A New Face at the Market, an Old Hand at Organic Farming
by Sarah Nicholson, EDN
Driving (or biking) along Noti’s Poodle Creek Road, you feel like you’ve found one of those locations that make the Willamette Valley so special. All of a sudden, the valley opens up and you see rows and rows of vegetable crops, a cluster of in-field greenhouses, a herd of cattle grazing in pasture, and a planting of flowers adorning the roadside. A little white sign announces that you’ve come to Winter Green Farm, which considers itself “a productive farm creating harmony with the earth, humanity, and ourselves.” A long-time Eugene-area organic farm, Winter Green is now bringing its bounty back to Eugene’s Saturday Market/Lane County Farmer’s Market for the first time in eight years.
Started by Jack Gray and Mary Jo Wade way back in 1980, Winter Green Farm’s ownership is now shared by three families. Wali and Jabrila Via joined in 1985, and then in 2009 Chris and Shannon Overbaugh joined after years of employment on the farm. The farm now boasts a large crew, some who come for a season and others who stay for a decade. At the peak of the season, when the basil is green and the crop is plentiful, the crew grows to about 25 members.