SRQ MAGAZINE | APRIL 2020, BY
At Blackbeard’s Ranch, steaks make the case for sustainability.
THE DRIVE OUT TO THE END of Fruitville Road is characterized by a gradual change in scenery. Churches of varied denominations cluster on both sides of the road—Faith Baptist, New Life Lutheran, Palabra de Fe—and these give way to empty lots adorned with centuries-old live oaks draped in Spanish moss. At a three-way stop 12 miles east of I-75, the topography is devoid of recognizable landmarks of the built environment—fast food chains, gas stations, traffic lights—with only the asphalt to serve as a constant reminder that humans have cut a tame path through the saw palmetto and wiregrass prairies of the state’s interior. Further still, the quality of the road changes abruptly, as if civilization decided these parts are too far to be worth the trouble of heavy machinery. Like the pockmarked asphalt, the landscape is now dotted with sloughs and oak hammocks, innumerable creeks and springs, populated by white-tailed deer. Even amidst an arid winter, the terrain bursts with life in all shades of green, which bodes especially well for animals both wild and domesticated. This idyllic landscape is also the paradise for a certain bipedal animal—real-life cowboys. Continue Reading…..