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Up until a month ago, I’d never heard of Jidona Farms, the beef producer in Mayflower, which is just a short, 25-minute drive from Little Rock. But then I bit into my Le Burger from The Croissanterie food truck, a mobile eatery generating a ton of local buzz for its house-made croissant bun. As much as I adored the bun, it was the juicy beef that sent my taste buds into overdrive. I walked over to the menu board to see that the beef they were using on the burger was from Jidona Farms.
Once I found learned of the farm’s close proximity to the capital city, I then took to social media to set up a shopping appointment. That’s currently the best way to purchase Jidona Farm’s meats—send the folks a message on Facebook and match up a date and time to visit their small shop and pick out some beef. In this case, “folks” refers to husband-and-wife owners Jimmy Black and Dona McClure. Look closely and you will notice that Jidona Farms is the combination of their first names.
Just a week after my burger at The Croissanterie, I was standing inside the Jidona Farms shop. It’s just an old house with two giant freezers located a stone’s throw off Interstate 40. Jimmy Black greeted me upon entry, cowboy hat and all. After chatting with him a bit, two things became quite clear within ten minutes—this man is passionate about raising cattle and he’s confident in the quality of his product.
His beef is premium black Angus, grass-fed, grain-finished, and USDA inspected upon packaging. Since I had no plans of a return visit to Mayflower in the immediate future, I loaded up my cooler with a variety of ground beef (by the pound), hamburger patties, short ribs, ribeyes, and NY strips.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve grilled some burgers with the quarter-pound patties and have used my sous vide machine and cast-iron skillet for the strips. As with most, if not all locally raised meats, everything about the Jidona Farms beef, from the taste to color to even the texture, will strike you as different from what’s typically found in grocery stores. In particular, the marbling in the strips is beautiful, with such an even dispersal of fatty goodness throughout the entire steak.
Prices are more than fair, and, given the tastiness of the products, I’ll be a regular customer of Jidona Farms. If you’re interested in trying this beef, I highly recommend following their Facebook page. Jimmy and Dona make regular updates and alert customers of what’s on hand, and that includes items like filet, t-bone, flank, brisket, rump roast, chuck roast, fajita meat, and stew meat. There are even specials like the Ground Beef Bundle and Ground Beef Sampler, along with bulk orders. Miscellaneous items (soup bones, tongue, neck bones, liver, heart, marrow bones, and oxtail) are also typically on hand.
One of these days, I’ll try the beef jerky as well.
Jidona Farms is a small operation, but from the taste of things, they’re on the right track. Please go find out for yourself.
12 Gibson Bridge Rd. East
Mayflower, AR 72106
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