Winter Green Farm

WGF_farm.jpgFarm Bio

Winter Green Farm in Noti, Oregon.

Winter Green Farm employs biodynamic farming methods, and we view our farm as a living organism. This means we strive to create a healthy farm-scale ecosystem. The vast majority of our fertility is produced on-farm, and we view this as one sign of a farm in biological balance. The backbone of our fertility program is the use of well ripened compost, green manure crops, careful crop rotation, and pasturage of our grazing stock. The health of our farm is reflected in the quality of our crops.

Our farm has a wide diversity of crops. Of the acreage we manage in a typical year, 10 acres are planted in annual herbs such as and basil; 3 acres in wholesale vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli or carrots; 2 acres in blueberries; 2 acres in fruit trees; 40 acres in cover crops and short rotation pasture; 40 acres in permanent pasture and hay; and 10 acres in mixed vegetables and small fruits for our Community Farm program. We also have a herd of beef cows and horses. Herb crops are dehydrated in two large, on-farm dryers.

The Community Farm program helps connect consumers directly to our farm and helps us meet one of our goals of producing quality basic foods for the local community. For a set annual price consumers become members and receive a box of fresh produce every week of the growing season and a generous share of winter storage vegetables as well. In 2006 there were 525 member families.

We have developed a close link with our local food bank, and through the combined effort from our labor and donations from the community we provide thousands of pounds of produce to those in need. Some of this food is distributed as memberships in our Community Farm for women and their children who are in the process of healing from abusive partner relationships.

In 1992 we began the Pumpkin Project to help foster a connection between the earth, agriculture and today's youth. Students from a local elementary school learn to plant, transplant and harvest pumpkins. This program has been expanded to integrate math and planning skills in a real life application. Additionally many other groups and classes arrange for visits every year. We are also frequent speakers at a variety of conferences.

In 2002 Winter Green Farm was honored with the Oregon Tilth “Producer of theYear Award” for commitment to integrity in biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.

Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade started Winter Green Farm in 1980, and were joined in 1985 by Wali and Jabrila Via. Long-time employees Chris and Shannon Overbaugh manage the Farmer’s Markets, as well as numerous other farm tasks. Over the years, many of our workers have remained with us for 4 to 10+ years. Their contributions, along with shorter-term workers have made the farm what it is. During the peak of the season there are as many as 25 people on our payroll.

Jack, Mary Jo, Wali, Jabrila