The broth for the biscuits is simmering on the stove, and the aroma is intoxicating! A growing trend of dogs developing sensitivities to beef and poultry products has lead to our needing our make own lamb broth with which to make the biscuits. This, in turn, lead to the need to find a sheep farmer.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have ridiculously high standards for the farms who provide the meat for our biscuits, but after an exhaustive search I happened upon the Deck Family Farm, who have no trouble at all meeting those standards, because they share the values behind them.
The Deck family insists on proper stewardship of the land and their animals, putting ethics ahead of profit margin means the meat they produce costs twice as much the feedlot version. The lives that sustain us, those of the beasts and those of the farmers, have honor and value and dignity; and they deserve our respect. The way farmers work and live on the land ultimately effects all of us: in pesticide run off, or it’s absence; soil erosion, or the lack of it; the nutritional content and quality of the meat, or lack there of. The Deck family does not compromise on these critical issues, which is why we feel so privileged to be working with them!
Their goal is to produce the healthiest and most nutritious meat possible, with an emphasis on animal health and welfare. Their animals have access to green pasture and open sky 365 days a year. The Deck family steward their animals through every cycle, from start to finish, which means babies will are nursed until an appropriate age of weaning and finished on the same pasture where they were born. There is absolutely no use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics.
The Decks have set up a pasture-based system with the goal of giving their animals a happy and healthy life. But their goals extend further than this. They go to great lengths to ameliorate the impact on the land, surrounding wilderness ~and even to extend the amount of wilderness on their land.
They have spent over 6 years on the Turnbow Creek CREP Project, which will protect 3500′ of Turnbow Creek (a tributary to the Long Tom River) from grazing animals, provide wildlife habitat, enable better grazing for their animals, and provide a foundation for our nutrient management program. Thanks to a convergence of environmental organizations, and the intrepid efforts of the Deck Kids, the world got a little better and a little greener.
Last fall they put a tremendous amount of work into slowing the velocity of water through through their culvert on Owen’s Creek, which was impacting trout during spawning season. No one made them do it, there was no profit in it for them, they did it because it was the right thing to do.
Ultimately, the Deck Family would like to create community around agriculture while taking back the distribution and marketing aspects of the food system so that family farmers can once again make a viable living off the land. Their vision includes creating a cooperative of meat producers in the Willamette Valley that can distribute and market products under one brand name, much like Organically Grown Company does with vegetables.
Leo and I have always brought uncompromising standards to the ingredients we use.When we first started this company, I made the observation that there were plenty of cheaper dog biscuits out there, Leo didn’t miss a beat: “It’s not about cheap, mom: it’s about quality.” Quality, and doing things right.
Deck Family Farm raises 100% Grassfed Heritage Galloway Beef, Heritage Red Wattle Pork, Heritage La Belle Rouge Chickens,White Turkeys, Heritage Turkeys, Hens Eggs, Duck Eggs, Lamb and Goat. And once you have tried their offerings, I think you will agree that they are worth every cent and more!
You can find Deck Family Farm products at the Alberta Co-op, the PSU Farmers Market, Hollywood Farmers Market, and St. John’s Farmers Markets in Portland; the Eugene Saturday Market, the Friendly Street Markets in Eugene, and the Astoria Cooperative in Astoria.