About a year ago we started to get all of our meat from Lonely Lane Farms out of Mt. Angel, Oregon. It sounds like maybe we’re rich or crazy crunchy. Not so. It’s just that we live in Oregon, and it was easy.
When I approached owner Mike Kloft at the farmers market, he was happy to answer questions about pig living conditions and relative animal happiness levels. That’s right, Portlandia is real, people.
Mike and his wife Patty even said the gremlins and I could come down to the farm during the market offseason to stock up if our winter freezer ran low.
It’s pretty easy to run out of bacon and sausage, as you probably know–especially with the promise of a trip to the farm–so in late January we headed off to Lonely Lane, and we fell more in love than we were before.
This is a small family farm with big ambitions. They started processing all meat on-site for better quality control, and they also grow all their own feed. Soon they’ll start packing meat for other local farms.
Lonely Lane’s pigs and cows are raised with no hormones, no antibiotics, and no animal by-products, which was key for ust.
I’ve come across one-too-many mainstream articles about the deplorable conditions and chemicals in much of American meat raising and processing.
And buying a pound of ground beef that was a product of Uruguay and New Zealand and Australia makes me feel weird. I’m a patriot. My beef should be American. Or at least not so fast and loose with its passport, right?
I never thought we’d be able to get all of our meat from a local farm, but I wanted to see if it was possible.
So we made some trade-offs. We switched to lower cost cuts and preparations of meat—pork butt to roast in the slow cooker, sausage, ground beef, and bacon (of course!). Maybe once or twice a year we will get some flank steak or a tenderloin. We also do more meatless nights, which works well with the fact that I kept getting beaten over the head by articles that said, “Eat more vegetables!”
We are planning to go back to Lonely Lane in the summer to see the cows grazing (they were under cover when we went due to the time of year). In the meantime, you can find them at the Beaverton Farmers Market, which just started back up with its winter market!
Here are a couple more pictures from the farm. (And by the way, it’s worth it to head to Mt. Angel–just southeast of Woodburn in the Willamette Valley–for a day trip. It’s a picturesque small town that also boasts a Benedictine abbey and a couple of cute, family-friendly restaurants.)
The lonely lane itself….
Mike and Patty with baby John (this kid has a lot of real tractors, which was a point of jealousy for K-Pants). Also, he’s adorable.
Our furry bovine friends.