"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels...
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles"
~ Maria, The Sound of Music
Food, food, food!! 'Tis the season people! Christmas parties, Christmas dinners, baking, cooking, roasting, basting.....and on and on it goes. But do you ever stop to think about where exactly all that food you are consuming is coming from? Where does Mrs. Butterball get all those turkeys that are pre-buttered, pre-stuffed and dare I say it pre-packaged? How many Christmas hams are going in the oven this year and do you know how those hams came to be or where they are from? I think about these things a lot....
About a year ago I met a lovely man named Jered Serben. He is a fourth generation farmer. He raises pigs, chickens, turkeys and lamb. I told him how I could not handle the smell of pork anymore and was wondering why. And then he told me about how most pork is farmed and brought to the shelves at your local supermarket. It is really not a pretty picture (these places are called piggeries, think factory for pigs!) and it explains a lot.
|NOT a Free-Range farm!|
He challenged me to try his pork and taste (smell?) the difference. I did and I am SO glad! Because I really do like pork and bacon and ham and bacon and sausages and bacon. (Wait, did I say that already?) Needless to say, one tenderloin later, I was a complete convert and I no longer buy pork products from the grocery store.
Serben Free Range is a family-owned, fourth generation farm, near Smoky Lake, Alberta (about an hour northeast of Edmonton). They supply free-range meat to Edmonton and surrounding areas. In their own words:
We produce free-range pork, lamb, turkey and chicken. We also supply pastured, grass-fed beef. No hormones, antibiotics or additives are used, and animals are free to roam. We raise our poultry only through the summer, as we like them to be out in the grass and sunshine, not inside a barn.
If you live in Edmonton or surrounding areas, and are looking for local, farm-fresh, free-range meat from humanely-raised animals, you can purchase online, or contact us for delivery options. We can deliver your product to your home (Mondays 5-8 p.m), or you can pick it up at some of the various city and surrounding area Farmer's Market's (see website for updates).
I received another delivery a few weeks ago from Serben Free Range and have since had another fabulous pork tenderloin, some very delicious pork chops that I simply pan-fried with Greek spices and we had the bacon this weekend (you SERIOUSLY have to try the bacon!!). I also have a huge free-range chicken just waiting for the right night to be cooked and some of these amazing sausages that I think I might break out this weekend.
Jered and his girlfriend Julia are forging ahead with Serben Free Range and are looking at getting some if not all of their products Certified Organic as well. I am also looking forward to tasting some of their garden produce next year! In the mean time, I believe that buying from our local farmers is very important and I like knowing exactly where my food is coming from. And I also appreciate the farmers, like Jered and Julia, that strive to use natural, sustainable farming practices.
|Serben Free Range farm in the winter|
|Pigs.... well, being pigs!!|
They have a very user-friendly online ordering system on the Serben Free Range website and you simply have to click on your favourite products and pay via Paypal (credit card) or cash/cheque and choose either to have your items delivered right to your door, or you can pick them up at the local farmers markets on Saturdays (St. Albert and City Centre Markets until December 18, 2010).
Please mention Natural Urban Mamas in the Additional Comments section of the online check-out system at www.serbenfreerange.com.
Now go get yourself some bacon and a Christmas ham too!