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our story

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o u R s T O R Y

 
 

 

The spirit of Multnomah Farms is paradoxically both quite old and rather new. It was the summer of 2014 when Sarah took Multnomah farm’s founder, Tobin Dane,  to northern Italy and Brunnenburg in South Tyrol. Sarah lived at the castle a decade ago as it is home to the Ezra Pound Centre for Literature and a robust farm-to-table community model. Brunnenburg has long attracted a steady stream of scholars and inquisitive minds impassioned by poetry and sustainable agriculture. Sarah and Tobin sat down to Sunday tea with Mary de Rachewiltz (Ezra Pound’s daughter), and Mary poised an important question, what happened to the spirit of America, the spirit of ‘76?

For Tobin, it was the perfect culmination of his Portland years, which he had spent exploring the Pacific Northwest  James Beard Award Winners, and the food as medicine movement.

At Brunnenburg surrounded by artists, scholars, thinkers, and farmers, collectively nourished by local and organic  food, exchanging ideas across the table, he was struck with an overwhelming sense of place. It was there that Tobin resolved to recreate that same feeling through a space of his own making, and embody the spirit of ‘76.

On July 4th, two years later, , an uncultivated piece of land on the southwestern side of idyllic Sauvie Island appeared in Tobin’s inbox. As he walked the land he recalled memories of Brunnenburg and visions of what we now know as Multnomah Farms. Tobin purchased the property and began developing the farm and its vital support system within the year.

 
 
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T H E t e a m

 

 

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Tobin

A experienced entrepreneur of 15 years and former restaurant owner, Tobin has been drawn to innovative problem solving from an early age. He moved to Portland in 2012 in search of adventure and more sustainable business opportunities. Drawing on inspiration from the city’s port and the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Tobin soon launched a line of custom-designed live-work-play-ag spaces using recycled shipping containers. Concurrent with this new business venture, he began to slowly uncover the world of foraging through the farm-to-table movement that has shaped Portland’s renowned food scene. Inspired by the passion of the foragers who hunt these unassuming yet gastronomically game-changing fungi, Tobin began to brainstorm ways to ease and increase their availability to the home chef. It wasn’t long before Multnomah Farms came into being and an agricultural incarnation of the live-work-play space was created to enable small-batch mushroom cultivation on-site. Tobin is excited to bring a piece of his home closer to you, and invites you to tour the farm to see it for yourself.

tobin dane

STEVE JOHNSON  Steve is an avid outdoorsman and nature lover who brings 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner to Multnomah Farms. He has been fascinated with self-sufficiency since his childhood, where he first learned to hunt and fish. After moving to Portland in 2013, Steve’s repertoire of outdoor skills quickly grew to encompass foraging for wild edibles, a rabbit hole that started with berries and eventually collided with mushrooms. What with all his fishing experience, it’s no surprise that his favorite fungus du jour is lobster mushroom, which he likes to sauté with butter, garlic, and a touch of rosemary. A people person with a mind for logistics, Steve is enthusiastic about sharing the beauty and bounty of Multnomah Farms with his wife and three kids, along with other families across the country.

STEVE JOHNSON

Steve is an avid outdoorsman and nature lover who brings 17 years of experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner to Multnomah Farms. He has been fascinated with self-sufficiency since his childhood, where he first learned to hunt and fish. After moving to Portland in 2013, Steve’s repertoire of outdoor skills quickly grew to encompass foraging for wild edibles, a rabbit hole that started with berries and eventually collided with mushrooms. What with all his fishing experience, it’s no surprise that his favorite fungus du jour is lobster mushroom, which he likes to sauté with butter, garlic, and a touch of rosemary. A people person with a mind for logistics, Steve is enthusiastic about sharing the beauty and bounty of Multnomah Farms with his wife and three kids, along with other families across the country.

Steve Johnson

MIKE DELANEY

Mike finds creative, palate-pleasing ways of incorporating our mushrooms into your new favorite dish. He grew up in southern Maryland, working in restaurants prior to and while attending culinary school in Annapolis. Mike continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California. After graduation, he completed a six month stage at the Michelin starred Capo D’Orso restaurant in Maiori, Italy. When he returned to the United States, he was appointed chef at a number of prominent West Coast restaurants, including Lake Tahoe’s Wild Goose, Sonoma County’s Madrona Manor, and Portland’s Ned Ludd. He currently serves as Executive Chef of Meriwether Restaurant and Skyline Farm.

mike delaney

Sarah

Sarah spearheads our efforts to share the health and wellness benefits of mushrooms with the Multnomah Farms community. A staunch believer in food as medicine, she is our official doctor in residence, boasting a PsyD from Pacific University and more than a decade of experience in the field of psychology. On top of her work with Multnomah Farms, Sarah is a clinical scientist who travels the world to ensure the clinical validity of research trials exploring dementia. pharmaceutical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. When she’s not taking care of business abroad, Sarah splits her time between Pennsylvania and Oregon, enjoying lightly roasted coffee, hot yoga, NPR programs like This American Life and Science Friday, and her growing list of books by Pacific Northwest

SaRAH KARAS

LANCE WICKS

Lance oversees the confluence of viticulture and mycology at Multnomah Farms. A sommelier himself with 10 years of experience in the west coast wine industry, he works in partnership with local vineyards and wine stewards to share and improve this nouveau concept of wine and mushroom pairing. Lance’s formal introduction to wine began with the award-winning Dr. Marian Baldy’s well-known wine program in college. His interested in wine eventually melded with his vocation in recreational administration, launching a successful career in the wine hospitality industry. Lance’s passion for terroir and its expression on the palate has opened doors for him at Solena Estate, Jackson Family Wines, Limerick Lane Cellars, and now, Left Coast Cellars. After several years of southern exposure, Lance returned to Oregon in 2016. He is excited to be back home in Oregon, enjoying his favorite hiking trails, mountains, and fly fishing retreats. Keep your eyes peeled for Lance’s wine pairing recommendations, classes, and events coming soon...

Lance Wicks

BRAD KUHNS  Brad is an electrical engineer turned fungi geek. He and his wife, Angela, started growing their own shiitake logs in 1999, producing many years’ supply of mushrooms. Their curiosity led them to forage for wild mushrooms, try growing diverse species from kits. Together, they now own and operate Top Shelf Mushrooms in Ontario, Canada, growing commercially for restaurants, producing grow blocks for other farms and grow-at-home mushroom kits that are easy to grow, nutritious and delicious. On top of being a small business owner, Brad also advises Multnomah Farms on all things mushroom cultivation. His expertise informs our standards for cultivator partnerships as well as the design and operation of our own on-site cultivation efforts

BRAD KUHNS

Brad is an electrical engineer turned fungi geek. He and his wife, Angela, started growing their own shiitake logs in 1999, producing many years’ supply of mushrooms. Their curiosity led them to forage for wild mushrooms, try growing diverse species from kits. Together, they now own and operate Top Shelf Mushrooms in Ontario, Canada, growing commercially for restaurants, producing grow blocks for other farms and grow-at-home mushroom kits that are easy to grow, nutritious and delicious. On top of being a small business owner, Brad also advises Multnomah Farms on all things mushroom cultivation. His expertise informs our standards for cultivator partnerships as well as the design and operation of our own on-site cultivation efforts

Brad kuhns

 
 
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f o r a g e r s

 
 

 

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Beaverton, Oregon

forager One

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san diego, california

forager three

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seattle, washington

forager two

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BEND, OREGON

FORAGER FOUR

 
 
 
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c u l t i v a t o r s

 
 

 

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Beaverton, Oregon

cultivator One

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seattle, washington

cultivator two

 
 
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p a r t n e r s

 
 

 

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