Seeders: Jesse Weller & Chloe Hanson, Osprey Farm
The Farm: 13 acres – West Salem – in the flood plain of the Willamette River
What They Seed: Food, soil and community. Vegetables, grains and dry beans for the farmers market, families & restaurants in Salem.
Where You Can Find Them:
Farmers Markets: Salem Farmers Market (Saturday)
Online: Summer & Winter CSA Programs
Feeders They Supply:
Restaurants: Annette’s, Rafn’s
It’s a powerful thing to spend an afternoon with two young farmers, passionate about what they’re doing and on a mission to grow good food and educate the people in their community. Chloe Hanson and Jesse Weller are in their third season of farming as Osprey Farm, on 13 acres that they lease from a nursery owner in Oregon’s capital of Salem. Both Oregon natives and Oregon State University-educated, Chloe and Jesse got their starts farming at Rainshine Family Farm and Oakhill Organics, respectively. After one season at Rainshine, Chloe also worked at Oakhill, before the two decided to set out on their own.
In 2013 they started Osprey Farm on one acre in Stayton, feeding a 20 person CSA, while also working at Minto Island Growers. In 2014 they heard about the property in Salem and took the opportunity to move and expand their operation. Each season they are growing the farm as the nursery phases off of the property.
For the 2015 season they will have about 5 acres total of vegetables, dry beans (black, cannellinis, kidney & pinto) and some grains. They take their product to the Saturday Salem Farmers Market and provide their year-round CSA with a great variety of ingredients. Jesse and Chloe put a lot of emphasis on the community part of the CSA: their pick-ups are set up in a market-style, giving members the opportunity to select what they receive each week, as well as a chance to ask questions and interact with their farmers.
Weekly CSA newsletters update members on the farm happenings, provide recipes as well as discuss other food issues such as meat sourcing and food labeling. Their members are receptive and eager to learn and Chloe and Jesse feel that the flexibility and educational aspects of their CSA is a big part of what has made it successful.
“We want to encourage the education of new farmers and pass the information that we’ve learned onto new people”
“If more people knew how to cook, we wouldn’t have a problem selling vegetables”