Whittenberg Farms is based on just over 50 acres along Reeds Creek, in Tehama County, California. The original property was approximately 120 acres and was homesteaded in 1877; Zach Whitten's great-great-grandparents bought the place in 1919.
Zach Whitten was part of the fifth generation of his family to live on the family place at Whittenberg, and he grew up playing on the same ground that his father and grandfather did. He and his wife, Hannah, married in 2003 and moved back out to Whittenberg in 2004, buying a one-acre parcel adjacent to the original family land.
Whittenberg Farms began in 2007 with the purchase of three pigs: #26, #32, and #33 (named after their ear tags). Two of these "practice pigs" were raised up to provide meat for our family and friends; the third became the first of our breeders, Penelope.
Some changes are in store for Whittenberg Farms' sixth season of farmers' markets. The biggest change, perhaps, is that after five seasons at the Red Bluff market at the River Park on Saturday mornings, we do not plan to be in any Red Bluff markets this summer; we're still willing to deliver to Red Bluff area customers, however, so please just shoot us an email if you're interested (and delivery will still be free, on any order of at least $50). If you're at one of the Red Bluff markets, though, you may still see Zach around now and again, at either the old market at the River Park or the new market at Frontier Village (or even the Wednesday night one, downtown).
Hannah will still be up at the Saturday morning market in Redding, next to the City Hall on Cypress Street, starting in early May. For our beef, this year, we now have Dexters - two for this year, two for next, and two to keep us in production beyond that. Dexters are a small, triple-purpose breed (meat, milk, and draft), and they have long been a preferred breed by many farmers with less land than would support a herd of larger-sized cattle. For our lamb, we now have some home-born lambs, which will be available in the late summer for market and custom orders. And for pork, we're starting to move toward having year-round availability, with custom orders being offered in the off-market season.
Also new for 2013: Whittenberg Farms will be hosting its first ever farm day, on Saturday, May 18, which will be an opportunity for customers to come out and tour the ranch, see the animals, meet the family, and even get some meat right from the source.