Moomaw Family Farm was started in 2013.
The farm is run by Nathan and Amanda Moomaw, along with help from our family, friends, and CSA members.
Nathan has been intensively involved in food and agriculture since 2002. After a succinct career recording classical and jazz performances in Chicago, he began working on livestock and vegetable farms in southern Wisconsin; and found the work to be both more meaningful, and more suited to his nature. Nathan returned home to Oregon to start his own farm in 2012. He loves working with animals and nature to produce amazing food.
Amanda began helping out on her very first visit to the farm, and is now married to the farmer! Having grown up in Vermont with dairy farms in her family, Amanda has a deep appreciation for local food and the importance of sustainable family farms. With a diverse career in culinary and nutrition services, she brings a wealth of knowledge about food and a tireless energy for getting things done.
Restoring Native Habitat through Farming
Utilizing a deliberate and ecologically minded approach to agriculture, we are raising breeds of animals with good foraging instincts that like to be outside exploring for food. Lush pasture dotted with native trees provides a naturally delicious and healthy diet, as well as an ideal environment for them range. Raising livestock on pasture has significant benefits for the health and well-being of the animals, and in turn for our health, and the health of the environment.
Here are some of our methods and goals:
- Our animals are raised in the most humane way possible. Every decision made on the farm places the well-being of the animals as the top priority. Our animals live outdoors their entire lives as they are moved around the pastures using rotational grazing. When raised in this way, they are naturally happy and healthy, and a joy to work with. We spend time with all of the animals on a daily basis. In many ways, they're more like pampered pets than livestock, and their lives are stress-free from beginning to end.
- No antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. We closely manage our animals and land in a sustainably healthy way, so that we are not dependent on medications, poisons, or dangerous chemicals.
- Healthy land, healthy animals. We support a diverse and healthy pasture through the rotational grazing of our animals; and in turn the health of the animals is supported by being moved regularly to fresh pasture. Our goal is to eventually grow much of the feed ourselves by planting food-bearing natives, such as hazelnuts, service-berries, huckleberries, blueberries, paw-paws, plums, cherries, and apple trees. These trees and shrubs will provide food and shade for the animals as well as diverse habitat for wildlife and native pollinators.
- Restoration of wildlife habitat, combined with producing food. By restoring native habitats on our farm, we can both produce food, and support native bio-diversity on the same piece of land. We believe the marriage of farming and nature conservation is a great way to support a healthy relationship between humans and the ecosystems we inhabit.
- Soil is improved each year. Good soil is the foundation of a productive farm and a diverse ecosystem. Biologically active soil is generated and held in place by perennial plants being grazed by livestock. Nutrients are returned to the land in sustainable amounts and do not wash off into local waterways where they would have a negative impact downstream.
- Minimal use of fossil fuels. Having animals outside on pasture year-round means we don't have to build, power, or heat/cool large buildings in which to house the animals, which saves considerably on our energy and materials use compared to most livestock operations. We are also only 10 miles from Portland, which means our entire distribution from farm to eater requires less than 900 gallons of gas per year!
- Significant carbon and nitrogen sequestration. Grazing animals on land with perennial grasses, shrubs, and trees is as effective as a natural forest in storing carbon in the ground. The fact that we raise all our animals outside on pasture combined with our minimal use of fossil fuels, means the farm is almost certainly carbon negative.