A Switchboard for the Portland Meat Collective

Some of our favorite Switchboard posts in the past few weeks have come from one of our newest Switchboards—posts like “First time at-home slaughter/butcher,” “Defrosting and butchering a small pig,” and “CATTAIL CREEK LAMB CARCASS” [exciting all caps in original].

These are all posts from the Meat Collectives Switchboard, which we recently launched in collaboration with the Portland Meat Collective, a network of butchers that connects farmers and consumers and teaches butchery to hundreds of interested people every year.

The Meat Collectives Switchboard is already connecting foodies to farmers and butchery novitiates to experienced butchers.

Portland Meat Collective Founder Camas Davis says she is grateful for the work the Meat Collectives Switchboard does in connecting members of the local butchery community. “For five years I’ve written hundreds of emails like this: ‘Joe Smith, meet Jennifer Davis. Jennifer Davis, meet Joe Smith. You two don’t know each other but you should. Joe wants X. Jennifer has X.  Oh and by the way I know ten other people who you both should meet, too. Talk among yourselves,’” Camas says. “While it’s a great pleasure to write emails like this every day, Switchboard has the power to do this times 5000. I am no longer the sole connector in my community. Now I am one of many. And the effect on my community is vast.”

The Meat Collectives Switchboard is our first community that brings producers, artisans, and consumers all to the same place, and we’re learning a lot from its users. Meat Collective Switchboarders have concrete questions (how do I butcher a pig), needs (I need a pig), and resources (I have a pig). As users ask and answer questions, their conversations remain for users with the same question in the future to find and use. We look forward to seeing the Meat Collectives Switchboard grow.

Photos by Portland Meat Collective and Camas Davis.