A visit to Tollen Farm in Wilsonville, Oregon is a little like a visit to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You won’t need a golden ticket to enter into the world of Tonie Tollen’s miniature donkeys, but your eyes will have a lot to take in. The four-acre eco-friendly farm offers plenty to see and touch. Wander by her 115-year-old farm house and into the farm store and you’ll be swept into a cross between the old west and an artist’s workshop. Surrounded by apple, filbert and plum trees, you’d hardly know that the bustling city of Portland is only thirty minutes away from the farm.
“Whenever I take a road trip, I pick up boots,” said Owner Toni Tollen of Tollen Farm. “My whole goal in life is to be searching for something unique. If I travel, I always bring back something. I always have my eyes open. I have some really unusual things,” she notes with a smile.
Tollen started raising miniature donkeys for her grand kids to play with. “They don’t bite or kick very often and if you fall off them, it’s a short way to the ground.”
Miniature donkeys are able to carry about 50 pounds and they can pull about 500 pounds with a cart. Tollen has a herd of around 10 miniature donkeys at any one time. All the donkeys are registered with the American Donkey and Mule Association or ADMA. The boys are called Jacks and the girls are called Jennys. They typically live for about 35 years, so it’s a commitment when you purchase a Mediterranean Miniature Donkey.
“Donkey’s are a herd animal,” notes Tollen. I typically sell them in pairs.” An animal lover, Tollen also owns four beautiful Arabian horses. She rescued the mares in 2008. “They have a great life,” says Tollen. “They are pasture ornaments on the farm.”
Need to know:
While Tollen loves visitors to the farm, she’d prefer you call before you stop by. You may also visit Tollen Farm’s Facebook page. Tollen Farm is a member of Farmlandia Farm Loop, a guide to farms, country events and wineries in Portland, Oregon’s backyard. For additional insider tips follow @Nancydbrown on Twitter and @Ridinghorseback and like Writing Horseback on Facebook.
If You Go:
Tollen Farm (593) 682-1604
11681 SW Tooze Road
Wilsonville, Oregon 97070