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The Meating Place w/Butcher Marena Gray | Hillsboro, OR

The Meating Place is a short drive outside Portland and a world unto itself. A restaurant that gets packed on weekdays with locals looking for a soup and a sandwich, a butcher counter to rival any supermarket in America and a custom processor in the back half serving hundreds of ranchers, farmers, hunters and homesteaders. Marena runs that. Thin, almost lanky, but with strong arms and a forward and upright stance, Marena’s in charge of it all. It might be hard to see at first; she’s not standing behind a big wood block shouting orders, or on an elevated catwalk looking down on operations. She has a desk in a closet but, more than likely it’s just where people take...

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ByGeorge | Jacksonville, OR

ByGeorge farm is the kind of place you imagine a farm to be; grassy paddocks lined with wooden fence, farm equipment placed strategically out of the way of car and foot paths, an assortment of farm animals; ducks and semi-wild turkeys, dogs and cats, small brindled cows and dark wooly sheep. An operation rather than an institution, with signs of the effort of its owners everywhere, and one with a function beyond its own survival. The small, unassuming building at the top of a low hill was mostly overshadowed by the bright white trailer camper parked at the hillsides edge, but it is in this building that Tyson and Johnny produce a variety of handcrafted, award-winning cheeses that represent a...

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Alexandre Dairy Farm | Crescent City, CA

There is a monumental feel to the Alexandre Dairy headquarters nestled in the northernmost reaches of the California coast. A crop of bright red bars and stables amidst a sea of vibrant green grasses emblazoned with a name that currently stretches two generations of leadership but will one day likely encompass many more. There are seven key Alexandre family members in the company; five kids and two parents, with wives and partners and family friends all wrapped up in the business as well. The kids, especially, have roots in this part of the world now. They were raised on this stretch of farmland nestled between the sand dunes and the 101 freeway, steeped in the features of the land both...

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Paicines Ranch | Paicines, CA

Just south of the Bay, in one of the many dry, grassy valleys that constitute the bulk of California, Paicines Ranch is a community of farmers, land stewards, and coordinators set on the singular mission of restoring their land. An event space, land rehabilitation project and farm nestled on 7k acres of dry rolling hills, shady waterways and irrigated pasture, there is a feeling that nothing happens without everyone. Mary and Martha, two women focused on the same goal through wildly different means, took us on a tour of that land, pointing out the different paddocks and slopes which made up the land. Mary, loquacious and bubbly, excitedly talked about the pigs down at the northeast paddock, cooling off in...

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TomKat Ranch

Tomkat Ranch is the kind of place we’re all looking for in the California food community; 1 part Farm and 2 part Institution. It’s full of farmers, farm equipment and farm animals, but there’s a purpose beyond the business of holistic animal agriculture in its core. That’s not to say raising animals holistically is not purposeful; indeed, many of the modern world’s greatest problems can be solved through these farms, but at Tomkat there is a sense of something more. We met Kathy, a wiry, powerful woman who projects when she speaks and always seems in a state of intense focus to counteract a profound restlessness. It is likely that, even when she was listening to us, there were a...

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