ARTICLE & PHOTOS BY: Kali McCrackin Goodenough
Food and farming are passions Matt and Gina Sigel who operate Black Market Farm in the Centennial Valley.
“We started out ten years ago, just with family and friends, supplying them with local, sustainably raised meat,” Matt says. “Three years ago we launched into all the protein animals and have been doing Black Market Farm as a full menu meat CSA.”
Black Market Farm offers local, pasture-raised meats including beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, and duck, plus eggs. They also work with their neighbors to bring goat milk and cheese to the market. One of the goals of Black Market Farm is to make their products available at a price anyone can afford.
“It’s supposed to be for everyone,” Matt says. “It’s not supposed to be premium meat that only ten percent of the people can afford. Our goal is to get it within reach.”
Matt moved to Wyoming from Chicago twelve years ago and met Gina, who grew up in Laramie, shortly afterward. He had spent time in the west fishing and hunting, and when his father retired, it seemed like a good time for a change of pace for Matt, his parents, and his brother.
“We all decided to go in together on a ranch,” Matt says.
Originally, they focused on raising cattle, but after their first child was born, Matt and Gina wanted to diversify.
“It took a child to really think about what we were putting in our mouths,” Matt says.
With some prompting, Matt’s parents and brother warmed to the idea of having hogs as well as cows. Now, in addition to their CSA, Matt and Gina work with the Vee Bar Guest Ranch outside of Centennial to put on Farm to Fork events. These events feature meat from the Black Market Farm paired with a beer or wine, plus locally sourced produce and bread.
“We try to get everything as local as possible. Typically, Sheila Bird Farms provides the produce,” Matt says. “The bread comes from Golden Prairie Bakery. Goat cheese and dairy comes from the Deerwood Ranch, our neighbors.”
Currently, Gina cooks the meals, but they are always looking for a spotlight chef for the events, which begin with a tour of the farm and end at the Vee Bar for dinner.
“We were surprised at how enthusiastic people are about it,” Matt says “People from seventy years old all the way down to three years old, they’re having the time of their lives.”
This summer, Black Market Farm is back at the Thursday Local Market, which they have been attending on and off since the market first started in 2012.
“I love the market to come out and socialize,” Matt says. “This year has been our best year at the farmers’ market by far. People come here, to the Thursday market, to buy. They’re here to shop and socialize, and they’re taking stuff home.”
Matt is always up for a conversation and to share about the farm. Customers come in search of ground beef and bacon, raw milk, pork chops, and more. This week, stop by the Black Market Farm booth to chat with Matt, check out his cuts, and perhaps learn a little more about the animals they raise.