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Meet-a-Farmer: Eve Levy

Started at Deck Family Farm in September 2022

Grew up in Madison, Wisconsin

Dance and Liberal Arts degree from University of Arizona in 2021

How did you find Deck Family Farm? I was in school when the pandemic hit and since I didn’t want to study dance online, I adjusted my major and I took my parents’ old mini van. With a mattress in the back I traveled the country for about a year, doing different work trades and doing some Wwoofing, which is how I started in farming. (Wwoofing = World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming)

Most interesting place you stayed during your year of travel: A place that is pretty near and dear to my heart is a little ranch in Colorado. That was the first time I had seriously worked with livestock. They had a dairy and that was the first time I ever had raw milk. That was a big aha! for me: I discovered a love of animals and how amazing the food they produce can be if you do it right. It was a turning point for me and it really got the passion going.

Tell us about your time in Hawaii: I just spent a month in Maui staying with a beekeeper who also ran a farm on 4 acres. It was cool to experience a different ecosystem which was very very different than farming in Oregon. She was keeping bees on the mountains of Haleakala. That was really cool because in Hawaii you can keep bees outside year round and so it was cool to see how she did that. And also to drive to these remote Hawaiian jungles to harvest honey from the bees. It was some of the best honey I've ever had. She had them scattered all over the island on leased land from ranchers and on forested land.

Favorite thing about cows: I love cow personalities and learning how to work with cows. There is no such thing as rushing them and if you try to you're gonna make things slower for yourself. So it's about embracing a slow and steady pace and how that can actually be more effective in the long run. That's a valuable lesson that I think the cows have taught me.

The other thing that I love about cows is just the amazing relationship they have with our ecosystem. They eat the grass and then they fertilize the land that they just got their food from and then they give us this beautiful food. They take something we’re not meant to eat, grass and other plants, and they turn it into something that’s so nutritional and you get milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese - so many things that you can do with it. Meanwhile they are providing this fertility to our land. Cows are like this bridge between people and the soil and earth.

Goal as dairy lead grazer: Something I appreciate about Deck Family Farm, which I haven’t encountered as much at other farms, is their commitment to a sustainable business model. I feel like they are really trying to grow high quality food but make it a profitable business at the same time, which in reality is the only way that farms can survive. A lot of small farm fail because they don’t do that. So I think a personal goal that I have is to learn their systems for financing and accounting which make their business profitable and sustainable so they can keep serving the community in the same way. 

Tell me about the sweet house we are sitting in as we talk: Yes! It used to be a shack on wheels to support the chicken trailers with solar panels, batteries, hoses, etc! The farm recently switched over how they power those chicken trailers and so we had this shed just sitting here. I suggested that I could turn it into a little house for myself. So they gave me a month to build it and I just figured it out and John (Deck) would come tell me how to actually do it. I have insulation, walls, floor, windows and a door. Now it's my cozy little house!


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