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Oct 16, 2010 12:09 PM

Local poultry and beef in San Diego county?


I am a freelancer writing an article about local food in San Diego. I am having a hard time finding local meat. I am defining LOCAL as SAN DIEGO COUNTY. I am not interested in cows raised in San Diego who are sent up to Imperial Valley feedlots to be slaughtered. I am interested in speaking to local farmers who raise and slaughter their own food. Someone like a Curtis Womach??

My article is designed to help people find local farmers like this and help people who are seriously interested in local food to find local food.

Thanks so much!


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  1. There are going to be much better sources for this information, but as a (very) curious Foodie and consumer I ask a lot of questions of all of the purveyors that I come in contact with. It is my general impression that what you seek will be non-existent for the mere technicality: the scarcity of FDA-approved slaughtering operations, none of which, I believe, is in San Diego County.

    However that technicality overlooks the point that within our regional constraints there are many producers in our county that raise and farm local beef and poultry with a great level of care. One only need frequent our local farmer's markets (for that I recommend in particular the L.I. Mercato), follow the activities of the Urban San Diego Slow Food group (many of them who are active on this board), and follow the Edible Communities publication for San Diego.

    There is much going on so long as your scope can be broadened just a bit.

    1. USDA regulations require anyone selling meat for sale to the public to slaughter their animals at a licensed and inspected facility. The nearest USDA-approved facilities are in the Imperial Valley, so your requirement is basically impossible to fulfill.

      There is a local couple raising rabbits for food, served at The Linkery and El Take It Easy. Some other locally raised meat is from Da Le Ranch, Sage Mountain Farms, Star B Ranch, and the Mendenhalls on Palomar Mountain - but the slaughter of those ranchers food likely happens in the Imperial Valley.

      3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

      El Take It Easy
      3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

      1. Thanks so much! I appreciate your comments and will look into the sources you mentioned.

        If you would like to speak to me about your personal experiences with local food, that would be great too. You can reach me at or 215.872.0825.

        Josh, I am willing to broaden my scope on this. I was just hoping to be able to mention an entirely local San Diego operation.

        Thanks again!

        1. Just a technical note, cattle isn't sent to feedlots for slaughter, they are sent to feedlots to be fed (grain) and sent to slaughterhouses (processing plants) to be slaughtered. So a steer might be entirely locally raised and grass fed, up until the morning of its death, when it is trucked to a USDA slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera or the Imperial Valley.

          On the other hand, a beeve (bovine meat animal, cow, steer or whatever) might be raised on someone's land in SD Country for its first 3 or 9 months, and then sent to a feedlot tin the Imperial Valley o be plumped out on corn (and probably killed in a factory slaughterhouse), in which case that really is not a locally-raised animal, and it's just become commodity beef.

          I hope that is helpful.

          1. Ramona used to be a hotbed for the production of bison/buffalo -- they might still be. Check out this (old) article:

            1 Reply
            1. re: bizzwriter

              We were out at Star B picking hops this summer, and they definitely still produce bison. They don't slaughter locally, though.