Farms We Like
This list is a mash-up of farms and suppliers we buy from regularly as well as a few farms we buy from more infrequently, but still deeply respect. We'll be changing this list from time to time so that we can continue to highlight the many farms we have learned from over the years.
Carman RanchWallowa Valley, OR
From the very first beef class that we offered back in 2010, using Carman Ranch beef, we have learned much from Cory Carman. Cory is an innovative and thoughtful rancher. For generations, her family has raised registered Hereford and Angus cattle in the Wallowa Valley. Both breeds are able to thrive in the mountain conditions of that area, while producing high quality beef. Carman's herd is made up of 150 registered cows ranging from 2 to 17 years old. They are allowed to roam on rolling prairie, timbered rangeland and irrigated valley ground. "Grazing season begins and ends in the prairie," the Carman family likes to say.
Cattail Creek LambJunction City, Oregon
John Neumeister, longtime proprietor of Cattail Creek Lamb, has been a PMC supporter from the beginning. By "supporter" we really mean a valuable mentor and teacher. The kind of mentor and teacher who will sit down for coffee with us and explain how it is that some farmers can provide year-round lamb and others, like John, can't (hint: it has something to do with perfectly legal chemically-treated grasslands). In fact, John understood the importance of customer and consumer education well before most of us did. This is why you'll be hard-pressed to find a farm-to-table-restaurant in these parts who doesn't buy lamb from John. Currently John sources lamb from two farms: BN Ranch in Northern California and Vitality Farms in Corvallis.
Flying Fish CompanyPortland, Oregon
Everything in Lyf Gildersleeve’s life pointed to one day running Flying Fish. He grew up packaging and selling fish in his parents fish market in Idaho (the original Flying Fish), he studied aquaculture in college, and he lived with a shrimp-farming family in Ecuador for a spell. In 2011, he and his wife moved to Portland and launched Flying Fish Oregon out of a truck, eventually graduating to a brick-and-mortar shop. We purchase product from Lyf for our fish butchery classes because he works directly with fishermen to make sure everything he buys is sustainably fished or raised. Like us, Flying Fish is also a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch partner.
Payne Family FarmsCarlton, Oregon
Mark Payne always farmed on the side, but it wasn’t until the recession hit and he lost his job that he made it his livelihood. “When I told the bank I wanted a loan to start a farrow-to-finish farm, they looked at me like I was crazy,” he says. But with the help of his three children, he persevered, and Payne Family Farms has been going strong ever since. One of the things that we really admire about Payne's pork operation is that they produce all their own grain (pictured above), feed it to the hogs, and then the compost goes back onto the property. "When chefs come out here, I show them everything. I have nothing to hide," says Mark.
Sleepy Creek FarmWillamette Valley, Oregon
When Susan Joubert started raising rabbits 20 years ago, it was more of a hobby than a livelihood. Then she moved to the Willamette Valley and noticed an overwhelming demand for breeding quality rabbits—and her life as a breeder was born. Joubert raises her rabbits in cages that give them plenty of room to move, some of which include a second level. “Hopping up and down between levels keeps their stomachs happier and develops their hindquarters,” she explains. She feeds them an 18% protein rabbit pellet, grass and hay to help keep their digestive tract healthy, and rolled oats as a supplement.
The Gleason RanchBrady, Washington
Forty miles southwest of Olympia, Washington, Tracey Baker raises grass-fed beef on the banks of the Satsop River. Her family has tended to this land for five generations. Their cattle are born, raised and finished there and she runs a closed herd operation. Tracey treats her animals humanely, allowing them to forage naturally on lush pastures with plenty of fresh air and room to roam. "Hard work, responsible ranching, and feeding our families the best food we can are the things we believe in," Tracey says.
Wingham FarmBanks, Oregon
Daniel Lee and his family have built their farm slowly, with intention, starting with dairy cows, raising the babies for beef, and adding a nurse cow, chickens, ducks, and pigs halfway through their first year. Lee focuses his efforts on growing rich flora on his pastures to sustain the animals throughout the year. “Once I learned that the essential fats and amino acids animals need are all available in nature if you grow enough different things, I knew I could raise my animals on pasture,” he says. "Our fields are like a salad bar for the animals.”