Olde Moon Farm: Produce for farmers market, restaurants

June 2019 Posted in Community, Food & Drink, Garden

By Melissa Wagoner

Spring has definitely sprung at Olde Moon Farm on the outskirts of Silverton. Where, just over a year ago, there was only green lawn, now nearly an acre of garden plots is scattered over the hillsides. What was once the lawn and small garden of Megan and Roger Garrett is now the productive farm of Jordan and Jay Ulth.

“It’s pretty intimate,” Jay said of the lease arrangement, which allows the Ulths to not only farm the Garrett’s land but also to live in the small, bunkhouse situated on the property.

“But we’re used to that, having done it with different land owners,” Jordan continued. “And it’s been great.”

New to Oregon, the Ulths made their move in February 2018 from Point Reyes in Northern California.

“We were working for people who hired us to farm their land,” Jordan said. “It was difficult to find people who wanted to lease us land.”

Between the shortage of leasable land and the high cost of California living, the Ulths – who have 10 years of joint farming experience – decided to widen their search to include the Pacific Northwest, and that’s when they stumbled upon a posting from Megan on Oregon Farm Link.

“What’s really incredible about this opportunity with Megan and Roger is their son, Garrett, is opening a restaurant in Portland,” Jordan revealed. “G-Love – it’s a reverse steakhouse.”

“We’ll be providing the bulk of his unique produce,” Jay added. “It gives him an edge in his marketplace and we get to do these fun varieties of things.”

Both the property and the partnership with G-Love – which is slated to open in Portland’s Slabtown district in August – were almost too good to be true, compelling the Ulths to pack everything, including their then seven month-old daughter, Juniper, and move to Oregon without really knowing what they would find when they got here. But what they found amazed them.

“Opening up new land and not knowing the soil – it was a surprise,” Jay said. “First years, they’re throw away years.”

But despite the assumption that the first year would be a bust, the Ulths were able to pull together a bumper harvest of both vegetables – Jay’s focus – and flowers – which is Jordan’s specialty.

“We sold at the farmers market and restaurants,” Jay said. “It is a great farmers market and we fit in really nicely.”

Although the couple has previously sold their produce and flowers using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, this time around they have decided to focus on the Silverton Farmers Market and restaurant kitchens as their primary customer base.

Along with the specialty produce Olde Moon Farm is growing for their restaurant clientele, the Ulths also grow a variety of vegetables commonly found in the Willamette Valley – tomatoes, peppers, squashes, etc. But what they are really passionate about is spring greens, shoots and microgreens, a crop that grows well in the farm’s higher elevation and cooler climate.

“We have that shoulder season for those things that get blown out earlier in the valley,” Jordan said.

Last winter the couple hosted several on-the-farm classes about food preparation and storage, something they hope to do more of in coming years. The Ulths encourage anyone curious about their growing practices to ask questions or, better yet, to visit the farm – and can be contacted at www.oldemoonfarm.com.

In the meantime, the Ulths are busy laying the groundwork for what is sure to be another plentiful growing season.

“It’s been nice to key in after last year,” Jordan said. “The first year is a lot of observation and it’s been really nice to dial in.”

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