Ridgeline Meadows Farm

This small-scale certified organic farm is just as much an experimental farm as it is a production farm. Andrew Schwarz is part of a Dry Farm Collaborative through Oregon State University which is made up of 30 active farmers that are trialing this technique to conserve soil moisture instead of depending on irrigation.

Location

Applegate

Established in

2013

Owned by

Andrew Schwarz

Crops

Seed crops (fruit trees, mixed vegetables), orchard crops, specific varieties of melons and tomatoes

Farmers Markets/Retailers

Farmers markets, small seed companies and wholesalers

 Diverse blocks of plants at Ridgeline Meadows Farm in Applegate, Oregon.

Diverse blocks of plants at Ridgeline Meadows Farm in Applegate, Oregon.

WHAT PRODUCTS are PRODUCed here?

Located in the heart of Applegate Valley, this farm produces certified organic seed crops for a number of small seed companies, a variety of orchard crops, and is also experimenting with producing dry farmed specific varieties of melons and tomatoes.

 Beautiful heirloom variety of corn grown at Ridgeline Meadows.

Beautiful heirloom variety of corn grown at Ridgeline Meadows.

WHAT KIND OF BEES LIVE here?

Nestled between creeks and forests are 40 acres of farmed lands. The seed crops, fruit trees, and mixed vegetables provide bee species diverse sources of pollen and nectar throughout the entire growing season. The bordering natural areas and undisturbed ground throughout the orchard provides excellent nesting habit. The farm has particularly abundant populations of bumble bees and sweat bees.

 Young orchard maintained using dry farming techniques, as the orchard ages early spring bees such as mining bees will move in.

Young orchard maintained using dry farming techniques, as the orchard ages early spring bees such as mining bees will move in.

What are they doing for bees?

In 2018, Ridgeline Meadows Farm will install a pollinator hedgerow, 450 ft long with over 750 plants through an NRCS grant. Using plant suggestions from the bee expert at ODA, Andrew is eager to create a hardy habitat that complements the floral resources already provided by the crops, “I’m going to make your dream pollinator hedgerow.”  

 Vosnesenski’s Bumble Bee on late-blooming yard plant.

Vosnesenski’s Bumble Bee on late-blooming yard plant.

meet the farmer

With a passion for eating good food, Andrew ventured into farming. Coming from a non-agricultural background, he had a lot to learn about farm systems but as he learned more about the conservation issues such as soil erosion and seed diversity, it drew him in further. About 10 years of being in the business and he feels he still has more questions than answers–a classic trait of passionate, bee-friendly farmers.

 Owner Andrew Schwarz stands in the shade of a large oak tree on his farm.

Owner Andrew Schwarz stands in the shade of a large oak tree on his farm.