Live Local, Buy Local
Our CD&J Mini Ranch Story
In 2018, Cynthia along with her husband David & son Justin, started CD&J Mini Ranch, a Certified Naturally Grown 35-acre ranch/farm outside San Benito, Texas. San Benito is in the Rio Grande Valley, close to South Padre Island and the Southern most border next to Mexico, where the gulf breeze always blows.
Cynthia retired from DHS/ICE/OI after 30 years of working behind a desk, and always had a love for animals, gardening, cooking, and camping. David retired from the USCG and worked for the port of Brownsville for many years before retiring. Justin helps us do any and all things on the farm. Without him, there would be no CD&J. He enjoys hunting and fishing when he is not working. Cynthia's Dad lives on the farm with the Cook's. He is 94 years young and helps clean eggs, picks up feed and keeps an eye on everything. "We are so happy he is here with us."
Cynthia & David chose to start raising their own meats & produce after seeing so many reports on meat & vegetable recalls; the harsh conditions market animals are raised; and the food scarcity that hurricanes, floods, freezes & then Covid caused. They raise a variety of animals including pigs, cows, lamb, ducks, turkeys & chickens. They also raise several of their own vegetables that they and their neighbors enjoy, but they also preserve by canning, dehydrating, and freeze drying much of what they grow. When The Cooks first started their farm in 2018 they just wanted a better, readily available, healthier choice of food for themselves, but after awhile, they heard from many other local folks concerned about these same issues. The Cook's decided to start selling their fresh, grass feed, locally grown proteins and vegetables to their Valley neighbors and friends.
Cynthia first started selling their meats and products at local farmer's markets; from their farm and to a few small local businesses. Some of the produce she sells are purchased from other area farmers who also have small, sustainable farms. These items are vegetables, pecans, cheese, honey and a few other seasonal items. Cynthia, David, Justin and a family friend, helped build a Farm Wagon that Cynthia is able to take to her venues including local Farmers Markets, RV parks, and neighborhoods. Sometimes these folks have a harder time getting out to make purchases at the farmer's markets so the Farm Wagon is able to come closer to where they live. Of course, not everything she uses can be grown locally, such as the pineapple, apples, coconut, to name a few. But these are some of the food items that Cynthia sometimes uses in her homemade jellies and freeze dried products. She purchases what she can locally then sources Organic or Naturally Grown fruits from area venues.
Cynthia, David, Justin and now Victoria, have also adapted with the times. They now offer Farm Gatherings where folks can get together and have a fun afternoon playing with the farm animals, fishing, leaning to milk a goat, gather eggs, etc. Along with the Farm Gatherings, they also offer Over Night Tent & Dry RV Camping for those wanting to be outdoors, around farm animals and experience what we get to enjoy everyday.
On the next few pages and below, you will learn more about what we do and what we offer at CD&J Mini Ranch. Please sign up for our Newsletter so that you get the latest information about what we have to offer, any sales & discounts, recipes and interesting tidbits.