Meet Pure Catskills members Sara and Brett Budde, who run Majestic Farm in the Sullivan County Catskills. On their farm, the Buddes raise heritage-breed meats, and also host artists' residencies and farm-to-table dinners.
In the video above, Sara Budde talks about why she and her husband are committed to small-scale, sustainable farming -- and to the local community that makes that way of life possible.
SARA BUDDE: I’m Sara Budde, I’m one of the owners of Majestic Farm. I own the farm with my husband Brett Budde. We produce pork, lamb, poultry, mostly chicken and turkey, and small side things like honey and eggs. We’ve been farming for five years. We moved up to Sullivan County and sort of dug in from nothing.
We farm because we love to eat great food. The quality of food that we were getting prior to farming wasn’t up to our personal standard. We enjoy the lifestyle, we just like being outside and we also like feeding the community. It’s very rewarding to have people come back and rave about how good the meat was. That’s a really good feeling and it’s also a good feeling to not have to utilize mainstream markets.
Every year it grows just a little bit in size. We have a sort of cap because we want to make sure we’re maintaining the farm ourselves. We don’t really want to bring in employees aside from Michelle our farm manager. So, we kind of keep it at a size that works and also just an organic growth. Pure Catskills has been a fantastic marketing tool for us. It’s a community of people who are aware who want the farm to succeed, who are there to support the farm operation, who are there to support and spread information about the farm. That’s a very important thing.
It’s nice to come to an event that Pure Catskills puts on, or even be at the farmer’s market, and be with people, a community that understands where you’re coming from, that doesn’t gawk at your prices or wonder why you don’t have chicken in the middle of the winter. It’s nice to be with those familiar people who understand your plights.
Our products are fantastic in flavor. It’s like a different animal than you would get in the supermarket. We just treat our animals like we’d like to be treated ourselves. So the peace of mind of knowing this animal was raised outside, it was happy, it was healthy, is something that I feel people can be very set, and knowing, and feel good about their choices when eating our meat.
Pure Catskills is a regional, buy local campaign developed by the Watershed Agricultural Council.