Saturday, May 1, 2010

Touring River Ridge Farms!

After our big move to Tennessee, one of the first priorities for Mum was finding us all a source for healthy and safer food, including meats, fruits and veggies.
Before our move Mum switched us to our high quality kibble, because she new that it may be a little time before we could find a good organic source for our raw food.

In the process of finding sources, Mum asked new friends we have made here, and did a search on Eat Well Guide and Local Harvest, and found a great source for much of the raw meats we will be eating in the near future.

But before deciding, my ever vigilant Mum called up River Ridge Farms and asked if she could stop by, take a quick tour, and get up some raw meats to tie us over until we could move all our meats to raw (with veggies (steamed) and fruits, of course, for a balanced diet:). And of course, check out the facility to make sure it as up to our green and healthy standards :)

No we're not going to eat Two, the kittie, (above). He was there to greet Mum when she got out of the car :) He has a job at the farm, keeping the vermin at bay.

So off she went, without me and Gracie, because she thought we might disturb all the farm animals. She was right, I would have gone right after those chickens, fur sure!

She arrived and right away asked to help with some of the work as she toured much of the farm. First up was feeding the chickens. They had two kinds, broilers (which I will be eating) and Red Comets, who are the laying hens, our source for eggs. Mum had fun getting a little video of the Red Comets at feeding time. They sure can sing for their supper!

After the chickens, Mum was off to meet the pigs and 7 weeks old piglets on the farm. They had a great place to live. Many times when you see farm pigs they are all rolling in the mud. But not here. These pigs had a great shaded forest area that they called home, with only one mud hole. You can see in the vid that the piglets just loved chewing on Mum shoes, which we got to investigate at great length when she got home.

On the Farm, they also raise organic vegetables and fruits that are seasonal and location appropriate. They have dairy cows on the property, as well as beef cattle on another part of the land they own.

If you've ever seen Food Inc., well you know that production farms are much, much different than these types of local organic farms. The animals are not treated like production facility animals, they don't stand knee deep in their own waste (creating a perfect breeding ground for salmonella/e. coli that could potentially be passed on to us dogs and humans through their meat and move through the land to contaminate the veggies. The pigs are very friendly, happy animals, that live a good life until it comes their time to feed us.

All the animals are as free roaming as they can be while also being protected from area coyotes and big cats near the farm. They are fed an organic feed (when needed) and grass graze fed.

Mum talked with the owner about potentially coarse grinding meats for me and Gracie, and they were very interested. So after a few phone calls, some Internet searches, and asking some new friends in the area, we now have a great source of our primary meats, and even some veggies and fruits in season to dive right into our raw diet.

The best part is Mum brought back some raw chicken necks and chicken feet for us which we quickly dove right into. And she roasted a nice whole chicken for herself, which she says tasted better than any chicken she had ever had, so fresh, and not filled with any chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or seasonings. Just wonderful chicken, that she also shared with us.

One of the great things we like is that we now know where our meat is coming from, we know what the animals are being fed, we are free to visit anytime we like and we are buying local which cuts down on the environmental impact as well.

Can't wait to tell you more about our upcoming trips to River Ridge Farms. And a big thank you to Dave and Verlinda for providing such a welcome, friendly and wholesome experience!

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