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An Interview with 5R Farm




5R Farm – A Rural Farm Story & FarmMade Shop

(originally posted on FarmMade.com)


It is with joy that we share urban, suburban, and rural farm stories to celebrate today’s farmers; to show them our support and gratitude for all that they do, all that they make, and all that they grow.  We believe these stories to be a source of inspiration to the growing number of people who long for a simpler life; a life filled with fun, joy, adventure, new experiences, meaning, connectedness (with the outdoor world and each other), creativity, good health, and more.

We hope to inspire you to plant an edible garden; get those chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, alpacas, or cows you’ve always wanted to raise; learn how to become a beekeeper; take up cooking at home; sitting down at the table to enjoy a meal together; learn how to preserve the seasons’ harvests; and keep the many old-fashioned skills and time-honored traditions alive!  No matter what your age; no matter how much (or how little) experience you might have; and, no matter how much (or how little) space you have today; you can become a farmer.  Regardless of where you live – be it in the city, suburbs or out in the country – the farm life awaits you in ways large and small!

So, what are you waiting for? Need to hear a real farmer’s story first?

Well, you’re in luck dear friends because we have yet another inspiring story to share with you today plus this farmer is the maker of a fabulous assortment of soaps, lotions, and body butters!

After 15 years of urban gardening and constantly wishing she had space for a bigger garden, Stacy Benjamin is thrilled to have recently become a rural farmer in the Pacific Northwest.

Let’s find out how Stacy became a farmer, what her life is like at 5R Farm, and see a sampling of the lovely soaps, lotions, and body butters she makes and lists in her shop on www.farmmade.com!


Stacy, where is your farm located?

My farm is in St. Helens, Oregon, which is about an hour from Portland. I have been living in Oregon since my family moved to Portland in 1980.

In a nutshell, what is the story behind your farm.  Why the name 5R Farm?

Although I didn’t know it at the time, 5R Farm began in March 2010, when I brought home three little chicks from the farm store. There was Rhoda –  the Rhode Island Red, Raquel – the Barred Plymouth Rock, and Ramona – the Easter Egger who was supposed to lay blue or green eggs. Unfortunately Ramona turned out to be Ramon, and I had to return him to the farm store since roosters weren’t allowed in the city limits. With the backyard flock reduced to only two chickens, in July 2010 I bought three more chicks – Ruby,  Rosie, and Ramona2. I had been an avid urban gardener for many years, and I soon realized that my small urban backyard was not big enough to accommodate a flock of chickens and a large enough garden to grow everything that I wanted to grow. I also wanted to expand the size of the chicken flock, but there was no room for any more chickens on my standard size city lot.


I started looking at rural property within an hour of Portland, and within a few months I was the proud owner of 4.5 acres in St. Helens, Oregon. I named the property 5R Farm, after the five girls that inspired me to buy the property.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, 5R Farm began in March 2010, when I brought home three little chicks from the farm store. There was Rhoda –  the Rhode Island Red, Raquel – the Barred Plymouth Rock, and Ramona – the Easter Egger who was supposed to lay blue or green eggs. Unfortunately Ramona turned out to be Ramon, and I had to return him to the farm store since roosters weren’t allowed in the city limits. With the backyard flock reduced to only two chickens, in July 2010 I bought three more chicks – Ruby,  Rosie, and Ramona2. I had been an avid urban gardener for many years, and I soon realized that my small urban backyard was not big enough to accommodate a flock of chickens and a large enough garden to grow everything that I wanted to grow. I also wanted to expand the size of the chicken flock, but there was no room for any more chickens on my standard size city lot.

I started looking at rural property within an hour of Portland, and within a few months I was the proud owner of 4.5 acres in St. Helens, Oregon. I named the property 5R Farm, after the five girls that inspired me to buy the property.

What do you grow and raise?  What is the approximate size of your farming space? 

I have a flock of 25 hens, and Rooster Cogburn, Ramon, Ringo, Grayson, Henry, and Lil’ Red Rooster round out the flock. Our hens lay approximately 8 dozen eggs a week, which I sell locally. I have an approximately 50 foot by 50 foot vegetable garden. I grow raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, garlic, leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes, squash, and swiss chard. I also have several apple, pear and plum trees.

What influenced you to become a farmer?

I have enjoyed growing my own vegetables on a small scale for many years and have always received a great deal of satisfaction from spending long days working in the garden. Some recent changes in my professional life caused me to reevaluate my priorities, and I decided that I wanted to focus more of my time and energy on activities that were meaningful to me which led to the decision to farm on a larger scale.

Why do you choose to farm?

It’s important to me that I know where our food comes from and that it is grown and raised locally and sustainably. Growing our own food and raising our own chickens is one of the best ways to ensure we are eating healthy, and it’s lots of fun too!

Congratulations on setting up your brand new shop on www.farmmade.com!  Can you let our blog readers know what you make and offer from your farm?

I make soaps, lotions, hand creams, and body butters using natural ingredients including vegetable oils, cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E, and essential oils. I also make laundry powder and a liquid soap that can be used for hand washing or household cleaning.



What do you enjoy most about making homemade personal care products and soaps for household cleaning?

I enjoy making soaps and lotions because they are products that everyone needs and uses on a daily basis, and using handmade soaps and lotions is a nice way to pamper yourself a little bit every day. It’s also fun to make soaps and lotions because there are so many varieties of fragrances, colors, and textures that you can combine to make something unique, and you can create a product to suit the preferences of just about anyone.

We encourage others to help preserve time-honored traditions, old-fashioned skills and we also celebrate the modern arts and contemporary craft movement.  What arts, crafts, skills, and traditions do you enjoy?

My hobbies include cheese making, canning, candle making, pottery and stained glass.

Thank you Stacy for preserving the spirit of the farm in so many wonderful ways!

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