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A deep, drum-like sound welcomes us to Fossil Farms. They haven’t hired a band. “It’s the emus,” says Lance Appelbaum, who started Fossil Farms twenty years ago with his brother Todd Appelbaum. Todd raises ostrich, emu, bison, and Berkshire pigs on 188 acres. At Roaming Acres farm in Lafayette, NJ, green rolling hills stretch as far as the eye can see. It doesn’t seem like we are in New Jersey.
“When we were kids we always called our dad The Fossil,” Lance says. Their father—the farm’s inspiration and namesake— helps on the farm when he can. When we visit, he’s busy fixing a fence in the hot morning sun.
A herd of bison climbs up a hillside. A baby ostrich slowly makes its way out of a grapefruit-sized egg. “Our Berkshire hogs get to rip up the field, eat worms, be pigs, play in a mud bath, they get to forage,” says Lance. In the fall, the pigs munch on acorns. Today they loll under a tree in the shade. This impeccable care of the animals and the environment results in meat that tastes truly extraordinary.