Thoughts on our recent trip to the farms that provide our food.
This past June, we (Sarah and Carly, our chef) went to visit two of the farms that supply some of the food we prepare in our kitchens. We'd been getting our beef and pork from Butcher & Grocer in Grandview for quite some time, and were considering buying our chicken from them as well. We have great faith in Tony Tanner, the owner of Butcher & Grocer, and trusted him when he told us the local, sustainable chicken from King Family Farm was as good as it gets. But, we wanted to check it out for ourselves. So, we hopped into the car and headed down to southeast Ohio to meet the people behind the poultry.
It was a scorching-hot day—remember June?! —and we found J.B., the farm owner, giving his beautiful, healthy chickens aloe vera juice. "Cools them down," he said looking up. "Don't know how it works, just know it works." We liked him immediately. As the day progressed, and we met J.B.'s wife Charlene and the rest of the family, we grew more and more confident in our choice. The Kings do all sorts of things, large and small, to ensure the health and comfort of their animals. Their chickens spend their days in green pastures that are never sprayed with chemicals, and their nights protected from the elements. And the Kings never use antibiotics or growth hormones. "People always tell me our chicken tastes different," J.B. told us. "That's because it actually tastes the way it's supposed to." We were sold.
When we left the Kings, we headed to Shagbark Seed & Mill in Athens, which supplies us with our polenta. It's a small operation that produces food with great big flavor using old-fashioned equipment, and we loved seeing not only how they work, but what a great effect they're having on the local economy.
As we were driving home, we reflected on how lucky we are to be able to make a difference for so many. By choosing these high-quality, thoughtful producers and farmers to provide us with our ingredients, we're not only making sure our/your kids get the best there is, we're also helping Ohio communities grow stronger.