swing.
If you’re eating out of season local lamb at Easter, then it would have been born around December, and in order to get it finished in time for the Easter, it would have been fattened on grain and most likely reared indoors.
And that is most definitely not how lambs are raised at Beiler Family Farm.
In the Northeast climate, it is very impractical to have spring lamb finished in time for the dinner table by Easter.
Spring weather is known for its wild ups and downs in temperature. In fact, on the farm, if a lamb happens to be born too early in the spring, it often does not survive due to the cold weather.
You see, when a lamb is born, their wool is naturally wet from amniotic fluid. The wool needs time and the right temperature to dry off. If the temperature is right at the time of birth, the lamb's wool will dry, and then they can survive the cold and fluctuating temperatures of early spring.
However, if the weather is too cold at the time of birth the lamb will freeze due to the wet wool and unfortunately will not survive.
This is why it is so very impractical for lamb to be available in time for Easter.
The lambs need the right temperature and time to grow before they are ready to be processed.
A new born lamb would not make for a good cut of meat.
So if it’s not in season, then why the tradition for eating lamb at Easter?
In short, the most likely reason is the religious symbolism of the sacrificial lamb.
While the farm most certainly appreciates the importance of the religious, cultural, and historical significance of lamb at Easter, the Beiler’s would never want to force their lambs to be ready before their time.
And the farm most certainly would never feed the sheep grain to quickly fatten them up because they believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of 100% grass-fed meats.
Some customers may think it’s odd that the farm does not have lamb in time for Easter. But when it comes down to it, it’s simply because the farm is located in the Northeast, and not a warm climate like Israel where the tradition of eating lamb at Easter likely originated.
At Beiler Family Farm the lambs are raised naturally, and they come when they’re ready.
*Fun Fact: More lambs are born under a full moon than any other time of the month. That is because the female sheeps naturally cycle with the phases of the moon. This is true for all the farm animals, and the full moon is when many of the baby animals are born on the farm!
And guess what? There is a full moon this Easter weekend! So just hang in there a little bit longer, I promise it’s well worth the wait!
Beiler lambs will be special and perfectly in season born under an Easter full moon.
Click here to shop our 100% grass-fed lamb products currently available, and keep an eye on the store for more lamb to come in stock soon : )
Enjoy the food,
And The Beiler Farm Team