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John Poynter

Ten years ago, Texas native John Poynter earned an OSU degree in wildlife and fisheries biology. "Now I use it to wipe my brow," says Poynter, who opted instead for a career in organic farming to stay close to his wife Shannon and newborn son Ezra on their 10 acres west of Lorane. Hey Bayles! Farm grew veggies for seven subscriber families in its first season of community supported agriculture. Over the years, Poynter has gradually converted pasture land to crop production and built greenhouses to grow exotic salad greens 10 months a year and heirloom-variety vegetables in a climate 10 degrees cooler than Eugene's. "We stepped into the Saturday Farmers' Market at just the right time," he notes. "The next year, several big growers dropped out." In its 10th anniversary year, Hey Bayles! Farm supplies 65 CSA members plus several restaurants and markets. It employs eight workers, including interns who get classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience. Find the Hey Bayles! booth at the Farmers' Market and the Hey Bayles! website at www.heybaylesfarm.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 4 May 2006

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