I can’t tell you exactly when I met these two amazing ladies- I’m sure it was at the Fulton Farmers Market- and I’m fairly positive I was enthralled with their local offerings of meat… (The Pork is Amazing!!!) or it could have been the eggs… although as I mention in this week’s show- the Eggs are ELUSIVE at best… it’s hard to get their eggs unless you want to ‘stalk’ them and show up the instant they are at the market.
The egg yolks are a DARK YELLOW- almost orange- and they are remarkable- Jill says it’s because the Chicken walk around. They are indeed free range- you’ll see it in the show… and Mary has a theory – (she was a teacher before the farming) that the eggs are better because the Chickens are Animal Welfare Approved- Truly free ranging on a pasture… so the Chickens are Happy- and when they are Happy they make better eggs! No matter what the reason- if you ever have the chance to experience the eggs- they are remarkably tasty!
These are two of the hardest working women I have ever met- (and florists are hard workers – but these two ladies hold the title hands down)…and it’s non-stop! We visited in the summer- and it’s a picturesque farm- filled to the brim with animals of all sorts- Cows, Pigs, Sheep, Geese, Ducks, Chickens, Turkeys, and Bees… and a couple of lovely dogs… that are so SWEET- and very much ON DUTY protecting the livestock.
What amazes me the most- is that Mary and Jill are always working- working at the farm, overseeing baby cow and pig deliveries, moving Chicken coops, checking on livestock, processing meat, (The Pork is Amazing!!!) running farmers markets, cooking dinner, chasing predators, harvesting honey… the energy- the consistency- and the Love- Mary and Jill add the love to everything they do…and the life they live.
One of the secrets- they divulge – is “Happy Animals”- and it’s evident- the animals ‘frolic’… just like in a picture book- they are happy- running, jumping- and they LOVE these Ladies- just as much as they love them. The way the pigs come over and check us out- with trust- because the ladies are there. The raise Heritage Breed Pigs- they are Enormous- Beautiful and Happy… piggies running in the pastures of perennials… (The Pork is Amazing!!!)
And the Cows- here’s a little tidbit- that was pure magic- as we walked out into the pasture of Cows- Jill whistles- and the cows respond with moos and bellows… it’s magical…”They are saying Hello” Jill tells us- and then they start to call them by name… Yes… Indeed Every Cow has a name- they are NOT number or C4 or D23… they have names like- Flagship, Mooska, Mini Bus, or Suzy Q – because they are loved- and they are part of the family.
The kindness is captivating… the cows came right up to us… they knew we were all right- because we were with Jill and Mary… and it didn’t stop with the Cows or the Pigs, or the Chickens or the Turkeys- every animal was ready for their close up… and were happy to cooperate with our filming!
Crane Dance Farm is proud of it’s No Chemical, No Spray, No Junk philosophy and they stand by it… Jill says in this week’s show- “We are dedicated to making the Earth a Better Place!” and these 200 acres are pretty close to Heaven. She recounts the story of when they purchased the farm- and saw Sand Hill Cranes in one of the pastures… she knew then- that the farm could NOT mess up their Home- they were there first.
Crane Dance Farms- is the perfect name- The Dance of the Cranes- translates to “Joy of Life” – and it’s what you experience first hand- when you visit- when you meet Jill or Mary- when you visit their stand at the Farmers Market- or when you cook with their meats – Did I mention that the Pork is Amazing????
Learn more about Crane Dance Farm on their Website- or Follow Crane Dance Farm on Social Media! If you have the opportunity stop by the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids MI or Holland Farmers Market in Holland MI and check out their Farm Raised meats, eggs and honey!