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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
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By Linda Baker
Camas Davis is sipping tea in the Pearl Bakery, expounding on the lost art of butchery. “The knowledge of what constitutes a good cut of meat is completely gone,” says Davis, a former food editor at Portland Monthly magazine who is now the proprietor of the Portland Meat Collective, a year-old mobile butchery school. ”We don’t know how things are slaughtered or why. We don’t question quality or price. So the meat world gets away with a lot.”
A few blocks from the bakery on NW Broadway is Kitchen Cru, a shared kitchen space where Davis, 34, and an alternating crew of instructors teach students — single moms, hunters, hipsters — how to carve up whole lambs, pigs and sides of beef. “I’m trying to get consumers to understand meat enough that they can own a big part of the process,” says Davis, whose clients leave class with the meat they have mastered.
PMC is one of a small but growing number of businesses that are pushing the boundaries of Oregon’s local meat industry by offering “farm-direct” meat purchasing and products and classes targeting the craftsmanship of how that meat is butchered and prepared. Bridging urban and rural, the eclectic outfits include “private meat clubs” such as Portland’s Gorilla Meats, as well as family farms such as Kookoolan Farms in Yamhill, which last year offered its first how-to-humanely-kill-a-chicken class.
The sold-out class will be offered several times this year, in addition to workshops on curing bacon and ham without nitrates, says co-owner Chrissie Zaerpoor, “It’s a natural extension of buying meat from your farmer,” she says. Capitalizing on demand, farms are also diversifying into “meat CSAs,” in which customers purchase in advance a “share” of the animal harvest, be it a side of grass-fed beef or a dozen free-range chickens. About 50 farms offer such community-supported agriculture programs today, up from only a few in 2007, estimates Chris Deck, co-owner of Deck Family Farm in Junction City.
One of the pioneers, Deck’s CSA is now growing 25% annually. About those boundaries. It’s not happenstance that Davis’ operation is called a “collective,” or that farmers usually refer to CSA “shares” instead of ground pork or sirloin. Federal regulations require meat processed in facilities without an on-site USDA inspector to be consumed only by the owner. That means businesses bound by those rules must technically sell live animals — or portions thereof — to their clients, who become the “owners” before processing.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
SEMpdx hosted a workshop this week for entrepreneurs, website developers and others interested in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few tips and tricks aimed at bumping up your search engine rankings.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER
I don’t think anyone can (or should) remember what it was like to get things done without the internet. This milestone in technology has certainly benefited brick-and-mortar companies and subsequently launched a new era of businesses.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
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