15 June 2016

Vendor Profile: Spring Hill Organic Farm

Continuing our 25th Anniversary celebration, we wanted to recognize Spring Hill Organic Farm as another market original!

In operation since 1990, Spring Hill Organic Farm is located in North Albany, and is an Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) farm.  Set on 45 acres, the farm specializes in vegetables, growing approximately 18 varieties for wholesale distribution, and over 60 varieties for sale at farmers markets and co-ops.

We reached out to Spring Hill Organic owner Jamie Kitzrow, to understand the evolution of the farm and brand since joining the PFM community in 1992.

“The market has meant everything to our farm’s success. We would most likely not be in business today if PFM hadn’t come along just when it did. In our first years in the early 90’s, when we were in mere survival mode, PFM and its customers gave us hope that there was an understanding and appreciation of what we were trying to do and that maybe we could make a-go of small scale vegetable farming.

Our farm had just two employees the year the PFM opened and we’ve grown to having as many as 45. We’ve grown from 5 acres to 45 acres. The conventional farming community was very skeptical about a small farm’s ability to thrive and be profitable. PFM and its customers encouraged us to keep going when things were tough. Even though crowds and sales were small in the early years you could sense the enthusiasm and the dedication of the customers.  It was a mutual education. We were asked to grow things we’d never tried before as well as us introducing people to things that weren’t found in grocery store produce departments.”

Jamie goes further to describe some of things he loves most about the PFM:

  • The enthusiasm and caring support we get from customers.
  • The human scale and genuine friendly atmosphere of the market. Shoppers aren’t just customers anymore, they’ve become friends.
  • The savvy food knowledge of PFM shoppers.
  • The ability to share my excitement about farming, growing good food, and working with nature every day.
  • The camaraderie among the community of growers that makes up the market.

-Laura Cooper, PFM Volunteer