As this whole farm to fork rage has taken off, which I admit has hit me hard, I not only started my own hobby farm but started buying meat from local livestock farmers too. There is something about visiting the farms to see how they are raised that makes you feel you are getting a healthier piece of meat and doing the right thing for the animals and helping our local farmers.
The farms I picked are just a few of many options near Auburn that you can visit or check out on the web. I happen to drive by some of them occasionally and get to see the animals grazing. If you are a vegetarian then I’m sure you are thinking they would be much more happier never seeing their demise but I do happen to eat meat and so at least they seem to be living a “happy” life for the most part than the alternative. Some of the farmers offer organic meat however I will leave that up to you and the farmer to sort out all the technical terms to determine the right choice of meat for your table. For a complete list of livestock farms you can check out either of the following links: http://www.placergrown.org/category/local-farmers/2-meats-poultry-and-eggs/ https://nevadacountygrown.org/find-local-2/farms-ranches/
You may also be thinking…how do I find land where I can do this myself? Well, land is scarce but there are certainly opportunities out there for people to purchase large parcels for livestock, grapes or even orchards. The best thing to do is ask the advice of a great real estate agent and start getting some options emailed to you. You may be surprised!
- Long Dream Farm (Lincoln)– This is a dairy and creamery with some of the most interesting heritage cattle you’ve ever seen! This is a fantastic farm to visit and you can even do an overnight stay! They also train oxen for backyard farms. One of the most unique farms in the area and certainly one to check out. You can purchase Greek Yogurt, soft cheeses and butter at the on-line store. http://longdreamfarm.com/our-story/
- Flying Mule Farm (Auburn)– No, they do not raise mules for meat…but rather grass-fed sheep and goats! They also sell pasture poultry and eggs along with seasonal vegetables too. What is really cool about them is that they use their animals and hand tools when possible to run the farm and only motorized equipment when necessary. They are very environmentally conscious and wish to leave the land in better condition then when they found it. You can locate them at the Auburn Farm’s Market and also on their Facebook site which is https://www.facebook.com/flyingmulefarm/
- Coffee Pot Ranch (Sheridan)– Located less than 30 minutes from Auburn is a ranch that does it all. From grass-fed beef, grain fed pork, pastured poultry and lamb. I’ve purchased meat from these folks and it is delicious! I love it when you can tell a family loves what they do and these folk live and breath their ranch. You can also find them at the Auburn Farmer’s Market. Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/locallygrownmeat/?rf=41903582822356
- Family Friendly Farm(Grass Valley)– This is another farm that I have purchased a whole freezer worth of beef, pork and chicken! I got the grand tour of their ranch and was able to see the animals out in the fields; if you’ve never done that I suggest you do. This large farm produces grass-fed, pasture raised meat. You can find them at the Farmer’s Market in Grass Valley too. They also offer home delivery if needed. Their website is easy to use at https://www.familyfriendlyfarms.com/
- Sinclair Family Farm (Penryn)– Another one of those farms that does it all. They raise beef, goat, lamb pork and chicken. All naturally grown and pasture raised. I thought it was interesting that they use guardian dogs to protect the animals from wild life. Here is their beautiful website http://sinclairfamilyfarm.publishpath.com/
- Fowler Family Farm (Grass Valley)– Full line of meats such as beef, poultry, pork, lamb and goat. They also belong to a CSA Membership Program (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA’s are subscription based services where subscribers pay in advance for a specific amount of a farms products per month. Paying in advance allows a farm to plan the number of animals they raise, purchase larger quantities of feed at a discount and pass that discount along to you. There are different level commitments which allows for flexibility in how much you purchase. You can buy on your own meat or through the CSA program. http://www.fowlerfamilyfarm.com/
All these farms and ranches provide the area with wonderful healthy meat choices. I believe in supporting our local farmers and this is just one more way to eat Farm To Fork!
Do you have a favorite ranch or produce farm you like purchasing from?
I would love to hear from you so I can check them out!