Featured Stories


Westmoreland duo writes books about farming, hiking

RITA A. LEONARD - Westmorelander Lisa D. Holmes, left, recently published I Heart Oregon (& Washington): 25 of the Portland Areas Best Hikes. Husband John Clark Vincent, at right, has just published Planting a Future: Profiles from Oregons New Farm Movement.Westmoreland residents John Clark Vincent and his wife, Lisa D. Holmes have each recently published books about what they love in the Pacific Northwest: Organic farming and local hiking.

Vincent's book, “Planting a Future: Profiles from Oregon’s New Farm Movement”, features an entire chapter on Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, at 2615 S.E. Schiller Street. Holmes’ book, “I Heart Oregon (& Washington)” describes what she considers to be 25 of the Portland area’s best hikes. Both books were published in 2014 by Yulan Studio, Inc.

Vincent has always been a writer, winning recognition for his poetry, screen-writing, and a book entitled “Winemakers of the Willamette Valley”. His latest book, “Planting a Future”, focuses on Oregon farmers who are reshaping the food system to reflect healing the earth, while humanely raising animals and wholesome, organic crops for humans.

“This is a remarkable group of people,” he says. “I hope you enjoy reading this collection of interviews, and enjoy getting to know these folks. They’re good people.

“America's new farm movement is driven by a desire to do good and somehow make a living at the same time...not an easy path for small farmers,” he continues. “As a reader, you will learn about their world. As an eater, you can choose to help them continue their work. As a gardener or future farmer, you can hear their stories and join them in making our world a better place to live.”

Vincent has interviewed small idealistic farmers up and down the Willamette Valley. He focuses on the history of the movement, the challenges and journeys of small farmers, and sustainable farming methods. He also touches on education and legislation to support small farmers, and even describes organic seed ecology.

His passion is to reintroduce the concept of family farming (both urban and suburban) as a way to create healthy produce, to connect with natural rhythms of the seasons, and to enrich the earth. “Planting a Future” is both an adventure and a guidebook for those who wish to honor the planet through appropriate farming practices.

His wife, Lisa D. Holmes, a multi-talented designer and graphic artist originally from the Midwest, contributed photography and design to both his books. Her experience with various arts and crafts is highly eclectic, and she is charmed by the beautiful environments of the Pacific Northwest. Her book, “I Heart Oregon (& Washington)”, celebrates 25 hiking trips from the coast to Mt Hood, including a few journeys into southwest Washington.

This highly visual full-color book has over 400 photos and customized maps that include topography, distances, elevation, marked trails, and highlights.

“I Heart Oregon (& Washington)” is divided into five regional sections: The Columbia River Gorge, the Mt. Hood area, the Oregon Coast, Southwest Washington, and the Willamette-Santiam region. The book also includes a geological history of the area, which Holmes points out is the reason for much of the natural beauty to be seen. Each hike lists directions, distance, special features to look for, elevation gain, permits and fees, and the best time of year to travel.

Lavish photos detail everything from distant peaks to rugged terrain, cascading waterfalls, and delicate wildflowers. Accompanying maps and historical data give a brief overview of trail highlights, and photos of bridges and trails give a sense of “just being there”.

The guide concludes with a list of related hiking resources: Blogs, tide tables, recreational passes, and environmental and hiking organizations. Just paging through the 128-page paperback gives one a sense of wanting to get up and go appreciate the area’s natural wonders.

Most of the hikes she describes are ranked “easy” to “moderate”, although readers are cautioned to check current weather and area conditions before proceeding. “My desire to share my journey with others has led me to a new career of creating books about the landscape I love,” smiles Holmes, who is also the owner of their publisher, Yulan Studio, Inc.

JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT