Conservation on Quackenbush Farm
We believe that the future of a thriving planet will depend on the collective, small actions that each of us take on a daily basis. As farmers and landowners, our moral obligation is to not only grow healthy food without harming the land, but to restore it and improve it’s ecological function. Some of the small actions we’re taking at Quackenbush Farm include:
Our first trip out to the farm, we knew we found something special. Scattered throughout the property are dozens of mature Oregon white oak, in addition to some massive, old bigleaf maples. Matt has worked in the field of habitat restoration for over 10 years, and knew immediately the value of these trees. Less than 10% of white oak are left in Oregon and Washington, and many more are still being removed due to agriculture and development.
In 2019, Quackenbush Farm became a signatory of the Willamette Valley Oak Accord, a growing number of farms and vineyards dedicated to the preservation and restoration of these special places. In addition to pledging to protect our existing oaks, we will be planting several more acres throughout the farm in the coming years.
So far we have planted over 1000 linear feet, with over 400 different species of native flowering shrubs. These hedgerows will provide copious amounts of nectar and pollen for our esteemed pollinators and beneficial insects, as well as food and shelter for a variety of birds and other wildlife. They will also attract the natural predators of some of our crop pests, so it’s a win win for everyone!
We are in the process of building a variety of artificial structures to support a robust population of natural predators on the farm, including bat and owl boxes, raptor perches, snake hibernaculum, and more.
In 2018, with assistance from the USDA Rural Energy program and incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon, we installed a 15kw solar array which now powers 100% of our business. We occasionally host tours and welcome any questions about the whole process, from applying to grants to selecting a contractor and more.
And the land evolves…
Our desire to restore the beauty and integrity of this land, and our human community, will never stop. Each year we will continue to take those small actions, from new conservation projects to new (or old) ways to grow our produce more sustainably.