Growing a Family Farm
Mother-daughter duo cultivate new life at Oak Song Farm
By Craig Reed
June del Campo and her daughter, Christina del Campo, have established a successful family farm partnership.
Oak Song Farm, alongside Lorane Highway a few miles west of Eugene, provides each woman with the opportunity to pursue her respective passions. June loves to care for her animals: goats, chickens and ducks, with plans to add turkeys soon. Christina loves working in the soil, focusing much of her energy on growing strawberries, garlic and lettuce along with several other vegetables, herbs and flowers.
“It works well for us because we have our own parts of the farm,” Christina says.
June bought the property in 2016, and Oak Song Farm with its farmstand was established a year later.
“I bought it so Christina could have a place to farm,” says June, smiling and adding that there was also room for her animals.
Together, the 2 women stock their farmstand with goat milk, soap and cheese, chicken and duck eggs, homemade baked bread and cookies, fruits and vegetables, and flowers. There are also some preserves and pickles along with honey sourced from a local beekeeper. The farmstand is open April through December.
Community supported agriculture food shares are available weekly for 20 weeks or a half share for every other week during that period. CSA flower bouquet shares are also available for 12 weeks or 6 weeks.
Oak Song’s products can also be found at the Spencer Creek Growers’ Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the Spencer Creek Grange.
Christina, 38, says the combination of being raised with a hardwork mentality and then wanting to know how food is raised and where it comes from led her to a farming life.
“We definitely are a production farm,” she says. “I love sharing that knowledge with people.
“I had always dreamed of having a multigenerational household that could live together and farm together,” adds Christina, who is raising her two small children on the farm.
Before partnering with her mother, Christina gained a variety of farm experiences over several years, starting at the University of California-Santa Cruz where she majored in environmental studies. In her environmental interpretation class, she led tours for grade school students through the university’s organic farm.
She enjoyed learning about the farm’s plants and was attracted to their growth process.
“I didn’t go into environmental science or policy, I went into farming and education,” Christina says.
She worked as an intern, an employee and a volunteer at farms in California, Oregon and Washington. While traveling, she worked for fun for short periods on farms in Hawaii and Spain.
“I knew eventually this is where I wanted to be and to farm,” she says. “In the future, I hope to have tours on this farm.”
June, 59, also had an agricultural background before becoming partners with her daughter. She grew up in a country setting with goats and chickens.
“I always thought of myself becoming a farm person someday,” June says. “I’m living the dream. It’s pretty special to have the whole family here along with my beautiful goats.”
Peter Freeman, June’s companion, helps on the farm part time. He’s the builder and fixer when something needs to be repaired.
The farm also hosts working interns, who are provided a place to live and a stipend.
For 3 years, Oak Song Farm got workers through a national program called Willing Workers on Organic Farms.
June and Christina explain they changed to the intern program because they thought it was more about people who wanted to learn to farm for themselves in the future.
“Christina has been schooled and now she is schooling,” June says of her daughter. “It’s a very hands-on learning experience for the interns.”
Oak Song Farm is not certified organic, but June and Christina say they follow organic guidelines.
“I’m raising two children, and organic is what I feel is best for the land and for us to be eating,” Christina says. “It’s definitely not the easiest method.”
“But it’s the most beneficial for our Earth,” says June, completing her daughter’s thought.
To share their farm and knowledge, the mother and daughter have scheduled a few events: A garlic braiding workshop on July 30, a u-pick, make-your-own flower bouquet workshop on August 8 and a visit-the-farm barbecue on August 27. A dried floral wreath workshop and an evergreen wreath workshop are planned for later in the year, but dates are not yet confirmed.
For more information, visit the Oak Song Farm website.