Machelle and Narendra have a big vision for our modern food system. These inspired techies-turned-farmers are showing the world what community focused farming can accomplish with Our Table, a forward-thinking cooperative of farmers and local producers in Oregon.
While Our Table is answering tough questions and finding new solutions for food production and distribution, it’s founders weren’t always concentrated on innovative agriculture. Machelle and Narendra lived in Seattle and worked for Microsoft, but became interested in food and nutrition while raising their family. The more they started looking into the history of agriculture, the more they began uncovering some serious issues. They saw an opportunity to create a cooperative that could challenge and possibly improve upon traditional agriculture problems by focusing on local production and a strong sense of community.
Machelle and Narendra believed that by putting the entire stakeholder group together, connecting the farmer, distributor and consumer into a single cooperative unit, they could answer some of those tough questions.
However, finding quality farmland near their home in Seattle posed a problem, so Machelle and Narendra moved to Portland and acquired a farm half an hour from the city, giving them the space to create the cooperative that eventually became Our Table.
Machelle and Narendra’s experiment worked. Our Table vegetables are harvested in the morning and delivered the same afternoon to multiple area locations, while beef from 100% grass fed cattle and poultry from chickens raised with organic feed reaches local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Each year Our Table continues to expand with greater selections of produce and they have even started selling cooked food. Most of Our Table’s production is also available for purchase directly from the farm, helping consumers experience and participate in the farming cycle.
But it’s not just about high-quality organic food. Machelle and Narendra are still exploring the big questions that first inspired them to start cooperative, and the delicious, fresh food they produce in the meantime is certainly welcome on dinner tables around Oregon.