Though the Bruntys have been working their family farm since 2008, Jeff has been farming chickens and eggs since he was just a boy.
He learned from his grandfather how to process chickens for meat and even assisted in the major renovation of a family barn. Today, Jeff and Melanie focus on pastured meats and eggs, including poultry, pork, beef and lamb. During the holiday season, they also raise turkeys.
Visit the Bath Township farm and you'll see a vast, lush countryside with dozens of animals happily grazing in the fields. Don't be surprised if you run into a few clucking hens pecking around the driveway or giving you the stink eye as you purchase eggs by the dozen from the farm's self-service storefront.
What started out with a few chickens for family purposes has blossomed into a shining example of sustainable, humane farming.
"If I had to have a philosophy," Jeff says, "it would be to do what you can. Why support farms in other states when you have awesome farms and artisans in your backyard?"
The Bruntys' commitment to what they do is clear even upon the first visit to the farm.
"Very few farms across the nation offer the variety and diversity of high-quality meats that we do," notes Jeff. "There isn't a day that goes by that we [don't] ask how we can better our operation and our products." In addition to the grass, flowers and seeds from the pasture, the animals enjoy non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) supplemental feed, a necessity given our climate. Brunty's use of non-GMO feed is unique, and it can drive up costs, but many shoppers find that paying a little more for higher quality, potentially safer food is worth it. "Our farm offers transparency you will never get in CAFOs [aka factory farms]. We give the animals raised on our farm a quality of life that we are proud of."
Brunty's products are for sale directly to the public through many outlets. Eggs are sold at Mustard Seed Market in Montrose and Whole Body in Medina, but the full product line is available at the farm Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (cash or check only).
Shoppers can expect to see an impressive variety, including pork spare ribs, ground chicken, beef, lamb, bacon, trail bologna, chorizo and andouille sausage, and even hot dogs.
You can also find them at the Old Trail winter farmer's market and, from May through October, at the Countryside and Howe Meadows farmers markets. Join the farm's buying club and take advantage of free monthly deliveries to drop locations in Canal Fulton, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Lakewood, Medina and Strongsville. It's free to join and shoppers simply go online, place their order and pick it up on the designated date and time.
Brunty Farms supplies few restaurants, preferring to focus on the retail side of the business, selling directly to the type of consumer who's looking for a high-quality local product. That said, you can find their breakfast sausage at the Blue Door Café & Bakery in Cuyahoga Falls, and they're one of a few suppliers of chicken to Spice Kitchen in the Gordon Square neighborhood.
"I love what I do," Jeff adds. "I work with some of the best people, have some of the most loyal customers in the world, and we work closely with them to make a difference in the food that you eat."
Visit bruntyfarms.com for more information, or visit the farm in person at 2470 Martin Rd., Akron.