Memphis is big barbecue country, no doubt about it. While we can debate the best rubs, sauces, and prep methods ’til the cows come home, the truth is — the best barbecue starts with the highest quality meat. And you’re in luck! The best grass-fed beef and pastured pork around can be delivered next-day in the greater Memphis metro area from Home Place Pastures in Como, MS. We spoke to Marshall Bartlett, owner and operator of Home Place Pastures, about their ethical farming practices, their newest delivery option, and what makes their products so darn delicious.
Home Place Pastures is a fifth-generation farm that has been operated by the Bartlett family for 150 years. From the time Marshall was about 12 years old, he worked on the farm for his father. “I fell in love with the farm, the nature, the ecology of the area, and Mississippi,” he says. “I love the arts, the rich music history of the hill country blues, and the food. All of those things made me really love not just the farm, but also the greater community.”
After moving away to attend college, Marshall’s love for the farm eventually pulled him back home. He returned to Home Place Pastures with an idea to produce high-quality meat through vertical integration. “I saw a real opportunity to regenerate our farm and land, to take care of it, and to create jobs in the local community,” he explains. “[I saw an opportunity] to produce meat that was really in demand and do it the right way, and have a really high-quality product [where] we could decentralize the big meat industry and just do it all right here at home and have a better product.”
This means Home Place Pastures has a hand in every part of the process, from raising the animals and producing the meat to getting it to your kitchen table. “From not only the farming side — raising the animals, ensuring they have a low-stress lifestyle, the space that they need to exhibit their natural behaviors, to flourish the way that they evolved to do so — we’re not trying to cram our animals into a high-efficiency model by changing their behaviors,” says Marshall. “We’re actually changing the production system to suit their natural needs. It’s a different kind of approach to thinking about how to produce meat.”Through this ethical and intentional process, Home Place Pastures ensures you receive the highest quality of pasture-based beef, pork, and lamb every time you purchase from them. While most major meat manufacturers still put antibiotics in their products, Marshall says Home Place Pastures never uses them. This makes for delicious meat, and Marshall highlights the Bavette steak (which he says is perfect for grilling) as well as the pork chops. “There’s nothing better than one of our thick, pastured pork center-cut chops,” says Marshall. “People from all over rave about them. People literally travel down here to come to the store and buy them, and then they travel across the country with 40 of them.”
SB TIP: To ensure you always have Home Place Pastures’ high-quality, pasture-based meat on hand, sign up for one of the farm’s monthly subscription boxes!
In addition to product quality, Home Place Pastures also stands out for its accessibility. Not only can you visit them every Saturday at the Cooper-Young Farmers’ Market and Memphis Farmers’ Market, but you can stop by the on-farm store for a delicious lunch. And, if you’re in the greater Memphis metro area, Home Place Pastures now offers next-day delivery. The service is available Monday through Thursday for orders placed before 1 p.m.
“We understand that despite consumers’ best intentions, our hectic lives can require convenience over other factors when buying food,” Marshall explains. “We can’t expect people to just change all their behaviors, habits, and schedules to try to support local. We’re trying to meet you halfway and make our products accessible and convenient … so we can all eat the way we want and shop in a way that benefits our community.”
This article is sponsored by Home Place Pastures. All photography courtesy of Home Place Pastures unless otherwise noted.