If you haven’t seen it on our Facebook page or at your local Farmer’s Market, we are so excited to announce that we are featured in the summer edition of Edible Phoenix Magazine. “Edible Phoenix is a quarterly publication promoting the abundance of local foods in Phoenix and its surrounding Valley communities.” This summer they chose to celebrate us by sharing the story of Date Creek Ranch – what an honor!
Here’s a brief summary:
The article talks a lot about the history of our Ranch, starting in 1966, and our commitment to working in harmony with the environment. In fact, most people don’t know this but my father, Phillip Knight, brought the creek back to life with his award-winning method of resting pastures during the growing season. Today, the creek is full of vegetation that has created an ideal home for turkey, beaver, and other wildlife.
We have built upon my father’s sustainable practices. Our 38,000 acres are separated into 52 pastures that are only used for short periods of time. This allows the pastures to rest and recover and the cattle to always have fresh grass to eat while they fertilize the pastures; all of which encourages the vegetation to thrive. Our calves are born right here and allowed to nurse until 8 months old. At that point we gently wean the calf from mother’s milk, but their strong bond remains as the calf continues to grow up with his mother. In fact, our cattle often form longstanding family groups.
Because of our dedication to sustainability, the ranch is entirely solar powered. We have one of the most powerful resources (the sun) at our disposal and we don’t take that for granted. Our cattle are grass-fed and grass-finished which makes our ranch a carbon sink instead of a contributor to climate change.
Our apple and peach orchard attract many customers each year (yes, there really is an orchard in the middle of the desert!). It is completely organic and we allow people to come and pick apples and peaches as long as they’re available. Our hogs feed on the apples when they fall to the ground, which protects the trees from disease and insects while at the same time fertilizing them.
It is our holistic, passionate care for the land, the animals, the wildlife, and the environment, while providing local food for families that sets us apart. It is a practice that my father started 50 years ago and with pride we carry on this tradition.