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Jimenez Family Farm

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Marcie and Gustavo Jimenez run the kind of farm that largely exists in the imaginations of romantic city-dwellers: they grow rows of vegetables and orchards of fruit alongside horses, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits and a few dogs and cats. This is anything and everything but the type of monocrop operation that dominates American farming today.

The Jimenezes have chosen to forgo organic certification, much to the dismay of some farmers' market regulars, but their reason is something to ponder: they don't approve of how many chemicals are allowed in organic growing. (The frequent problem with being a food nerd: once you think you've got it all figured out, a farmer drops new insider info on you.)

Jimenez Family Farm sells a lot of meat in addition to their produce and preserved and baked goods. If ever there were meat ranchers vegetarians could respect, these are they. Yes, the Jimenezes have been picketed for selling rabbit. But they also only raise as many pigs as they can keep happy (no more than about four at a time), the goats and sheep spend their lives frolicking in an open field, and Marcie turns down requests for bulk orders of just one cut of meat. "One person called and asked for 10 racks of lamb for a dinner party. People don't think about what it means to kill that many animals and only eat one piece of meat from each one," says Marcie.

Something for us all to ponder.

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