T h e I s l a n d
Multnomah Farms is located on Sauvie Island, just 20 minutes outside of downtown Portland, Oregon, USA. Often referred to as “Sauvie’s” by locals, the island is the largest on the Columbia River, measuring 24,000 acres in size. The northern half of the island is a wildlife refuge managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, while the southern half that we call home is predominantly agricultural. A quiet retreat for the kayaker, cyclist, beach bum, hiker, bird-watcher, hunter, fisher, and u-picker alike, Sauvie is the perfect emblem of Pacific Northwest culture and the values we hold dear: nature, adventure, peace, and community.
Though Sauvie was named after a French dairyman who established the island’s first dairy in the 1840s, our farm is named after the band of Chinook Native Americans that inhabited the island long before: the Multnomah. An important name in Oregon, it has inspired the name of our county, a Portland neighborhood, and our most famous waterfall, Multnomah Falls, among other business and organizational titles. Though the Multnomah of Sauvie were decimated by disease within the decade previous to the advent of dairy on the island, they were the island’s original foragers and huntsmen, living off the native wapato potato, waterfowl, and fish, among other indigenous staples.
Multnomah Farms is honored to inhabit 25 acres of uncultivated land on the southwest side of Sauvie Island, adjacent to the Multnomah Channel. We have gone to great lengths to create our home with integrity and consideration for the island’s history. We invite you to visit us and see for yourself.
S a u v i e B a r n
Multnomah Farms contacted goCstudio in Seattle to develop a custom space to serve both in the production of fresh, exotic mushrooms and as a gathering destination for local artisans, chefs, makers, thinkers, and those they inspire.
Taking advantage of mountain views and drawing upon general store and agrarian outbuilding precedents, goCstudio hacked a standard agricultural pole barn, designing an all-in-one solution that provides the technical back-of-house requirements for mushroom production as well as destination-style amenities: a kitchen for visiting chefs, a bar + cafe, shop, and a covered outdoor porch space for taking in the site and enjoying the pastoral setting
With stunning views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helens, this 3400 square foot space is yet another reminder of the great beauty and bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
P r o d u c t i o n
We practice small scale mushroom production at our farm in upcycled shipping containers. Part of a series of work-live-play-ag container concepts—another brainchild of Multnomah Farms co-founder, Tobin Dane—these thoughtfully designed agricultural containers allow us to create a controlled environment, with optimal lighting, temperature, humidity, and air quality for each mushroom’s species.
Our on-site production efforts are part of Multnomah Farms’ larger mission to crack the code for mushroom cultivation, allowing us to adjust key variables in order to grow the finest mushrooms for your eager palette.
S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
Here at Multnomah Farms, nature is our primary source of inspiration, so we do our best to prioritize closed loop systems and minimize our footprint as much as possible. We look to partner with like-mind foragers and cultivators who value minimalism and reuse. Our on-site cultivation efforts rely on upcycled storage containers and old buckets from local breweries. The organic material from our mushroom blocks feeds our garden of microgreens or native vegetation on the property. The kraft bags in which are mushrooms are shipped are biodegradable.
We also value sustainability on a human scale. After all, Multnomah Farms was born from the desire to support local business, to create a platform that showcases the valuable work of mushroom foragers and cultivators, and a framework that allows them to do more of what they love. Not only this, but the versatility of our barn as an event and class space enables us to merge our world of fungi with other industries—wine, food, education—in an attempt to strengthen many different circles of commerce at once.
W I l d l i f e h a b i t a t
The wildlife refuge that accounts for most of the northern half of Sauvie Island is home to more than 275 species of birds, 37 species of mammals, 12 species of amphibians and reptiles, and an array of plants and resident and migratory fish. Conversely, the southern half of the island plays host to far fewer wildlife species because its native landscape has been transformed over the years for agricultural and livestock purposes.
Our farm stands on one of the few pieces of land in this hemisphere of the island that has never been cultivated. Over the coming years, we will be working in partnership with wildlife scientist Dr. Kyle Tidwell and wetland conservationist James Northwood to nurture native vegetation, including mushrooms, in an effort to develop our property into a stopping ground for wildlife. Ultimately, we envision a natural space with pathways and interpretive signage that is available for tours to the general public to experience Sauvie Island in a native setting.