Chad Fairchild and his wife Sabrina of Farm and Forest, have a small farm on Nelson Mountain in Walton Oregon. Here Chad shares a little bit about what’s behind Farm and Forest and how their business was born.
We moved here from Chico/Paradise, CA 4 years ago. We lived, worked and farmed in the northern California area for over 30 years, but when Paradise burned down in 2018, we left and came here.
Prior to moving here, we sold locally in Butte County at various venues, sourcing products from our small farm below Paradise.That time there was very rewarding and joyful for us. We are creating the same here in Lane County.
I look for local medicine from nature that grows here. I started finding remedies to my own physical conditions, and it grew from there. I have found natural remedies that grow around us which can replace pharmaceutical products, and are often more effective. I find that my body knows what to do with a plant, and often feels confused by synthetic medications. Medications that I have been on for various conditions were derived from plants. I have been able to use plants instead, and bypass big pharma. Friends and family that I have shared my products with encouraged me to sell them. I finally did. I was surprised to find how many people are interested in this natural approach.
My wife, Sabrina, is a cosmetologist so we have been able to prove our remedies and get constant feedback from clients. This has been very useful in developing remedies and treatments that are real and helpful. We focus on what the land gives us here. The “Temperate Rainforest” climate of Nelson Mountain provides for a wide variety of life here. I am passionate and excited about learning what grows here. I focus on local flora, fauna, and fungi. I am learning from local herbalists, indigenous peoples, and published works, plant by plant. The cycles of life and the diverse connections of how natural lifeforms rely on each other is a vast subject that I learn more about every day.
We make various teas, salves, and plants from herbs and other produce that we grow and forage. We do source some produce and herbs from other small farms in the Walton and Noti area. We create product every day in between markets, so often our offerings were harvested that week. Our stuff is super fresh and local. Seasonal variations do require us to pivot often, so our products are always changing.
Our mission statement is “Sharing What We Grow & Find.” This sums up our goal that we strive for every day. I work full time on the business and my wife works part time with me. Ours is truly a team effort.
I do have a BA in music education and have worked as a musician and teacher over the last 35 years, so I find myself influenced by the sounds and song of nature around us here. I hope to play for the market someday.
I also had a retail career managing Sears, Walmart, and JC Penney stores in Butte County. This gives me insight on the retail and business side of our venture.
You’ll find Farm and Forest at the market most weeks and you can follow along on Facebook for updates on what they are up. Chad is friendly, interesting, helpful and knowledgeable. Don’t be shy to stop by, say hi, and see the beautiful plants and products they have to share. His salves are beautiful and leave your skin feeling nourished and happy. And when you arrive, you’ll most likely be handed a tea sample when, which is cool, sweet and refreshing, made with herbs and a touch of honey.