In the Spotlight: Working H Meats & Market
Last Updated on May 16, 2016 at 3:43pm | Agribusiness
"In the Spotlight" is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue.
In this day and age of over-processed everything, people are learning more about living in a naturally sustainable way. Nowhere is that more important than in the food we eat. The Hardesty family at Working H Farms
have been offering area residents delicious all natural meats and eggs for the past decade.
Glenn and Terrie Hardesty, along with their two sons Grant and Justin, moved to Cranesville, WV from Orlando, FL in 1996. Originally from Oakland, MD, Glenn was eager to get back home to the mountains he loved. The family purchased an eleven acre farm where they began to raise their own animals and grow their own vegetables. As their farm grew, Terrie and Glenn learned more about organic gardening and raising healthy animals. Once they realized how meat we purchased in a grocery store was raised and processed in this country, they began raising their own animals for meat and were soon supplying their friends and family as well with grass fed, hormone free food. Encouraged by friends and family, they started selling their products at a Farmer’s Market in Morgantown and the popularity of their meats grew from there. They quickly expanded into the larger downtown Morgantown Farmer’s Market and began to set up and sell their meat and eggs in Cumberland and Oakland, MD.
During this time, the Hardesty’s had always used the slaughter and butchering services at Country Pride Meats in Friendsville but when that facility shut down a few years ago they found themselves travelling to Pennsylvania several days a week. To keep up with demand for their products, it was becoming cost prohibitive to travel to different butchers to assure the kind of quality they wanted, so when the Country Pride facility became available for purchase, the Hardestys, decided to take the plunge. With the help of Glenn’s parents Larry and Sharon Hardesty, they expanded their farm from 11 acres to 191 acres and purchased and remodeled the processing plant.
Working H Meats and Market opened in August 2014 and has grown steadily ever since. They specialize in naturally grass fed beef and pork as well as free range poultry and eggs. All of their livestock is raised without antibiotic growth hormones or other pharmaceuticals. They are full of flavor, a bit leaner than the meat you’ll find in the grocery store and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Working H is definitely a family affair. Both of their sons help in the business and at the farm. Glenn’s brother Greg is also an integral part of the organization and is in charge of poultry. “Last year we raised 800 laying hens and 5,000 meat chickens…it’s become a full time operation,” says Glenn.
The free range chickens are available June through October only, although they do rely on other local farmers to raise animals for them. They are insistent that all animals they purchase are raised naturally consistent with their high quality of standards. Last Thanksgiving, they were even able to sell non-GMO raised turkeys raised by a local Amish farmer.
Why grass fed meats?? “For one thing the taste is superior,” says Glenn. “Plus grass fed meats are lower in fat and naturally higher in cholesterol lowering Omega-3 fatty acids.” Adds Terrie, “Our animals contain no chemicals and are allowed to forage on lush grass. They are happy and content. We reduce the stress of the animals, even at the time of slaughter.”
Their free range chickens, while more expensive to produce, can’t compare in taste or health benefits. Eggs from free range chickens also have higher health benefits. They are not only larger and more flavorful,” says Glenn, “but they have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat and more of Vitamins A, E, Omega 3 and Beta Carotene.
Working H is a USDA inspected and certified butcher shop. Their top priority is the quality of the meat they sell -- from slaughter to processing. They offer your favorite cuts of meat although special orders are welcome.
Specialty and custom orders are welcome. Think of Working H for your next gettogether or holiday meal. They can handle large orders as well as specialty meats like crown roast, lamb chops and prime rib. Their spare ribs, steaks and burgers are perfect for summer barbecue season and hand smoked bologna and sausages are great treats year round.
They also have an onsite smoker and smoke their own bacon, hot dogs, ham and more. They make their own beef snack sticks and jerky. They are also happy to roast whole pigs for their clients....perfect for a large party.
They provide meats to many area restaurants as well as local organizations and still appear at local Farmer’s Markets throughout the region. They can slaughter and package animals for area farmers and can process beef, pork, lamb, goat and even trout. They are working with Mountain State Trout who is raising the trout for the Hardesty’s to package and sell. So the market will now have available both fresh and smoked trout for your dining pleasure.
All products are vacuum packed and quick frozen for added freshness and ease of storage. They are very proud that a major study of chickens in West Virginia being conducted at WVU is using their chickens as the standard for comparison against other local farmers and huge processing plants. “We’re excited to see the results of the study,” says Terrie, “but it was gratifying to know that they chose ours with which to compare the others.”
With an eye on quality and added services, Working H continues to grow. They are constantly offering new products (like trout and rabbit) for their customers to enjoy. But they know their steady growth is, in part, customer satisfaction. And because Glenn and Terrie know what’s it’s like to run a small business, they do their best to help other local farmers and business owners. That’s why they sell local produce not only from their own farm, but others including fresh corn, vegetables, even peaches in season.
They also showcase locally made products like cheeses from High Country Market
, local honey, handmade soy candles, maple syrup, even locally milled buckwheat and other flours. You’ll also find beautiful wood products from Fiddlehead woodworking, Grandma’s Homemade Jams and Jellies
, bath products from Moonlight Milk Soaps and delicious products from DeBerry Farm
like pepper jelly, salsa and more. They plan to have fresh baked goods this summer. The family gives back to the community in other ways and even sponsors a local child in the Special Olympics. Says Terrie, “We promote local as much as possible. Many people have a lot of great ideas but can’t market them, we can help and it benefits us all.”
Working H Meats and Market is located at 5481 Friendsville Road (Rt. 42) in Friendsville, just minutes from Deep Creek Lake. They are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. With fresh meats, produce, breads and more...Working H is your one-stop shop for all your summer dining needs. Be sure to stop by soon for delicious, naturally raised meats...you’ll be glad you did. For more information check out their websites at www.workingHmeats.com