Small farms in Oregon are lucky to have OSU as an advocate, a source of valuable information and assessment and host of the annual Small Farms conference where small scale farmers meet, network and attend conferences about farming practices, stories and profitability. Thanks in particular to our extension agent Nick Andrews who has brought students to tour our vegetable production and has aided us in fertility and cover crop calculations countless times.
FOFF is the great organization that lobbies for legislation that benefits small scale, sustainable farmers and organizes events for farmers to stay connected among many other great priorities. This February, at FOFF's InFarmation, (a monthly event inviting farmers and food eaters to get to know each other at Portland's Holocene in SE) Jesse put in his two cents about starting a draft horse powered farm along side more reputable draft horse farmers Susan Richman of Belle Mare Farm and Duane Van Dyke of the Oregon Draft Horse Breeders Association. FOFF is an organization of great people and a huge help to folks like us.
Out in Gales Creek, Oregon, one of the most creative farms we've heard of is getting started and will soon be offering a delicious range of fermented goods. Jeremy Jensen, an experienced brewer and grower, is now building a brewery and cider-house on his farm where he grows hops, apples and food. He takes fermenting beyond beverages and is working to produce biologically active foods and herbal tinctures. We're hoping to collaborate and offer his goods through our CSA soon!
Jeremy Jensen over at Old Wilson is also a great friend and has helped us in too many ways to count in our efforts to launch Stoneboat Farm. He is the handiest handyman we know and he's done the most central aspects of our old farmhouse renovation; he's a great mechanic and has helped us keep both horse and pto driven implements rolling.
David Mader of Horsepower Organics deserves special thanks for helping us get started as draft horse farmers. Gale and Esther grew up among 30 or so Belgian draft horses raised by David on his farm in Halfway, Oregon. When we got in touch with David about buying a team, he invited us out to his farm to practice with them and learn from him. We realized the team was a good fit after a few days work and practice and a few months later, David delivered Gale and Esther. He even lent us harness until the Small Farmers' Journal auction where we bought our own. Resources for draft horse farmers in Oregon seem few and far between at times, so we sure are glad to be connected to the great community of Halfway Oregon.
Oak Tree Ranch
We met Marvin Brisk of Oak Tree Ranch through David Mader and since meeting him, he's been our primary resource for quality hand-forged draft horse equipment. He made our culti-mulcher and we plan on working with him for other custom horse farming implement needs in the future. He's also our meat farmer, since the first side of his Scottish highland beef and delicious lamb, we've been hooked and keeping our freezer full.
Walt Bernard of Ruby and Amber's Organic Oasis in Dorena, Oregon helped Aaron hone the draft horse driving skills he'd built in upstate New York and patiently taught Jesse to drive, though he had no prior experience. His workhorse workshops are great personalized experiences which offer young farmers an opportunity to learn to drive and learn about sustainable mixed power (horse & tractor) farming from a seasoned professional. He is also a key member of Oregon's draft horse farming community, hosting events and equiptment demos that keep us together and draw in our peers from afar. If you're looking to learn how to drive a team I suggest you click the link and contact Walt.
It's great to be in an area with so many great CSA farmers. As new CSA farmers, we're happy to be listed among the ranks of the Portland Area CSA coalition.
Most of the photos on our website are by our globetrotting friend Eva. Click the link to check out her awesome projects including many on farming!
We have a beautiful hand painted sign leading the way to our farm thanks to the talented hands of Nate Stang. Click the link to check out his other design and sign painting work and give him a call if you need to spiff up your business with a slick sign or a tasteful design.
We collaborate with Swallowtail by sharing our farm with young students interested in sustainable local farming and by sharing resources and friends. Swallowtail has an awesomely creative approach to education; it's great to be in their circle of friends and community partners.
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