Katherine Anderson, organic pasture farmer; Blue Oak Ranch, Goleta
A visit to Katherine Anderson’s Blue Oak Ranch is a lesson in dating. Her heritage turkeys took to me with a peck, a cluck, and a flirty strut. If I turned left, there they were. If I walked right, ditto. “They are full of energy at this age,” says Anderson of her flock, a form of Thanksgiving payday; she raises and processes each just in time for the holiday.
Anderson’s Blue Oak Ranch provides a local—and organic—alternative to factory-grown turkeys and chickens sold in super markets. Her six acres in the foothills of Goleta provide amble natural grazing for her chickens, turkeys, and goats. They roam freely or in moveable pens that allow constant access to fresh greens and fresh air—something industrial-raised chickens never see. She tends to her flock daily, moving the pens to a new patch of pasture, administering a high dose of tender loving care (instead of antibiotics) and tucking them in at night before she leaves for the day.