2016 Food & Farm Directory Annual Publication - Page 16

“Eating with the fullest pleasure, pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance, is perhaps our profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and gratitude.” - Wendell Berry Farming in Central Oregon Farming is not easy. Central Oregon farmers and ranchers work hard growing and raising food for you on the challenging high desert plateau. The growing season ranges from 60 to 120 days, and precipitation can be as little as 8 inches per year. Despite these challenges, Central Oregon producers grow an abundance of food! The life of a farmer “At the end of a mid-summer day, soaking up the last drops of sunlight, I pack up my tools and head to the house. After a quick dinner at 9 pm, I look at the weather and see a frost advisory for the next morning and my heart drops. I pick up my headlamp and head back out into the crisp evening air to pull row covers over my 1,000 feet of freshly transplanted tomatoes, a task that should only take an hour. It ends up taking two as I find that the chicken coop is not closed and a few are wondering around. As my hands get cold and my job is complete, I head to 16 my bed excited for the 6 hours of sleep that I may get before the sun rises and the glory of farming starts another day.” For the love of it Every farmer has experienced some version of this self-sacrifice. Whether it’s skipping their daughter’s dance recital to help calve twins, sharing their living room with abandoned lambs, the tub with the chicks, or patrolling the lettuce bed every two hours at night to catch the porcupine that’s been feasting on the crop, there are so many reasons to just throw in the trowel. And yet, dedicated Central Oregon producers keep farming. We at HDFFA are proud to call these Producer Partners our farming family. Join HDFFA in celebrating their commitment to nourishing our community! Our support The High Desert Food and Farm Alliance helps create a thriving local food economy by supporting these dedicated agricultural partners.  Our support varies depending on their needs. We host Farmer Chef Mixer events to provide a space for farmers and chefs to meet and develop business relationships. We provide one-page colorful “Farmer Profiles” as free marketing tools to help producers connect with local buyers.We assist with agri-tourism events in Crook and Jefferson counties to highlight the economic contributions of Central Oregon producers. We also organize events, workshops and conferences on topics of interest to members. MECCA GRADE ESTATE MAIT