Family Farm Dedicated To Quality And Sustainability

Spread the love

Farm focus: Mt. Hope Farms
Story & Photos By Tyler Francke

The Owners and Operators of Mt Hope Farms

Nestled in the rolling foothills surrounding the community of Molalla, Oregon, lies Mt. Hope Farms, a testament to the Ellis family’s multigenerational passion for farming, nature’s bounty, and community connection.

With roots that run deep in the fertile Oregon soil, Mike and Laura Ellis, along with their children Samuel and Mason, have cultivated not just crops, but a legacy of sustainable farming practices and artisanal food products that truly exemplify the heart and soul of their family and the land.

The story of Mt. Hope Farms begins with Mike and Laura’s shared values and “deep-seeded” love for the land. Meeting at Eastern Oregon University, the couple’s common beliefs, coupled with their educational backgrounds, formed the foundation for their farming journey.

Armed with Mike’s degree in range ecology and management and Laura’s childhood experiences on a rural Alaska family farm, they returned home to join forces with Mike’s parents and grandparents to continue the sacred family tradition of farming the Molalla grounds.

Over half a century of diligent land stewardship and soil management have transformed the farm’s nutrient-rich soils into a thriving haven for unique berry and fruit crops. It’s a testament to the tireless work ethic that runs in their veins and a testament to their belief in sustainable farming that nurtures not only the land but the traditions of good food and family values.

Sustainable Farming

The year 2014 marked a significant turning point for the Ellis family, as they took the bold step to establish their own farm business and a soon-to-be award-winning fruit spread line, carving out a niche for themselves in the competitive market with the help of their family and community.

In more recent years, the Ellises have added to their farm, trying different crops and varieties based on market needs and what works best in their soil and climate. Their table grapes have proved especially popular, and this season, they’ve grown a few acres of sunflowers for oil.

Mt. Hope is a true farm-to-table operation, with their fruits and berries grown and eaten right here in the lush Willamette Valley.

“People always talk about that terroir, that sense of place, on wine grapes, but we’re still extracting that same sense of place in our table grapes,” Mike says. “We don’t gas or put any chemicals on them to hold their freshness, because they’re already fresh right out of our vineyard. They’re just so juicy and they’ve got so much flavor.”

But the jewel in Mt. Hope Farms’ crown is still their artisanal fruit spreads. They are not jams or jellies, Laura stresses, but simply fruits and spices that are low in sugar and not commercially overprocessed. The spreads have won numerous Good Foods Awards and other honors, a testament to their dedication to crafting exceptional products.

Quality and Sustainability Farming Products

While their focus on quality and process is a big part of what makes their spreads special, the Ellises also cultivate and select unique varieties and fruit combinations to provide a new and often delightful experience. Several of their most popular spreads feature lavender and the aronia berry, a small, purple antioxidant-packed berry native to the East Coast. The Ellises were one of its first growers in the Pacific Northwest.

“Everything we use is grown locally, usually by us or our neighbors,” Laura explains. “We’re really looking for those unique flavor profiles and new experiences, something that people have never heard of before, let alone tasted. It’s really cool to find something brand new like that, and then you find out that it was grown practically in your own backyard. And a lot of what we use are heritage fruits as well, some that go back even to the pioneer days.”

Mt. Hope Farms is not just about producing exceptional goods, but also about fostering a community. Laura and Mike welcome partnerships and are eager to share their fruits, berries, and spreads with those who value the authenticity of a family farm’s labor. Whether it’s their renowned table grapes or their innovative fruit spreads, the Ellis family is a beacon of sustainable agriculture and culinary excellence.

Mt. Hope Farms stands as a testament to the enduring power of family, sustainability, and a passion for the land. The Ellis family’s journey, marked by hard work, innovation, and a commitment to quality, has created a legacy that transcends generations.

As they continue to nurture their farm, they invite us all to taste the fruits of their labor — not just in flavor, but in the rich tapestry of values that they weave into every jar.

Mt Hope Farms Logo

Mt. Hope Farms is located at 11103 South Mount Hope Road in Molalla. For more information, visit them at or email