It all began with a small plot of land, a desire to grow our own food and a gift of eight chicks.
In 2008 we moved to a new home where we were able to start growing some herbs and vegetables for our family. Shortly thereafter, we received a gift of eight chicks, and we were excited about the prospect of having fresh eggs each day.
Much to our surprise, five of the eight chicks grew into roosters! As new farmers, we didn’t entertain the idea of keeping the roosters. Fortunately we met another local farmer who was raising chickens, and we traded the roosters for hens.
As any new chicken owner knows, the joys of having hens are immense! We soon caught chicken fever and decided to get just a few more hens. Soon our little flock had grown to 25, and the girls were laying up a storm. In addition to all of the great eggs, the hens were producing lots of manure, which we composted and used as organic fertilizer for our plants.
The chicken manure really made a difference in our growing. What started out as a few potted plants quickly grew into an abundant garden comprised of hundreds of containers filled with herbs, tomatoes and vegetables. We soon realized that we had created our own little nursery.
We had embraced nature, and we were rewarded bountifully. Farriss Farm was born.
To share our bounty with others in our community, we joined our local green market. Our beautiful organically-raised plants were well-received, but we soon found that our farm fresh eggs were the true stars of the market.
In order to meet the growing demand for eggs, we decided to focus our efforts on raising hens full-time. We leased 10 acres of pasture and procured 650 day-old chicks. About six months later, we were off to the markets with our farm fresh eggs. As customers experienced our wonderful eggs, we soon were asked for chicken meat that tasted as great as our eggs.
Where in Florida would one find sustainable, pasture-raised chicken meat that was produced and harvested humanely? Not knowing the answer, we decided to find out! We made calls to some local farmers that we knew. After several calls, we learned of a farmer in north Florida who had 300 pasture-raised, soy-free/GMO-free heritage chickens available. We were excited to meet this farmer so we traveled over 260 miles one-way to meet her. The farmer’s methods were to our “clean meat” standards: no hormones, no antibiotics, no GMOs, no soy and no chemicals on the pastures. We happily brought these chickens to market, and they were a big hit.
In no time, customers were asking for more great meat! We soon added organically-raised, grass-fed/grass-finished beef and soy-free/GMO-free pasture-raised Berkshire pork to our offerings. That was just the beginning. 2010 was truly a transformative year for Farriss Farm. We developed the standards that guide our company today. Our quest for Meat Done Right℠ had begun.