Last of the OC Cattle Ranchers- 5 Bar Beef

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Last Friday, we took a drive through Silverado Canyon, just past Cooks Corner, to an 800 acre piece of property, being holistically managed by 5 Bar Beef, one of the last Cattle Ranchers left in Orange County. Cowboy Frank, owner of 5 Bar Beef, met us at the entrance to his property. We piled in his maroon truck to set out on a tour of his ranch.

As we traversed over the rolling hills, we were met by 25 Barzone bulls, who Frank fondly referred to as the bachelor band! These 25 bulls are part of a closed herd (which means it replicates itself) of Barzone cattle that Frank has owned for the past 35 years. His cattle feeds on annual grasses that grow here naturally, along with perennial grasses that Frank plants from seed in order to maintain grasses on site up through November.

The Barzone breed is comprised of Afrikaner, Hereford, and Santa Gertrudes cattle. This breed was developed in Arizona in the late 1920’s to be hardy and adaptable to extreme temperatures, sparse rainfall, rigorous range conditions, and to calve naturally, without human help. Their red hair significantly reflects the RA rays from the sun.

Frank says that the chlorophyll in spring grass turns the fat in grass-fed beef yellow, a good indicator that let’s you know that you are eating true grass-fed grass-finished pastured beef. 5 Bar Beef harvests their animals at 30-36 months of age, rather than the typical short-lived, 12-24 months common in commercial agriculture. These animals are truly humanely raised, in an environment that is natural. The bulls that we encountered still have their horns for protection against predators, since they live out on the pasture.

5 Bar Beef also raises their cattle on property down south in Indio. Many of their cows and calves are there right now. On our visit we only had the opportunity to meet the bulls, which were definitely breath taking. Frank mentioned that they use NO manmade chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, vaccines, pesticides, or grain. We are very happy to be welcoming 5 Bar Beef to the Orange Home Grown Farmers and Artisans Market this Saturday! Frank is also an Orange High School grad. Frank grew up in Orange and is looking forward to being part of our weekly market. Make sure to come down and welcome 5 Bar Beef to the market this Saturday and check out their their amazing grass-fed grass-finished pasture raised beef. For more info on 5 Bar Beef, check out their website at www.5barbeef.com