Jonah Bloch and Amber Lippert seeded Camas Swale Farm together in 2009. As of late 2014, the farm is located at its permanent home, two miles north of the historic town of Coburg, Oregon, on 16 acres of river bottom land. Here just you’ll find us growing soil, habitat, and a diversity of crops.
We grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and some berries using organic and biodynamic methods. Our methods emphasize nutrient cycling with compost and cover crops, and pest management through prevention including companion planting, row cover, and providing habitat for beneficial insects. What you will not find us using are genetically modified seeds, sewage sludge, irradiation, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
This is our sixth season providing produce through our CSA Harvest Share program. You can also find our produce at the Fairmount Sunday Market in Southeast Eugene, in the Flock, Stalk and Baby buying club, Provisions Market Place and on the menu at a few local restaurants including Wild Craft Cider and Marche.
The farm is powered by Jonah, Amber, two seasonal staff and a few volunteers. Mr. Dog and Madame Milkboots also lend a paw as needed.
Before founding Camas Swale Farm Jonah and Amber worked for other small to mid size organic operations and in 2007 helped start Tani Creek Farm. At Tani Creek we were involved in all aspects of planning, field labor, processing and distributing. There we grew over 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers for sale to market and CSA and planted a diverse orchard of rare fruits. The seasons at Tani Creek farm helped us deepen our experience with the philosophy and technical applications of biodynamic farming: making and applying preparations, making compost, collecting plants for specific uses, using the biodynamic calendar to guide planting rhythms, and participating in biodynamic meetings.
In 2009 we returned to the Willamette Valley and for the next five seasons leased sites in Creswell, Junction City and in Dexter. Our primary lease was with the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, for their 35-acre Junction City, Oregon property. There we used biodynamic techniques and participated in our local biodynamic farming community and maintained our CSA program for three years until the property sold to new owners. Each season was a success in that our customers were provided weekly deliveries of high quality food without a miss, and each site presented opportunities to learn. Through these experiences we identified what kind of small farm we would need for the long haul and more about what kind of farming practices would be fulfilling for us and nourishing for the land.
Jonah became involved with farming in 2001 when he worked at Wintergreen Farm under Wali Via for a season. While Wintergreen introduced him to biodynamics, it also presented an incredible model for a productive , successful, and innovative farm striving not only to grow food but also relationship with community. Jonah then worked at a number of different farms in the area, Hawaii and Central America. He also has an Associates of Science degree from Lane Community College and a permaculture certificate from the Wilder foundation. Prior to founding Camas Swale Farm, Jonah worked at Sweetwater Farm, where he managed field production for the farm’s year round 130 member CSA program.
Amber began farming in 2004 on a mid-size organic farm. Fieldwork inspired many questions and she earned her B.S. in Agriculture from Oregon State University and credit towards a Masters of Agriculture Education during the slower seasons. As a student, Amber worked in the OSU vegetable breeding department and spent a term in Central America studying regenerative agriculture. In addition to farming with Jonah, Amber is currently employed at the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).