Earlier this summer I was invited to the marriage of two of my favorite people, David Evans, Owner of Marin Sun Farms and Claire Herminjard, CEO, Co-founder of Mindful Meats. Weddings are always a heart felt occasion but when two local farmers or ranchers join together it’s something truly unique and wonderful. It was a celebration of two people and their families, but also an intimate acknowledgement of a wider connection between these two to the land, the water, their livestock and their passionate dedicated, hard work that brought them together.
David comes from generations of ranchers in Point Reyes and is truly one of my most admired heroes, a dear friend and respected colleague. Ten years ago, Marin Sun Farms was the first local business where we could purchase pastured meat and poultry. Bringing truly clean meat to our guests isn’t easy and David and I have lived through the ups and downs of learning that process together.
Claire and I met a few years ago and worked together to bring her Mindful Meats into Stanford Hospital. She had just started her cutting-edge business of marketing beef from culled cows. It took months of working together and I got to know this amazing woman, and like David, embraced her steadfast ethics to bring the right kind of meat from well-treated animals to the market and into large institutions like Stanford Hospital. We worked hard, but today, every employee and every guest at Stanford Hospital is eating Mindful pasture-raised, organic and non-GMO burgers!!! I love this woman!
I knew the marriage of Claire and David on the ranch at Marin Sun Farms would be very special. We walked up a path to bluff overlooking the Pacific. Day’s earlier, the cows had been herded to the next hillside. It was a very windy, but a sunny, brilliantly perfect Spring day. The wedding was humble, like the two of them, and we sat as witnesses next to family, farmers, ranch hands and beloved friends.
The hilltop pasture was christened with their ceremony, lovely words, and was transformed forever as a sacred space. It was evident that they chose this spot to remind us all of why this marriage was so right and good. We stood where they shepherd what it takes to nourish and grow our food.
Then, of course, we ambled off the hill and into the barn where lots and lots of food, and lots and lots of bourbon and dancing ensued until the cows came in…