In an effort to explore where our food comes from and who supplies it, where it goes, and what it looks like when you get it, I started looking for suppliers in my region . I was looking for Southern suppliers and suppliers who are doing it on the smaller scale. Terms like organic, free range, quality of life, local, family are what I was seeking out. I started this project last year by shooting a SC shrimper ( view it here ).
I am not sure where this project is going or even what to call it ( suggestions are welcome! ), but I am going to continue to shoot a few more of these stories and see where it takes me.
The direction it took me most recently was to Patrick Springs VA and to Border Springs Farm and Shepherd Craig Rogers. Craig runs a farm that supplies lamb to many many regional restaurants and renowned chefs. He handles about 600 ewes on his farm with the help of his Border Collies and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs that live in the fields with the sheep. Craig raises both Kathadin and Texel sheep. And his farm bears both the “Certified Naturally Grown” and “Animal Welfare Approved” seals!
I found out about Border Springs Farms through Twitter. Really. Craig and I follow a few of the same chefs on Twitter and I had seen his tweets, so I looked him up and thought his farm would be perfect for a part of this project. So, a few emails back and forth and soon I was driving up his driveway one sunny March morning. Craig couldn’t have been a better host and showed me all around his farm and let me tag along as he did his chores and checked up on his herds. We checked on the young lambs and looked for newborn orphans, who will then be bottle fed and kept in the barn. Craig worked along side his dogs as he cleaned up briars and stickers off the sheep, and I took photos. I could see that he deeply cares for his animals and that they are treated very well. This translates into a superior product, and it shows in the rave reviews he gets from chefs – “Craig raises his lamb humanely and you can tell by the quality that they have lived a happy life. The consistency of his product is, by far, the best I have seen in the region. The flavor is all lamb, what every chef is looking for; great mineral characteristics that does not over shadow the mild grassiness in the finish. I am proud to feature Border Springs Farm Lamb on my menu at VOLT.” Bryan Voltaggio, Chef/Owner, Volt
All in all, I enjoyed my day on the farm and look forward to shooting a dish with one his chefs!