Small farm for grass-fed/pastured, organic meat, eggs, dairy?
- seattledebs Apr 2, 2008 04:00 PM
I'm going to be down in Playa del Rey visiting my grandmother later this month. I always enjoy checking out the Santa Monica farmers' market while I'm there, but have been told the market doesn't include meat and dairy.
Any tips on some small, local farms that produce organic grass-fed/grass-finished beef and/or lamb (especially lamb), pastured chickens, raw milk (cow, sheep, goat), etc?
I'm willing to drive to visit one if necessary; I enjoy field trips.
Thanks for any tips! If you need recommendations up in the Seattle area, I'm happy to return the favor.
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The Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market indeed does have meat, eggs, and dairy. (They may be there on Saturday as well; I don't know.)
Organic Pastures dairy, based out of Fresno, has organic pastured raw cow milk. I am not sure whether they supplement with grain or not. Occasionally they have beef as well, and I saw some chickens and ducks there once.
Lindner Bison, which grazes their animals up North, attends the market as well, with steaks, roasts, organ meats, etc.
There is also a guy who has beef and pork, and two egg stands, but as far as I know they are neither pastured nor organic.
Unfortunately, you are going to have difficulty finding LOCAL pastured meat; as far as I know there are no local farms that produce what you're looking for.
If you can find a copy of the November 2007 Los Angeles magazine anywhere, they had an excellent guide to all the locally-sourced foods. Unfortunately it is not online.
You didn't ask for cheese, but here's one of the closer cheesemakers.
Unfortunately our area is so urbanized and these products are not as much of a priority as they are for residents of San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, so it's quite a bit more difficult to find.
Broguiere's Dairy has very good milk although I don't think their cows are local. They're based in Montebello but you can buy it at Whole Foods.
There are actual dairy farms in Chino, it used to be the center of dairy farming in the United States until the housing bubble. I believe there are still some there. Most of the dairy farmers have moved in-state to places like the San Joaquin Valley. Rockview owns the dairy cattle, and milk bottling production is family run and does organic also. Their products are sold in many supermarkets in SoCal. Call 1-800-645-5123 ext. 307 for the Alta Dena milkman to bring milk to your house in Southern California . . .
If you really want to go out to the farms, be prepared for the smell. You can also head to Schaefer Avenue in the Inland Empire, there are plenty of dairies still there.
From the Rockview website:
"Over 9,200 cows are milked twice a day in 3 state-of-the art barns."
Be sure to check out the, uh, "pasture":
...and their (lack of) info on cornucopia.org: http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/Far...
If one has to "be prepared for the smell", then it's probably not the kind of small, pastured operation that the OP is looking for.
The only other dairy I've personally seen in Chino is the Hein Hettinga dairy, which is factory farming at its finest. Best to stand upwind.
Hmm, doesn't sound as promising as I'd hoped, although that's nice to know that my family was wrong about the SMFM's having meat and dairy (I'd heard about the eggs). Thanks for the tips. I'll see if I can get a copy of Los Angeles Magazine.
Any possible source for good quality pastured lamb? I'd be there during Passover and my mother's thinking of making a leg of lamb.
Kathy Lindner is at the Hollywood Farmers market every Sunday selling delicious grassfed bison. I started out by trying the ground bison and it beat any beef I've had in years by a long shot! The ground bison is packed with flavor! I also tried making one of their roasts at Christmas and it was very good as well. Friends of mine make the bison tongue regularly and love it. http://www.lindnerbison.com/
You can also get great local eggs, cheeses, and raw milk at this market. The fresh fish truck at this market is also exceptional!