It’s fun to write about someone else. Especially someone as interesting as Michael McGowen, the creative, innovative force behind Carts and Tools. Michael has been a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, created successful manufacturing businesses in the computer hardware world, and has built and run a real estate development business in New Mexico called Dreamcatcher Investments. Michael knows everything from computer hardware to quality stucco. He has been a lifelong entrepreneur.
Michael McGowen has been a lifelong backyard farmer
He has also been a lifelong backyard farmer, choosing to raise his crops and food in a sustainable fashion. When Michael and his family moved up to Oregon, probably not having researched the rainfall amounts closely enough, they purchased a beautiful small farm outside of Corvallis that now serves as Carts and Tools World-wide Test Facility. There he grows a plethora of row crops, has several hoop houses, lots of chickens, great dogs, cats, peacocks and other assorted animals as well. The shop that the first Tillie was build is on the farm.
For the past 4 years, Michael has volunteered and overseen the Community Table at the Corvallis Farmers Market. The Community Table provides a location for small growers and backyard farmers who may not be able to maintain a full booth a location to sell what they grow. It’s a wonderful addition to a farmers market letting everyone participate and it provides an outlet for someone that might have just planted a few to many rows of beets or kale. He has seen first hand the challenges that small market farmers face in choosing the honorable profession of farming and he knows how important local, sustainable food is for a community.
The Community Table is staffed by volunteers and I’d invite you to stop by on Saturdays. If you see the guy in the picture say hi and if you have free time, lots of it, ask him about Carts and Tools and the Tillie.