Bois d’Arc Meat Company is the latest chapter in the story of our farm, owned and operated by our family for the last 150 years in the tiny community of Allens Chapel, TX. The farm has supported many generations of our family through several forms of agriculture, primarily row crops until the 1950’s when Lemuel Locke began raising cattle and selling the calves at auction. The conventional, rather than sustainable farming practices over the years took a toll on the organic matter and microbial life in our soil, and as a result the ecosystem around the farm slowly declined rather than improved. This is one of the major distinctions between an industrial vs. sustainable model.
Today the farm consists of cattle, heritage pigs, chickens for eggs and meat, and turkeys for the holidays. All of our animals are 100 percent non-GMO and no herbicides, pesticides, or chemicals of any kind are applied to our land.
Our farming philosophy is focused on three grounding principles.
Over the last decade, primarily through the use of high density grazing with our cattle and a correct stocking density we have made great strides in improving our overall soil health and growing better grass for our animals. With the addition of chickens and turkeys, our pastures are showing further improvement, and even the pigs, given the correct stocking density promote healthier soil and pasture improvement. All of the organic material in the poultry brooder is composted and put on pasture, as is the hay and manure left in the barn over the winter. What is an environmental catastrophe for industrial operations leads to improved soil health in ours.
Since cattle are herbivores, our heard eats only grass and hay until they are ready to be processed. We raise our cattle to be at least 28 months old, which is longer than many other farms but is the time required for cattle to achieve the fat content, or marbling in the meat that we are looking for. Having an well marbled animal also allows us to dry age our beef longer, which leads to a better tasting product.
Our pigs, chickens and turkeys are also raised entirely on pasture, with shelters that we move to new areas on a weekly basis so they have constant access to healthy forage. In the Spring, the clover and rye grass consumed by our chickens leads to a beautiful orange yolk, and in the Fall our pigs eat acorns and pecans which leads to a rich, delicious product.
In short, our farming practices lead to a more vibrant and sustainable ecosystem, improved soil health, and happy, healthy animals. Raising our animals on pasture also provides a diversified diet which in turn leads to an extremely high quality product for the consumer. In addition, we only sell to customers in North Texas so our carbon footprint is microscopic compared to what you will find in most grocery stores.
It is a privilege and an honor to farm the way we do, and we hope you enjoy the product as much as we do.