My name is Tawna, and my boyfriends name is Clay. We run a small scale organic vegetable farm in Mcminnville Oregon. We are starting our 5th year in business and our farm name is Gratefull Gardens. We currently sell at 2 Mcminnville markets and to local restaurants. We are currently leasing land outside of town. We farm about a 1 1/2 acres of mixed vegetable production. We also have apple, pear, cherry, and grapes that were mature when we started farming here. We have raised small amounts of live stock over the years including pigs, laying hens, meat chickens, and sheep. The livestock enterprise has been very small scale and mostly for ourselves. We have sold a little bit of meat and eggs in the past but do not intend to pursue it for money. our focus is on vegetable farming. But we do always hope to raise our own eggs and meat.
We are coming up on the end of a 5 year lease on our farm, and are looking to buy our own land now. We are looking for anywhere between 5 and 80 acres. We are wanting to continue to grow produce for the farmers market and find a beautiful place to call home and live our lives. We are very passionate about living off the land, being Zero Waste and connecting our community. We would like to use as much renewable energy as possible to run our farm. Tawna also has a dream of having a certified kitchen on the farm where she can teach cooking and canning classes with the farm fresh ingredients that are grown on the farm. Connecting the community to the land and plants their food is made out of is a top priority for her.
Water rights, a good well, or access to water for irrigation and ourselves would be very important. We are looking for some sunny, flat ground that would be good for growing crops, as well as a wooded area to be left wild for our enjoyment. The best of both worlds.
You can find more information about our farm and growing practices at www.gratefullgardens.com.
We also have a facebook page under Gratefull Gardens where you can see more about day to day, and a lot of pictures!
Some type of access to water, whether it be water rights, a good well, or other means. but clean water would be a must
a good soil type for growing plants is a must
Wants but not neccessary as we are capable to build more:
other shops or outbuildings that could be turned into food storage, kitchen space, or housing
We started our farming career in 2012 by traveling the US working on 7 WWOOF farms over the course of the 2 years. in 2014 we did a full season internship on a CSA farm in Arkansas. We have been running our own organic vegetable farming business for 4 years now, in the middle of our 5th season. We have been successfully selling at 2 markets, and to some local restaurants throughout our farming career. We have a wide knowledge of growing all types of fruits, vegetables and other crops. We have experience seeding, planting, fertilizing, irrigation, harvesting, processing, and lastly getting our product out to the market and a customer base. Clay is also very good at building, and equipment repair and maintenance. We started out a CSA farm but have moved away from that and decided to focus efforts on plant starts, growing crops for restaurants and markets, and processing these into salsa, pasta sauce and pickles. Clay has installed irriigation systems, walk in cooler, 7 greenhouses and built up what was a dirt floor shop into a running grow room. We have learned how to prune fruit trees and maintenance a 10 acre farm. We have learned a lot about accounting and how to manage employees over the years.
We also started a 12 acre hemp grow on another property and have been learning a lot there. It is looking like it will be successful for us this year.
Our goals would be to get some perennial stuff started right away like some blueberries, fruit trees, and asparagus. Also get some greenhouses setup and garden plot mapped out and start prepping that space. I want to focus on selling organic vegetable, herb and flower plant starts, as well as grow crops for market that i can preserve into pasta sauce and pickles.
We are also interested in growing industrial hemp and would like to make that another enterprise of ours.
I might take a year off market while we set the farm up or i might keep going throughout our first year there. it depends what time of year we were able to move onto the property.
A long term goal would be to have a certified kitchen on the farm and host people for canning and cooking workshops. It is a goal to help people learn how to cook with whole foods so they can become more connected with their food and the earth.
We are currently renting a house in Mcminnville. We would want to live on the farm we are buying though so ideally some type of housing would be available. We do have a 28 foot pull behind camper we could live in for awhile too while we built or remodeled something. We lived in it our first year on our current farm.
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