Category Archives: Headwaters News

The Launching of a New Farm

Headwaters Incubator Program’s first graduates, Pete and Claire, enjoying the first season on their new plot of land in Canby, Oregon

Udan Farm, Headwaters Incubator Program’s first graduate

Pete and Claire St. Tulnoynum came to the Headwaters Incubator Program (HIP) in 2015 with a couple of seasons of farming under their belt, some produce management experience, and a good understanding of what makes for healthy soil. Using the Lloyd and Woodlawn Farmers Markets as their primary retail outlets, they were able to establish Udan Farm and transition their business onto leased farmland in just two years.

Participants in HIP are given up to five years to launch their business, but Udan Farm’s experience is essentially how the program is designed to work: a farm enters the program and works to refine production practices, establish markets, build farm networks, make investments, and then leaves for their own site (either leased or owned) to continue growing the operation. Or, as Pete explains, “Headwaters Incubator Program was extremely good for us. We got to experience what it was like to work together as a couple, we gleaned ideas from other farmers, and we were able to get the business running.” Read more

From our farmers: Where do all the veggies go?

Brindley and Spencer of Tanager Farm selling their CSA shares at a neighborhood market

This is a farmer-contributed post in our “From our farmers” series, written by Brindley Beckwith and Spencer Suffling of Tanager Farm, both enrolled in our Farm Incubator Program. In this piece, Brindley and Spencer explore options for produce outlets and find a good option in a community venue!

As we were gearing up for our first season with our very own farm and purchasing all the seeds we wanted to grow, we stopped many times and said out loud, “but where will all the veggies go?!” This was both fun and frightening to think about. When you begin the journey of starting your own market farm, you have to think about the various outlets for selling vegetables. Did we want to be a CSA Farm (Community Supported Agriculture)? Or sell to local restaurants? Maybe do wholesale or farmers markets? There are many options, and all are very unique. We knew it was important to understand what the need was, but we also wanted to consider what we would enjoy. So why not try them all?

This is not always the best approach, but we felt that with the support of the Headwaters Incubator Program we were able to start slow (and with limited start-up costs) while getting a feel for the diversity of the Portland Area markets. We learned along the way about where the need was and what we loved to do! Read more

Unlocking the secrets to soil health

Attention, farmers! Learn how to get the most out of your soil at an upcoming free workshop in Aurora, “Unlocking the Secrets to Soil Health Success in Organic Systems.” The workshop takes place on January 17th; see the flier for additional details.

RSVP for this free workshop: email Ben at ben@tilth.org or call (503) 580-4767.

Join us at the Leasing and Purchasing Farmland workshop on November 2nd!

Join us at Zenger Farm for a free workshop on purchasing and leasing agricultural land on November 2nd! Whether you are a farmer wondering how to get on land or a landowner looking to lease, this workshop has the information for you! This panel discussion and workshop is put on by partners Rogue Farm Corps, OSU Metro Extension Small Farms, EMSWCD, Friends of Family Farmers, and Zenger Farm. The focus of the workshop will be on the Portland Metro region and surrounding area.

Where: Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster Rd, Portland 97266 (map link)
When: Wednesday November 2nd, 4:30 – 7 PM, with potluck social to follow

Please join us! There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions, plus a potluck social afterward! RSVP is appreciated but not required. Please email Nellie McAdams at nellie@roguefarmcorps.org to RSVP or with any questions. Read more

Now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program!

montage of photos from Headwaters Farm - lower two right picture courtesy of Chelsea Rutherford

We are now accepting applications for the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program 2017 growing season! The Farm Incubator Program, now entering its fifth year, involves leasing out sections of our land at Headwaters Farm to motivated, experienced individuals looking to start their own farm business.

Visit the Incubator Application section of our website 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) 935-5355. All application materials are due by Monday, October 31st, 2016.

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