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Meet-a-Baker: Nancy Barrett

From: Rockford, IL

Favorite animal on the farm: Goats

Hobbies: Reading, thrifting, visiting museums and spending time in nature with my dog, Bodhi.

Nancy at annual farm dinner 2023

We started selling a new sourdough bread in our store this winter and would like to introduce you to the baker! Nancy started Barrett Baking after 2 years as a student trainee on the farm. She has worked in all the different farm endeavors and started a baking business for her apprenticeship. 


Nancy worked in downtown Chicago for 8 years in tech sales and then transitioned to working in a market garden farm. That was a nice change from city life but something was missing.


“I wanted a more well-rounded farm experience,” she said, “and I was kind of missing the integration of animals after doing a lot of research on regenerative agriculture.” 


So, she planned a trip to Eugene to visit a friend and arranged for a WWOOFstay at Deck Family Farm. 


“I had never spent any time in Oregon and I was going to see what it was like. And then I was going to fly back home,” she said. “But then I WWOOFed here and I never went home!”


Two years ago, one of our farmers shared a sourdough starter with Nancy and she took the responsibility very seriously.


“I have to figure out how to bake because I don't want to kill this thing,” she laughed! “So I just started researching and baking all the time and experimenting and doing different flavors. The farmily is great because I can bake as much as I want and everybody eats it and appreciates it.”


Nancy’s organic recipe was developed from the Feasting At Home website and includes rye and spelt flours as well as whole wheat. “I just really enjoy working with rye. I think it's a great grain. I use 100% rye in my starter. And it all comes from Camas Country Mill which is a local mill in Eugene." 


Nancy has plans to expand with sourdough-discard recipes and a gluten free sourdough. Her bread can be purchased through the CSA and at Montavilla and Lane County farmers markets, with plans to expand to other markets. 


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