Some folks go to Maine, some the Berkshires and Martha’s Vineyard, there’s always a huge contingent that visits the Cape and then, there’s us. We visit farms and butcher shops whenever and wherever we are.
This summer we got lucky, we went out to the San Francisco Bay Area and visited butcher shops (check out Avedano’s if you are in San Francisco anytime soon) and then spent some time with Bill and Nicolette Niman on their ranch in Bolinas. Their ranch studded with gorgeous grass-fed steer is perhaps the most beautiful farm we have ever seen. The land runs right down into the Pacific Ocean and at certain spots you can see the Golden Gate Bridge peeking through the ever-present fog.
Bill Niman is a cattle and turkey rancher in Northern California, proprietor of BN Ranch, and Founder of the natural meat company Niman Ranch, Inc. He has been providing naturally raised beef, pork, and lamb to fine restaurants and retailers for more than thirty years. In contrast to the conventional meat industry, Niman’s animals are always raised using traditional husbandry methods, eschewing hormones, antibiotics, and slaughterhouse feed additives.
Niman has been named “Food Artisan of the Year” by Bon Appetit magazine, the “Master of Meat” by Wine Spectator, the “Guru of Happy Cows” by the Los Angeles Times, “a pioneer of the good meat movement” by the New York Times, “the Steve Jobs of Meat” by Men’s Journal, and a “Pork Pioneer” by Food & Wine. He has also won numerous awards, including the “best bacon….hands down winner” by Cook’s Illustrated. You get the point.
We’ve long been fans of Bill Niman and his philosophy and so this was as much a trip to pay homage as it was to check out his turkey operation. This year we are fortunate enough to be offering BN Ranch’s pastured turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday and so we wanted to see “our” birds in action.
Bill and Nicolette are raising a number of different breeds, each more striking than the next. They are the direct descendants of five distinct old breeds (Standard Bronze, Narragansett, Bourbon Red, White Holland, and Spanish Black). On the Nimans’ ranch the flock is allowed to roam freely on grassy pastures most of the year, grazing and foraging to supplement their all-natural grain and soy vegetarian diet. They are never fed antibiotics or other chemicals to promote growth or replace good animal husbandry.
Right now they are busy roaming, getting fat and waiting for the inevitable to come. So you should get busy as well and order yours today.
Our turkeys are $8.99/lb., (Heritage Turkey Label) order forms can be picked up at either location or orders may be called in. A $20 deposit is required for every order, which will be returned in case of cancellation. All sizes are approximate. Since these are FRESH not frozen turkeys we cannot be sure of exact weights until the last moment. We will try to fulfill your requirements as closely as we can though we do retain the right to offer a turkey within a four pound margin. We suggest you place your order based on ½ to ¾ lb. per person. A pound per person will give you ample leftovers.