I recently moved to the Bay Area from NYC, and I am looking for a new supplier of grass-fed beef (or other pastured meat). Preferably I would like to buy an entire cow, to save as much money as possible. I have a car and am willing to travel to transport the meat.
Does anyone in the area have a farm they regularly work with?
I like Marin Sun Farms and Prather Ranch. You can pick up some Prather Ranch at many of the farmers markets to try it out. Marin Sun has only two outlets but I suggest you try before you commit to an entire cow. Not that Marin Sun Farms isn't good. I just highly recommend buying a small quantity from any farm first just to make sure it tastes good to you.
Marin Sun has a great meat CSA if you don't want to go with a full cow. Prather Ranch sells whole, half and quarter cows.
Welcome to the Bay Area! I'm up here in Sonoma County and we have several ranchers up here. Not knowing exactly where you are, I plugged in San Francisco into the Local Harvest Search and came up with the following list:
there are a lot, however due to the limited slaughterhouses, availability and cuts can be limited. just keep this in mind that you might not be able to get certain offal, etc. because of this i tend to order a lot from other parts of the country, but if you want an entire local cow and have the room to store it, that's easier in the bay area.
http://eatwild.com has lots of listings, as well as this page: http://bamcsa.ning.com/notes/Ranchers
Thank you Grace for the information regarding Prather Ranch. I am happy to head it's not quite grain but am still angry that they weren't completely honest so I'm no longer going to patronize that business.
I did find another vendor that I like very much. They are smaller that Marin Sun Farms but their product is excellent and I am very pleased with all the cuts I have tried. The great thing is that they use mobile slaughter so the cows are not stressed by being put into trucks and transported to slaughter. You can find them at some farmers markets but can order online very easily in large quantities or smaller ones.
I love MSF but I really like to support smaller operations when I can. Competition is a good thing in this market!
Full Moon Ranch, in Hopland,CA is a very small scale operation that sells grass-fed and finished free range Beef in quantities of quarter/half/full animal, available generally in April or October. Contact at (415) 933-4719 for more information.