Since 2000, Pam and Michael Arion have owned the land where Tanager Farm is located. The farm, located just east of the Sandy River, received its name from the Blue Grey Tanager bird. Different from most farms, the Arions have been stewarding their land to various CSA farmers. Over the years, the farm has been producing various vegetables, herbs, flower seed, and honey.
Over 200 varieties of vegetables, flowers, fruit bearing trees and honey.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Farmers Market, Seed
Brindley Beckwith, Jennie London, and Spencer Suffling.
Pam and Michael Arion
WHAT ARE THEY DOING FOR BEES?
There are several things that are being done to protect pollinators, other than scaring off the occasional curious black bear from getting into their honey bee colonies. Tanager Farm is a pesticide-free farm. In order to deter pests, they diversify and rotate their crops, plant cover crops, as well as cover rows of plants, such as mustard, which attract large numbers of pests. Moreover, Pam is both in the Oregon Master Beekeeper program and surveys for native bees as part of the Oregon Bee Project’s Bee Atlas.
Increasing habitat and forage for native bees was a main goal for the farm. To do this they left dried out stems and other organic matter around their fields, which created increased habitat for mason bees, leafcutting bees, small carpenter bees and bumble bees. Increasing habitat close to their fields helps pollinators by increasing access to their food source. To increase forage for the bees, Pam planted several varieties of flowers which attract large numbers of pollinators around the farm. She now has flowers blooming from the early days of spring through the fall.
To improve forage, they have undertaken additional projects including planting flowering hedges across the property.
meet the farmers
Pam and her husband Michael moved to this property in 2000 and brought two displaced CSA farmers with them. Since then, the Arions have let various groups of farmers use their land. These farmers have built infrastructure which is still used today such as greenhouses, food processing areas, and mature nut trees and berry plants. Currently the Arions have three main growers: Brindley, Jennie, and Spencer, who have been at this location for three growing seasons. All have a background in agriculture but hold a diversity of specialties. Brindley and Spencer work mainly with their vegetable crops, Jennie with the flowers, and Pam with her bees.
They rotate their crops from year to year. The idea driving this practice is to provide a diverse selection of food. For example, Brindley enjoys trying new foods, so for this season she planted several varieties of Asian vegetables, including Bok Choy.