A few weeks ago, I was invited to check out the Victorian Farmstead owned by Adam and Laura Parks. Their logo is "Life's too short to eat crappy meat" which I thought was true and funny.
At Victorian Farmstead, their goal is to raise all natural, pasture-fed poultry and eggs. They are partners with Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranches (Tomales/Marin Co. area) for the best beef, Pete Langley of Langley Show Pigs (Petaluma) for the best pork and Chris Cornett (Marin Co. area) for the best lamb as well as the Parks Family. All of these guys are local and grew up in the area. In fact, my mom went to school with all of them but Mr. Langley.
When we first got there, I was greeted by Adam, his son Jackson and Jackson's friend. We headed to the chop shop which is where you can pick out fresh meat to buy. We checked out the eggs he had. I brought a store bought egg and Adam gave me a Victorian Farmstead egg. I cracked them both open to see the difference. The one from Adam was actually very hard to open. The store bought egg was light yellow and mushy and fell apart when you first picked it up. The Victorian Farmstead egg was a dark orange, like almost a Giants orange, and its membrane was hard to break, very hard. The yolk was thick and sticky. The store bought egg was slimy and runny and it did not stick to your finger at all.
We then went and checked out the meat chickens which were a few weeks old. When they first arrive at the farm the chicks are in the brood room in the barn first for two weeks, then they go into the pens or “coops” for two weeks, and finally out on pasture for the last 4 weeks until they are harvested. Adam keeps them in these things he calls tractors. They all looked very happy. The laying chickens live next door and are free range all over their property.
At the completion of our tour of the farm, we went back to the chop shop and purchased some eggs, a chicken and some steaks to try. Adam gave me a complimentary sample of ground burger which was excellent and some quail eggs to try which I absolutely love and some really great bacon. The quail eggs are very small and buttery and you can't even taste the egg white.
My mom roasted the chicken using a recipe from Tyler Florence. It's stuffed with onion, garlic, citrus and herbs and the skin is coated with herb butter and then the chicken is wrapped in bacon and roasted. It turned out to be very, very good. We bought a rib eye and a fillet Mignon steak from Adam to try. We bought a store bought rib eye and fillet to compare. My parents had me blind taste each steak and out of all the steaks, I loved the one's from Adam. Those were the ones I picked. They had more flavor, they were juicy and very tender.
The Victorian Farmstead is located at: 1220 Gravenstein Hwy. North (corner of Mill Station Rd. and Gravenstein Hwy. N.) in Sebastopol. Here is the link to their website: http://www.vicfarmmeats.com/