farmer ben: local meat the right way

Sometimes in this world you meet really good people.  Genuinely, kind-natured, caring people who are doing good by their word.  If these same people can bring food to our table and provide us with healthy sustenance, it is truly a blessing.

I am not a big meat eater, but my husband and Beckett more than make of for my abstinence.  Beckett is all about protein – eggs, fish, beans, milk, yogurt, steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers – anything that will help build those toddler muscles and sustain her endless supply of energy.  Jacob is the same, sans the beans and yogurt.  He’s a carnivore at heart.  My two weaknesses when it comes to animal protein are bacon and pulled pork sandwiches.  I love bacon – crispy, well degreased bacon.  On fried egg sandwich it’s irresistible.  And, I am always revisiting pulled pork recipes and perfecting what I think is the perfect (a bit of spicy and a touch of sweet) combination.

After our beef farmer, Bennett Farms in Everson, unexpectedly retired – we went on a full fledged hunt to find a one-stop meat shop.  A place where we could get beef AND pork.  Free range beef is relatively easy to come by in our area, but pork that has been raised naturally and humanely is a real specialty.  After a meandering roundabout involving friends, facebook and emails, we found Farmer Ben in Lynden, Washington.

The farm, the meat, the people and the genuine hospitality are what this practice of eating local is all about.  The farm has a extensive selection of beef, chicken, pork and fresh eggs.  Hours vary, so make sure you check their website, facebook page or call before swinging by.

What I like love cherish about Farmer Ben’s:

  • All of their meat is pasture raised and we can walk the fields after we do our “grocery shopping”.
  • The meat prices are competitive and affordable.
  • They have bacon.  And, it’s Berkshire.  The hoighty-toighty, really good kind of heirloom pork that you find mentioned by name on fancy restaurant menus.
  • I can call Ben’s other-half, Jess, on the phone and she knows me by my first name.
  • Jess and I can talk about turnaround life at the refinery because both our husbands work there in the same unit.  It’s another reminder that our county is both small and big and that we are all intertwined in one way or another.
  • The farm has its very own version of the pig Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web.  Her name is Flower and after the hardy combination of her will to survive and Jess’s determination to keep her alive through a spoon-fed a diet of scrambled eggs and Gatorade as a piglet – she’ll never hit the butcher block.
  • My daughter can see animals in action.  Pigs snorting and rooting.  Roosters strutting their man feathers.  And, cows acting like, well, cows.
  • Farmer Ben’s is a family operation.  Working parents with children.  Land that they own and work themselves.  And, animals who are being raised the right way and meat that is a privilege to eat.

Farmer Ben’s

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