Fifty-four people joined the adventure this year on our eighth annual guided farm visit with speaker Will Winter, DVM.
5 BAR BEEF (5barbeef.com)
As Frank Fitzpatrick rode up to greet us, our group got a up-close look at one of the truly iconic cowboys of the American West. Once Frank started talking we were able to witness something even more beautiful, more rare, and certainly more radical. With his beautiful herd of locally adapted cattle, the largest Barzona herd west of the Mississippi, Frank has broken away from the mainstream beef producers who typically produce conventional drug and corn-dependent steers. Furthermore, the conventional producer is usually only able to do so by virtue of greener, more lush farm land. Because of Frank’s wisdom, his cattle thrive in radiant health and fertility on the arid scrub brush of Southern California’s coastal hills. Frank is a living storehouse of the critical knowledge that ranchers new or old need to raise healthy cattle, and to deepen soil tilth and pasture fertility, as well as the wisdom required to create a sustainable occupation raising wholesome food. Frank Fitzpatrick is a hero in the world of sustainable, grass-fed American cattle.
PRIMAL PASTURES (primalpastures.com)
What initially lured us to visit Primal Pastures of Murrieta, California was the fact that they are “first generation farmers,” self-described “city boys who wanted to farm.” That got our attention. The minute we arrived, we knew we had struck gold. Like the principal crew of Primal Pastures, Paul Greive and Jeff, Tom and Rob McDaniel, many people today were not lucky enough to inherit farm land nor do they feel they possess even a wisp of the skills required to make it work (work being the operative word here). Anyone needing inspiration or hope for the future of food in America need look no further than the stunningly beautiful farm and ranch being created at Primal Pastures. After only a few years of development, they now have the desirable “problem” of not being able to produce fast enough to meet their demand! With business management and marketing skills that match their excellent livestock husbandry skills, this crew has put sustainable agriculture, nutrient-dense food, and locavore intelligence on the SoCal map! Expansion is everywhere on their horizon. They are now selling to a seven-county area of Southern California and soon hope to expand delivery to the entire state of California. Bravo!
After the tour we were served a delicious slow-food outdoor lunch featuring Primal Pastures chicken by the on-site restaurant and catering service in the Temecula E.A.T. Marketplace, which specializes in bridging the gap between farm to table by foraging from the local food shed and purchasing direct from small, organic farms, ranches and local food artisans.
TEMECULA OLIVE OIL COMPANY (temeculaoliveoil.com)
As a stunningly sweet dessert ideally follows a hearty meal, we closed our tour with a visit to the Temecula Olive Oil Company near Aquanga, California. “Ahh, I think we have all died and gone to heaven!” Half our group was seated at the tasting bar while the others were given a tour of the olive groves and vineyards by co-owner, master taster and olive oil judge Thom Curry. We knew this was going to be good, but we didn’t know how lucky we were until we started tasting the various golden liquids served us by co-owner and guide Catherine Pepe. Real and pure olive oil (which is difficult to ascertain or acquire these days) is one of the most critical components of the revered Mediterranean diet. This family-owned and operated business makes a daily commitment to the creation of 100 percent California olive oil using the principles of sustainable and non-toxic agriculture. The results are in the taste as well as the health-giving benefits of their incredible oils. Reluctantly having to leave this beautiful oasis at the end of the day was the only regret we had on our entire tour. However, none of us will ever forget the taste of that deliciously pure olive oil on our lips. Report by Will Winter, DVM
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2015