How To Use this Site

All relevant information about using the site  can be found above on the Black Bar, as well as all available minutes, the 2011 Annual Reports and the complete Bylaws with Amendments. Click on the appropriate heading to access them. -admin-

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Upcoming Events at the Co-op

Two special events take place this week:

Homegrown & Real Food WinterFest – Sunday, January 11, at Homegrown Public House. Doors open at 5:00, dinner at 5:30. 30% of proceeds go to support the School Garden Project. $30/adults; $10/kids. Tickets available at Real Food Co-op or Homegrown Public House. Live music by Denny Weaver. We hope to see you there!

NextStep Electronics Recycling – FREE to all in the Florence community. Recycle almost anything that plugs in or runs on batteries. Donation box will be placed at Real Food Co-op January 9 through Noon, January 16.

Posted in About Co-op, Event Calendar, News from the Co-op, recycling, Special Interest, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Homegrown Real Food Winter Fest

On Sunday January 11th, Homegrown Public House and Real Food Co-op will host a dinner at Homegrown Pub, celebrating the foods that grow in our local area.  The community of Florence is blessed with  local, organic farms:  Whiskey Creek Organics, Greenfields, and Wintergreen Farm, that grow a variety of foods for us to enjoy year round.  We also have foods that can be wildcrafted in our forests and waters  throughout the year.

The Homegrown Real Food Winter Fest will highlight these foods from our Florence area and these surrounding areas: Noti, Junction City, Winchester Bay, and the Willammette Valley.  The menu will be rich and varied.

Thirty percent of the proceeds of this dinner will go to the School Garden Project.  Kids at Siuslaw Elementary have 12 beautiful garden beds where they are learning how to grow food, save seeds,  compost, and dig in the dirt. Their next goal is to build a greenhouse to allow the kids to garden year round.

Please join us in celebrating our community and  local food sustainability on Sunday, January 11th at 5 pm.  Dinner will be at 5:30 pm. Our amazing local musician Denny Weaver will entertain us throughout the evening. Tickets are $30 and are sold at Real Food Co-op located at 1379B Rhododendron Dr. and Homegrown Public House at 294 Maple Street.  For any questions call Jen at 551 997 3396.


Posted in About Co-op, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, Special Interest, Sustainable Farming, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Water Solutions

New Wave Enviro products are  available through Real Food Co-op. New Wave offers 10-stage water filters, shower filters, BpA free water bottles and more. Click the link below to see the full line of their products or stop in to see the catalog at our store. Contact Jen at the store to order New Wave Enviro products.

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1.    10:00 AM-   Store Operations Workgroup Committee Meeting

        Open to all members.   Held the last Friday of every month.

2.     6:30 PM-  Board Meeting at Co-op.  Open to all members.

Held the last Monday of every month.



A reminder of our current delivery schedule:

Our big produce orders come in on Mondays and Fridays after

Our big produce orders come in on Mondays and Fridays after 2:00 PM.

A small produce order comes in on Tuesday evenings.

Greenfields Farm and Whiskey Creek Organics deliver produce on Tuesdays, late afternoon.

Bread Stop bread arrives on Mondays after 2:00 PM. 

Farmhouse Bakery bread is available on Wednesday mornings.

Posted in About Co-op, Board of Directors Meeting Minutes (click on heading to view), News from the Co-op | Leave a comment

Cashier Openings This Week

Happy New Year!

2015 brings us to assessment fee time.  Make sure you know the procedure when coming to cashier.  If you don’t, just ask; it’s easy and fun!  (Member Cards have been changed to canary yellow).

We have openings for cashiers:

Monday, January 5                         10a-12p; 12p-3p; 3p-6p

Tuesday, January 6                         10a-12p; 12p-3p; 3p-6p

Wednesday, January 7                   10a-12p; 12p-3p; 3p-6p

Thursday, January 8                       3p-6p

Friday, January 9                             10a-12p; 3p-6p

Saturday, January 3                        10a-12p; 12p-3p; 12p-3p

Thanks for all you do,



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Shooting Non-targets

 Become a fan 

Scholar; Author, “Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA”

Borrowed from the Huff Post

I spent twenty-five years working for America’s Environmental Protection Agency. I found myself in an inferno of corruption — right in the belly of the government.

Corruption came to EPA directly from the industry and through the White House and Congress. But my experience at EPA had its pleasures as well. Those included learning from my constant readings, observations, and my discussions with some exceptional colleagues. Yet I lived through the daily uncertainty of survival in a bureaucracy increasingly becoming the other face of the “regulated” industry. I agonized in vain how to stop corruption and pollution.

The EPA came into being in December 1970. Despite the war politics of the 1970s, EPA tried to live up to its mission: protecting human health and the natural world from factory and agricultural poisons, especially keeping water, air, and food relatively safe.

However, industry intervened and crippled the agency. For example, the owners of farm sprays have their fingerprints all over EPA.

Agricultural sprays are biocides, chemicals designed to kill all life. These poisons also contaminate our food, drinking water and air. In fact, they are so pervasive in the environment, that they poison mothers’ breast milk.

I observed EPA “regulating” these toxins. I concluded early on that the machinery of exterminating insects and wildlife with synthetic poisons is a concrete expression of ruthless economic and political power. It follows that the panoply of pesticide companies, science, scientists, government regulators and money serve only to legitimize that immoral power.

And since the result of “pest control” practices is impoverishing the natural world and is causing disease and death among humans, we are witnessing and tolerating violence in the management of agriculture, the chemical industry, government regulation, and politics.

I am not the first to connect pesticides to violence. As early as 1978, an outstanding professor of biology at the University of California-Berkeley, Robert van den Bosch, equated the pest control industry to “a pro-pesticide mafia.” In his book, “The Pesticide Conspiracy,” he says this pro-pesticide mafia “owns politicians, bureaucrats, researchers, county agents, administrators, and elements of the media, and it can break those who don’t conform.”

Van den Bosch was right. The global pest control industry makes quite a killing: more than $ 40 billion per year. Some of this money lubricates the politicians and academics; they, in turn, bring the government to their team.

The pesticides establishment (chemical manufacturers, pesticide merchants, large farmers, timber companies, academics and government regulators) labels the victims of pesticides “non-targets.”

The “non-target” costs of spraying lethal poisons in the environment are often high. In a cotton field, everything but the bugs feeding on cotton is non-target: that includes farmers, farm workers, children, birds, beneficial insects, other crops and wildlife.

David Coppage and Clayton Bushong, senior EPA ecologists, studied the ecological damage of pesticides in the United States. In their December 1983 draft report, “On the Value of Wild Biotic Resources of the United States Affected by Pesticides,” they calculated the harm of farm poisons to a limited number of land and water wild animals cost the people of this country more than 1.25 trillion dollars per year in lost recreational, commercial, personal food, and aesthetic values.

For example, in the 1950s and 1960s, spraying DDT to marshes and tidelands killed billions of fish and aquatic invertebrates, including fish eating birds. DDT-like sprays like dieldrin and heptachlor killed about 80 percent of songbirds, wiping out some game birds while decimating wild mammals. Just the runoff of cotton insecticides, said Coppage and Bushong, “caused staggering losses of fish.” It boggles the mind to think of so massive a “potential” loss we put up with yearly in complete indifference.

This ecological damage is a consequence of a political culture that, increasingly, looks and sounds like organized crime.

Some of my EPA colleagues got as angry as I was. They were better diplomats than me, however.

For example, a few of them working out of Dallas, Texas, reported on the ecological and human impacts of policies in Region 6 – a huge area in South Central United States covering Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas. In their November 1990 “Region 6 Comparative Risk Project: Overview Report,” they reached these conclusions:

“All ecological threats are ultimately threats to human health. Man depends upon a predictable global ecology for air quality, water, food, shelter, and medicines…. Although humans are one species among thousands, they are the only species that can chemically and biologically alter the planet. Human activity has changed the course of evolution through agricultural and industrial technology; we must begin to understand that, ecologically, humans have a responsibility to preserve the earth’s life if but to protect human life. We have not demonstrated the knowledge, wisdom, or compassion to accept this role.”

These gems of courage and wisdom inspired me to speak out as well. Rather than being a “team player” and earn a high salary and awards, I took the road rarely taken. I paid a high price for that decision.

I kept saying the environmental conditions in America are deleterious to all life, including human life. EPA failed us but only because our politicians are in bed with the industry. The medicine for EPA’s failure is to demolish the corrupting power of the industry. Then let EPA scientists do their work.

We need a new EPA designed to be immune to political corruption.

Young American moms (and other young women all over the world) should never have to discover poisons in their breast milk. But they do. That alone is dangerous to the health of the mothers and newborn. Poisons in mothers’ milk are also so offensive to human dignity that young women — and the rest of us — ought to overthrow everything that makes their poisoning possible.

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Organic products, Politics, Sustainable Farming | Leave a comment

Recycle Your Old Electronics At the Co-op

Recycle almost anything that plugs in or runs on batteries  at the Real Food Co-op between Friday January 9th at noon  and  Friday January 16th.

NextStep Recycling in Eugene will place a large box outside of Real Food Co-op for you to leave your donations of unwanted electronics.

NextStep refurbishes and recycles all unwanted electronics… from computers to toasters to alarm clocks.  Their mission is to provide technology and training to children and adults who have barriers to employment and education, while protecting the environment and community from hazardous waste.  You can see their website for a complete list of items that can be donated.

NextStep ReUse Store is located in Eugene and open daily.  There you can purchase refurbished electronics, power cords, battery packs, and more.

Real Food Co-op is located at 1379B Rhododendron Dr.  Call for any questions 997-3396.  Thank you for being a responsible consumer and member of your community.



Co-op is located at 1379B Rhododendron Dr.  Call for any questions 997-3396.  Thank you for being a responsible consumer and member of your community.


Posted in About Co-op, Event Calendar, News from the Co-op, recycling, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

From the Co-op


Recipe of the Month


Sprouted Buckwheat Breakfast Bars

Courtesy of Tales of a Kitchen. Visit their


for details about this recipe.

Prep time:  5 mins,  Total time:  5 mins                    Serves: 4


* 2/3 cups sprouted buckwheat groats* (see note & link below)

* 1/3 cup almonds

* 1/3 cup walnuts

* 2 TBSP linseed/flax seed meal

* 2 TBSP chia seeds

* 1/3 cup sultanas/raisins

* 1/3 cup currants

* 2 TBSP date paste

* 1/4 cup dried cranberries

* 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

* 1/4 tsp cinnamon


* Add the buckwheat to a food processor and blitz until you get it to a finely crumbled consistency.

* Add almonds, walnuts, linseed and chia seeds and process until nuts are finely crumbled.

* Now add the dried fruits, lemon juice and cinnamon and blitz until the mix becomes sticky and clumps together.

* Scoop out the mix and press it into a cake pan lined with cling wrap, cover and refrigerate until it sets a bit. Alternatively, you can also make them into balls and refrigerate.


The sprouting of the buckwheat is not labor intensive and takes very little of your time. It’s just a bit of a waiting game, between 2 to 4 days, depending on the temperature of the environment (2 days during summer time when it’s very hot, 3-4 days during the colder seasons).

Never sprouted buckwheat before?  Don’t worry, it’s very easy. Check out this short video on how to do it. Once you’ve successfully sprouted them, rinse, pat dry with a paper towel, spread them on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate until dry (5 to 6 hours). If you don’t have a dehydrator, spread the buckwheat on a tray lined with baking paper and add them to the oven at the lowest temperature; dehydrate them with the oven door ajar (about 2 hours). To test if ready, taste one – it should be crispy and crunchy.


 New Reusable Produce and Bulk Storage Bags

The co-op is pleased to carry Hands on Hemp resusable storage bags. These bags are great for carrying and storing produce, dry bulk and baked goods

pastedGraphic.pdfVisit their website for tips about how to keep your produce fresh using these wonderful bags.



Product Update

Carmen’s Corn Tortillas (found in our freezer section) are now being made by De Casa Fine Foods in Eugene, Oregon. De Casa uses only organic corn for these tasty tortillas.

More information about De Casa Fine Foods is available at their website.

 Keep Up-To-Date on Facebook


We LOVE our email newsletter because we get to tell you about all of the new products and wonderful things going on at the co-op (don’t worry, our newsletter is not going away). The newsletter does, however, have one limitation…it is sent out only once per month.

Facebook is a tool that allows us to update you immediately when new products arrive, last-minute sales take place and events are scheduled. It eliminates the delay of getting out time-sensitive information about products and unexpected sales out you, our members-owners and customers.

Feel free to LIKE us on Facebook for more timely updates and access to our events calendar. We plan to continue our monthly Newsletter as well, so don’t worry if you are not a Facebook user. You will continue to receive this monthly email update.


Thank you for continuing to support your Real Food Co-op and local farmers.


Member-Only Coffee Special:

Members receive a great special discount on coffee at the co-op. The member-only special is $10.40/lb. (or $10.90/lb. for decaf). The regular price is over $12/lb. This price applies to both Cafe Mam and Cafeto brands.




Posted in About Co-op, Board News, Co-op Newsletter and Weekly Articles, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, News from the Co-op, Organic products, Recipes, Special Interest, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Why Wheat is Toxic

Sent via two friends.  Thank you Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist!

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)


The stories became far too frequent to ignore.

Emails from folks with allergic or digestive issues to wheat in the United States experienced no symptoms whatsoever when they tried eating pasta on vacation in Italy.
Confused parents wondering why wheat consumption sometimes triggered autoimmune reactions in their children but not at other times.

In my own home, I’ve long pondered why my husband can eat the wheat I prepare at home, but he experiences negative digestive effects eating even a single roll in a restaurant.

There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus nonorganic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world.

What indeed is going on with wheat?

For quite some time, I secretly harbored the notion that wheat in the United States must, in fact, be genetically modified.  GMO wheat secretly invading the North American food supply seemed the only thing that made sense and could account for the varied experiences I was hearing about.  I reasoned that it couldn’t be the gluten or wheat hybridization. Gluten and wheat hybrids have been consumed for thousands of years. It just didn’t make sense that this could be the reason for so many people suddenly having problems with wheat and gluten in general in the past 5-10 years.  Finally, the answer came over dinner a couple of months ago with a friend who was well versed in the wheat production process. I started researching the issue for myself, and was, quite frankly, horrified at what I discovered.

The good news is that the reason wheat has become so toxic in the United States is not because it is secretly GMO as I had feared (thank goodness!). The bad news is that the problem lies with the manner in which wheat is harvested by conventional wheat farmers.  You’re going to want to sit down for this one.  I’ve had some folks burst into tears in horror when I passed along this information before:

Standard wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest.

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup and other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980.  It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT who has studied the issue in depth and who I recently saw present on the subject at a nutritional Conference in Indianapolis, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came into vogue late in the 1990′s with the result that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States is now contaminated with it.  Seneff explains thatwhen you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield:   “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed.”

According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2012, 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat has been doused with Roundup as part of the harvesting process. This is an increase from 88% for durum wheat, 91% for spring wheat and 47% for winter wheat since 1998.

Here’s what wheat farmer Keith Lewis has to say about the practice:

I have been a wheat farmer for 50 yrs and one wheat production practice that is very common is applying the herbicide Roundup (glyposate) just prior to harvest. Roundup is licensed for preharvest weed control. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup claims that application to plants at over 30% kernel moisture result in roundup uptake by the plant into the kernels. Farmers like this practice because Roundup kills the wheat plant allowing an earlier harvest.

A wheat field often ripens unevenly, thus applying Roundup preharvest evens up the greener parts of the field with the more mature. The result is on the less mature areas Roundup is translocated into the kernels and eventually harvested as such.

This practice is not licensed. Farmers mistakenly call it “dessication.” Consumers eating products made from wheat flour are undoubtedly consuming minute amounts of Roundup. An interesting aside, malt barley which is made into beer is not acceptable in the marketplace if it has been sprayed with preharvest Roundup. Lentils and peas are not accepted in the market place if it was sprayed with preharvest roundup….. but wheat is ok.. This farming practice greatly concerns me and it should further concern consumers of wheat products.

This practice is not just widespread in the United States either.  The Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom reports that use of Roundup as a wheat desiccant results in glyphosate residues regularly showing up in bread samples. Other European countries are waking up to to the danger, however. In the Netherlands, use of Roundup is completely banned with France likely soon to follow.

Using Roundup as a dessicant on the wheat fields prior to harvest may save the farmer money and increase profits, but it is devastating to the health of the consumer who ultimately consumes those ground up wheat kernels which have absorbed a significant amount of Roundup!

While the herbicide industry maintains that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, research published in the Journal Entropy strongly argues otherwise by shedding light on exactly how glyphosate disrupts mammalian physiology.  Authored by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff of MIT, the paper investigates glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, an overlooked component of lethal toxicity to mammals.

The currently accepted view is that ghyphosate is not harmful to humans or any mammals.  This flawed view is so pervasive in the conventional farming community that Roundup salesmen have been known to foolishly drink it during presentations!
However, just because Roundup doesn’t kill you immediately doesn’t make it nontoxic.  In fact, the active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the all important shikimate pathway found in beneficial gut microbes which is responsible for synthesis of critical amino acids.

Friendly gut bacteria, also called probiotics, play a critical role in human health. Gut bacteria aid digestion, prevent permeability of the gastointestinal tract (which discourages the development of autoimmune disease), synthesize vitamins and provide the foundation for robust immunity.  In essence:  Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms.

In synergy with disruption of the biosynthesis of important amino acids via the shikimate pathway, glyphosate inhibits the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes produced by the gut microbiome.  CYP enzymes are critical to human biology because they detoxify the multitude of foreign chemical compounds, xenobiotics, that we are exposed to in our modern environment today.

As a result, humans exposed to glyphosate through use of Roundup in their community or through ingestion of its residues on industrialized food products become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they encounter!

What’s worse is that the negative impact of glyphosate exposure is slow and insidious over months and years as inflammation gradually gains a foothold in the cellular systems of the body.  The consequences of this systemic inflammation are most of the diseases and conditions associated with the Western lifestyle:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • And the list goes on and on and on …

In a nutshell, Dr. Seneff’s study of Roundup’s ghastly glyphosate which the wheat crop in the United States is doused with just days before harvest uncovers the manner in which this lethal toxin harms the human body by decimating beneficial gut microbes with the tragic end result of disease, degeneration, and widespread suffering.  Got the picture yet?  Even if you think you have no trouble digesting wheat, it is still very wise to avoid conventional wheat as much as possible in your diet!

You Must Avoid Toxic Wheat No Matter What
The bottom line is that avoidance of conventional wheat in the United States is absolutely imperative even if you don’t currently have a gluten allergy or wheat sensitivity. The increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to wheat closely correlates with the rise of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Dr. Seneff points out that the increases in these diseases are not just genetic in nature, but also have an environmental cause as not all patient symptoms are alleviated by eliminating gluten from the diet.

The effects of deadly glyphosate on your biology are so insidious that lack of symptoms today means literally nothing.  If you don’t have problems with wheat now, you will in the future if you keep eating conventionally produced, toxic wheat!

How to Eat Wheat Safely
Obviously, if you’ve already developed a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, you must avoid it.  Period.  But, if you aren’t celiac or gluten sensitive and would like to consume this ancestral food safely, you can do what we do in our home. We only source organic, preferably low gluten, unhybridized Einkorn wheat for breadmaking, pancakes, cookies etc.  But, when we eat out or are purchasing food from the store, conventional wheat products are rejected without exception.  This despite the fact that we have no gluten allergies whatsoever in our home – yet.  I am firmly convinced that if we did nothing, our entire family at some point would develop sensitivity to wheat or autoimmune disease in some form due to the toxic manner in which it is processed and the glyphosate residues that are contained in conventional wheat products.

What Are You Going to Do About Toxic Wheat?
How did you react to the news that US wheat farmers are using Roundup, not just to kill weeds, but to dry out the wheat plants to allow for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest and that such a practice causes absorption of toxic glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, right into the wheat kernels themselves?  Did you feel outraged and violated like I did?  How will you implement a conventional wheat-avoidance strategy going forward even if you haven’t yet developed a problem with gluten or wheat sensitivity?

What about other crops where Roundup is used as a pre-harvest dessicant such as barley, sugar cane, rice, seeds, dried beans and peas, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets?  Will you only be buying these crops in organic form from now on to avoid this modern, man-made scourge?
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources and More Information

  1. Roundup: Quick Death for Weeds, Slow and Painful Death for You
  2. Glyphosate now commonly found in human urine
  3. The Glyphosate, Celiac Disease Connection
  4. Hybrid Wheat is Not the Same as GMO Wheat
  5. The Dutch Ban Roundup, France and Brazil to Follow
  6. Is it the Gluten or is it the Glyphosate?
  7. Pre-harvest Application of Glyphosate to Wheat
  8. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases
  9. Yield and quality of wheat seeds as a function of desiccation stages and herbicides
Posted in Health Issues, News from the Co-op, Organic products, Special Interest | Leave a comment

Co-op Newsletter for October

New Ways to Save at Real Food Co-op

checkbook-pen.jpgStarting in October, there are three more ways to save money at the Real Food Co-op! These offers apply to both members and non-members.


Senior Savings Day - the FIRST TUESDAY of every month: 10% discount on all grocery purchases for seniors!

Bulk Savings Day - The SECOND THURSDAY of every month: 10% discount on all grocery purchases for seniors!

Produce Savings Day - EVERY SATURDAY from 1:00 to 6:00 PM: 10% discount on all produce in the store!

Please note that discounts do not apply to special orders or consignment items. Discounts may not be combined with volunteer discounts.

Local Produce

PeppersThe sunny season may be winding down, but there is still plenty of local produce at the co-op.




Current Delivery Schedule

Co-op Produce

Just a reminder of our current delivery schedule:

* Our big produce orders come in on Mondays and Fridays after 2:00 PM.

* A small produce order comes in on Tuesday evenings.

* Greenfields Farm and Whiskey Creek Organics deliver produce on Tuesdays, late afternoon.

* Bread Stop bread arrives on Mondays after 2:00 PM.

* Farmhouse Bakery bread is available on Wednesday mornings.

Get to Know Your Farmer by Mindy Stone -
This week: Deck Family Farm
Deck Family Farm Owners
John & Christine Deck

Located about 60 miles northeast of Florence, just west of Junction City, isDeck Family Farm. Christine and John Deck moved onto their small farm in 2004 and opened for business three years later. Deck Family Farm raises beef, pork, lamb and poultry (for eggs and meat) on pastured land with all certified organic standards.

Deck Family Farm CoolersI sat down with Christine outside the office among 25 or more coolers filled with ice and scattered packages of pork chops, summer sausages, whole poultry broilers, and various cuts of beef. I asked Christine about the farmers markets and she responded, “About 50 percent of our sales come from farmers markets. Although these are very good ways to get to meet people in communities, the profit margin is very slim. It takes one full day to prep for 7 farmers markets in Portland on both Saturday and Sunday and then we have to factor in all the costs incurred by transportation, staffing, paying vendor fees and incidentals.

Our preferred markets are the cooperatives we serve. Grocery stores are not a good fit for us, but we love the co-op food stores. The shoppers tend to be more knowledgeable about food and interested in the farms providing their products. These shoppers also tend to be more politically aligned with the small scale, sustainable farmers and some of the cooperatives even send a few of their employees to our farm for a paid full day of observation to get to know the farm and animals better. This helps to convey the farm’s information to the customers.”

Deck Family Farms Farmer marketThe smallest revenue source is their CSA program. They have a meat/egg box program and the Creamy Cow program which is their raw milk, cream and butter share. You also can special order a half/whole pig, and/or a quarter/half/whole beef cow if you desire.

Both Christine and John come from a long line of small family owned/operated farms in northern CA and they both focus on their areas of expertise in maintaining their lovely farm. Christine explains “I was raised on a walnut and beef farm like this, but smaller, in the San Joaquin Valley. We lost the farm when former Pres. Nixon’s appointed USDA Director, Earl Butts, famously said ‘Get big or get out.’ We were not going to turn our farm into the agribusiness model so my grandfather sold most of the property and became a gentleman farmer.”

Deck Family Farm ViewChristine said she always knew she wanted to be a farmer, but thought a college degree would help her generate a good income to be able to afford to farm. John also was raised on a family farm in the former Santa Clara Valley, now known as Silicon Valley. John and Christine met while in school at UC Davis where Christine was seeking a degree as an animal science major. In order to pay for her education, one of Christine’s jobs was to feed chicken poop to the beef cows in the experimental labs to find out how much weight beef cows could gain eating chicken poop. It was at that point that Christine knew this was not the kind of farming she wanted to be part of. She dropped out of school and married John and started a family.

Deck Family Farm ChickensJohn graduated with an agricultural degree and, being unable to afford to buy a farm in northern CA, they moved to Oregon and found their current farm which was owned by a cattle farmer. The set-up was already in place and rather than focus on one type of ranch animal to sell they decided to raise a variety which is actually better for the farmland and provides more choice in the marketplace. John’s passion for supporting the soil structure and Christine’s passion for animals is a great combination.

I asked Christine where she saw the organic food movement going. “It is hard to comment on this because when you are in it you really can’t see what is going on around you in an unbiased way. I’m surrounded by like-minds and we are all hoping that it succeeds. A positive sign that things are going forward is seeing more and more young people wanting to become farmers.” Deck Family Farm has interns on the farm who get first-hand experience (as well as room/board and a few positions for pay) on all operations of the family farm. Not only does Deck provide quality food and hands-on work experience, but they offer opportunities to learn about Cobb building, thanks to theCobb Cottage Company who comes out to the farm to give workshops in the summertime.

Deck Family Farm has an open-gate policy. Anytime you want to come out to watch the cows being milked (6 a.m. or 4 p.m.) or just check out the farm, the gate will be unlocked. They have a website, a Facebook page and a blog so you can keep up with the doings on the farm and please be sure to check out their lovely products in our freezer case at the co-op (and fresh eggs in the refrigerator section).

Master Recycler’s Durable Goods Program

Master Recycler LogoDid you know that 27% of landfill material consists of paper products and 13% is made up of plastic?


The FREE Durable Goods Program allows people to rent (at no cost) durable dishes, utensils and cloth napkins for any indoor/outdoor event up to 125 servings. The free rental program includes: Plastic plates, metal silverware, cloth napkins, plastic cups, dishwashing station and cleaning instructions for return. Contact:  541-590-0506.
In addition, the Master Recyclers are looking for donations of ceramic mugs to replace the plastic cups.

Notes from the Board/Fall

In October we will move all of our noisy heat-generating refrigeration compressors to the outside of the building. This will accomplish two important goals:

1. To lower the temperature in the store which will benefit all of our products.

2. This also will significantly lower the overall noise level everywhere in the store, including at the Check-out area!

Additional benefits include less wear on the equipment and greater energy savings for the co-op! We will be sending out a detailed letter in this regard to all of our members asking for donations to help offset the cost. Look for it mid-month; we greatly appreciate your support in this endeavor!


Your co-op is growing. If you would like to play an active role in directing the current and future operation of your co-op, consider becoming a Member of the Board of Directors. Contact any Board member personally to find out more.

Thank you,

Randy Curtola, Vice-President


 Did You Know…

That we update our Facebook page a few times each week with information about products, new arrivals, special sales, etc.? 

Like us on Facebook to remain up to date on what’s happening at the store.

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Posted in About Co-op, Board News, Co-op Newsletter and Weekly Articles, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, GMO FOOD | Leave a comment