Ed had a 26-year career with the U.S. Forest Service (in Bend) in timber management. He has a Masters in Forestry and a Masters in Environmental
Systems Management. Ed and Nancy lived in Bend and raised two children there. In the early 1990s Ed and Nancy decided to work the farm and, of course, plant some trees (Ed’s love!). They planted pears and, for 7 long years, commuted from Bend to Central Point to tend to the pear orchards.
When Nancy and Ed retired, they moved to the farm and began farming on a full time basis. Today, Ed and Nancy have 22 acres of pears, 50 acres of hay and 70 acres in pasture. All of the land is irrigated. The hay and pasture fields are leased out to others for hay production and beef cattle. They also have land in front of the farmhouse which Ed and Nancy lease out to a local rose grower.
Ed’s approach to farming is very detailed and scientific. He applies his 12 years of building personal computers, his work experience and his education to complicated environmental models to predict when to irrigate the land and to help with pest management. Each of the 5,370 pear trees has a unique identification number so all of the characteristics of that particular tree are included in a database.
The Vaughns practice sustainable farming for their pears. One technique is use of Integrated Pest Management. Mating Disruption is a technique that places female coddling moths hidden in trees. Male coddling moths are delayed in finding the female, thereby delaying the production of more coddling moths. Ed also plants special vegetation along ditch banks to attract beneficial insects. Another orchard pest is the pear psyla aphid. Ed uses a dormant oil spray which discourages psyla egg laying and another oil spray when the trees begin to green.
Ed and Nancy are very active in local conservation activities including the Advisor to the Small Farms Program at OSU (Nancy), the Associate Director of the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District (Ed). OSU extension service does research at Vaughn Farm and Orchard. Every other week, OSU sponsors a meeting of pear growers.
Vaughn Farm and Orchard produces 5 varieties of delicious pears: Bartlett, Star Crimson, Packhams Triumph, Bosc and Comice. You can get these delicious pears at the Rogue Valley On Line Farmers Market (www.localfoodmarketplace.com/roguevalley), and at local grocery stores in Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties including Rays, Albertsons, Market of choice, Shop N Kart, Sherms, Thunderbird. The rest of the pairs are trucked to Hood River area, where they are packaged and sold.
Of course, you can always come to the farm and pick out your own pears. Contact Ed or Nancy at 541-218-3821, firstname.lastname@example.org, or drive to the farm at 1014 Old Stage Road in Central Point.