A customer from the start, and now a friend
By: Tana Butler (Sep 1, 2008)
I first met Jim Dunlop and his wife, Rebecca Thistlethwaite, at a farmers market, back when I started blogging about farms. I've visited the ranch several times, and have learned so much from both Jim and Rebecca about the importance of raising meat cleanly and sustainably...on grass, and not indoors. They have over 3000 chickens, and a varying number of pigs. The chickens are for eggs, and everything they eat goes into making those eggs the yellowest, tastiest eggs you can buy. Also the freshest eggs you can buy. (Eggs in grocery stores can be several weeks old!)
The pork, too, is so clean-tasting that I can no longer eat pork from the grocery store: I can literally taste the foulness of it, that comes from animals who are penned up and never see the light of day. Imagine how badly those places smell, and then imagine wanting to eat the meat raised in those conditions. Ugh.
Anyway, because of their integrity and intelligence, and the caring they put into raising livestock at TLC Ranch, these good people are my heroes, and also my good friends. I am fortunate to babysit their little girl, and I get "paid" in meat and eggs. What a luxury.
We are so blessed here in Santa Cruz to have ranchers with this level of commitment. That's why they have so many loyal customers. Tasty meat, tasty eggs! Whee!
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