Elkhorn Farm & Forge, Gaston, OR

Elkhorn Farm ad Forge


Elkhorn Farm & Forge

The Farm: 2 acre home farm + 40 acres of pasture and forest leased in the Willamette Valley

Established: 2014

What They Seed:

heritage breed Gloucestershire Old Spot and Large Black pigs on pasture and in the forest

Where You Can Find Them:

Direct to Consumer Sales: Information online

Feeders They Supply:
Restaurants: Clyde Common, Nostrana, Ava Gene’s, Jory, Urban Farmer, Broth Bar

Their Story:

Matt Alford started raising alpine goats on his 2 acre property near Gaston, OR about 10 years ago. The goats served as a good way to manage his pasture and make some money doing the same for his neighbors, in addition to being great pack animals for his annual elk hunting trips. Having been bottle fed as kids, the goats were somewhat easy to manage, but Matt still had to learn how to raise them “one ripped down fence at a time”.

Matt was interested in expanding his farming operations and so decided to follow in the footsteps of a friend of his, who raised pigs. In 2014 he got his first pigs and soon afterward left his 24 year career in the tech industry.

In addition to the 2 acre home farm, Matt now leases about 40 acres on 5 other properties in the valley. All of the pigs are raised “the old fashioned way”: outdoors, roaming freely on the pasture. He most recently moved pigs onto a forested property, where he has built 6 paddocks to rotate the animals through.

Matt gets his Glochestershire Old Spot X Large Black pigs as weaners from White Buffalo Ranch in Aumsville. He now has about 50 and is finishing and replacing about 10 per month.

All of Elkhorn Farm & Forge’s pork is sold direct-to-consumer. There are options to purchase 10, 15 or 20 lb boxes to start, but then he encourages purchasing half or whole hogs. Matt works with a USDA slaughterhouse, a mobile slaughtering service and then a local butcher for cutting and wrapping. He says that selling pork this way requires some amount of educating his customers (check out this extensive FAQ), but they’re always happy with the finished product.

There is already a great demand for the Elkhorn Farm & Forge pork: Matt is usually sold out about 2 months in advance. Next year he hopes to start selling at a farmers market as well, which will require expanding his production even more.

And the “forge” part of the farm? Matt also does blacksmithing, although hasn’t quite found the time for that yet…

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