Able Farms & Armada PDX
The Farm: over 3 acres of production on Sauvie Island, 20 miles outside of Portland, where they follow organic farming practices, humanely treat their animals, and involve their community in workshops and dinners
What They Seed:
heirloom vegetables, small orchard production, livestock, eggs
What They Feed:
Armada PDX – a pop-up dinner experience bringing together vegetables, fruit, grains, protein, and local crafters of the food world. It is an evening of education, food, spirits, and enjoyment.
Where You Can Find Them:
Megan Denton began her love of food as a child in Atlanta, GA. She grew up in a restaurant family and began cooking at age 14. After moving out west and graduating from Portland State University she began her agricultural journey working for farms while still cooking in Portland’s farm to table establishments. Megan furthered her craft by working in Sardinia, Italy and then returning to complete multiple Oregon livestock and preservation certifications. Megan met Jenny Herget, a social justice activist committed to improving food systems. Together they bought a small place in North Portland and converted every available square foot into a permaculture garden.
Megan started working at Linnton Feed & Seed store for her good friend and mentor Dan Cadmus. Together, Megan, Jenny and Dan started raising small livestock on a friend’s property on Sauvie Island. It evolved into a farm partnership, eventually taking over the property and establishing Able Farms in 2011.
Able Farms is over 3 acres of livestock, vegetable and fruit production. Another 15 acres are devoted to Angus cattle and Portland Metro as a wildlife sanctuary. They maintain a food-justice focus by following organic farming practices, humanely treating their animals and involving the community in workshops and dinners. These ethics define Able Farms. Megan and Jenny believe in integrity, kindness and being a colorful thread woven within their community.
At Able Farms they take the culinary, agricultural and historical love for feeding community to a whole new level. The team’s dedication is reflected in their care of the animals and plants: all of their produce and fruits are pesticide-free and their meat and eggs are pastured, GMO-free and USDA certified. They focus on growing heirloom vegetables and raise non-commercial breeds of livestock.
The vegetables and meat from Able Farms are available to the community through their CSA program and at the Woodlawn Farmers Market in North Portland.
The farm is constantly evolving. It is getting more specific in crops and slowly growing in acreage. Starting the farm was not easy. Passion, hard work and dedication are all ingredients one must have in abundance to succeed. Every structure was a challenge and amending the soil took a while to improve. They both believe nothing fabulous comes easy. Many successes have come to Able Farms, but the greatest is surviving strong since 2011 and still loving what they do.
Dan Cadmus has since retired. Megan is usually in the field while Jenny maintains the website and social media. Megan also curates and produces Armada PDX, which hosts pop up dinners in the Portland area. She pulls from other local farmers, purveyors and ranchers, as well as her own farm, to put on special dinners that revolve around a theme or ingredient. It is a historical, culinary and agricultural evening. Each producer is present and speaks about their craft and growing over an amazing meal.
At Able Farms they are inspired by feeding and growing with their community, and they’ve found that farming encompasses all passions in one.
Advice to New Farmers:
Be patient, be strong and know that you are Able.
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