Greener Pastures: A Tour of Marin Sun Farms from Ranch to Butcher Shop
Friday, May 10, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (PDT)
Learn all about local animal agriculture systems on this three-stop tour of Marin Sun Farms’ operations. Fourth-generation rancher and owner David Evans, who brings sustainably produced beef, chicken, lamb, goat, turkey, pork, duck, and eggs to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, will show us around Rogers Ranch in Point Reyes, where he raises livestock on picturesque pasture. The bus tour will include a rare visit to Marin Sun’s facility in San Francisco, where whole carcasses are broken down into primal cuts, portioned, and packed for sale at the farmers markets and other customer outlets. We will also see the Point Reyes restaurant and butcher shop, where butchers prepare meat cuts for use in the kitchen and in the retail meat counter. There we will enjoy Marin Sun Farms sandwiches and a market salad made by CUESA.
The consolidation of the meat industry in the hands of a few giant corporations has left little room for local, sustainable production by small-scale ranchers. Small slaughter and processing operations across the country have been closing because high costs, one-size-fits-all regulations, and low profit margins have made it difficult to compete. Evans is working to increase local and sustainable meat availability in our Northern California foodshed by building a vertically integrated network of co-producers and processing centers. Come learn more about Marin Sun’s model of stewardship and sustainability, and find out why it’s more important than ever to know where your meat comes from.
The tour costs $25, including lunch and round-trip transportation from the Ferry Building in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus. You will also have the opportunity to purchase meat at the Point Reyes Station butcher shop.
Please note: We will not be visiting a slaughterhouse or viewing the slaughter process. However, the tour could be disturbing to people not accustomed to seeing whole animal carcasses. There is no official minimum age, but the content of the tour is geared toward adults. Please consider carefully before deciding to bring children.
Where to meet: Meet at the Ferry Building (in the front, south side of the clocktower). Be there by 8:00 am; we leave at 8:15 am. Please be prompt! We cannot wait for stragglers.
Note: The weather could be very dry and hot, or it could be cool and windy. We will spend time both outdoors and indoors. Please wear closed-toed, sturdy shoes.
What to bring: water bottle, sun protection, layered clothing, and a hat. Also consider bringing snacks, a camera, a book or other entertainment for the bus, and cash for purchases.
We will do our best to return by 4:30 pm, but traffic conditions can be unpredictable and we can't guarantee punctual arrival.
This tour is organized by CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), as part of our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. CUESA organizes 5-6 tours each year to Ferry Plaza Farmers Market farms and artisan food businesses in order to give eaters a first hand look at where their food comes from and how it is produced. For more information or to sign up for our weekly email newsletter, visit www.cuesa.org.
We sincerely thank our farm tour sponsor, First National Bank of Northern California, for underwriting tour costs and Coach 21 for providing a discount on the bus charter fee.