I am Oregon agriculture.
My name is Molly McCargar, 4th generation farmer from Pearmine Farms, Inc. in Gervais, Oregon. My brother Ernie Pearmine and I farm around 1,200 acres of vegetables, sweet cherries, wheat and grass grown for seed. Our great-grandfather managed the farm in the 30’s and 40’s before our grandparents purchased the farm in 1956. Then our dad, Ron, and our uncle Larry took over the operation in 1973, farming together until 2011 when Larry retired. Our dad is still active on the farm and is a vital resource to our operation helping whenever and wherever we need! For over 30 years we have been members of NORPAC Foods, a cooperative owned by 240 family farms in Oregon. We currently grow 645 combined acres of sweet corn, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower. All of our vegetables are washed, prepped and frozen within 4-8 hours of leaving our fields, making them some of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat all year long!
Our farm has been members of Willamette Cherry Growers since the early 1930’s, known today as Oregon Cherry Growers, a grower owned cooperative where all of our sweet cherries find a home. Our cherries can travel all over the world into other markets, but you’ve most likely enjoyed them locally either fresh from the store, in milkshakes, Shirley Temples or in some of your favorite ice cream. Not only are we proud of who we are and what we grow, we understand how crucial balance is to our farm. We work hard managing healthy soils and water as well as wildlife conservation as part of our farm plan. In 2003 we converted 30 acres of ground that was in production back into a wetland, and now have over 90 acres in a Wetland Reserve Program.
Oregon has a hunger problem, and it has been a call to action for our family. We began contributing additional vegetables to Farmers Ending Hunger in 2008, and in 2009 opened a little pumpkin patch to help raise money for FEH and collect canned food for Marion Polk Food Share. All of the proceeds go to these groups. We also work with Salem Harvest, a group of volunteers who harvest extra squash from our pumpkin patch, and any extra vegetables we may have, and donate them to Marion Polk Food Share. Our family takes pride in our history and preserving where we live, work and play. We look forward to passing on this rich history and love for agriculture to the next generation. They will be Oregon agriculture!