By Liz Witbeck
Laurent Danthine always wanted to be a farmer. Unfortunately, he said, there were no prospects to become one in his native city of Liege, Belgium. So he settled on a career as a bartender, keeping his dream in the back of his mind.
Arcadian Pastures is a livestock farm, located in Sloansville, in Schoharie County. The property is 136 acres. On the farm, Danthine and family raise a variety of livestock, including cows, pigs, chickens, and sheep.
What sets Arcadian Pastures apart is their dedication to raising their animals in a natural environment. All of the beef is 100 percent grass-fed. All of the pork and lamb is non-GMO.
Danthine moved to the United States in 1994 and married his wife, Debi. Her breast cancer diagnosis prompted him to research animals, plants, hormones and pesticides to understand the role they play in food.
“I believe there is so much sickness in the world because of how we feed ourselves,” said Danthine.
On his farm, chickens walk around where they please. Cows are allowed to graze among the pastures. Pigs and sheep are also pastured. None of the animals are caged, nor are they given any antibiotics or hormones. The team at Arcadian Pastures believes that raising the animals in this manner leads to a superior quality and nutritional content of the meat.
Arcadian Pastures opened a retail store and butcher shop in Malta in September at 2421 Route 9, in the same plaza as Brix Wine and Liquor.
“I’ve always wanted to have a store, in order to make direct sales to the consumer,” said Danthine. “I love retail, and I want to be able to educate people on what we do and why we do this.”
A retail store will help the family better explain the importance of eating grass-fed, non-GMO meat.
Arcadian Pastures Butcher Shop in Malta is a whole-animal butcher shop. Many butcher shops have their meat pre-cut by slaughterhouses and shipped to them, said Danthine. At Arcadian Pastures, the animals come fully intact, and Danthine can make cuts to a customer’s preference. If a customer needs a specialized cut, it can be done immediately at the store.
The store not only features Arcadian Pastures meats, but also the products of small, mom-and-pop farms in the area. They believe that supporting local businesses is very important. They carry eggs, jam, honey and more. Eventually they plan to fill the entire inside of the store with local products.
The store will eventually carry prepared foods as well, Danthine said, including sanwiches, chili, soups and more.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, visit arcadianpastures.com