General Description: Deck Family Farm is a 320-acre Certified Organic farm located in Western Willamette Valley near Eugene. Deck is a diversified operation with the current focus on Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Meats, raw dairy and fruit. We stand on the principles of humane handling, conservation practices including riparian restoration and exclusion, and increased soil fertility through management intensive grazing.
As a certified organic pasture based farm. We do not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, hormones or antibiotics. We are a family oriented farm with an “open gate” policy, meaning the farm is open to visitors any day but Sunday. We strive to be transparent in our practices and to be a conduit for folks to stay connected to our agricultural heritage.
Our farm consists of: A small raw milk dairy – We milk and care for an average of 10-15 cows throughout the seasons. The herd is a legal cooperative and owned by shareholders who pay for feed, care and milking of the herd. We also make a small amount of butter, cheese, and yogurt for our shareholders.
Pastured Pigs – We raise heritage pigs on pasture. In the wettest part of the winter pigs are brought up in barns to farrow and stay warm and dry. Piglets are fed raw milk from the dairy during weaning and finished on hazelnuts. Our breeding program has allowed us to become Animal Welfare Approved and to produce pigs birth to finish.
Beef – Deck Family Farm also produces 100% grass fed and finished Certified Organic Heritage Galloway beef. Our management intensive grazing system has brought greater fertility to our pastures and rotating crops of grains, legumes and grasses has extended our grazing season to 8-9 months of the year.
Chickens – Organic layers for eggs and roasters for meat. All chickens are out on pasture during the day and housed in “chicken tractors” at night to prevent predation. Salim, our Anatolian Shepard does her best to keep them safe. Chickens are grazed behind and sometimes beside cattle. In addition to their great tasting eggs the poultry is an integral part of breaking parasite life cycles and bringing more fertility to the pastures.
Sheep – Flock size of 150 ewes. We normally lamb in the early spring with babies coming in the months of January-March. Our current breeds are Romney, Dorset, Suffolk and Textile. Much of our grazng is on leased ground off site.
Garden – We are experimenting with a large home garden, aimed to balance our diets with fresh veggies year round. It is our hope to create a “Full Farm CSA” by 2016 to bring more good clean food to families on the farm in our area. The garden is often intern initiated and run.
Marketing – We direct market to our customers through farmer’s markets, buying clubs, grocery stores and a CSA program. All farm interns are required to participate in this level of the business because it is the engine that drives profitability and allows us to stay in business farming.
We are not a homestead operation but a for-profit business that requires economy of scale to successfully compete in the current economic model. If you are interested in homesteading practices we can provide some animal husbandry training but our program is more focused on what it takes to run an successful business than a subsistence homestead.
It is our hope that through the years we can partner with other individuals and families committed to the principles of strong work ethics, environmental justice and good business practices. If you think this description fits you, please give us a call.
Internship Starts: Rotating year round
Internship Ends: Rotating year round
Number of Interns: 5
App Deadline: Open
Minimum Length of Stay: 3-6 months Continue reading