Mora Mora Farm was founded by Catherine Nguyen, a Virginia native, who made her way out to the Pacific Northwest in 2016. During college, she got her first taste of farming while volunteering on a small vegetable farm in Blacksburg, Virginia. There, she studied Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, as well as Psychology. Upon graduation, she slowly made her way across the country, working on various vegetable farms in Colorado and Washington. In 2018, she landed in Portland, Oregon and was accepted into the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program in Gresham.
When she’s not farming, you can find her taking her mornings slow with a cup of coffee, exploring nooks and crannies of the country, rock climbing, or enjoying a meal with friends around a fire.
I never really intended on starting my own farm. I think the idea for it first popped into my head during a summer porch hangout with a friend in 2017. Even then, it was in a light-hearted, joking kind of way. (Truth about life: all good ideas start on a porch.) Over the next couple of weeks, I couldn’t shake the thought from my mind. What if I could actually work day-in and day-out toward a vision that I deeply believed in, and have the freedom to develop a strategy to get there? A strategy that simultaneously embodied what I valued and challenged me to grow deeper in them.
The name for the farm also came from the porch that summer. In her travels, my friend spoke about her travels to Madagascar, and how she was struck by the pace of life there. No one seemed rushed, no one grasped for more time. It was a culture that accepted and internalized the idea that all things take time, and the result was a place of overwhelming patience and contentment. In Madagascar, ‘mora mora’ is the phrase used to described this way of living.
That vision for life and farming was so compelling to me. It was not my experience with most farms that I worked on. It felt like the complete opposite of how the world operated, and more so, it was completely against the grain of my own disposition toward a frenzied pace of life. I thought that there was so much wisdom in living life that way - slowly, slowly - and I became convinced that there was a way to develop this mindset even in a highly production-driven industry.