On the southern coast of Oregon, among 500 acres of open pastures of Perennial Ryegrass, Gala Bromegrass, White Clover, and Plantain, you’ll find a pasture artisan named Kathy Panner - meticulously tending to her grasses. She does this knowing if her land is healthy, her lambs will be too.
“When you’re raising lambs in nature - nutrient-rich grasses are key to their healthy growth.”
It’s part science and part art. To combat heavy rains and bad weather, she uses boiler ash and/or limestone to keep the soil at a neutral PH level. She uses trees to give her lambs shelter from the elements, and if a predator comes around, their guardian Llamas send the coyotes whimpering.
“What a lamb eats affects its flavor. A lot of lamb farms feed their herds corn grain, despite their stomachs not being able to fully process grain. Grass is nature’s flavor.”
Lamb meat is very tender, with a strong meaty flavor, but if you try the lamb from Cedar Park Grazing you might notice it’s not as “gamey” as other lamb meat. This is because of Kathy's keen focus on pasture-raised grasses.
In fact, Chef Ashish Bagul of Nirmal’s won the Lamb Jam Competition in Seattle with the help of Kathy’s lamb riblets. Since that win, Nirmal's in Seattle has been sourcing its lamb from Cedar Park Grazing.