Remember Sam the Butcher from The Brady Bunch? He was the friendly neighborhood butcher who made sure that Mike, Carol, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy – and let’s certainly not forget Alice – were always well fed and never left his shop without a smile on their face. In a day and age when grocery shopping can be done online and delivered right to your door, the notion of the local butcher has long since faded and is sometimes only triggered by the smell of cow pastures along Highway 5 while driving through the Central Valley.
If you are feeling a twang of nostalgia for your local butcher, you need to meet Travis Potter of Potter Family Farms. Travis is one of our newest farmers at the Saturday Virginia Park Farmers’ Market. He is so full of energy and enthusiasm, he is hard to miss. Potter Family Farms raises organic, homegrown beef, pork, lamb and poultry, including rare heritage breeds. Lately, Travis’s stand has been filled with dozens of varieties of sausage and chorizo, as well as bacon, beef kebobs and different cuts of pork and lamb. Some of his meats even come with delicious marinades. Talking with Travis is like having a conversation with an encyclopedia of meats. He is extremely knowledgeable about all of his products and is always happy to give you new ideas and recipes. Travis is so passionate about farming and has all kinds of projects in the works. Closer to the holidays, he will be bringing poultry to the market. In the future, he hopes to bring sheep’s milk, cheese and even ice cream to the market.
Potter Family Farms truly is a large family farm; Travis has five young kids and a sixth on the way. The entire Potter family works on the farm, and he plans on passing the farm to his kids when they grow up. Travis loves having a large family. “Most mornings I wake up with all the kids at the foot of our bed, kind of like Mama and Papa Bear with all their cubs snuggled up against them. Not a whole lot of room for this country boy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I realize soon they will be grown and gone.”
To the Potter’s, homegrown “is producing something you love in the soil you till as it enriches every year. It is valuing the type of produce you grow, its heritage…it is saving seeds so that you can enjoy the same old world flavor years from now. It is hand-pulling weeds instead of using chemicals. Homegrown is enjoying what you produce, a passion for real things, a deep understanding of where food comes from.”
If you want to taste true homegrown goodness, make sure to visit Travis at Potter Family Farms at the Saturday Virginia Park Farmers’ Market. Just like Sam the Butcher, you will leave with a smile on your face. Check out the Potter Family Farms website at www.potterfamilyfarms.com.