Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vendor Profile: Deck Family Farm

Portland is in the midst of a grand love affair with meat. From restaurants like our own Country Cat, Beast, Simpatica, this celebration of the art of butchery has had many benefits to us, the consumer. I have a number of friends that were once vegetarians but now have ventured back into omnivore territory because of it is now easier than ever to find sources of meat that come with the knowledge that the animals had a happy life, they were fed real food and weren't amped up on hormones like they were a professional sports player. It starts with the first bite of good, quality, pasture raised meat that is flavorful and tender - often bacon is the gateway drug it seems. From there, it's just a taste of this stew, or a slice of this rare-cooked filet. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with being a vegetarian, my almost-husband has been one since he was in college. All I'm saying is that it if you do eat meat, and haven't treated yourself to some "good meat" like Deck Family Farms offers at the market, you don't know what you are missing. The difference is noticeable.
And if you want to see where your meat comes from, Deck Family Farms receives visitors at their farm in Junction City, Oregon. (or see the picture in this post) Their website is also a good resource for recipes and the health benefits associated with grass-fed beef and milk.

1) What types of products do you specialize in?
Deck Family Farm specializes in pasture-raised protein products
including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs.

2) What are your biggest challenges in operating a farm? And what
makes it all worth it?
Our biggest challenge is competing on price against federally
subsidized, corporate industrial agriculture. Fortunately, our
products have superior flavor, are beneficial to the environment and
directly support our rural economy. This is what makes farming worth

3) What food policy issues do you think are critical to the future of
agriculture in Oregon?
Critical to establishing a healthy network of small farm protein
products is for the Oregon Department of Agriculture to establish a clear and consistent method for interpreting existing policies. Rules and policies are notcommunicated clearly and thus are interpreted in vastly different ways by Farmers Markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. This creates a climate of confusion and uncertainty amongst the growers. Certainly it makes further investment by producers more difficult.

4) What is your favorite food blog/web resource?
Dr. Mercola ( has some great information on all kinds of issues relating to personal health.

5) Do you have a favorite cookbook that you cook from?
Epicurious (

6) What food/agriculture related book, magazine or movie would you recommend?
Forget about the books, magazine, and movies. Most of them vastly oversimplify the complex agricultural food-system landscape. The best thing to do is visit the farms that are bringing food to you at the Farmers Market and see for yourself. Deck Family Farm welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday.

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