The day after their 1967 graduation from George Fox University in Newberg, OR, David and Nancy Brown got married and began working the farm David had started while still living in the dorm.
Named after the Matthew 13:31-32 parable, Mustard Seed Farms is a labor of love and faith, one that has been planted in several locations around the Willamette Valley over the years.
Certified Organic since 1991, David and Nancy have helped other farms in the area transition their land to organic. The farm also has a long relationship with both George Fox University and Bon Appétit, as Nancy spent a number of years as a Bon Appétit employee working the salad bar at the university. Neither David nor Nancy could quite remember when Mustard Seed Farms started selling produce to Bon Appétit, but they suspect it was at that time.
Bon Appétit General Manager Jason Rosvall, Fellow Shannon Tivona, other Bon Appétiters, and George Fox students learned all this and more on a recent visit to the farm. David and Nancy explained that the biggest challenge Mustard Seed faces is the difficulty of organic weed control. The farm grows a full array of organic vegetables and salad crops, but they’re best known for their giant pumpkins. They once grew a 700-pound pumpkin! Jason ended up taking two giant pumpkins back to campus where he set up a fun fall contest asking the students to guess how much they weighed.
On her way out, Shannon asked if she could take a picture of Nancy and David holding a pumpkin. Without missing a beat David pulled Nancy in close and said: “I’ve got my pumpkin right here” (photo above). This one was a far cry from being giant, though.