InFARMation September 25: Pasture-raised Poultry

Please join us for our next InFARMation at Lagunitas Public House on Tuesday evening, September 25th, from 6-9pm.  Our topic will be Pasture-raised Poultry, and we will get to the bottom of such questions like why pasture-raised poultry costs more, heritage breeds vs. Cornish Cross hens, what the state and federal rules are about chicken processing, why we can only get pasture-raised turkey once a year (and we will have opportunities to sign up for our 2018 Thanksgiving turkey on site!), and why it’s so hard to get pasture-raised chicken and turkey in restaurants.

Our speakers will feature farmers Geoff Scott and John Mathia of Marion Acres Farm.  Their farm story is a fascinating look into what it takes to create a poultry farm from a dream and a vision and a whole lot of hard work.  A. Whole. Lot. Their success story includes starting with 32 broiler chicks just a few years back to building and opening a ODA processing facility on-farm just this summer! They are one of the only local farms providing pasture-raised chicken to Portland restaurants.

Grand Central Bakery strives to provide local and pasture-raised meat to their customers, and has had to face issues of scale, demand, state law and processing issues as they’ve grown from a small cafe & bakery to having ten stores over two states. Piper Davis, co-owner, and Laura Ohm, product director, will give us a behind the scenes look at what sustainable sourcing can and should look like, what the barriers are, and how we as customers can make a difference.

Justin Ashby is meat monger for Flying Fish Company and owner of Tidal Boar Foods, and has worked for several of the higher end groceries in town behind the meat counter. He can speak to us about the challenges for grocery stores in stocking pasture raised meat and about what kinds of questions we should be asking to both find pasture-raised meat by the cut and to encourage grocery stores to offer these kinds of responsibly raised proteins. He has even offered to make a video on how to break down a whole chicken into parts for us.

Doors open at 6pm, speakers start at 6:30. This is a free, all-ages event.  Beer sales will be donated to Friends of Family Farmers.  Please note – food options will be limited: Pasture-raised pork rolls, Spinach and Feta hand pies, quinoa and kale salad. In addition to Lagunitas beer, there will be sodas and water. Parking is on-street, so leave yourselves a bit of extra time for that – folks can be dropped off at the side door on NE 3rd if you’d like. If you would like to volunteer for this or any of our future InFARMations, or if you have any questions, please email Michele@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.

Save the Date for future InFARMs at Lagunitas Public House: October 9th: Pasture-raised Pork & November 13th: Grass-fed Dairy

Family Farm Week in Northeast Oregon!

Friends of Family Farmers is taking a road trip to Northeast Oregon during the second week of May, and we have several fun and interesting events lined up. We can’t wait to see all our farmers and eaters in the area who support socially and environmentally responsible family farms!

Hanna Ranch Poster EMonday, May 9th – Movie Night in La Grande

Join Friends of Family Farmers and the Fort Union Grange from  6:30-8:30 PM for an evening celebrating Oregon’s family farmers. We’ll be offering a FREE screening of the film Hanna Ranch. Snacks provided!  Let us know you’re coming by rsvp’ing to our Facebook event.

facebook_event_933303526766892Tuesday, May 10th – Listening Session in Hurricane Creek

We want to hear from Oregon’s family-scale, socially and environmentally responsible Wallowa County farmers about the issues that matter to them. If this sounds like you, then please sign up today, and join us from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Hurricane Creek Grange.

Seed SwapWednesday, May 11th – Seed Swap and Social in Enterprise

Bring your extra seeds (saved or purchased) to swap with your community just in time for planting season. We’ll provide light refreshments. Join us from 6:00-8:00 PM at Terminal Gravity Brewery to mix, mingle, and take home a new seed variety! RSVP here.

facebook_event_1657115237894349Thursday, May 12th – Listening Session in La Grande

We want to hear from Oregon’s family-scale, socially and environmentally responsible Union County farmers about the issues that matter to them. If this sounds like you, then please sign up today, and join us from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Union County 4-H and Extension Education Center, RM #9.

Get the Nerve to Preserve Recap

Food preservation is an ancient art that was once practiced in most households across the globe. Its prominence took a beating from the eruption of industrialized food items that shimmied their way onto pantry shelves. “Processed food” evokes a new meaning in this era of ready-made meals, but my hope, along with many of my peers, is to reclaim the act of processing food by adding value with fresh ingredients, creativity, and devotion.

I want to revert back to a culture where putting up food for the cold, crisp winter months was not deemed fringe or hipster, but rather quotidian and practical.

Many folks who came to our InFARMation event last night are long time canners and some are just testing the waters. My hope is that we all feel a little inspiration from last night’s discussion. Experts out there, enlist a novice and confess some tricks of the trade. Rookies, team up and tackle a batch of pickles.

And, in case you missed it, KGW Live at 7 stopped by our event to see for themselves what InFARM is all about. Here’s the clip:

Thanks to our panelists Megan Denton of Able Farms, Sarah Masoni of the Food Innovation Center, and Leah Rodgers of Rockwood Urban Farm for bringing great energy and valuable bits of information to our food preservation discussion. And many thanks to the folks in attendance!

Come out Tuesday, October 13th to hear our discussion “Food is Health.”

-Erinn