Our diet mainly consists of animal products – meat and eggs – and vegetables. Moving to California has been such a blessing in that regard, because it’s so much easier to eat locally, organically, and in season here. Organic fruits and veggies are reasonably priced at the grocery store, and almost everything is from a farm in California. And of course, we have our super-local, organic produce in the back yard here (watermelon, butternut squash, strawberries, and tomatoes, still going strong and ignoring the fact that it’s nearly December):
So produce was easily taken care of (and it is also easy to find wild fish in the supermarkets), but we were having some trouble finding local, pasture-raised, humanely slaughtered meat. Whole Foods is highly trusted, but the prices stung a little too much. So this weekend, we went to the source – or at least one of the sources – TomKat Ranch and Leftcoast Grass-Fed Beef. We ordered a 25lb box of beef from them, and drove out to their farm in Pescadero to pick it up. Not only was the drive down highway 84 beautiful, through a thick green forest (we had the top down and were breathing deeply to get as much of the fresh forest air as possible), but it was a great experience visiting TomKat Ranch and chatting with the owner, Kathy, and meeting some of the happy cows who live there:
Kathy also recommended two other local farmers. Harley Farms, just down the street, has some of the happiest goats and best goat cheese I’ve ever seen or tasted. We tried numerous samples – my favourite was the honey lavender – and picked up a sampler box of 8 rounds of goat cheese as a host gift for the family that kindly had us over for Thanksgiving dinner last night.
We also were visited by Shaelynn of Early Bird Ranch, from whom we purchased two whole chickens and some chorizo sausage. Shaelynn and her husband Kevin raise chickens and pigs. Kathy had been telling me about Early Bird Ranch, and luckily Shaelynn was able to stop by on her way to the Pescadero market! We had the chance to chat a bit, and she is such a nice, genuine person. At Early Bird Ranch, they have a mobile chicken trailer/hut that they rotate around the farm, so that the chickens have fresh pasture every day. Pretty neat!
Nick and I feel very lucky to be able to choose more sustainable animal products. And we’re looking forward to reporting back…one of the chickens is in the fridge right now, waiting to be roasted for supper tomorrow night :-9