I have many blessings in my life; and believe me, I count them most every single day. My husband is the kindest, most caring man (make that--person) on the planet; all of our children are happy, healthy, wonderful adults living productive lives; we have two brand new beautiful grand-babies; we live in paradise here in the hills of Boerne; I have a phenomenal vegetable garden that I lovingly tend to and from which I am able to share my bounties; and we have a rich circle of loving, caring wonderful friends.
If that's not enough (and in my book, that's plenty), we live in an area where we are able to buy local, fresh produce (in addition to what I grow) and clean, humanely raised and harvested meats. I dedicate today's post to those committed, hardworking people who put their heart and soul into doing what they do so their fellow Texans can eat healthy food that is essential to our well being. In fact, I've created a side-bar on my blog detailing who these wonderful vendors are along with contact information. But I'd like to share with you a little more about each of them. Please note that all these vendors (with the exception of Boggy Creek Farm in Austin) participate in the Pearl Farmer's Market in San Antonio, every Saturday from 9am-1pm.
L&M Beef - owned by Linda Perez and located in Floresville, TX. This is quite possibly the best beef I have ever tasted. All L&M beef is from calves born, raised and finished on grass in Texas. The calves are never given antibiotics or growth hormones and have been raised in a clean, healthy environment.
South Texas Heritage Pork - located in Floresville, Texas. The farm raises two types of rare heritage pigs--English Large Black and Tamworth, both originate from the Old English Hog line established in the 16th and 17th centuries. The meat is incredibly juicy and flavorful and their pigs are raised naturally, happily and are harvested humanely (they only have one bad day in their lives) and are never given any growth hormones, steroids or unnecessary antibiotics. This is not your ordinary grocery store pork.
Here is a sample of the bounty Harry and I took home from the Pearl Farmer's Market last weekend from L&M Beef and South Texas Heritage Pork. I see Short Ribs Braised in Porter Ale with Maple-Rosemary Glaze and Pork Pot Roast with Apricots, Cardamom and Ginger (possibly part of Thanksgiving dinner) in my future :) There's also a baggie of hard-to-find-cream peas I got at the market.
Thunder Heart Bison - You can find them at the Shape Ranch, Dimmit County, Texas. Thunder Heart is the only bison ranch in the United States to meet the stringent and exacting requirements of the Animal Welfare Institute as Animal Welfare Approved. This certification guarantees the consumer that the meat they are buying has been both humanely raised and harvested. And it is delicious.
San Antonio Farmer's Market Association - A local (South Texas) organization that offers resources as to where to buy locally grown produce, eggs, and grass fed beef. There is a Farmer's Market every day of the week in San Antonio (except Monday), May through December, and this website tells you where each market is and on what days (under the Contact Us tab). Great local resource.
Pearl Farmer's Market - located at the historic Pearl Brewery and a destination in San Antonio. I know my husband and I spend many Saturday mornings poking in and around this wonderful market. All Pearl Farmers Market vendors are located within a 150-mile radius of San Antonio, Texas, providing fresh, local, and seasonal products that they themselves planted, raised, and harvested. They are open 9am to 1pm every Saturday, year round. Check out the bounty of produce we scored this past weekend.
Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farms - located in Gonzales, Texas. I've never in my life seen or tasted mushrooms like this...they are incredibly fresh and H.U.G.E! This is a family owned and operated organization and I'm so thankful they are within our local range. Their portabella mushrooms are delicious either marinated and grilled, or stuffed with a crab meat, vegetable mixture. Email me and I'll give you my recipe :)
Boggy Creek Farm - located just a short drive up IH 35 in Austin, Texas. This is an incredible urban farm (yes, urban...like in-the-city-farm) that offers wonderful, grown-on-the-premises seasonal vegetables, eggs from laying hens, chicken, goat cheese/yogurt, honey and a variety of other locally produced products. It's a destination in and of itself and my daughter-in-law and I spent a wonderful morning at the farm earlier this year shopping for seasonal produce, taking pictures of the laying hens, and simply enjoying all this gem of a small family farm has to offer.
So...as you can see, my blessings are many. I know this is a long post and I hope I kept you interested throughout it. It's so important that we support local, family run enterprises such as these so they can continue to provide us the wonderful foods that they do. Doing so enriches all our lives.
And remember...It Really Is All About The Food! :-)
Roasted Salmon Frittata with Arugula and Mozzarella and of course, Mimosas
A Perfect Sunday brunch :)