Hungry for Change 11

Prairie Creek Farms Offers Sustainably and Ethically Raised Meat and Eggs

Prairie Creek Farms is a regenerative, 80-acre farm providing grass fed beef, pastured Berkshire pork, pastured chicken, and pastured eggs to the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas. Owners, Jason Ketchum, Nate Beaulac, and Peter Prulhiere use animals to prune the pasture, heal the land, and rebuild the soil.

The gentlemen farmers say this was not their lifelong dream. With backgrounds in business and healthcare, their idea for sustainable farming grew from a 2015 road trip discussion about the country’s dysfunctional food system and rising health care costs due to a low nutrient standard American diet. Not surprisingly, a quick online search found a lack of pasture raised antibiotic-free meat available in the Tulsa area.

Beaulac says, “Jokingly, we tossed around the idea of starting a farm and raising animals in a regenerative, sustainable way. Before we knew it, we had developed a plan for a sustainable farm and bought 10 Berkshire piglets before we got home.”

A Farm is Born

The trio started with a few shoddy acres covered in thorny bushes rented to them by a relative. It wasn’t the best land but it had a beautiful creek running through it which was needed to water the animals. On the other side of the creek was a scenic Oklahoma prairie, thus the name “Prairie Creek”.

That was January 2016. Within nine months, they purchased 80 acres in Kellyville and added 30 more pigs, 200 chickens, and 25 cows. Today, they supply meat to hundreds of families each month and are on the menu at dozens of restaurants in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City area.

Premium Pork

Prairie Creek Farm exclusively raises Berkshire pigs. The farmers wanted a hardy heritage breed and pigs that were locally available. The Berkshire breed scores higher than other breeds in most categories, but the biggest difference is the meat loses less moisture during cooking, which makes for a luscious juicy pork chop. 

As far as antibiotics, they raise hundreds of pigs without a single antibiotic or growth stimulant. Factory farming requires antibiotics because of poor overcrowded conditions and high infection rates. Prairie Creek Farms’ pigs happily roam free in the sunshine and feast on grass, seeds, bugs, and non-GMO feed.

Grass Fed Beef

Prairie Creek Farms raises 100% grass fed, grass finished beef. Grass finished means the animal has reached physical maturity and has never been fed grain or meat scraps to fatten them up. This process takes longer and is more expensive but eliminates the need for hormones and antibiotics.

Poultry & Eggs

Chickens love to be outside and only use a coop to lay eggs and sleep. They are mild-mannered with happy-go-lucky attitudes and love to eat grass and bugs and provide an excellent natural fertilizer.

The farmers’ land management system allows them to turn that value-added fertilizer into grass that is perfect for producing nutrient dense, humanely raised, pastured chicken. Because their chickens have constant access to a fresh pasture and get plenty of exercise and sunshine, their profiles of omega-3s, vitamin E, and vitamin A are all measurably higher than birds raised without access to pasture. As with their pork and beef, Prairie Creek Farms chickens are never given any antibiotics, chemical wormers, or steroids.

So, is $6 a dozen for pastured eggs worth it? Cluck, yeah! Customers say they will never again eat an egg that comes from the grocery store. Pastured eggs have more vitamins A, D, E, and omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene. They have a deep yellow or orange color and the yolk “sits up” higher than grocery store eggs. And they taste really, really good.

Know Your Farmer

Beaulac says, “We encourage folks to visit the farm. This may be the first time they connect bacon with a pig, steak with a cow, and sadly, realize chickens don’t have nuggets. Every animal at the farm has a really great life, and one bad day.”

He says that prior to starting the farm, they were disconnected from how their food was raised. Walking into a grocery store and looking at expiration dates was their only indication of freshness. Now, they are on a mission to reconnect people with normal.

“Normal is farms scattered around the outskirts of towns, filled with living and breathing food. Normal is knowing the pork chop came from one of the happy pigs down the road a bit. Normal is having a tomato guy on the corner during the warmer months. These days, the farmers markets in your city may be the easiest way to meet your local farmers. Meet them, buy something, ask to see their farm—suddenly you’ll find yourself with new friends and a deeper appreciation for “normal” that you never knew you missed,” says Prulhiere.

Where to Buy

Prairie Creek Farms sells their products at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market and the Mother Road Market’s “Farm Stand.” They also offer free delivery in the Tulsa area with a $75 minimum order. In addition to pork, beef, chicken, and eggs, the farm makes excellent jalapeno cheddar brats and breakfast sausage. Sampler bundles are available at a 10% discount. Visit PrairieCreek.Farm for a complete menu of items. 

 

“Every animal at the farm has a really great life, and one bad day.” — Nate Beaulac

 

Family Farm Days

Take a tour of Prairie Creek Farm this month and meet the farmers, animals, have some snacks, and learn about where your food comes from at this free community event. Visit PrairieCreek.Farm for directions and details.