Holliberri Icelandics with Holly & Tom Marks

What types of hot items will you be serving at market each week?
From 9am – 11am we’ll be serving delicious breakfast sandwiches made with Icelandic lamb patties or pork sausage patties that we get from Arnold’s Farm (also in Elizabeth). You can get the sandwiches with provolone or cheddar cheese and choose an english muffin or croissant. After 11am we have a “lunch special”: gyro burgers on a toasted bun with fresh tomato, sweet onion and tzatziki sauce. We’re hoping to bring on some new items like breakfast wraps, so look for those soon. We also want to offer chili, Irish stew with lamb, and other items to warm you up this winter.

Why have you chosen to raise grass-fed sheep?
Grass-fed sheep produce meat with 2 – 4 times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. Meat from ruminants that were fed only grass have 3 – 4 times more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) (another “good fat”) than conventionally-raised animals. We think eating these types of meats is healthier. Our animals are also hormone- and antibiotic-free. Our products contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, enhancers, or fillers. All of the ingredients – including the spices – are specifically identified on our product labels.

Your sandwiches are amazing, but what other products do you sell?
We have custom-cut freezer lamb and specialty brats. Our sheep have long fleece, so we also sell the wool and yarn. We sell the hides, horns for buttons, and milk for cheese. We are hoping to expand and establish a sheep dairy and sell milk to Carr Valley Cheese. In the summer we sell our products at the Galena Territory farmers’ market and serve food at Galena Cellars winery.

What does it mean that your meat is “paleo-lifestyle compliant?”
According to research I’ve seen about the modern food that we eat, the additives and chemicals in processed food are substantial contributors to obesity and other disorders. The “paleo” lifestyle is about going back foods that our ancient ancestors would have eaten before we started processing and altering it with chemicals.

Why did you choose to raise this unique Icelandic breed of sheep?
We were looking for a way to make money at our farmstead, but we only have 10 acres, so cattle was not an option because they require too much space. We did some research on sheep, and we were attracted to the variety of colors and unique character of the Icelandics. The Icelandics are larger and produce a good amount of very high-quality gourmet meat, plus their beautiful wool. We started with four Icelandics in 2005, and we’re now up to 160 head.

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