Healthy, Local, And On-the-Go: Jefferson Farm Kitchen in Jacksonville is Everything We Need
The Rogue Messenger sat down with Kristin Lyon, the proprietor of Jefferson Farm Kitchen, a small cafe and meals-to-go service, with pickup in Jacksonville, and deliveries around the Valley, to talk about her spot in the local food movement.
Rogue Valley Messenger: You’ve been a presence for some years, but the storefront is something you new. What’s the full spectrum of what you offer through Jefferson Farm Kitchen?
Kristin Lyon: There’s three branches: catering, the online prepared meal service, which have both been going five years, and the store, which has been open since February. Our menu changes weekly, but we also have the standards like bone broth, quiche, frozen pot pies, kombucha and ferments, frozen cookies—in addition to seasonal casseroles and soups and stews, rotating meat and vegan options. It’s nutrient dense homemade food, meets convenience food, delivered to your door, or you can come into the store and pick it up. That’s the base of what we offer at our brick and mortar store, in addition to the daily grab and go salads, sandwiches, and soups, healthy baked goods, herbal chai and flavored teas.
It’s just a great little healthy cafe—and I adamantly say that I’m not restaurant, we just fill the space with healthy food, and while there’s a table to enjoy the food here, we’re mostly geared towards takeout. We’re about to do a fun picnic menu, where you’ll have the option to build a picnic box, and we include a map of great places around Jacksonville to have a picnic, that people might otherwise not know about.
We’re also redeveloping our website in the coming weeks, and our online presence is about to triple what we’re able to offer—in addition to prepared food, we’ll have eco-friendly household cleaning supplies, body care products, and an expanded line of ferments. What goes hand in hand with our food that I like people to know about, is our zero waste initiative. We’re doing everything we can to eliminate plastic: using glass jars, compostable packaging, and the like. We’re trying to wean ourselves from plastic on the supply side, as well as with the packaging given to our customers. It’s a lot more work, but it’s exciting to me, and it feels so much better not putting single use packaging in a landfill.
RVM: You try to keep your ingredients as local as possible, who do you work with?
KL: Within reason yes, and certainly summer is a bountiful time, and we base the specials on the menu every week on what’s seasonally available. We work with Fry Family Farm, Whistling Duck, Forge and Plow, and then Hanley Farm, which is special, because they work with the Family Nurturing Center, which is a local nonprofit supporting families in crisis, in a vulnerable time, and helps bring them together. They have many programs in Medford, but about five years ago they started a garden plot at Hanley, which actually started as a men’s group. But now it’s evolved into something bigger where the families are involved, and as they’ve gotten more grant funding and infrastructure, so now there’s CSAs for the families, and cooking classes on the farm. That’s what I really love about these partnerships, there’s just so many cool layers of things happening.
Besides meals that we make in the store, I really want to represent the food producers of the Rogue Valley. There’s no real local food hub in Jacksonville, and it’s really pretty limited in the Valley. So some of the other things we carry are Uber Herbal Tea, Bee Girl Honey, Dog Ease CBD dog treats made here in Jacksonville, Sherry’s Pasta, Salant Farm Beef, a monthly seafood CSA with Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, Rise Up! Bread, and we’re always trying to expand on what we can offer from local producers. We also have a flower CSA through Flora Organic Farm during the summer, where people come get a weekly bouquet of locally grown flowers. All through our little store.
It’s just really fun to partner with all these local farms and businesses, and to create a web of support, and share customers, and feed back into the same sort of well—it’s something really special.
Jefferson Farm Kitchen
11 am – 4 pm, Tuesday
11 am – 5 pm, Wednesday – Friday
Closed, Saturday – Monday
135 S. Oregon Street, Jacksonville