Meet some of the local growers and producers who are excited to see Hillsboro Food Co-op growing!
We support the Co-op!
Here at Stoneboat Farm we’ve been looking for a local place to carry our produce year round. We love being only a few minutes outside Hillsboro, but it’s hard to have a presence in the city. A perfect solution to this problem that we and many other small, extremely local farmers face, is a community supported co-op right here in our neighborhood. With a co-op people who care about local produce can make sure they are getting local vegetables with a story and we can keep connecting with our community and customers right through the winter.
We’ve worked at, shopped at, and delivered to co-ops before and we love the experience. It’s great to have a place where people are willing to work together to make a stronger community and it’s even better to be able to supply veggies to such wonderful people. Go ahead, join the coop and get us one member closer to local, sustainable, real “horsepowered” veggies available in your town year round.
Who we are: Brothers Aaron and Jesse Nichols work with their horse team, Gale and Esther, to produce transitional vegetables outside Portland Oregon.
Our model of farming is unique and we invite you to learn more about our projects as we transition a retired nursery to an organic farm, move to on-farm sources of fertility and labor by using Belgian draft horses to replace tractor tasks, and guard our vegetables and turkeys from predation with Matsu, a Great Pyrenees.
Growing practices: We are in the process of transitioning 30 acres, previously a decorative tree nursery in Helvetia to an Organic vegetable farm. We hope to begin the certification process in late 2016 or early 2017 as it takes 3 years to transition land from conventional farming practices, and the nursery was operational until late 2013. We use all the same healthy, old time-y practices as we did when we were leasing a piece of organic land in 2014 and adhering to the National Organic Practices. We use mostly trap cropping, predator attractant planting to deter bad bugs from gobbling up our plants. We make natural spray from garlic and other herbal ingredients to deter pests and when absolutely necessary we’ll use an OMRI (Organic Materials Research Institute) approved organic, naturally derived spray. Our long term strategy involves many perennial plantings to serve as beetle banks and natural predator habitat and regular cover cropping as our main strategy to maintain soil nutrition.
We use horses mainly because we love them, but they also cause less soil compaction than tractors and are actually equally or more efficient for certain tasks.
Where to find our products now: We currently sell through a CSA that picks up right here on our farm ten minutes outside Hillsboro, at the Hillsboro Farmers Markets, and to many Portland restaurants.