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Belle Mare Farm
Contact: Susan Richman
Address: 18100 SW Mendenhall Rd. Willamina, OR, 97396
Email Address: bellemarefarm@gmail.com
About Us
Belle Mare Farm lies at the foot of the Pacific Coast Range just west of Willamina, Oregon. Toward the north and west rolling hills of oak savanna merge into neighboring forest lands on the sides of the PC Range. The cultivated fields lie to the east and west with the creek as the east border giving the farm a rare diversity of ecosystems. The cultivated fields grow landrace grains, mixed cover crops and vegetables. The rotation has been 2 years of grain with cover crop established for 4 - 8 years. A mixed cover/forage for grazing was for soil recovery from tillage for the grain. Last year, the commitment was made to use only regenerative farming practices. Cover crops have been drilled and broadcast into fields that had 3 - 4 years of vegetables. No chemicals have been used on the land for at least 10 years. Cattle were introduced 4 years ago for their invaluable contribution to the soil biology. All of the drilling, broadcasting, raking, hauling, and summer water delivery when cows are on the hill is done by Gunther, Amos, and Katie, Suffolk draft horses. As a steward of the land and surrounding community, Belle Mare Farm envisions a future in which humans value the Earth and one another first.
Practices
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Regenerative farming works with nature by supporting the community of soil biology. The livestock plays a crucial role. The cows contribute the metabolites from their rumen as they graze. These microbes renew the living community in the soil. The interactions between the microbes and plant roots are how nutrients are made available to the plants. The cows contribute to nature’s cycle and the affect on the growth and diversity of plants on the pastures is amazing. Healthy soil grows healthy plants, which feeds and produces healthy animals. No chemicals have been used on the farm for over 10 years now and with each passing year nature shows up bigger with more plant, insect, and animal diversity. The cows eat the grasses, herbs, and forbs, drink clean, clear water, and have free choice access to salt and kelp for minerals. No grains, antibiotics, wormer or hormones, ever. As calves they are left with their mothers and weaned naturally, typically around 10 – 12 months old. The herd consists of German Fleckveih X Angus cows.