Dora’s Garden is a produce farm in Union, Oregon. Susan Isabel Boyd founded Dora’s Garden in 2003 as a booth at the La Grande Farmers’ Market. At the time, she and her daughter tended the half-acre garden. They worked without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, or mechanical tilling, the latter mostly due to not having a gas-powered garden tiller. Once, Susan’s husband Ira fired up her Uncle Bob’s garden tiller (from the 1950s), but it threw him around the garden and we decided to use other methods. Over time, Susan learned more about organic agriculture and methods to conserve soil moisture and nutrients, which are important in a dry place like northeastern Oregon. She obtained official organic certification for Dora’s Garden and formally adopted a no-till policy.
It was the wish of Susan’s mother, Isabel, that the family homestead be used for education. Thus, Dora’s Garden hosts international travelers, organic ag interns, and local people simply interested in learning more about food production, sustainability, and organic agriculture. Please contact us if interested. We will put you to work as soon as you arrive!
Susan and Dora at the La Grande Farmers Market in 2003.
Portraits of William and Isabel Hutchinson, Oregon Trail pioneers, and a picture of the farmhouse c. 1900. Dora’s Garden is named after their daughter, and our great great aunt, Dora Belle Hutchinson, who managed this farm for more than 40 years.
The 1/2-acre garden is located just south of the same Hutchinson farmhouse!