Ver Brugge butcher (in Oakland) makes me happy
I ordered my Narragansett* heritage-breed turkey (see below!) today from Ver Brugge, my favorite butcher shop. They were pleased to find I was interested, since, I take it, this is the first year they've carried Mary's Turkeys.
It has been too long since I've visited Ver Brugge. For the past year or so, my partner and I have been consciously avoiding factory-farmed meat, and as far as we knew, VB didn't carry any naturally/humanely-raised beef. Instead we've been getting beef, pork, etc at the meat counters at Whole Foods and Berkeley Bowl.
Which is OK, but not nearly as fun or educational as going to Ver Brugge, where they dish out recipes and advice with their excellent-quality meat, and are always kind and patient. Furthermore, Ver Brugge is part of a dying breed of high-quality, small neighborhood butchers, and I believe they deserve and need our support.
So, while I was at Ver Brugge I asked whether they carried any naturally-raised beef. I was very happy to find that, indeed, they have just started carrying humanely-/naturally-raised beef from the Van De Rose family farm in Iowa. The Van De Roses raise their own feed, as well, and (according to Mr. Ver Brugge) do not use antibiotics or growth hormones, and let the cattle move about freely. Ver Brugge is one of two California locations where their product is available (the other one is in SF, and I can't remember the name...)
Meanwhile, Ver Brugge also have Niman Ranch pork, and organic chickens from Petaluma Poultry. Good news for us friendly-farmer-fans...and for the cows.
Ver Brugge Meat & Seafood
6321 College Avenue
*OK, so they weren't sure whether or not you could actually pick _which_ heritage breed you wanted...but they were happy to write it down on my order!