Farmers are real rock stars this time of year, working long hours in the fields to harvest crops. For me, autumn brings feelings of nostalgia about past harvest seasons. I’m reminded that the wonderful abundance that surrounds me is the result of strenuous fieldwork done through the summer months. I remember those hot, sweaty days when my dad had us pick up rocks from the fields so we could avoid any damage they might cause our combine during harvest. My sister and I used to spend days’ riding the “rock-picker,” which was hitched to the back of the tractor. We jumped off each time we found a rock and hurled it back into the picker’s bucket. Soil stuck to our sweaty faces as we scoped the landscape for more. It’s the kind of work you don’t hear much about. But it’s this kind of difficult task that brings another harvest we can all be thankful for.
As with pork, beef and lamb, our eggs are laid by hens raised with all vegetarian feed, in housing approved by the Humane Farm Animal Care and American Humane Certified programs (cage-free) and are never-ever given antibiotics. This means they’re humanely raised, cage-free eggs that don’t contain the chemicals and medicines you find in most store-bought eggs.
Now, all egg producers selling in California have less than four months to establish similar, more humane standards for laying hens because of Proposition 2, also known as the California Standards for Confining Farm Animals Act. This new law will go into effect on January 1, 2015, so we’d like to share some information on what makes this proposition worth talking about.
One of our team members, Rich Sanders, is a huge fan of football. Family and friends gather every fall in his living room to watch their favorite team play, but they don’t just come to root for the home team.
Rich’s nieces all say “Uncle Rich’s is the place to feed your face,” and with football season in full swing, he wants to share some of the crowd-pleasers that keep his couch filled year after year.
His first recipe, Niman Ranch Bacon-wrapped Gulf Shrimp, is one of the family’s favorites. They love how the smoky bacon flavors the Gulf shrimp and the pop in spice from the jalapeño.
The fourth Thursday of November is not just all about the food; it’s traditionally a time to give thanks and build memories with loved ones. Our immediate outpouring of gratitude always seems to focus on families and friends, the turkey, stuffing and afternoon football. But Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks for all of the great, influential people in our lives.
That being said, we’d like to thank our independent family farmers, all of whom work hard every day, year after year to make sure their land and animals are treated as well as possible. Regardless of corn prices, gas prices or weather, our farmers and ranchers continue to practice farming traditions they believe are right. They’re able to pass land onto their children, help mitigate environmental issues like soil erosion and raise animals that are happy and healthy. For this, we are thankful every day of the year.