Hello, I’m Carla, and I’m here asking for your help to bring my dream, Mountain Bed Farm, into reality. This is a new sustainable, small farm I’m starting from scratch in Sherwood, Oregon, just a half-hour away from Portland. I will specialize in heirloom, open pollinated, gourmet produce and rare heritage breed poultry, many of which are nearly extinct. I’d love to have your help preserving and promoting these wonderful flavors and parts of our culture!
Farming has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, but I wasn’t born into farm life – I was born in San Francisco, where I was once upon a time a cubicle dwelling drone, dreaming of being surrounded by nature, vegetable gardens and animals. So I quit my job and started a series of farm internships that would forever change my life.
Inspired by some amazing mentors, I knew that I wanted to spend my life farming and one day start one of my own. But for a young person who isn’t independently wealthy (if only…), finding land and farming opportunities isn’t easy. Then I came to Oregon and met a couple who again changed my life by inviting me live and farm on their beautiful 20-acre property. I moved in at the beginning of March, and I know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m putting my heart and soul into.
So what makes Mountain Bed Farm special?
Open pollinated, non-GMO, heirloom plants - We shouldn’t have to settle for mealy tomatoes or iceberg lettuce! There are hundreds of delicious heirloom vegetable varieties that look and taste unique and incredible, but we are in danger of losing them forever. By growing these plants and saving seed to carry on their genetic legacy, I hope to help keep these delicious veggies around and share them with you.
Heritage, endangered livestock – Did you know you’ve probably only ever eaten one breed of chicken? The Cornish Cross is a proprietary genetic hybrid developed for mainstream agriculture. They grow so fast they often break their legs and have heart attacks because their bones and organs can’t keep up with their weight. And after all that, they taste like cardboard! Meanwhile, amazing poultry breeds that lay some of the best eggs and produce some of the most delicious meat are nearing extinction.
Some people call me crazy for wanting to raise birds slowly and naturally because it’s more expensive, but I think it’s crazy to breed an animal that can’t live a healthy, natural life and doesn’t even taste good.
Education – I don’t know where I’d be without the farmers who took me in and shared their incredible skills and knowledge with me. I certainly wouldn’t be here starting my own farm! I want to continue the legacy of sharing knowledge freely by developing an internship program, and offering classes and programs for people of any age who want to learn about farming, whether they want to start their own one day, learn about animal care, discover ways to preserve food, or just spend a quiet day in the garden.
Cats in Hats – How many farms have cats in chicken hats? (Hey, it’s the internet… silly cat photos are required, right?)
What your support will do…
Starting a farm is hard work and takes an initial financial investment long before your plants and animals start to grow and become marketable. I absolutely plan to turn this farm into a successful, self-sustaining business, and your help will go a long way in getting me off to a good start. Plus I’m obsessively frugal, so you know your dollar will be stretched to the max to help get the following projects off the ground:
Heritage Chickens, Quail and Ducks!
In late April/early May I will be purchasing our first birds. They won’t be coming from the local farm store or mail-order hatchery, but rather from fellow Oregon family farmers who breed amazing, rare, beautiful birds that have excellent meat and egg qualities. They are more expensive, but I want to start with great genetics so that I can start my own breeding program and preserve these nearly endangered breeds as they deserve.
Poultry Housing and Electric Fencing.
These lovely birds need a place to live where they’ll be comfy and safe from predators. I’ll use electric net fencing for them to roam around in during the day, and they will be kept indoors at night so they don’t become coyote snacks.
Drip irrigation is the most effective, water efficient system to keep our produce happy and healthy. It’s expensive, but a worthwhile investment.
I love watching the local deer, hawks, eagles, and listening to the coyotes yip at night. These animals were here first, and I have immense respect for them. However, I’m not here to provide a free buffet, so I will be using non-lethal, preventative predator control methods. Motion activated sprinklers (each over $60 and I will need at least 6) will keep critters out of the gardens, and NiteGuard lights will warn the predators away from the livestock. Electric fence will be installed around pretty much everything.
But wait, there’s more! REWARDS!
There are no words to express how incredibly grateful I will be for even the smallest donation. But there are rewards! I know it’s not much, but I want to give each and every one of you a tangible token of my thanks and eternal gratitude. Everyone who donates anything will get recognition on our website and a personal thank you from me.
All donations over $25 get a hand written thank you card with a cute animal photo (a real glossy one!), and a surprise seed packet of heirloom, open pollinated, organic seeds from one of my favorite seed catalogs. You can choose from either vegetable, herb or flower (or drop me some hints if you’re after something in particular).
For $50 donations, I will make you a custom pair of feather earrings, made from either chicken or turkey feathers that come from a farm I’ve interned on (no chickens here yet, sadly). I have lots of natural feather colors to choose from, long or short, many beads options, sparkly or natural, dramatic or simple. All are made with hypoallergenic french hooks.
Whatever you’re able to give, I promise it will go a long way in both my heart and in my fields. So *THANK YOU* in advance!