We are delighted to continue to bring you marvelous produce this summer from our farming partners near Eugene, Oregon, Groundwork Organics. Since 2000, Gabe Cox and his wife Sophie Bello have been growing organic fruit and vegetables on their 100% certified organic farm. From green cabbage, collards and tomatillos to Padron peppers and heirloom and cherry tomatoes, Groundwork Organics grows a number of the flavorful veggies found in your boxes.
Speaking with Gabe last week, we learned that he grew up in Indiana and had a knack for things mechanical. After a couple years of college, he got a job on a farm and from that experience fashioned a career. Moving to Corvallis, he worked on a farm there and then rented 11 acres in Junction City to start his own operation. He and Sophie bought property next door, adding land until they reached their current size of about 125 acres. During their startup years, farmers markets were growing in popularity and provided a great outlet for their fresh organic produce. They continue to be in 6 markets a week and in 2010 build a farm stand which has been a fun way to share their harvest with the community.
With about 50 employees and their two teenage daughters who help at the markets, Gabe and Sophie grow a diverse range of crops, extending their season from early spring to late fall with 25 acres of greenhouses. All of their tomatoes are grown in the greenhouses to provide the consistent warmth these summer fruits require.
Asked about his biggest challenges on the farm, Gabe answered without hesitation, “The weeds, always the weeds!” As organic farmers, they use a variety of physical methods to control weeds and give the vegetable plants the best chance of accessing the soil nutrients. Cultivating is key, and they use plastic mulch on field crops that also need the warmth,—melons cucumbers, and zucchini. Gabe’s focus is on building soil fertility, keeping it healthy and productive year after year. One of his main strategies is summer cover crops, usually a mix of Sudan grass, buckwheat and Phacelia, a blue-flowered plant that attracts pollinators, grows quickly and out-competes the weeds.
Gabe admitted that farming is a hard job, with a great many factors besides just growing and harvesting the crops to consider. One of the things he’s most grateful for is the farm crew that works with them day in and day out, some of whom have been there for 20 years. “It amazes me,” Gabe says, of the dedicated, wonderful people who put in long days to provide fresh nutritious produce for us. We are so very thankful for everyone at Groundwork Organics!
How To Add Farm Stand products to Your Delivery:
Full Circle members – head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 6pm on your cutoff date. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button “Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products” to add farm products to your delivery.
Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.