Monday, February 22, 2010

Where we work!

We've enjoyed a series of beautiful, warm sunny days in Seattle.  Seattle doesn't get the most rainfall in the US but we do enjoy the most cloudy days.  When the sun shines and we stand outside the door of our plant this is what we see; looking towards the Puget Sound (the Whulge) and the Olympic Mountains.

Standing outside our front door, looking to the west and Olympic Mtns

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sippin' for the Seven

Come support our favorite primates at the 2nd Annual Wine (and beer) tasting fundraiser for the Cle Elum Seven chimpanzees.

Tickets only $35. All proceeds go to the chimpanzees!!!

Purchase tickets online NOW in the CSNW store (

*Over 30 Washington State wines
*Local beer
*A free wine glass with our Jody logo
*Food to nibble on, including Field Roast sausages
*Live music by Lenny Price and Millie Radonovich
*Wine store to buy your favorites to take home
*Gift store with CSNW merchandise
*Wine Experts
*Your chance to talk to sanctuary staff and volunteers
*Raffle at the event with a trip to the sanctuary as the grand prize!

Sponsors: Poppoff, Inc., 93.7 The Wind, Vintage Vine, Inland Networks.

For more info, see event web page:

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Friday, February 12, 2010

A Week of Making Field Roast - Day Six

Our final and last day of the week....phew!  It's been fun sharing our work life with you this week.  We made a lot of Field Roast, had a visit from the Seattle University business students, enjoyed a really sweet Community Meal together celebrating Tet and generally just did the thing we do every week...making food for you to enjoy and eat.  It's something we take really seriously but we also have fun doing it as well.  We figure to make a product of beauty and friendliness the first step is to create that for ourselves through the environment we work in and the way we are together.  (it's a goal....mostly but not always achieved).  We spend many hours each week, mixing, forming, cooking, cooling, slicing, packing, labeling, freezing, boxing, shipping and finally getting ready for the next week.

Below are today's pics....we finished labeling quarter loaves, clipped netting for next week's production and cleaned our facility inside and out.  We also shipped orders today as well.

Labeling Quarter Loaves

Smoked Tomato Quarter Loaves

Clipping and Cutting netting for next week's production

Rayson preparing orders to ship with some Quarter Loaves on a pallet

Soaping up our mixing room for our extra special Friday clean as Richard looks on from the office

Cleaning the Warehouse floor

A quiet moment of reflection at the close of the work week

Thanks for taking the time to check out what we do every week.  We hope you've enjoyed the blogs.  Perhaps we will do this again sometime.  If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to leave a comment or send us an email.

David (aka Grainmeat, Fravid) - btw, have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Week of Field Roast - Day 5

Today is Thursday and we are heading towards the end of our week.  The cooks and mixers are off and only the label workers remain.  Today they are packaging a whole bunch of our Quarter Loaves.  Here are some extreme close ups of our original loaves.

The Quarter Loaf is the perfect size for slicing, and stir frying...sandwiches, wraps and gyros. We make them again by mixing, cooking with steam, and then wash them in a spicy broth. Nowadays, we peel the cotton netting from the loaves so that you don't have to pry them loose yourselves. But I digress...back to our production for the week!
Below are the Quarter Loaves after they have been chamber vac sealed in a shrink bag.  We place them in a hot water bath to "shrink" the bag.  This is what gives the package it's nice,clean look.
Before Dipping and Shrinking....

After Their Nice Warm Bath......then onto labeling....

Tomorrow everything gets shipped out and we perform our weekly extra special cleaning duties.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Week of Making Field Roast - Day FOUR

Sausages, sausages and more sausages.......

Today we hosted some MBA students from Seattle University who are working on a project about business.  

We also had our monthly community meal which this month...came in the flavor of  Tet and an incredible vegetarian Vietnamese feast prepared by Lam, Nhung, Anh, Nga and good...check out the blog just before after this blog for pics.

Back to today....we made quarter loaves upstairs....Wild Mushroom with shitake, porcini and champignon mushrooms.  See it in the mixing bowl below:

We also clipped and labelled bunches of Italian sausages....
Our labeling crew looks a little cold because once we cook our sausages, we keep them cold and fresh just for you.  After a while, we get used to working in a refrigerated environment.  Note the hoodies...

CC clipping away...this is a nice action shot

and boxed yesterdays Mexican Chipotle Sausages.....

another day of making veggie grain meats!

Tet and Lunar New Year at Field Roast

Every month we our have "Community Meal" at Field Roast....afterwords we have a general meeting and our safety meeting.  Sometimes I cook the meal but lately we've had other Field Roasters contribute.  A few months ago Rayson cooked a Filipino meal, Petra made some excellent Mexican food....This month we decided to combine our Community Meal with  the lunar new year Tet or the Chinese Lunar New Year.  In Seattle and especially our neighborhood it's a big week.  We have a Buddhist temple just a few blocks away that many people will be visiting this week.  I often walk by it on my way to work:

This week Lam (our most senior employee) along with Nhung (our Label Room supervisor), Anh, Nga and Trinh all contributed.  They created an incredible spread of food...all vegan and all delicious.  When the table was set it looked like a banquet.

Here is a little slideshow below:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Week of Making Field Roast - Day 3

Hello! Jennifer here, I work in the office at Field Roast. Our Smoked Apple Sage Sausages are our most popular retail product. Perhaps it is the sweet and savory goodness that sizzles right out of them when you put them in hashes for the morning. Or when they are sliced and crumbled into rice dishes, pastas and stews. I really prefer the Mexican Chipotle, which is spicy enough to satisfy my cravings for food that heats you up from the inside. I love it in tacos and and jambalaya.
Our mixing, cooking and packaging processes are as simple as the ingredients of our meats. The above picture is of our sausage linker. It helps us measure the weight and length of our grain meats by allotting specific amounts of into our nettings and casings.

Next you see the Mexican Chipotle Sausages (or MC as we say here) being clipped and cut into groups of four for our retail sausages that are sold nationwide!

In an earlier post, David eluded to our sophistcated labeling process, and we do this all by hand. Our labels and packaging are a reflection of the simple tenets of good cooking that we base all of our recipes on. I like that when I started working here almost 4 years ago, there were about 9 people working for Field Roast. Now...there are about 32. Meanwhile, our sausage linkers and dough mixers are not given more jobs to do, though they are asked to do them more often..the bottom line is despite our growth it's people, not machines who are most involved in making Field Roast. I like that.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

A Week of Making Field Roast - Day TWO

Today we made a bunch of Smoked Apple Sage Sausages and Mexican Chipotle Sausages.  We also sliced all the deli logs that we cooked yesterday and packed and labelled them.

Below are some photos from today's production with some captions.

A Week of Making Field Roast - Day One

Our Weekly Production Schedule for the Week of February 7th, 2010

Sunday February 7, 2010

Today is the first day of our production week. Production always begins on Sunday with our mix/cook crew coming to mix Field Roast, form it and cook it to perfection.

This week we are beginning with a whole bunch of deli slices. Take a look at the schedule above. The left side you will see "Cook" and "Label". Our production process is divided up into two sections:

1. Mix and Cook room - where we mix our batches of Field Roast, form them into sausages, roasts and deli slices and finally cook them.  2. Label Room - is were we slice, package and label Field Roast.  Usually...what we mix and cook on one day, we label the next, but not always.

Our building in Seattle is on a hill and has two floors. Our mix/cook area is on the upper level and our label room is down below. Our building is an old dairy that we converted a few years ago. People have been making food in our building for almost a 100 years. We think that's pretty cool!


Today we had only three people come in to make our deli slices. Deli slices are one of the most simple Field Roast recipes to make; we mix our dough using a simple spiral mixer (see future postings this week to check out some pics), place it into a fibrous (paper) casing using our sausage linker. The picture to the left is looking across our forming table to our sausage link and mixing stage. This is our Smoked Tomato Deli slices recipe being placed into casings. From here we will clip and hang the "logs" of Field Roast dough onto a cart and the roll it into our steam ovens for cooking.

The pics to the left are of our forming table, clipping the logs of dough and the cart of logs after cooking. Our steam oven is to the right of the rack.

These next pics are of racks of Field Roast delis...cooling down for tomorrows slicing and labeling and of a rack tag, signifying the flavor: Wild Mushroom Deli, the Code: 10 for the year and 038 for the number of days in the year..this is called a Julian code and is a basic format for all types of manufacturing. The Batch is 2.2 which is the oven that it was made in and 135 time: is 2.00 which means that we are tracking how fast our products cool...and that it was at 135 degrees at 2pm.

Tomorrow we will look at slicing and labeling all the deli's we made today and making some sausages up in the cook room.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Children Vote with Their Mouths - WE LOVE FIELD ROAST

America's children have spoken! It's voting day in Seattle so it's appropriate to take a moment and tally up the votes......and winner is....Field Roast.

We received a notice earlier this week that our local chain of natural food cooperatives PCC have named two more of our products as "kid friendly". A few years ago our Smoked Apple Sage Sausages were voted as kid friendly. Now our Hazelnut Herb Cutlets and our Stuffed Celebration Roast have also made the grade. Only kids can vote. This is how it works:


Since the program began in March 2004, Kid Picks tests have been conducted in 379 venues, including PCC stores, community centers and events, and public and private schools. 3,214 products have been tested by over 23,000 kid "judges” who vote “like” or “don’t like.” 1,873, or 58%, of the products have passed. Each product is tested by a minimum of 30 kids and is designated as a Kid Pick if it can be statistically determined that at least two-thirds of any group of kids trying it will like it.

The approved products are flagged in our stores with Kid Picks tags and listed on the PCCWeb site at

Kids, parents and educators really enjoy Kid Picks events. Through promotion and word-of-mouth, the events have become very popular. Schools focusing on improving school lunch programs and in complying with new snack food policies appreciate "test driving" food options, and often use Kid Picks events as opportunities to talk to students and parents about healthy food choices, as well as the importance of voting and making their opinions count. The program does not collect information as to why a product is liked or not, but the process is closely supervised by PCC staff to be sure the opinions of the judges are not influenced by parents or other kids. Parents often take printed reminders of products their kids like with them, which we prepare for each Kid Picks event.


Thanks for everyone at PCC for thinking of the kids and for submitting our veggie meats for consideration. I love the fact that kids like our foods! It makes our work satisfying.

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