Years in the Making

We’re honored to use our platform to elevate the stories of local farmers and ranchers. The following story was originally posted to Instagram by HDFFA partner @doublefranchmeatcsa. Shared with permission.

Restaurant server holding a hamburger

“This burger has been YEARS in the making. Local food is very slow food and that’s a good thing!

As I’m busily plotting out share contents for our May 2020 monthly Meat CSA delivery, I’m thinking about just how long it has taken to get this beef to our customers. How do I even pinpoint the specific moment in time when I started intentionally raising this meat for our members?

This beef was harvested in October 2019, the final cuts from our fall harvested, seasonal, grass-finished beef.

But that steer was born in February 2017 and harvested at 30 months of age.

But cattle gestate for 9 months. We turned out the bull with the cow in May 2016. That’s nearly 4 years ago. FOUR YEARS to make this meal! Just wow.

Calf
Cattle in winter

But it didn’t really start four years ago did it? We raised the hay to feed to cow. We raised up the heifer to become the cow. How far do we go back? When we started the CSA? When we felt called to agriculture? When the family started raising cattle in the 70s? When the ranch was homesteaded in the late 1800s?

The answer is that agriculture is a process, not a moment. Farming or ranching, it doesn’t matter but the food we raise today is only a possibility because of others that came before us.

Sure we may still know the names of those that most recently affected the local process whether that be grannie and granddad who used to farm the land or the name of the farmer who raised the seed stock planted this year.

irrigation-line

But it goes so much further back – beyond the greening of the desert through irrigation, beyond advances in plant breeding, crop science and the “green revolution”, beyond the “taming of the wilderness” by the settlers, beyond the forceful removal of the native people, beyond the domestication of plants and animals, beyond the unique weathering and geological processes that created the very soil required to farm.

I can’t pinpoint a specific moment in time that this all started. But I am eternally grateful for the privilege of stewarding the agricultural process over these last few years to get dinner on your table tonight.

Thank you for letting me be your farmer.”

double-f-ranch

Katia and Nathan (photo at left) are one part of the team running the Double F Ranch meat CSA out of Antelope, OR.

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