Category Archives: Headwaters News

We’re hiring for a Headwaters Farm Operations Assistant!

rows of vegetables at Headwaters Farm, and a row of greenhouses in the background

EMSWCD is hiring for an Operations Assistant at Headwaters Farm! This exciting position supports the innovative Headwaters Incubator Program (HIP) and ensures that Headwaters Farm maintains the highest standards of stewardship and innovative conservation practices.

Job duties include general farm upkeep, tractor and equipment operation, maintenance of pollinator and other beneficial habitats, working with incubator farmers to troubleshoot problems, building and maintaining infrastructure, managing various farm systems, and more.

This position will remain open until filled; we will begin reviewing applications on November 8th. Learn more about the Operations Assistant position and how to apply here.

Learn more

We’re now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program!

Headwaters Farm fields

We are now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program 2020 growing season! The Incubator Program leases farmland, equipment and other resources to individuals seeking to establish a farm business. We encourage all interested individuals to apply!

Visit the Incubator Application page for information about the program and instructions on how to apply! You can also contact Rowan Steele, our Headwaters Farm Program Manager, at rowan@emswcd.org or (503) 939-0314. All application materials are due by Wednesday, October 31st, 2018.


Watch these two brand new videos to learn how the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program helps farmers as they launch their farm businesses.

From our farmers: Farm Punk Salads

Quinn and Theus of Farm Punk Salads pose at their booth

This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, and was contributed by Quinn Richards of Farm Punk Salads, one of the farmers enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

Starting a farm these days is much different that perhaps it used to be. With a competitive marketplace in the Portland Metro area for small scale farming, we at Farm Punk Salads see a couple of things as key to developing a farm. We see identifying and cultivating a niche market, getting specific about the crops we grow, cultivating financial literacy, and building a personality within our brand to make our farm memorable as our main ways to building our business.

We wanted to make a farm that got people excited about eating salad, for it was our experience falling in love with salad that inspired us to focus on salad. Salad has all the things that we love so much. It’s raw and fresh, its quick and easy to make, it is what we are passionate about growing, and pretty much any diet supports eating lots of salad. It felt like the universal thing there was a need for in Portland and something that we could pair with a value-added product to give consumers a whole package. It was because of this that we chose to start a salad specific farm and produce a line of salad dressings.

Before we started our farm, we spent a lot of time thinking about what we might want to grow and how we think we might sell the vegetables. To grow crops is one thing and to sell them is often another. It was in the distance between these two points that we saw was a hang-up point for many small farms. After our time working on another Portland CSA-based farm, we took it as an opportunity to collect feedback from folks. What did they like about their CSA? What would they like to see improved? One of most common things we heard was “But what do I do with it?” or “I just don’t have enough time to cook all of these things.” We saw salad as an opportunity to create a product for people that would be quick and convenient but still support local food. “Let’s be a one-stop-salad-shop,” we thought. Let’s create a CSA that has all the needed ingredients to make a meal without a trip to the store. Read more

2017 Agricultural Census Demonstrates Need for EMSWCD’s Working Farmland Initiatives

rows of vegetables at Headwaters Farm, and a row of greenhouses in the background

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final 2017 Census of Agriculture figures in mid-April; statistics for all of Multnomah County are available here. The census findings highlight the importance of EMSWCD’s working farmland protection efforts, as Multnomah County lost 15% of its farmland from 2012 to 2017 – or about 2.5 acres a day.

Farmers in Multnomah County are on average 2 years younger than their peers across Oregon and the US, which is reinforced by our Headwaters Incubator Program for new and beginning farmers. And with the average per-acre value of agricultural land and buildings increasing 75% in Multnomah County to the second highest of any county in Oregon, the importance of our work to improve access to affordable farmland is greater than ever.

From our farmers: Mora Mora’s first year

Mora Mora farm stand

This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Catherine Nguyen of Mora Mora Farm, who is enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

Mora Mora Farm is a single-farmer, half-acre, diverse vegetable operation that just wrapped up its first season through the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program. Mora Mora grows produce to sell at one weekend farmers’ market and for a handful of friends in the city. When people find out that it’s just me running the farm, doing everything from seeding and harvest to bed preparation and marketing, the normal response is, “Wait. You’re doing this all on your own?!”

The decision to begin as a single-farmer operation simply stemmed from my own personality. I like being able to see the whole picture: production and sales, starting up my farm and setting up systems to maintain it, figuring out where operational weak points are, and how I can optimize the system as a whole. I knew if I ever wanted to have ownership of a farm and manage people well, I’d better know what the heck I was doing and why.

Of course, being a single-farmer operation comes with its challenges: Read more

From our farmers: Making the jump

Amica Farm - rolling up tarp

This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Nicki Passarella and Irina Schabram of Amica Farm, both enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program.

Amica Farm is the product of two female friends who forged a bond through hard work, sweat equity and a deep love of agriculture and community. We work with one-half acre of land, growing an extensive array of annual vegetables, herbs and strawberries to sell directly to our community at two weekly farmers markets.

As first year farm business owners, having the opportunity to utilize the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program (HIP) has already proven invaluable in our first months of participation. The obvious places of gratitude to start with include land, water, propagation space, and the ability to share orders to get bulk pricing and keep shipping low. There are also scheduled learning sessions with industry professionals about farm financials, record keeping and more. A less tangible benefit is the community with other farmers at Headwaters and the direct support from EMSWCD staff we are experiencing. Read more

1 2 3 5