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Free Range Chicken/Grass Fed Beef/Farmers: Windermere or Winter Garden area?

Hello,
I just moved to Windermere from Northern California and am looking for the best place to find free range chicken, grass fed beef, and local produce. I really like supporting local "mom and pop" places if there are any close by.
Also, one of the things I miss the most about California is the farmer's markets - am looking for a good substitute here. I tried the market in Winter Garden, but it doesn't seem to have any local farmers (I saw a good quantity of produce that was in plastic and shipped from California!). Any leads on small farms/producers in the area that sell at markets or even direct to customers (I was previously a devotee of CSA boxes and would love to do that again).

Thanks for any help or advice!!!

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    1. Califoodie, my daughter lives near Windermere and just bought a side of grass fed beef, loved the farm/farmer. I emailed her, and this is her reply:

      "Deep creek ranch. They are in the deland area, probably an hour north of Windermere. We bought a "split half" and was about 6.50 per lb. Grass fed free range, highly recommended. Ask for Trish. She will make arrangements to meet somewhere convenient. Look up their website. Family owned farm. "

      Hope this helps!
      Also, in the Sanford area, there are many nurseries etc along Rte 46. Perhaps a ramble in the car is in order?

      http://www.deepcreekranch.us/

      2 Replies
      1. re: joan

        Calif, Welcome to Florida, there are some restrictive state laws concerning small time growers; such as, backyard egg producers cannot "legally" sell their eggs for human consumption. If you see eggs at farmers' markets labelled "For pet consumption Only" is the way around that. Keep looking for informal small growers and you will find chickens, rabbits, guinea hens, pigs, lambs etc. that are grown under free range conditions but are not "state recognized". Good Luck!

        -----
        Good Luck Cafe
        1910 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

        1. re: joan

          Daughter also send me this today:

          "more info: farmfreshorlando.com is a good source of local food. Some of those farmers sell at the Audubon community market on Mondays in winter park. You can google that. There is a tight circle of local farmers and any of them would probably be very helpful.

        2. For grass fed beef, there is a farm called HoWa in Spring Hill, which is 2 hours west of Windermere, and I know it is pretty far but the cows are Black Angus and the quality is great. They just finished a harvest and will have more available in late August. You can sign up for their e-mail list at the website below and they will send out an e-mail when they are ready for reservations on the next harvest. You have to respond pretty quickly because they sell out very fast due to the fact that there aren't many grass fed beef farmers around here. The cost is $4.75 per pound (hanging weight) for a quarter or a half, and $4.60 per pound for a whole.

          http://www.dehowafarms.com

          As far as everything else goes, I used Local Harvest to search for my CSA (Rabbits, etc. near Spring Hill). The website link is below, and the search engine helps you look up farmers markets, farmers, CSAs, etc. nearby.

          http://www.localharvest.org

          My CSA is year-round, but a lot of the others only go during the November - May season, so it just depends on the farm. Good luck and welcome to Florida!

          1 Reply
          1. re: sspharbor

            Thanks so much for your help everyone!! I definitely appreciate it. I am definitely going to check out Deep Creek Ranch, and have started looking for CSAs that are starting up in November. I also have had more luck at the Winter Park farmer's market lately - and have found a great produce stand in Winter Garden (Gardner's Produce) where the people are really friendly and happy to tell you where the produce is from. :)

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