Last weekend, Dwayne and I drove out Petaluma for a visit to Tara Firma Farms. Inspired by Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, a picturesque old dairy farm has been transformed by Craig and Tara Smith into farm that offers “…healthy chemical-free, all-natural produce and raising grass-fed, pasture-raised and humanely-treated pigs, cows, and chickens.”
They have created a community where anyone can buy vegetables and meats grown and raised locally. Their land is offered as an educational and community resource for all of their customers. Come out for a tour, and then their world is your oyster. Need a turkey for Christmas? They are growing about 150 right now. Want to take a hike or have a picnic? Just let them know and you can go out and explore the property, blessed with a natural spring, a fishing pond and acres of pristine rolling hills and pastures. But if you want the fresh eggs ($6 doz) – you have to be a regular!
They host events that bring together people who care where their food comes from and how it’s grown and processed, whether foodie, vegetarian, or born-again carnivores, like myself. On Sunday, the chef from the Slanted Door restaurant was there with his son, checking out the new litter of piglets.
At the end of our tour, we were unexpectedly presented with a complimentary pasture-raised 5lb broiler chicken. Filling out a survey and promising to spread the word was a small price to pay. Last night we roasted chicken for the first time, and now I have a pot of stock simmering on the stove. Later, I’ll make chicken soup–a new experience–but with some advice from my mom, I’m sure it will be tasty and delicious.