O’Berry was founded in 2006 by the McEachran family in Molalla, Oregon with a plot of family land, hard work and optimism. It was the brainchild of Nathan McEachran. In early 2006 he planted the seed of an idea with his father, Mark Sr. Later than year, during a 4th of July picnic, they approached Mark Jr. with the plan and after a few months of consideration they were incorporated.
By 2007 two acres had been planted and eight more planned for. Nathan and Mark Sr. managed the operation week by week while Mark, the youngest son, watched the finances and business operations from afar. In 2008 there were total 10 acres of land planted with berries, this would be the size of the farm for a few years.
Irrigation came next and the purchase of some need equipment including a tractor, mower and sprayer. The land did not have an adequate well for the farm’s needs. Nathan summed up the cost of adding the new well: Imagine a 300 foot hole in the ground that you put money into until it’s full. The well stands as the single biggest one-time cost for the farm, all other costs seem to be small and incremental by comparison.
Over the years the plants have grown as has the sophistication of the operation. Fertilizers are fed through the drip irrigation system which waters in phases so as not to tax the well.s water source with a massive pull. Grass was planted between all the rows to reduce the chance of weeds taking root as their seeds blow by. A gas powered cannon sounds off at random intervals to keep the birds away from the berries. These are just some of the details that go into farming that you don’t see in the movies or hear about on the news.
Most recently, six more acres have been planted and the farm now covers more than 16 acres.