MEET YOUR FARMER – COQUETTE BAKERY ON TWO CREEKS HERITAGE FARM
Two Creeks (Jackson and Horn) Heritage Farm is nestled on 168 acres between historic Hanley Farm, Oregon State University (OSU) Extension, and the U. S Forest Service J Herbert Stone Nursery. Jerry Childers, his wife Tristen Voget, their 2-year old twin sons (Dashiell and Baylor) and their 3-year-old puppy Isa live on this farm.
Jerry and Tristen met in the San Francisco Bay Area where they both taught high school (science and math). Jerry has degrees in forestry and education from the University of California Berkeley. Tristen has a civil engineering degree from Bucknell University, and she later got her masters degree in education from Stanford University. On weekends, Jerry and Tristen loved to ride their bicycles around San Francisco in search of bread and other goodies at local bakeries.
Tristen, who grew up in a big family in Ashland, wanted to come back to the Rogue Valley to raise a family and live on a farm. In 2008, Jerry and Tristen had the opportunity to live on the farm of their dreams. The Voget family bought Two Creeks Heritage Farm from Bob and Patricia Heffernan (Bob’s mother was a Hanley) in 2009. The 168 acres used to be part of the larger Hanley Farm. Elizabeth Hanley had a green thumb, and her spirit lives today on the property as you look up at the 150+ year old sequoia trees around the farm’s residences. Elizabeth also had a vision of a sunken rose garden. Tristen’s mother, Eva Voget, turned that vision into a reality with a low stone wall surrounding the garden and a fountain in the garden’s center.
As they were settling into the Rogue Valley, Jerry and Tristen continued their search for local wonderful homemade bread, but they were not successful in finding something that could match their experiences in the Bay Area. Tristen began to learn the techniques of making her ideal bread on her own, and that turned into baking bread for family and friends. She was encouraged when her father (Gary Voget) with German roots, a bread connoisseur, pronounced Tristen’s bread “delicious.”
Tristen continued to bake bread and pastries for family and friends while she and Jerry refurbished the old milking parlor into a commercial bakery. She bakes breads using naturally- cultivated yeast. This is done by giving the yeast that is naturally found in flour and in the air a place to thrive (in their case it’s using a mixture of flour and water). Tristen and Jerry decided to try to sell bread locally at farmers markets and at select retail locations. They called the bakery Coquette (coy, flirtatious) and have named their breads accordingly. Sample names are Bread Over Heels (Country Loaf), Gypsy Rose Marie (Rosemary Sea Salt Loaf), Gettin’ Figgy (Fig and Filbert Loaf), Country Pumpkin (Polenta and Pumpkin Seed Loaf) and Olive Ya (Mediterranean Olive Loaf).
Two Creeks Heritage Farm also grows alfalfa, hay and wheat, which is sold locally. They have a large personal garden, vineyard, orchard and chickens for family use. Buying and selling as locally as possible is important to Jerry and Tristen. To them, local means 10 to 15 miles away from their farm. Often local farmers will barter fruit and vegetables for some of Coquette’s fabulous baked goods.
Jerry says, “we are not trying to make a living; we are trying to make a lifestyle. It is important to be good land stewards, continue to improve the land, and keep a beautiful legacy for future generations so that they can also enjoy this farm and community.”
You can find their wonderful breads and pastries (the almond croissant is “to die for!”) at the Sunday Jacksonville Farmers Market, Harry and David, Rogue Creamery, and Seven Oaks Farm. You can also place a larger order (minimum of 15 loaves) by calling Coquette bakery at (541) 727-0330 or emailing them at email@example.com. The bakery is located at 2447 Ross Lane in Central Point. They do not have a retail outlet on the farm at this time.
Since Tristen is expecting a daughter on December 31st, the bakery will cease operations in November and resume producing wonderful baked bread and pastries in March 2013.