Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Food Farmer Earth: A Passion for Pigs

It's no secret that I love the farmers, food producers and chefs of the Northwest. So when Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up a Story asked me if I'd be interested in working with them on their new series called Food Farmer Earth they barely had time to finish making the offer before I said, "I'm in!" This interview with passionate pastured meat rancher Kendra Kimbirauskas is the first of the stories I worked on in the capacity of producer, and the first of many you'll be seeing on GoodStuffNW.

Kendra Kimbirauskas (left, with her "bacon maker" LV) grew up on a small farm in the Midwest watching her parents working long hours to make ends meet. With an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day struggles farmers face, after college she became an activist on the issues affecting small farms, working on factory farm issues in Iowa.

Baby pigs napping in their pasture.

While there, she also spent time at Niman Ranch, working with a co-op that supplies pork to Chipotle restaurants. The experience of raising pigs outdoors on pasture resonated with her and in 2006 she decided that it was time to "walk her talk." Putting her beliefs into action, she and her husband, Ivan Maluski, started a small, organic farm on a few acres in Colton, Oregon.

Gretel and her brood.

At Goat Mountain Pastured Meats they raise goats, whose milk Ivan uses to make cheese, along with chickens, horses, pigs and two rescued oxen. They are committed to farming in a way that provides high quality, healthy and affordable organic food while protecting the biodiversity of the land and its water. 

Read the rest of Kendra's story and consider subscribing to future Food Farmer Earth posts! Also, Kendra explains what it really costs to raise pork conventionally in Supermarket Pork: Not Cheap at Any Price.

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