Twelve years ago, I had this crazy idea that there might be people other than me who wanted to learn about where the meat they ate came from. Maybe, I thought, there were people like me who wanted to get their hands dirty and become active participants in the processes that get meat to our tables. And maybe, in getting their hands dirty, people would, just as I did, change how they thought about and valued meat, who they bought it from, and how they prepared and ate it. It turned out to not be such a crazy idea.
I always liked to think of PMC classes as chainlink reactions. As in, one person take a class, is changed by it, and then everyone who sits at that person's kitchen table is also changed by it. I just received an email from one of our early students who took several charcuterie and pig butchery classes, some even with his children. He sends me pictures from time to time of his now-grown kids butchering a half pig alongside him on their kitchen counter together, or slicing into the culatello they lovingly cured and aged together over the course of the year. A family who butchers together, stays together, I wrote back to him. Nothing makes me happier than to have in hand this tangible evidence of those meaningful chainlink reactions.
This is perhaps why it has taken me a while to come to a place where I was ready to move on from the PMC. The PMC has been on hold for nearly two years, partially because of the pandemic, partially because I became a new mom, and partially because I was busy growing the nonprofi, the Good Meat Project, I founded in 2014. A lot of growth occurred in these last two years: My daughter is now four and at breakfast today she asked me to explain where bacon comes from. I am now the full-time executive director fo the Good Meat Project. There's a book I wrote, all about this long, strange meat trip I've been on, and I can barely recognize the person who wrote it. The other day I woke up, finally, clear in my mind. It was time to bring the Portland Meat Collective chapter to a close. I also felt a vivid belief and hope that someone else might want to take up that mantle. As it so happens, over at the Good Meat Project, we've already helped a dozen other individuals start their own Meat Collectives in their own communities and we stand at the ready to help whomever wants to start one here in Portland or anywhere.
So it is: a moving on and a moving over.
I'll be spending the month of December closing things down. In the meantime, I want to thank all of you who have helped make the PMC an incredibly rewarding reality these many years: the ranchers and farmers who taught me so much and who believed in the value of this endeavor; all the chefs and butchers whose eyes lit up when I asked them to teach a class; the many people who showed up over the years to wrap meat and pour wine and clean knives (the people who made all the classes happen, really); and everyone who came to learn. Thank you. I think of you as my community now and I am grateful to be a part of that community.
For those of you who have gift certificates that you never used, please read below for instructions on getting a refund before the end of the year.
I've also included a few resources below to help you stay in touch with each other and keep learning.
Thank you for all your support over the years!
Portland Meat Collective
P.S. My work to build pathways toward more responsible meat consumption and production continues.
If you want to support that work, consider donating what you would have spent on a PMC class to support the Good Meat Project and our work to build Good Meat coalitions, share Good Meat knowledge, and empower Good Meat change makers across the country.
Have a PMC gift certificate you never used? Here's the plan for refunds.
If you have a gift certificate that you weren't able to redeem, we are able to refund the total amount of your gift certificate minus the payment processing fees we paid for that transaction. We are able to offer this until December 31, 2021, when we will close our bank accounts for good. We can issue the refund through our various payment processing platforms to the person who actually purchased the gift certificate for you (much easier for us), or we can issue a check to you, or send payment to you through Paypal. If you would like a refund, please fill out our refund form. We will respond to you with any questions we have and/or to confirm your refund. If you have any questions please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.