In 2009, Jon “J.P.” Palanuk purchased Fazan Farm, which included an organic pear orchard sitting on two fertile acres in Hood River, Oregon. Palanuk knew immediately what he wanted to do with all those pears: donate them to Farmers Ending Hunger to be distributed to the Oregon Food Bank’s statewide network. “At Fazan Farm we farm joy,” says Palanuk. “I see joy in the volunteers who spend a day picking the fruit and in the families that receive the fresh fruit in their emergency food boxes.” This small family farm certainly knows how to share the “fruits” of one of its primary crops. This historic 1889 property includes a total of just over three acres and shares the land with hawks, peregrine falcons, bees and pheasants. The farm’s name, Fazan, is the Ukrainian word for pheasant.
In 2011, the Fazan Farm pear orchard harvested 22, 195 pounds of pears that were then picked, sorted and donated to help feed the hungry. “Farmers Ending Hunger is the right partner for me since I don’t want my crops to perish. The volunteers from Farmers Ending Hunger and Portland Tree Project make sure the pears are all picked and transported to the Food Bank in a timely manner,” says Palanuk. “I am duty bound to do something to meet the enormous need for food in our state.”