Only one growing season has passed since Katherine McDermott decided it was time to take her family’s garden to the next level. The result is that Poletti Farm, just east of Myrtle Creek, is in its first year of farmers market sales and public production. And the venture already has exceeded McDermott’s expectations.
The Poletti name is drawn from her family’s history. The talents are McDermott’s own. This young woman not only gardens, she designs custom metal art and works with horses. As part of the latter, she does barefoot horse hoof trimming, a term used to describe a method of trimming that enables horses to be kept and ridden without shoes.
The McDermott family moved to Southern Oregon over 10 years ago from Arizona. Mike and Pam McDermott, parents to Katherine McDermott, liked the area and felt it would be not only the perfect place to raise their family but also a great location for their horse farm. Mike and Pam McDermott have owned Dawn Wind Morgans for many years and breed foundation bloodline Morgan horses. Their daughter has a passion for the horses and spends a lot of her time helping her parents on their 50-acre farm. The youngest of four children, Katherine McDermott finished high school and attended Umpqua Community College, taking range management courses. She enjoyed these studies but kept feeling the pull of the farm as her higher calling, and so began Poletti Farm.
McDermott grows a variety of crops and particularly enjoys nurturing squash plants of all kinds. Currently you will see zucchini, tomatoes, greens, beans, potatoes and other veggies at her market booth. Her selection will continue to expand as the season progresses. Poletti Farm provides chemical-free produce with no genetically modified organisms. Many of the plants she grows are well adapted to the area because of McDermott’s love for saving seeds. Her garden is just over an acre and expanding on a regular basis. Her plans for 2015 are to add an additional one-half acre of blueberries, strawberries and artichokes, expanding the Poletti Farm gardening area to nearly 2 acres.
Besides selling at the local farmers markets on Wednesday and Thursday, Poletti Farm is open to the public Friday through Monday at the farm stand at the McDermott residence. She has a variety of fresh vegetables, flowers and metal artwork on display at her stand. McDermott greets all her customers with a smile. It is evident that this young woman loves her lifestyle and the services she provides to others.
McDermott has many exciting goals and aspirations for Poletti Farm and her family ranch. With her parents, she is working to make the farm a place where adults and children can come and enjoy connecting with nature through the garden and horses.
She’d like ultimately to see visitors able to experience the process of working with the land. Katherine McDermott is an asset to our area and a front-runner in the future of family farming.
Thank you, Poletti Farm, for helping our community eat fresh and for keeping it local.
Heather Barklow of Glide manages the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market and is the farm market promotion coordinator for Markets of the Umpqua, a program of NeighborWorks Umpqua. She also operates HB Horsemanship. She can be reached at email@example.com.