The Ekstrom family settled on a 20-acre parcel in the early 1900’s. Carl’s father and his boys cleared the land and began to farm. Eventually Carl took over the family farm as his Dad grew older. It was the typical depression era farm, growing produce and raising livestock. Carl had a vision for the future and in the late 1950’s he could see that nursery stock had a great deal of potential for future crops. In the late 1960’s he phased out of produce crops and went entirely into nursery. Carl loved to farm. Carl built the nursery on trust, respect, honesty, service and long-term relationships. He had no idea that his hard work and good business practices would someday grow into a place for his family. His sons (Jim and Don) later joined him at the nursery. In 1975 Jim graduated from Westmont College with a degree in Business Economics. He then returned to Oregon to give the farm a try and it only took a month or two to realize he was a farmer too.
In 1978 Jim married Shelley and they started their family. Their children Heidi, Mike and Steve grew up playing on the same ground that their great grandfather farmed. As the former co-owner and vice president of Ekstrom Nursery, Inc. Jim grew the farm from a small operation of 40 acres to a business with around 400 acres of nursery stock in production, serving customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. In the summer of 2015 Jim parted ways from Ekstrom Nursery and joined his son Steve Ekstrom and his son in law Brandon Schmidt at Ekstrom & Schmidt Nursery.
Brandon married Heidi in 2001 and joined the Ekstrom family. He graduated in 2001 with a degree in Funeral Science. He then worked as a Funeral Director until 2006 when he and Heidi moved back into the area and started working at the nursery. Some may see this as an odd transition of jobs, but Brandon quickly figured out why Jim loved to farm and felt it suited him well too. In 2009 Brandon started his own small nursery on the side. It was an invaluable experience, where he really learned a lot about farming and mangaging.
Brandon and Heidi have 3 children, Julia, Cole and Carson.
"The greatest gift we can bestow on others is a good example."
Steve grew up working on the nursery. In 2010 he graduated from Western Oregon University with a bachelor's degree in business marketing. Steve, like his dad came home and started working at the nursery. Steve started Ekstrom & Schmidt Nursery with Brandon in 2013. Together they worked long days and weekends to transform an overgrown nursery into what is now our main farm location. In 2014 Steve and his wife Jessie were married. They have two wonderful girls, Remi and Reese.