Columbia Farmers Market

the farmers behind the market

Next Market Date: 
June 28
10:00 AM
1:00 PM

Sullivan Farms: Raising animals and vegetables in harmony with nature

At Sullivan Farms — a permaculture farm located about nine miles outside of Fayette — Bill and Brittany Sullivan strive to “work with nature” rather than against it, Brittany said. “We love to be outside with family, in the garden, working with the animals, and raising our food from start to finish.”

The Chicago natives were living in Florida when their daughter, Kaleigh, was born. Once Kaleigh came along, “It became more important to me to know where my food came from,” Brittany said. “Bill has always wanted to have a farm; he has a strong passion for the land.” The Fayette area proved to be the right fit, she said.

They started with vegetables, and still sell a variety of produce, grown in raised beds surrounded by wells that collect and conserve water. But pasture-raised pork eventually became their niche product. The family has grown and ranched on the acreage, selling at Columbia Farmers Market since 2010.

Employing permaculture design practices, the farmers raise heritage hogs, grass-fed goats, and an assortment of vegetables. 

“All of our animals are raised on and rotated on pasture, and fed non-GMO feed,” Brittany said. Their neighbors and good friends, Jenn and Ken Muno of Goatsbeard Farm, provide them with nutritious whey for the hogs. Whey helps marbleize the fat, giving pork its delicious flavor.

“No hormones or antibiotics are used in the care of our animals,” she added. “Our vegetables are raised naturally without the use of chemicals. We are not certified organic but follow all organic practices.”

“We have lots of hogs now,” she said, and a fair share of their pork is sold at the farmers market. “We continue to add more pigs every year to keep up with the demand for our pork,” she said. “We strive to bring great quality pork to many dinner tables.”

Most of the meat is processed at Davis Meats in Jonesburg.

“They do an amazing job,” Brittany said. Davis Meats also renders the fat from Sullivan pork separately from other pork because it is important that “we raise a non-GMO product,” she said. That rendered lard also is available at the market. In addition to offering customers the ability to purchase half or whole hogs and pork bundle packages, the Sullivans have introduced deli ham, bologna, salami, summer sausage, and braunschweiger to the list of items available at the market.

In addition to meat, the Sullivan family has found another market niche: shave ice. “We lived in Hawaii for awhile where shave ice is huge,” Brittany said. As it turns out, shave ice is popular in Columbia, too. “We do shave ice in the summer, and we make all of our own syrups, using products from our farms or other local farms, or make them with organic fruit.”

Sullivan Farms pork also is featured at Barred Owl Butcher & Table, Beet Box, Peachtree Catering, Hy-Vee locations, Broadway Diner, Sycamore, and Clovers Natural Market.

“Columbia is a fantastic town that supports local food,” Brittany said, “We love being part of the market, getting to know the vendors, and seeing our wonderful customers each week.”

Check out the Sullivan Farms website at SULLIVANFARMSMO.COM.

“Columbia is a fantastic town that supports local food. We love being part of the market, getting to know the vendors and seeing our wonderful customers each week."
-Brittany Sullivan

Moroccan Meatballs

Brittany Sullivan loves to cook. She shares this Kaleigh-approved Paleo diet recipe from “Well Fed Cookbook.”
get the recipe
Columbia Farmers Market
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Photography by Drew Piester.