Bennett Farms is a local farm in Everson, Washington that sells beef to customers directly (big plus!) and also to local retail stores in the county. The farm is located smack dab between Lynden and Everson and is a quick drive from our house. I had been on their website before and knew that the meat they sold was not organic, but I wanted to learn more. A few weeks ago I talked to Ron Bennett over the phone and asked him about his cows. If you have been following the blog you know that one of our family’s goals is to buy both local and organic. It’s a tall order and I have already been presented with the conundrum of choosing between big local, small local and organic and non-organic. Bennett Farms is about as local as you can get, but I wanted to know “why” they weren’t organic and what made their meat different than what I had seen at the local grocery store.
When I talked to Ron on the phone, he sold me on his meat – hook, line and sinker. Why would a loyal organic buying, not particularly meat eating gal decide to buy this meat? Two things: First, Ron was honest – he told me exactly what his cows eat. His cows grow up on their mothers’ milk and then they eat the grass that grows on their farm. Nothing else. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The grass is grown naturally and sustainably – fertilized with the cows’ own manure and watered from the glorious rain of Washington. And, second, he made me laugh! I asked him what kind of cows he had and he told me that they are Hereford-Angus. To quote him, “the Hereford has a sweet meat and the Angus has a big butt”. Sounded like the perfect combination! Ron also went into detail about the organic certification process and the lengthy steps that are required to become organic certified. Bennett Farms is as close to organic as you can get without being certified organic. And, I am more than okay with that.
So, last weekend, we headed to Bennett Farms. We were the eager customers that showed up at 1:00pm sharp (mainly because we had killed 45 minutes driving around rural Whatcom County because I thought they opened at 12:00pm – whoops!), Beckett fell asleep on our scenic drive and then we realized we forgot cash, had to turn around and stop by the ATM (something Jacob reminded me over and over again that we could have done on our scenic drive…). But, we got there and we had money in hand to buy our beef! Marilyn Bennett, Ron’s wife, runs the retail store and was wonderfully helpful and friendly. Jacob scoped out the meat cuts while Beckett and I said hello to the farm animals. It was truly delightful to see my daughter’s excitement touching and petting the horses and cows. She was beyond ecstatic and continued to mimic the “moos” and “neighs” long after we had left the farm. Seeing her interact with the livestock and touching the very animals that were providing our sustenance completely reinforced my commitment to buy local. We chose the right farm with the right food. I am infinitely pleased that I was able to give my family high quality food at a reasonable price and support a local company. It was not just a quick shopping trip the grocery store, it was an experience for all three of us. A true day at the farm!
Thank you Bennett Farms!
Bennett Farms http://www.bennettsranch.com/