Black Moon Farms' Story
My name’s Nick Kelly, and I’m the farmer, operator, and owner of Black Moon Farms.
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, but also spent much of my youth on my family’s ranch in Sun Valley, Idaho, where we grew alfalfa and hay and ran cattle. It was this early ranching experience that sparked my interest in connecting with the land, although my path to farming and the Oregon coast wasn’t exactly straight and narrow.
Drawn in by the beautiful campus and opportunity to branch out of the Bay area, I attended the University of Oregon and graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in geology and archaeology. Excited to get my hands dirty, work outdoors, and pursue a career outside the realm of convention, I decided to stay in Oregon to work as an archeological technician for two years after graduation.
But, with the dull days and underlying corporate structure of my archaeology job, I found myself craving a change of pace and a more independent, fulfilling lifestyle. Around this time, I also witnessed many of my friends pursuing unforgiving, relentless, and unhealthy careers in Silicon Valley, where they simultaneously grew more and more disconnected to the natural world and, specifically, the source of all life: our food.
With that, the idea of farming moved from a dream to a palpable possibility. I didn’t care about going along with convention and I sure as hell wasn't going to be climbing any corporate ladders... I just wanted to be outside, give back to the land, and provide for others.
So, the search for the perfect Oregon farm was on.
In 2014, I discovered what is now Black Moon Farms, a beautiful, diverse, 75-acre ecosystem situated just a mile off the Oregon coast. The plants were limping along, to say the least, but the infrastructure was solid and exactly what I wanted.
The transition to rural Bandon was a bit of a culture shock, but the opportunity to move onto a farm that had been certified organic since 2001 was something I could not pass up.
Many of the crops I grow today – blueberries, cranberries, lobster mushrooms, and chestnuts – were already planted on the land, but it took some major TLC to bring everything back to life. After some seminar classes on blueberries at Oregon State, the pursuit of a mentor, and learning from many mistakes, I slowly but surely gained confidence in my abilities as a grower and, most importantly, saw the soil and crops improve drastically.
All in all, it’s been a whirlwind of a learning experience over the past five years, but thanks to my mentor, Gale, a cranberry farmer with over 35 years of experience, and the generosity of the surrounding farm community, I’m proud to say that Black Moon Farms is continuing to grow and evolve beyond my imagination.
From irrigation and harvesting to pest management, fence repairs, and hosting WWOOFers, I’ve found a career that capitalizes on my natural skills while also humbly pointing out my mistakes and areas needing improvement.
Today, I still operate under the goals of giving back to the community, taking care of the earth through 100% organic and sustainable farming practices, and reminding my fellow millennials of the importance of good food.
Your support means the world to me, and I am so grateful to be sharing the literal fruits of my labor with people and customers across Oregon and northern California.
Please consider buying our produce, coming out to volunteer through WWOOF-USA, or contacting us for a visit to the farm.
Black Moon Farms and I thank you tremendously!