Three miles of driving down a Georgia red clay dirt road brought on a flood of memories from my highschool years in Blakely, GA. The only thing to do in Blakely on a Friday night was ride the routes: around the town square, from a place called The Annex next to the Hardee’s, all the way to the Dairy Queen and back. And then, if no one was hanging out at the town square, you rode the dirt roads to the Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge or around Kolomoki Mounds until curfew.
On my way to Hunter Cattle Co. in Brooklet, GA (close to Savannah), I made the last right turn onto Driggers Rd. Once I arrived and made a joke about the dirt road, Del (the owner) informed me there was another way, sans dirt road, I could have taken; but I enjoyed the trigger of memories.
Jen and I spent a couple of months trying to find the just the right farm. Our criteria seemed straightforward enough: sustainable, animal friendly, and not cost prohibitive. Del and I spoke on the phone a couple of times, he shipped us some pork, and we absolutely loved it. We did side by side comparisons of so much pork from so many farms that we lost count; Hunter Cattle brought home the bacon.
I was only there for a couple of hours but I immediately felt like I knew them. I met Kristan, Del and Debora’s daughter, and her son, Forrest. He opened up the gates as we visited the pigs and the cows. Kristan told me the story of how the farm came to be, including a hilarious tale that involved binoculars, a calf’s legs sticking straight out of a heifer, and a “Cows for Dummies” book. Hey, gotta start somewhere, right?
While I was there, the inspector showed up; I am conditioned to experience a wave of anxiety the moment I see a Health Inspector with their little tablet and and pen. No matter how strong your kitchen game is and how tight your run your ship, there is a sense of dread with the inspector arrives. I was sure I would be asked to leave and panic would fall on everyone. But that didn’t happen. They shook hands and the inspector walked inside the processing room and Del continued showing me around. He informed me that the inspector comes every day, that’s how it’s done when you process animals like that.
I like Del. I like Del’s family too. We hope you enjoy their products as much as we do.
In their own words:
“We along with our partner farms Raise 100% start to finish Grassfed Beef and Pasture Raised Pork.
We never use antibiotics, hormones or steroids, never confining and practice a grazing rotation that creates products that not only provide great nutrition but also, incredible Flavor!
We utilize our natural environment and animals in order to protect and raise food in a way that does not negatively alter our land, neighbors, or bodies. We never have to use chemicals or confinement to protect our animals or grow our grasses.
Donkeys protect our herds from predators allowing them to always be on pasture. Martin Gourds, Bats, dragon flies, and Guineas help control pests. Honey Bees help pollinate our grasses. Chickens help spread manure as well as eat insect larvae.”