Morning Hill Forest Farm

Morning Hill Forest Farm

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Who We Are
Lance Barker and Jennifer Stein Barker

Lance’s roots on the Kansas prairie give him an intense connection with the soil and natural processes of the land. An early interest in entomology taught him to tie together the different functions of biological systems. Employment in maintenance and machinery operation grounded him in the basics necessary to carry out the mechanical operations of tree farming. Jennifer spent her formative years in the forests and mountains of New England. An early introduction to native plant botany resulted ultimately in a seasonal position with the Malheur National Forest, where Jennifer learned surveying and monitoring skills.

Morning Hill was purchased in 1977 when Lance was 25. He wanted a nice piece of land, but could not afford it. Inspired by his father, who restored worn-out Kansas hill farms to native grass pasture, Lance bought 40 acres of overcut, overgrazed pine forest. A friend charitably described it as “sparse”. The purpose was forest restoration with a place to develop and practice sustainable living in his own life.

 

Lance and Jennifer Barker

Our goal is to integrate sustainable forestry with renewable energy use, low impact living, appropriate technology, and home production of high-quality food into a whole-life sustainable living system.

Education and Outreach We believe in education. We have taken advantage of almost every opportunity that comes our way to increase our knowledge of the natural world. We’ve attended classes on soils, insects and disease, tree selection and other subjects in person, by videotape, reading, and Ednet. In doing so, we have broadened our scope tremendously. Some of the courses have affected our management so profoundly that the positive results can be seen in our forest in only a few years.

We pass on what we have learned to those interested in coming to Morning Hill to see what we are doing. Organized tours are a regular part of our forestry activity. Many of the groups who tour here are being introduced to sustainable forestry for the first time. They are frequently surprised to find out that sustainable forestry looks better to them than an unmanaged forest. Among the groups who have toured here are:

We made Morning Hill Forest Farm a partnership effort in 1990. Each of us was living with solar power when we met, and practicing a sustainable lifeway has been our primary purpose together. We call it Forest Farm because we are farming more than just trees, we are farming a whole forest.

Dear Lance and Jennifer -
It is hard to adequately describe how much we enjoyed your gracious hospitality, or how much we enjoyed listening and learning from your knowledge and obvious love of the land you manage. Thank you so much for allowing our group to visit and end our institute on a wonderful and inspiring note!

    Carol Davidson
    Portland State Univ. Summer Geography
    Teachers’ Institute

tour group

 

Because finding someone who shares your passions and your values isn't always easy, we'd live to mention that we met through Concerned Singles.

    Blue Mountains Natural Resource Institute
    Oregon Tree Farm System BOD
    PSU Summer Geography Teachers Inst.
    Holistic Resource Management Group
    Native Plant Society of Oregon
    Nature Conservancy of Oregon
    Board of the Oregon Nature Conservancy
    New Leaf Garden Club
    Grant County Bird Club*
    Eastern Oregon Renewable Energies*
    Washington Ski Touring Club
    Intermountain Alpine Club

*annual tours