Get a taste of local food, farm
April 29, 2014
FORT BENNING, Ga., (April 30, 2014) -- White Oak Pastures is on a long stretch of highway in Bluffton, Ga., - it's hard to miss. Only an hour and 20 minutes from Columbus, this is a gem anyone would be glad to live close to.
If you are looking for something different to do, try taking a trip to White Oak Pastures for a tour and a good meal.
My tour guide was Jenni Harris, a daughter of Will Harris, the farm's owner. She is part of the fifth generation of farmers that run White Oak Pastures along with her two sisters.
The farm is only one of two USDA-inspected abattoirs in the country. They raise a number of animals including cows, rabbits, chickens, and lamb. They also grow a myriad of produce, which you can buy through their seasonal community-supported agriculture or during Columbus' Market Days.
When you take a tour of the farm, you also get a chance to eat at what Jenni Harris said was a big dining table instead of a restaurant because of the community-oriented nature of the farm.
The family will be expanding their agritourism in the future to include log cabins and outdoor activities, such as fishing and hunting. But what they offer now is just as exhilarating.
As a new member of their community-supported agriculture, it was a chance to see the food grown that they bring each Saturday to Columbus.
Lunch consists of ingredients grown mostly from the farm and visitors are able to eat alongside White Oak Pasture's employees. The informal seating creates a cozy feeling on a hot day.
You'll also get a firsthand look at how they treated and raised their animals. There were no secrets and the farm was transparent.
According to their website, the beef and lamb are certified grass-fed and certified Humane Raised and Handled. The farm is also USDA organic certified. The cattle are Step 4 rated and their chicken are Step 5 rated by the Global Animal Partnership. The processing plant is Animal Welfare Approved.
If you are looking to support locally raised food with a humane and sustainable outlook, White Oak Pastures is a good place to start. They offer educational classes and an occasional event for those interested in greener pastures.
For more information about White Oak Pastures, visit their website wwww.whiteoakpastures.com.