It’s hard to pin down where my interest in food, farming, and particularly pasture raised meats started. Like most people, I have always loved tasty food. As a child, I rarely put anything in my mouth unless it tasted good. Unfortunately at the time those were almost all highly processed grains, meats, and dairy products. I would eat some fruit and the occasional handful of carrots, but wouldn’t have anything to do with vegetables otherwise. I had never heard of grass fed meat or pasture raised eggs; I was never well educated, as many of us aren’t, on what to eat, why and when to eat it, or where to get it.
During high school I began to gradually shift my food paradigm, which eventually brought me here, to Deck Family Farm. I did sports every season of every year during my childhood, including high school, and so never really had a lack of physical activity. Yet I remained an overweight child and never truly prospered at any of the sports I played beyond a certain level due to my overall level of physical fitness. At age 16, I begun working out hard almost every day, restricting my caloric intake, and changing the things that I ate (I still didn’t eat vegetables besides carrots, corn, and lettuce). I lost a lot of weight and grew stronger, but the diet was unsustainable and included processed protein drinks, supplements,
and did not resemble a diet that I would consider balanced, and made of real, quality food that I try to eat today.
During my college years at University of Oregon, I had a few major breakthroughs related to diet. I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and showed it to my family and multiple friends. I was excited about it so I immediately went out and bought a juicer. I went to the store and bought a slew of vegetables that I then juiced and drank. It went down okay when I plugged my nose, I figured, and was ecstatic that I could heal and nourish my body by consuming loads of vegetables that I had spent most of my life completely avoiding. I later took Urban Farm class at U of O which taught me how to grow produce, how good it could taste if it was high quality, freshly picked, and well prepared. The juicer taught me that I could feel great from consuming vegetables, and the Urban Farm taught me that quality, freshness, and basic cooking skills turn plants and animals into foods that please our mouths, bodies, and souls.
I spent the past two years working a job that wasn’t very fulfilling, a bureaucrat job vaguely related to food quality. During this period I developed my skills at cooking, especially pasture raised animals for friends, family and myself. I also spent my spare time at work and at home reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos about topics including philosophy, health, and pasture based animal production. A specific self-help type book I read was called The One Thing. The book posed the following question, specifically in regards to bringing myself closer to my dream life: “What’s the ONE
Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” The answer for me was to get an internship on a farm that fit with my values. It was the clear road to learning pastured livestock farming, handy skills, small business experience, and living in community. So I applied, saved up some money, and was accepted! I’ve been at Deck Family Farm for almost two months now, and I’m thriving! I’m learning from all the beautiful, enthusiastic people all while becoming farmer and friend to the plethora of animals, all here among these fields of abundance. It’s a place of gratitude, love for people, animals, food, the environment, and much more. Come down and see me at Eugene Saturday farmers market. I’ll have a smile on my face because I’m happy to sell products that I truly believe in.