Article by: Zoie Wesenberg, UO Undergrad in Environmental Studies and Geography

Berggren Demonstration Farm, which resides along the Mckenzie River in Springfield, OR, grows a vast array of fresh produce. The sustainably grown fruits and vegetables are distributed to the livestock, markets and a selection of restaurants. Many of the plants are over wintered, which means they were planted last fall and grow until the spring harvest. Currently, the farm is harvesting and continuing to plant even more produce that will grow through the summer months.

The farmers at Berggren Farm use tender care and sustainable techniques to grow flourishing plants. Their use of natural growth supplements and pesticides cultivates plants that are both healthy and safe for the surrounding environment, including the river, farm and riparian zone, as well as the distant environment, and the consumers-both people and livestock.

Lead farmer, Angela, is an expert at sustainable agriculture techniques, which she has been practicing for 30 years. Her dedication and hard work can clearly be seen after just an hour-long visit to the farm. Her knowledge is undeniable and her passion clear and inspiring. Although she listens to what the consumers demand and grows produce like kale, she is confident and sure of her knowledge-and rightly so. She continues to grow chard, which she comically tells me is much more nutritious and delicious than kale, which is just a fad! I know we all love kale, but next time you head to the market or grocery store, take Angela’s advice and try out some chard!

You can purchase their produce at Springfield’s Farmers Market, online at Eugene Local Foods or at the following restaurants: Marche Provisions, Party Downtown, Belly, Rye and Carmelita Spats. You can also become a CSA member and receive packages of fruits and vegetables throughout the years. More information can be found at http://berggrendemonstrationfarm.wordpress.com

*Click on photo to enlarge

A strawberry in the early stage of it’s growth.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Angela’s recommendation: Bright lights chard.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Bright lights chard.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Strawberry plants getting watered in the greenhouse.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

A strawberry plant’s flower blossoms.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Bright lights chard captures the sunshine gleaming through the greenhouse roof. The glowing plant has it’s name for a reason!

Zoie Wesenberg

Onions left over from the previous year.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg

Sugar snap pea plant grows lusciously.

Photo credit: Zoie Wesenberg