Locally Produced Food Offers Advantages

Producers of local food in North Texas say it is a growing business that benefits from greater attention to “going green.”

At Rehoboth Ranch near Greenville, free-range pigs come running for extra food when Owner Robert Hutchins arrives, even after gorging on nuts in the woods all day.

His cattle crowd close when people come near, thinking it may be time for them to rotate to the next even greener pasture.

“It's the exact same principal for all of the animals, we put them in their natural environment, make sure that they stay there in a low stress way and eat only their natural food,” Hutchins said.

Rehoboth means “God’s Place” in Hebrew and that’s what the ranch is for the animals there.

Thanksgiving may be coming, but the turkeys still enjoy heaven on earth until the very last minute.

“The turkeys in a factory farm are going to be raised in a confinement house, it's going to be tens of thousands of turkeys, under cover, they never go outside, they never breath fresh air,” Hutchins said.

Food produced on his farm does not travel far to dinner tables.  It is only sold in places like the Texas Meats counter at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.  Three different producers within 60 miles of Dallas market products there.

“We’re only down here two days a week because we are farming, and our customers have learned to adjust to that,” said Cristy Cox of Truth Hill Farm near Farmersville.

Products at Texas Meats cost more than grocery store prices, but customers are willing to pay for the health and flavor.

“We don't waste, because it's so good, we eat every bite,” said customer Diana Gifford.

Robert Hutchins left a corporate job nine years ago and moved his family to Rehoboth Ranch near Greenville to take up his passion for local food full time.

“It also is good for the environment, it is good for the local economy, it is good for the farmer to try to source the things that you can locally.”

More: Farmers Markets in North Texas

As part of Green Week for every user who pledges to buy local this week, NBC Universal will donate $1 to the FEED foundation an organization dedicated to improving the global food system through good nutrition and education for children. CLICK HERE to find out how to make a pledge.

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