About the farm
Horton Road Organics was started by partners Bill Booth and Debra Seido Martin in 1992 on a shoestring budget and small down payment on 15 acres of land. Having amassed years of experience in the California Bay Area farm world, they decided to begin a small market garden in the Lane County area where land was still affordable for farmers and awareness of sustainable agriculture was well established. The farm was well received by the community, an event that generated the necessary support to begin both the initial CSA experiment of 10 people and the first apprenticeship cohort in 1997. Years of reinvestment in the farm, its community, and organic care of the soil has developed a precious mix of fertile ground and nourished spirits.
Horton Road Organics integrates education, sustainable food production, and community events throughout its main season, April through October. The farm organically grows different varieties of 32 crops that supply a small CSA, three farmer’s markets, several restaurants and a number of local natural food stores. Anywhere from 3 to 5 apprentices join the farm for the season learning organic techniques and practical farm management skills. Several staff members coordinate apprentices, field work and markets and are joined by enthusiastic town staff who help at the farm stand Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Community events include welcome and graduation celebrations for apprentices, annual CSA day, and Farm Zendo events that include weekly meditation, monthly retreats and guest speakers.
Horton Road has developed its own integration of field practices that incorporate mindful attention to care of the land and crops, low impact hand work and simple organic practices that eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. Diversity and crop rotation, loving care and attention in the field, excellent variety selection, and articulate soil building with natural amendments all make up a healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable practice that supports its inhabitants, human and otherwise. The farm is committed to reinvigorating a human scale agriculture, developing healthy community and respectful relationships to its customers. Each year becomes a unique lively unfolding of the season marked by exquisite flavors, wild coast range weather patterns, and festive celebration enjoyed by farmers and friends who come together to experience intimacy with the land, contemplation and reflection, and the satisfaction of meaningful work.
Horton Road Organics is located in the Siuslaw watershed 35 miles northwest of Eugene, Oregon. The 15 acre farm is nestled in the coast range mountains and comprised of friable rich Nehalem and Nestuca silt loam soils. The main access road to the farm is via Route 36, the “old coast road” that was used before Highway 126 linked Eugene to Mapleton. Old timers know the Blachly/ Horton area for Triangle Lake, the largest natural body of water in the coast range, which is famous for its famed “rock slides.” Anglers visit Old Mill Pond for canoeing and fishing, or hunt for wild chanterelles in surrounding rolling forested hills. The rural community, built upon the early farm and logging economy, is proud of its connectedness and is home to several generations of families who actively support the local charter school, Grange and Triangle Lake fire department.