03 May 2010

Agricultural Ap(titude); they have it

In case you have ever wondered…It takes 130 acres, 7 dogs and 4 people to raise 300 sheep. Or at least that is what it takes on Reister Farms: Founded in McMinnville in 1957, Jake and Rachel Reister are the 3rd generation to work at the family’s agricultural business. With Parents, Marie and Phil who assist on the farm and selling at the markets, two guard dogs and a handful of border collies – there is enough institutional knowledge and experience to understand what is needed to keep the farm operating efficiently.

On top of being knowledgeable about the subject, farming is an issue Rachel Reister is passionate about. “The average American is usually 3 and 4 generations away from the farm, and the understanding of the rural lifestyle is quickly diminishing. It is important that today’s consumer understand the farming practices used to grow their food in order to make an educated decision about what to feed their family.”

The Reisters farming acumen has another benefit: they are able to offer Market shoppers choices: The family farm now relocated to Washington on the north side of Mount Norway near Washougal – gives customers a chance to eat very local. Some experts estimate food travels an average of 1800 miles to reach your plate (New Zealand lamb; a few more clicks than that) – Reister’s lamb, eggs and sausages log a total of 28 food miles getting from farm to market. The farm’s sustainable practices means people have a clear option to serve meals to their families free of antibiotics, hormones and synthetic pesticides.

As a result of their work, Portlanders have a choice to support local economies, family farmers, sustainable agriculture. And along with the bigger societal choices, there are consumer choices. Working with local, USDA certified facilities the Reisters are able to offer Market goers a selection of lamb, eggs, sausages including bratwurst, cured pepperoni, Italian (bulk and link), garlic/feta, a garlic/cumin and soon a traditional Meguez Sausage.

Reister Farms will be bringing their selection to the Buckman Market, formerly Eastbank, every Thursday between 3-7 until the end of September. Say hi, learn about what it takes to be a farmer and enjoy some locally produced food from passionate farmers.