Seeds of Sustainability

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A homestead farm’s commitment to biodiversity

Farm Focus: Birdsong Farm
By Angie Helvey, Contributing Writer | Photos courtesy of Birdsong Farm

Pedee, Oregon, is a small, unincorporated neighborhood nestled snugly in the coastal foothills of Monmouth. In the spring and summer, a symphony of trills and warbles soars through the fields and trees as songbirds arrive for the season and begin hatching chicks. Living respectfully on the native land of the Kalapuya and Luckiamute tribes, Birdsong Farm is a small family homestead dedicated to growing and raising natural foods to nourish themselves and the community.

Artists Andy and Miranda Rommel initially lived together in Texas but were forever dreaming of owning a homestead, so in 2012, Miranda brought Andy back to her home state of Oregon and they stumbled upon the property that would become Birdsong Farm. The couple worked tirelessly to transform the 17 acres. “When we bought this place, it was totally bare and an overgrazed mess,” says Miranda. “We put in gardens, one bed at a time, and started raising Muscovy ducks our first summer.”

Birdsong Farm is home to humanely raised small livestock that live quiet, comfortable lives with love, space to free range, and plenty of extra treats. Free-range duck eggs are available for purchase year-round, and they raise and sell a large batch of meat chickens once a summer. The chicken is processed right on the farm. “We do it ourselves, under the Oregon Poultry Exemption,” Miranda explains. “Customers come out and pick them up fresh that same day. They’re pasture-raised and absolutely delicious.” The farm formerly sold duck and rabbit meat but had to scale back for multiple reasons, including losing their flock of Muscovies to
a bobcat.

Birdsong’s gardens and greenhouse grow fresh, chemical-free vegetables and herbs they share with the community through a small CSA. The gardens yield an excellent crop of all the basics with some Asian influence. “We grow a variety of Asian greens, and I put in asparagus a couple of years ago, so this year we finally get to eat and share as much asparagus as we want,” says Miranda. The farm gets most of its seeds for planting from Adaptive Seeds, a local company that feeds biodiversity with its diverse selection of open-pollinated organic seeds, and Miranda has been growing Jory tomatoes from her own saved seeds for about six years now. Apple trees and a peach tree round out the fresh bounty with a few unique additions like black currants and tayberries. “You don’t see tayberries at the market too often; they’re delicious, but they’re the thorniest little things,” Miranda says with a laugh.

Like many farmers, the Rommels both have day jobs and Andy is currently working on his Master’s in teaching. Birdsong keeps its operation reasonably small so that it can be self-sustaining. “When we first started, we’d hire some help, but we realized the workload needed to be manageable for just us,” explains Miranda. Visitors are welcome to the farm by appointment to pick up fresh eggs and tour the property.

Andy and Miranda farm with biodiversity in mind and they’ve worked hard to create a habitat on their property for all plants and creatures. “Over the years, I’ve put in lots of native plants, fruit trees, and assorted blooming things, and now we’ve got a huge population of native bees and birds that come to visit every year,” Miranda says. “Nurturing biodiversity and doing my part to help the ecosystem is most important to me.” Queen Bee Apiary, a company out of Corvallis, also keeps a bee yard on their pasture every summer.

Like most homesteaders, Birdsong Farm cares deeply for the land and advocates for local food producers. “Small producers need to be economically viable, and many of the bills proposed in the last few years make it so the only producers will be the big ones,” says Miranda. “The community needs the small farms; we all need to know where our food comes from.”

Birdsong Farm is located at 21375 Gage Rd. in Monmouth. lease give them a call at 503-949-0610 or visit their website at