Joan “Joanie” Walker lived in the Webster Square neighborhood of Worcester for most of her life. When she moved to her husband’s family farm in New Braintree, she weighed 250 lbs and had never dreamt of keeping cows. In 2012, Joanie began raising a small herd of grass-fed Red Devon cattle at Walker Farm known for their healthy, hearty, marbled meat. You’ve probably enjoyed the results of her love and labor at Armsby Abbey, deadhorse hill, or the International’s Fireplace Room. Her herd isn’t the only thing that has grown over the last few years (now, 60 animals strong.) Joanie’s reputation is steadfast among local foodies for producing the highest quality meat in the region. Unlike most farms that raise their cattle to be one and a half to two years old, Joanie is a patient farmer. She raises her cows until they are at their full weight and at least three years old before breeding them or sending them to market. As a result, Walker Farm’s buttery beef remains in high demand. Mass Foodies feels strongly that the superb quality comes from Joanie’s unique appreciation for each of her individual cow’s and their respective personalities.
About Sarah Connell
Sarah Connell is an educator, freelance writer and craft beer enthusiast from Worcester, Massachusetts. Sarah graduated from Fordham University with a BA in English and recently completed her M.Ed. at Boston College. Her new series, Pairings, is a column dedicated to the infallible union of food and drink. Join Sarah each month as she celebrates the beverages that enhance dishes she loves in and around Worcester.
Originally published: July 24, 2018