The further into the process of starting the farm we get, the more we realize how crucial our community is. Not only are we going to be growing food for the folks who live in our area, but we are indebted to many, many individuals who have helped us get our start: from those who’ve already signed up for our CSA, allowing us to have some start up money to buy much needed supplies, to folks who have lent a hand with planning, or simply cheered us on!
Back in July of 2014, when the farm was a solid ‘maybe’ in our minds. A friend at Cellar Ridge Construction let us know their client Georgio Furioso had purchased some abandoned farm property near Carlton. Being truly focused on the sustainability of their projects they put feelers out to the community through the Yamhill Valley Farmer’s Network to see if anyone wanted to invest some labor to salvage materials from the site. It turns out we were able to pull most of a hoop house, a ton of lumber, and t-posts out of the weeds in a few hard days of work. Other farmers in the area were also able to find plenty of useful materials.
All in all, we were able to save thousands of dollars, and hundreds of pounds of useful materials from ending up in a landfill, all for a couple of days’ worth of work. It is hard to overstate how awesome it is for a start up farm to be able to salvage some things you know you will have to buy sometime down the road.
Once we had reclaimed all these goodies, we were faced with another problem: we didn’t have a farm yet! And we certainly couldn’t store all of these goodies in our back yard in downtown McMinnville. Thank goodness for patient & supportive parents who don’t live far away, have a truck and trailer, and who graciously shared some space with us. We also were able to borrow a box truck from another friend, allowing us to transport everything over the hill in one go toward Hillsboro to Beth’s parents’ place, FullCircle Farm.
This month, after almost half a year of storage, we finally had a chance to collect much of what we salvaged and transport it back to our spot. With loading help from friends and, again, the borrowed box truck we moved it back from Washington County to Yamhill County and unpacked everything into the barn on our property. It felt amazing to unpack those supplies, knowing that we now have most of what we need to build our seedling benches, wash station, work tables, shelving, drying racks, and so on.
Sometimes it can seem like farms magically appear out of the ether and the work of a few peoples’ hands… and that just isn’t the case. A farm is not just a farm or just us farmers; a farm is a community. Without the support of dozens and more realistically, of hundreds of different people, the farm wouldn’t exist. From the guy at Lowes who helps us find field flags, to the printer that makes our business cards, to friends and family that help out, customers who visit us at Farmers Market, and our CSA members, the farm is a community in miniature. Without folks supporting the farm, realizing the value of sustainable agriculture, and buying into the project, it couldn’t exist. We feel incredibly grateful to be able to live in this community every single day. And we hope you will join us in enjoying the bounty that is the culmination of the whole thing!
Beth & Erik