Family owned and operated, Pheasant Fields Farm started in 2003 as a working farm that grew pumpkins and winter squash to supply inventory for their annual Harvest Festival. Prior to that, the property grew corn, hay and vegetables.
According to Erin Reno, whose family owns Pheasant Fields Farm, they always had a vision of running a family farm.
“Our family has lived in the Rogue Valley since 1979, and in Phoenix since 2001. It was our parent’s dream to purchase land with enough acreage available to grow crops, fruit trees and raise animals,” she said.
A Family Farm with a Family History
Pheasant Fields Farm is a family operation in every way. The entire family — including the parents and their three children, their spouses and grandchildren — reside in the Rogue Valley.
“Our lives are centered around the farm. It’s where we share major events in our lives and work together,” said Erin.
It all began with Ric and Jeri, who have been married for 45 years. Ric has a background in farming and
always knew someday he would manage his own family farm. Today, Ric carries out the vision of the farm and Harvest Festival. His passion for agriculture and the value it brings to everyday life is apparent in everything he does.
Behind every successful farm is the business background and this is his wife, Jeri. She is currently involved in farm activities on a part-time basis while working full-time in the banking industry. With her upcoming retirement, she will spend more time on farm projects and is looking forward to it.
“I’m the oldest daughter and I work on the farm full-time,” said Erin.
Erin and her husband made a huge life change in 2019 when they left their successful landscape business in Portland — and home of 13 years — to return to the Rogue Valley and help support the family farm.
“I’m passionate about carrying forward the next generation of the family farm,” said Erin. She currently works with her father growing the annual crops and maintaining the farm. Erin has quickly adapted to the use of farming equipment, tractors, irrigation pumps and pipes.
Jason, the second oldest sibling, has been with the farm from the very beginning. He currently works on the farm part-time as the Event Coordinator. He meets with couples to showcase the farm as a wedding venue, or visits with business clients to book corporate events.
But every year, the one thing which brings together all of the family, their spouses and eldest grandson, is supporting the annual Harvest Festival.
Busy in Every Season
Pheasant Fields Farm is open from May 1st through early December, and will celebrate their 18th season in 2022.
“All of our events, excluding the Harvest Festival, have about 3,500 visitors,” said Erin. “But the Harvest Festival draws guests from northern California, to the Oregon coast, and even as far north as Eugene. We have about 13,000 guests during October.”
Weddings are another draw for the farm, with weddings held from May 1st – September 15th. Additionally, they host live music and special events during June, July, August and September, and the famous Harvest Festival is open on weekends in October. And, a new Christmas event is scheduled this year from the end of November to early December.
But for Erin and her family, the visitor experience is a top priority.
“When visitors see the farm and our family working together, they get a sense of nostalgia. We hope our guests appreciate the value of preserving the family farm and agriculture, embrace family traditions, and build memories along the way.”
In addition to being an event venue, Pheasant Fields Farm is a working farm. And that means the work is dictated by the changing seasons. While winter is the least busy outdoor season, they use this time to plan for the new year. When spring rolls around, the family is busy with equipment maintenance and preparing the ground for planting.
“In May, we sow seeds in the greenhouse and transplant approximately 11,000 pumpkin plants into the ground,” Erin said. “We also plant our 4-acre corn field.”
Summer is the growing season and when Erin and her family start planning for the Harvest Festival. In late fall after the festival ends, they prepare the ground to plant the cover crops, which help enrich the soil during the winter. And then the cycle starts over again.
Creating Community in Phoenix
For Erin and her family, the greatest joy comes from working the land to grow and produce delicious fruits and vegetables for her family and the community to enjoy.
“It means a lot knowing we are continuing the legacy of a family farm, and its importance to our history, our current culture and for future generations,” she added.
They are also proud to be a part of Phoenix, whose residents have shown the community they are resilient and strong.
As a local business, Pheasant Fields Farm has been encouraged by the tremendous support shown to the
Phoenix community. They are especially thankful for the support shown to them during difficult times such as the Almeda Fire and the 2021 drought.
“We are grateful for that support, and the messages of encouragement and goodwill we received this past year. We feel blessed to live amongst such caring people.”