Tucked away (way, way, waaaay away!) in the hills near Lake Elsinore, California is a little gem of a ranch owned by two very lovely people who I have been fortunate enough to get to know over the past year. Their names are Dave & Leslie, and their ranch is Da-Le Ranch. (Dave = Da, Leslie = Le… get it?!) Every Saturday, Dave makes the 60-mile trek out from their ranch to SoCo Farmers’ Market in Costa Mesa, which is where we met.

Dave & Leslie of Da-Le Ranch with their adorable llama, appropriately named ‘Kisses’!

My husband Tim & I have become Da-Le Ranch ‘addicts’ over the past year – to say that the meat that Dave & Leslie produce is delicious is putting it mildly. Everything from steaks to ribs to sausages – pork, beef, chicken, lamb, rabbit, duck – you name it, they sell it. And it is Da-Le-Licious! It’s clear that this meat is coming from some very happy animals. So, when they very kindly invited us out to visit them for the day earlier this month, Tim & I jumped at the chance.

Left: Da-Le Ranch | Right: My husband, author Tim Watson, on our off-road tour of the property with Dave

We loved every second of our day at Da-Le Ranch – it’s not often that Tim & I get to venture off the beaten path and spend a day relaxing while getting to ‘meet our meat’! It was so wonderful to see firsthand how Dave & Leslie promote sustainable farming and natural & organic concepts in living. And, personally, it made me so happy to see how the animals that Tim & I choose to eat are given such happy, healthy lives at Da-Le Ranch.

Below is a small tour-through-photos of our day with Dave & Leslie. And if you’re in Orange County, be sure to check out the Da-Le Ranch booth on Saturdays at SoCo Farmers’ Market, and Sundays at the Newport Beach Farmers’ Market. And, you can also pick up eggs & meats during the week in OC at the Anais+Raya storefront on 17th in Newport! For all the latest news, be sure to follow Da-Le Ranch on Facebook.

Dave with ‘Kisses’ the Llama