Things that require unmeasurable work and passion tend to be known as labors of love. Bread may be an obvious labor of love to bakers and their friends, but so too is raising guinea hens, chickens, turkeys, and three coyote-hunting dogs—all free range, could-be-if-they-wanted-to-be certified organic—on a small farm.
Oxheart supported David and Cheri Glover of Tejas Heritage Farm for a few years now, and only now after we shut our doors did I set aside time to visit the farm in Cleveland, Texas. I asked my father to join me because he was blown away by the flavor of their chicken. It reminded him of how chickens used to taste back home in Hong Kong.
I learned that it’s about a 4:1 ratio of certified-organic feed to realised protein on the chicks, and the birds here take almost twice as long to grow up to market size (than conventionally raised chicks) because they get to grow naturally. The feed is necessary to supplement the pasture diet. The birds need a balanced diet to grow and stay healthy.
The ducks hang out in the pond.
Baby guinea hens are easily scared.
The chickens, they are pretty much only interested in eating.
Their turkeys—my Thanksgiving tradition.
I totally stuck my nose into their pen and responded with, “It smells pretty good in there.”
There are sunflowers and wild dewberry on their farm. Two things I love.
David and Cheri can never both travel away from the farm or have a date-night in the city because if they did, who will rally the birds into their pens at dusk so they can be safe from coyotes? In case you missed the first time we served turkey at Oxheart, it was because the coyotes ate the rest of our allocation.
Everything sold at market is hand-butchered. Hand-butchered on the farm by David himself. This means no big processing plant with chemicals to keep your chicks clean from another farm’s chicks.
David handed me two packages of chicken hearts before we left. Cheri shared with me her recipe for cooking them. They know how to take care of others. This is a poultry farm you want to visit.
Visit them at the Eastside Market or Woodlands Market for your retail needs. Learn about their rabbits, hens, chickens, wild boar, ducks, and more: tejasheritagefarm.com