Our journey as a family began thirteen years ago at Pickathon, a small music festival outside Portland, OR. Hours after meeting we were sharing our dreams of living on land surrounded by a community dedicated to growing healthy food, raising healthy kids, playing music, and learning skills needed to be good homesteaders.
Lara's passion for growing and raising food and for traditional, homesteading skills had came from ten years living in Northern Wisconsin in the rural community of Prairie Farm. There I had worked for organic vegetable and dairy farms, owned my own oxen powered farm, and had been surrounded by friends who taught me the art of preserving food, carpentry, logging, making maple syrup, brain tanning and more!
Meanwhile, Derek was living an urban life as a gifted special education teacher. His ten years after college had been dedicated to working with children and adults with special needs. He had managed group homes, worked as a paraeducator, and eventually became a lead teacher in a self-contained special education classroom. His unbelievable patience and his steadfast belief that all children could and should learn was the driving force behind his teaching.
Somehow while falling in love, I convinced Derek to leave the urban life for the farm, and both Colibri Gardens and our gorgeous son Nate were born! We spend our days caring for animals, tending our gardens, hiking in the woods, preserving all the garden produce (often late at night!), and working towards creating the community we have always dreamed of.
Our mission is to create a farm that feeds our family and our community, and to provide an inviting space for people to learn about gardening, farming, animal care, rural living, and traditional skills. Both Derek and I are dedicated to creating a sustainable, regenerative farm. We encourage young farmers to start their own farms (through our WWOOFer farm internships), but we also encourage those with means to support support small organic farms. Since we rarely leave the farm, we adore visitors- so check out our upcoming classes and events, give us a call, and please come on out to our 40 acres of heaven! We look forward to meeting you!
-Lara, Derek, and Nate Scanlon-
I am truly blessed to be living my dream! This farm feeds my soul, keeps me busy, and makes sure I never have a dull day! I am an animal lover through and through, a lover of healthy homegrown food, and a lover of the natural world.
Lara has a Masters in Teaching from Lewis and Clark, and a Masters Certificate in Outdoor Education from Islandwood/University of WA. She had been involved in commercial organic agriculture since 1995, and has been teaching on and of just as long. She has also run her own Edible Landscaping and Construction business which she started in 1998.
Derek is the calm center of our crazy, animal filled universe. He is a master of staying mellow in times of chaos, and always seems to be the one putting away the tools! He is an incredible special education teacher, and his love and care for others and his deep commitment to always maintaining a positive learning environment shines through on the farm.
Derek had a Masters in Special Education and has been working with children and adults with disabilities since 1998. He has been a group home manager, a PARA, and a lead teacher in self-contained Special Education classrooms. He has a particular interest in communication skills and P.B.S.
Nate is an artist, a lover of all things Harry Potter, and our sweet farm boy! He delights in his barefoot, carefree life where he spends hours roaming the woods, playing in the creek, building forts and making his own bows and arrows, and rescuing injured animals to move into our house!