From Farm to Table
Byline: Sherri Buri McDonald The Register-Guard
JUNCTION CITY - Months ago, 70 local families put down the cash that helped Deck Family Farm raise a rafter of turkeys.
Now, in the waning days before Thanksgiving, those families are cashing in on their "turkey futures."
Mary Joy Sahara of Eugene left the farm happily on Monday with her freshly butchered 15-pounder.
She had paid $300 in March to join the farm's "community-supported agriculture" subscription program. That established an account that Sahara has been drawing down. She recently bought grass-fed beef from the Decks, which she described as the most delicious she had ever tasted, and she's looking forward to serving a locally grown bird for Thanksgiving.
"I'm sold," Sahara said of Deck's program. "I'm extremely happy. It's worth the trip out, which is beautiful."
The 320-acre farm is on High Pass Road, 71/2 miles west of Junction City. Christine and John Deck farm the land with help from their five children, ages 5 to 18. Customers come out to the farm, stop by the Decks' booth when the Lane County Farmers' Market is operating, or pick up items at community drop-offs.
Sahara, a nurse with Cascade Health Solutions, said she found Deck Family Farm online while she was searching for a source of healthful and humanely raised meat.
"I like that it's a family business," she said. "And the animals are raised and killed with care."
With community-supported agriculture, Christine and John Deck may have hit on an idea that could help small farms such as theirs survive in an intensely competitive market dominated by huge factory farms.
About 90 percent of the 90 birds sold as of Monday were ordered in advance, Christine Deck said. About 40 more are still available for individual sale.
"Having that cash on hand has been really good for us," she said.
"I just think it's a wonderful idea," said Jon Broome, who has worked with the Decks as an instructor for Lane Community College's Farm Business Management Program and coined the "turkey futures" phrase. …