Resources for Chefs and Buyers
Resources for Chefs and Buyers
Sourcing locally from farmers and ranchers is an important part of the local food economy of Central Oregon. In an effort to support buyers, HDFFA has curated a central hub of resources for chefs and buyers to find information on how to find, build, and maintain relationships with local farmers and ranchers, and how to integrate sourcing locally into their business model.
Central Oregon is growing rapidly, and the demand for local food is clear. Read about the economic impact of local food in the Central Oregon Agricultural Economic Impact Report, done in 2017 by HDFFA, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, and OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems.
What is Local and Seasonal in Central Oregon?
“Local” can mean different things depending on who you ask, but HDFFA defines local as being sourced from Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The typical growing season for produce in this region runs from early-season greens available in March/April, to heartier vegetables like winter squash and brussels sprouts in October/November. Check out the seasonality calendar and Central Oregon’s Top 10 to the right.
Sourcing meat and eggs is a different matter. Eggs are also considered a seasonal item, as hens are responsive to day length. While eggs are available year-round there is less abundance in the winter months, but become more readily available as we see longer days in spring. Top quality local pastured and range products are available all year round in Central Oregon. Beef, pork, and lamb are the most common, but there are also more specialty offerings like ostrich and goat. Check out HDFFA’s online Food & Farm Directory to search for businesses to source from.
Sourcing locally means being aware of these seasonal changes, having open and clear communication with producers, and being adaptable with menus or offerings. Read on for resources on how to find regional farmers and ranchers and resources for your business model.
How to Find Central Oregon Farm and Ranch Products
- Agricultural Connections: a specialty distributor of Central Oregon and Oregon-grown food, selling goods to both households and commercial clients. Delivering to Redmond, Madras, Prineville, Sisters, LaPine, Sunriver, and surrounding destination resorts, and working closely with local producers.
- HDFFA’s Get a Taste Food & Farm Directory: find local farms and wholesalers by filtering “wholesale”, or by searching by location. Find farmers markets in Sisters, Prineville, Bend, and Redmond.
- Attend annual farmer/rancher mixer events to meet one-on-one with producers. Check out upcoming events on our event page.
- Guide to Buying Locally-Sourced Food: Resource through SunLeaf Foods for restaurants, from where to start to how to showcase the ingredients.
- Fifth Season for your School: Guide to integrating local foods at schools when the growing season typically falls outside of the regular school year.
- Navigating Chef-Farmer Relationships: Networking resource from Minnesota Foodshed to help navigate what to expect regarding pricing, planning, and quality.
- Oregon Legal Requirements for Purchasing Food from Local Farms: The legal requirements for purchasing from a farm or farm organization vary by the type of food product. This resource lists specific foods and what to look for when buying from a farmer.
- Going Whole Hog: A Guide For Foodservice Chefs And Cooks: This guide, designed in partnership with the NW Food Buyers’ Alliance, provides tips and considerations for purchasing and utilizing a whole hog.
- Get a Taste of this Place Marketing Campaign: This regional marketing campaign helps increase consumption of Central Oregon-grown foods by making them easier to find and highlighting their uniqueness. HDFFA offers free and discounted collateral for Partners and brand/logo usage for businesses that source locally. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.