It’s amazing the ways that finding this piece of land has helped us to integrate and find community and find the people who we can call mentors, co-farmers, and friends.Chloe
What are you passionate about and why?
“The farm is what I’m passionate about. I grew up around plants and working in the garden and helping my father do landscaping. I’ve always liked working outside and working with my body. That’s what I appreciate so much. I love the land and how it supports us and supports this place, this community.
You said Neighbors of Baker is about people and I feel that way about Halfway. It is such a tight-knit community. It’s amazing the ways that finding this piece of land has helped us to integrate and find community and find the people who we can call mentors, co-farmers, and friends. I really appreciate the people in the community here. It’s just amazing. It’s much more tied together than in other places.
I grew up in Star outside of Boise Idaho and I lived in Portland for several years. It’s been very different to go from rural Idaho to the big city back to rural Oregon. There’s something about this place and rural areas that just makes more sense, makes me at least, more comfortable. My partner and I were looking to get out of Portland and looking to farm. And my parents still live around Boise. So between the combination of finding land that we could afford, that was large enough to support what we wanted to do, and being close to my parents, this place was perfect. It’s nice to have the family connection.
It’s always funny being in Halfway because it is such a small town and yet so many people have interests and odd connections to being here. In Portland, I was a member of a church and another member has come out to press apples in Halfway for a couple of decades. And he was a pig farmer in Iowa. So when he came out he stopped by our place and looked at the pigs and then went to press apples. And it was it was just so funny, but that’s Halfway.
What inspires me is the work of the farm and being able to grow food. It’s everything that needs to get done. I always say that if we didn’t have to, we wouldn’t sell vegetables, we would just give them away. I love the idea of growing food and being able to feed people, especially people in my community. I see the business aspect of the farm as kind of the side hustle I have to run to do what I like to do – make sure people have food.”
And what’s been your biggest challenge here?
“The biggest hurdle has simply been money. It’s hard to start a farm, especially as young people. We didn’t start with an inherited ranch or farm. We had to buy the land and we’re buying all the equipment ourselves, except the equipment the farmer down the road shares. He has been such a godsend. This particular property was an old farm so it has lots of old farm problems. All the structures are falling apart. We just tried to get enough infrastructure done and the place prepared to start farming.
A lot of people ask us if we miss the city, and the answer is always, ‘No.’ I mean, I would be so happy if Halfway had a Chinese restaurant, but outside of that, living here is great. It’s beautiful. I love that the worst traffic we have is a cattle drive. I love being able to work for myself and to make my own schedule. It’s small town life at its best.”