The Land: Nella Mae’s Farm is a beautiful wooded farm at the base of Mt. Fanny in Cove, Oregon. The farm is on the Native lands of the Cayuse, Umatilla & Walla Walla past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and its people.
Our Farm: We grow produce both outside and in large hoop houses, which allows us to extend our season. We focus primarily on salad mix and a variety of vegetables throughout the season and offer grass-finished beef in the fall.
The farm is open to visitors when the gates are open. Find us at the second driveway on the left coming up (east) Antles Lane in Cove. We are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful neighbors, so wave when you go by!
Our Mission: To practice fair, clean, just agriculture that enhances the well-being of our land, our family and friends, fellow farmers, and our community long, long into the future.
Our Values: Joy, community, stewardship, solidarity, generosity, and long-term financial, social, and environmental sustainability and justice.
Our Practices: We use natural practices to grow healthy food for our family and yours. We do not use toxic sprays or fertilizers on our produce. Our work is done by hand and with small machines. We build our soil and increase our production through science-based, holistic practices and lots of advice from old timers, hippies, and other practitioners of agriculture. We are low-till working towards being no-till farm.
Our History & People: Nella Mae Parks was raised on a small family farm in Union County, Oregon. She grew up gardening, making hay, and raising animals with her parents. She spent nine years in the local 4-H program and went on to earn a degree in Environmental Science from Oregon State University. She traveled, worked in natural resource science & rural community organizing, and became involved in local agriculture and local food through her work at Oregon Rural Action in La Grande. In 2013 she decided to devote her time to connecting people to the local food she and others grow in the region.
Nella Mae loves the creativity of farming and being connected to the land every day. The most meaningful parts of farming for Nella Mae are feeding & employing people, connecting the community, sharing her knowledge, and helping new and beginning farmers.
Nella Mae is joined on the farm by her husband Michael Hatch and daughter Chloe Jane. Hatch is the Outdoor Program Director at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande as well as an excellent weeder, logger, friend, and cheerleader. Chloe Jane has her own flower business and helps out with all aspects of the farm from digging holes to giving signature “scallion haircuts” (trimming the roots) on harvest days. You will see both Hatch & Chloe Jane at the La Grande Farmers Market with Nella Mae on Saturdays.
Nella Mae first sold produce at the La Grande Farmers’ Market at age ten with the help and tutelage of her parents Bruce & Catherine who continue to help her farm today. Family and friends are integral in the farm’s operation as well as its growth and sustainability.
We’re in it together! This is a truly community-supported farm made possible by the constant help from our “farmily”–family, other local growers, dozens of friends near and far, neighbors, and our dear customers. This support is an example of the best kind of community.
A special thanks to a few friends and businesses here who have lent so much of their time, advice, and encouragement to help a young farm and farmer.
- Sandy Roth and Dick Kenton at Plant Works
- Valerie and Rod Tachenko at Val’s Veggies
- Andrea and Tony Malmberg at Beyond Organic Beef
- Nella Mae’s parents, Bruce & Catherine Parks