Valley Flora Farms
Valley Flora Farms, located near Langlois, Oregon, is run by a mother-and-two-daughter trio – Betsy (Mom), and Abby and Zoë – on the farm where the girls were raised and eventually returned to team up with their mother. With the indispensable help of their year-round farmhand, Roberto Sierra, and some part-time summer harvest hands, the farm produces over 100 varieties of vegetables, berries, and fruit for local restaurants, grocery stores, food banks, and a community-supported agriculture program.
Together, the "Florettes" feed over 100 Harvest Basket members through their community supported agriculture program, and help keep the pantry stocked at dozens of local restaurants, retail stores, and foodbanks.
The trio is deeply committed to ecological farming, utilizing cover crops, compost and crop rotations, rather than synthetic fertilizers and sprays, and doing most of the work by hand with occasional help from Barney and Maude, their Belgian team of draft horses, and a couple of tractors.
Abby wears the "Greens Queen" crown; she manages the salad production and is the resident apple and orchard expert. Betsy has carved out her niche in the greenhouse, growing row after row of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, and summer squash. Zoë rounds out the produce line-up with berries, flowers, asparagus, and scores of other outdoor seasonal row crops.
Due to Valley Flora’s sustainable practices, it caught the attention of the Northwest Biocarbon Initiative. Creating healthier soils through cover crops and compost not only delivers tastier and healthier produce, but also builds long-term carbon-richness in the soil, with vibrant microbial and mycorrhizal life, a key strategy for reducing the carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. Furthermore, Valley Flora sells locally, which keeps transportation and packaging emissions down. Consumers have the option of signing up for harvest basket delivered at designated locations or u-pick.
Meanwhile, Zoë found time in the quiet seasons to co-edit a book, Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmer Movement, a collection of 50 essays by beginning farmers from around the country who describe their experiences starting up a farm.
Betsy, Abby, and Zoë share a passion and love for what they do – so much so that you can practically – and literally, if you live in their neighborhood -- taste it.