Color in the, um, Country: my visit to True Grass Farms

[caption id="attachment_6790" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="When we first pulled up to True Grass Farms, in Valley Ford near Sebastepol, California, the first thing we noticed- let's be honest- SMELLED, was this gorgeous paella bubbling away over an open fire..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6788" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="True Grass headquarters is this humble abode where the owners live, work, tour, and entertain... it's sun faded and time worn, but nowhere near shabby."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6832" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="It's a comfy and inviting space for visitors interesting in learning more about what and how we eat and how caring for our land and animals contributes to that experience"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6784" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Resident Cook and Rustler, Matt, shared his creative resourcefulness with a delicious lunch of fresh garden greens, a spread of salami, prociutto, paella, and buttermilk panne cotta... sooo good"]

Guido, who's family has owned this land since 1867, didn't come from a family of farmers, but being a young idealist (bravo!) he was drawn to the challenge- the resourcefulness, creativity, engineering, patience, learning- of building a sustainable relationship between the land, the animals, and the people you feed. He chose mainly to raise grass fed Wagyu (Wa- Japanese, Gyu- beef) cattle (along with pigs and chickens too).


[caption id="attachment_6789" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I especially enjoyed seeing this little building, the Meat Smith (I called it the meat market), a charming little homemade shelter where business and purchases are handled..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6804" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="You know I love that it's made AND decorated from salvaged goods and things found right here on the land..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6816" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="A sense of humor goes a long way where the work can be hard."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6822" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Well, easier for some than others."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6793" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="mmm, lunch! Hard to see but there's one piglet sitting on top of another to get to his meal- I've probably done that before"]


(the Wagyu cattle were grazing out in a field out of view, so we didn't see them)

[caption id="attachment_6799" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="As we spent the afternoon hanging out with the animals, Consuelo, the sow, noticed Even and sauntered over for a good backscratchin'. Evan started a community garden in Brooklyn before deciding to move out here where he puts his farming AND marketing skills to use on a big scale."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6833" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My friend, Nona, and several others got in on the act..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6834" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Consuela didn't mind"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6794" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="True Grass Farms faithful canine, Iris, needed something to do so she set her sight on herding this pour chicken... for like 30 minutes!  Ever try so hard to get someone to do what you want? I have... now I feel bad :-)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6839" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="And with a few final words..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6840" align="aligncenter" width="329" caption="The paella is ready"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6808" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Besides eating though, we had work to do! There was a blind taste test with four kinds of beef and a map of beef cuts to identify. (I followed more Evans lead and stayed focused on the chicken in the paella- go Evan go!)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6815" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Holly, who spends most of her time rustling cattle with the rest of 'em, also has a knack for adding a beautiful and feminine touch to True Grass. I'm bummed I didn't get more pictures of her but she was always behind the scenes helping make everything and everyone look good. They all made the day and their work look effortless."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6811" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="There's nothing better than spending a beautiful day with good friends, delicious foods and passionate people."][/caption]

Guido and the gang at True Grass Farms look to replicate Nature when it comes to keeping balance with the land, water, animals- everything. He said, "Nature is the best teacher". Such simple words for such a wise and wide statement.

[caption id="attachment_6841" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Give 'em a ring, plan a tour, and go enjoy yourself. You'll see your food, your land, and your people in a whole new way. Thank you, Guido, Matt, Evan, and Holly!! And thank you, Nona, and the San Francisco Professional Food Society letting me tag along on such gorgeous day."][/caption]

Learn more about True Grass Farms and find the Farmer's markets where you can find them and their meats...


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