With all of this December freezing weather I’m reminiscing back to the sultry days of summer. In July, I had the opportunity to work with some clients in central North Carolina near Southern Pines. I frequently head out on trips in my Airstream, LJ, to handle social media photography for our team and I usually try to find a fun experience nearby. Misty Morning Ranch did not disappoint. Misty Morning is an ostrich ranch that was started in 2016 and the owner Ryan is super nice.
I arrived in the late afternoon and was greeted by Ryan. It was a terribly hot day and as with most Harvest Hosts, there are no hookups. I was prepared for the heat and made sure I had plenty of water and fans to keep me cool. Ryan invited me to follow him around on his evening chores to learn more about the ostriches and some of the uses for ostriches off the ranch. We drove around on his gator and he toured me through the farm. We fed a horse that he had recently rescued and then he showed me his ostrich colony that are used for breeding. The breeding colony was right next to my parking spot in the shade. It was so neat to see these enormous birds walking by my windows. It was like nature’s television!
Next Ryan took me to see his newest hatchlings, some year old ostriches and some really large eggs that would be hatching soon. The ostriches were extremely welcoming and loved my glasses (so much that they pecked at them – they are attracted to shiny things). Ostrich body temperature is important while they are young so the chicks had to be moved in at night to ensure they thrive. He let me assist in picking up those baby ostriches and moving them into the warm barn. That was a fun challenge because some of those chicks were quick!
While driving around the farm, Ryan educated me on what he produces with the ostriches. First of all, meat. They are well known for their steaks, which look and taste similar to beef. Ryan and his wife head to local farmers markets each weekend to sell meat. Ryan explained that many people like ostrich meat because it’s a healthier red meat and more sustainable. Ostriches require less water and land to grow, which makes them more environmentally friendly. The meat is a little pricier but many people feel that helping the environment in their meat consumption is worth the extra costs. Additionally, ostriches can be used for leather and cosmetics because of the natural oils in their bodies, which again is a great alternative to beef.
When I woke up in the morning, watching the fog move over the farm was so lovely, which is why the farm is named Misty Morning. I purchased some steaks prior to leaving the next morning and brought them home. My family enjoyed them and really couldn’t taste the difference between ostrich and beef. We also purchased some ostrich bones for my dog, Goose, which he loved A LOT! They also sell fresh chicken and raw pet food. If you can’t make it to one of the Moore County Farmers Markets you can also order their meat online at their website.
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