Dear family, friends and customers of Early Bird Ranch, this is Tony, a long time friend of Kevin's, writing to all of you after spending nearly a week farming with both Kevin and ShaeLynn. I am not a farmer but have a passion for cooking, nutrition, and physical health. My passions are a byproduct of having spent most of my adult life pursuing a career in professional soccer and dealing with two major surgeries. Currently, I'm traveling North America by sharing rides I find with people over craigslist and hitchhiking, spending, no more than 2 or 3 days in each location. However, when I arrived at Early Bird Ranch I knew this place was special and I had to stay longer.
I've known Kevin for nearly 16 years, and I never would have thought he’d become a farmer. However, I believe it's this very fact that makes both Kevin and ShaeLynn the amazing farmers that they are. They approach each day like a child ready and eager for all the new experiences that lie ahead. However, unlike the cliché farmer, they possess the wisdom and long-term perspective to care for their land and animals in ways that go beyond simple considerations of the balance book.
|Fresh goat cheese!|
One of the best parts of the trip was sharing the bounty of the farm! I may have been a farmer for the week but I ate like royalty. Having a chance to eat their premier birds was an experience, as was cooking with them. We even made our own fresh goat cheese for lasagna. Having grown up with great Spanish cooks in my family in conjunction to my own culinary experiences in Spain I must say it was a pleasure cooking with such high quality ingredients. ShaeLynn gladly relinquished her kitchen so I could cook a couple meals, which came out delightful. The highlight was the Spanish chicken croquetas, which were made with nearly 100% farm ingredients. One thing I learned early on in my culinary pursuits is that a chicken is not one meal but the base of many. In the case of the croquetas we used the chicken stock, left over chicken shreds from the carcass, a bit of their goat milk to make the roué and their farm eggs to dip before breading and frying. I could truly appreciate what Kevin and ShaeLynn have been doing when I was able to take a little bit of everything of their farm to make something as simple and unexpecting as croquetas into the highlight dish of our evening’s supper.
It was truly a pleasure spending the week with them working on the land and helping them prep for their upcoming batch of birds. My time with them only reinforced my love and appreciation for what Kevin and ShaeLynn do. They live a lifestyle that is good for their health and the land, and have found a way to share it with the community around the—influencing people’s lives one bird at a time.