Mary’s Meadow Farm is a small, family owned, Catholic farm that operates in and around White Post, Virginia. America’s desire for wholesome, local and unadulterated food is certainly on the rise and we started raising our own animals for consumption a few years ago to keep our families healthy and offer the best understanding to our children of the realities behind the food we eat.
Our decision may be the worst thing we’ve ever done! I mean this in a perfectly honest way. It is now almost impossible for us to go out to eat without feeling “gross” or unsatisfied with the quality of food we just consumed. We have, without any special secrets or process, simply become accustomed to the way food is supposed to taste; a return to our not so distant ancestry. If you have not ever had a chance to read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, you should. In America’s not too distant past, the landscape was quite different, the people more resilient and agriculture much less commercial. These resilient people built this great nation and it is a great inspiration to anyone who wishes to hold on to some of the finer aspects of our historical beginnings as Americans.
The disconnect between the animals, the process, the work and the food has “devalued” one of the most important purchases you make on a daily basis. Every day American’s spend and fill themselves with cheap imitations of food, something with a barely acceptable nutritional value. We have become accustomed to the ever decreasingly priced value meals that offer a calorie intense reprieve coupled with the worst possible input the human body can sustain.
What’s so different about local farms, small family owned operations and the products churned out by agricultural empires? Billions of dollars of industry should certainly be able to defeat the smallest producers in both quality and quantity, and perhaps one day they shall. But with all bureaucracy comes a dissociation, lack of pride, and failure to implement the meaningful input that small producers can attain.
A small scale farmer knows his herd, his crop, there is a personal interaction with each animal and plant. You watch them daily, you can see if something is wrong or different. You can see if something is lacking and correct it in a meaningful way. The answers for a small farmer do not come through massive financial computations that suggest either a mass slaughter of the herd to prevent loss, or never ending anti-biotic treatments, they come from an irreplaceable feeling a gut instinctual “wisdom” that can only come from experience and care.
We want to take care of our families and ourselves in the best way possible, we do so by raising our animals with the best care, tirelessly working and struggling in our efforts to provide the best husbandry practices possible and in so doing, we cultivate happy, healthy animals, and create quality sustainable food for our families and those in our community. We have a profound respect for animals, our children and those we provide with quality food. The importance of knowing your food’s source can not be over emphasized.
We do not churn out “faceless” meat blobs, we raise animals to sustain real people in real communities in America.
Mary’s Meadow Farm isn’t big, in fact right now we only have around 8 cows most of which are calves, we have a few sheep a few pigs and we seasonally raise chickens. Sometimes we have a garden and offer fresh vegetables. It is like most small family owned businesses, we have limits, but we don’t cut corners and we pride ourselves on raising the best tasting, happiest, and greatest quality food you and your family can enjoy.
Thanks for being part of our journey to get back to the land and improve America’s failing agricultural system. The thousands of small farmers like ourselves around this area and the country thank you.
-The Forrester and Knepper Families