15000 SW Oldsville Road, McMinnville, OR 97128 • 503-474-3514

Farmer John's History

When we look back to either farmer John’s family tree or his wife’s, these trees are a history of farming. Whether it was from Holland or Germany you can see how these great-grandfathers and grandmothers passed along an amazing amount of knowledge. As they settled into their new homesteads in Oregon decisions must be made about what to raise or grow. These farmers decided on beef cattle, sheep, turkeys, hazelnuts (filberts), wheat, grass seed, sweet corn and a few other rotational crops. Great-grandpa Bill was eventually able to build his own grain elevator. These days were filled with long, hard hours completing a great number of farm tasks. Even today Grandma Anne still tells about 'when she was a little kid, how hard it was to hand-pick hops' for a farmer her family knew in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

After a couple of years spent away at college farmer John’s father decided to return to the farm. He marries and has ten children (nothing like a few farm hands). John’s father and Uncle spent many years working the family farm together. Farmer John can tell you a bucket- full of stories about tagging along behind his dad watching and helping him work. One crew member from 'the old strawberry field picking crew' still smiles as she tells about the day John’s baby brother was born and the entire crew was treated with ice cream. Being taught how to work at an early age, you may not be surprised to hear how old John was when he sold his first sweet corn. The neighbors could drive by and find the seven year old John sitting by the road with his sweet corn for sale (which he also had to hand pick).

Over the years John has learned how to grow turkeys and a variety of crops. When the processing plant for the Oregon turkey growers went bankrupt, John could see the need to make some changes. He also married during this time. Our first planting of blueberries went in. Then it was a field of baby kiwis. During a busy spring of planting sweet corn for the cannery John is blessed with the arrival of his first daughter.

John’s second daughter is four months old when we started selling our first “u-pick/we-pick” blueberries at our home. A month later, we put a couple canopies at the produce stand site, loaded the girls into the motorhome, and daily moved to the new produce stand to sell farm fresh vegetables. Today, you can stop by and see the array of produce that is grown at farmer John’s.

Grown-ups and kids have so much fun walking around the farm. The first year we had the produce stand open we grew about ten different items. Now we grow over forty different vegetables and fruit. Currently, as you come to farmer John’s you will also find cutting-flowers, corn stalks, local honey, jams, dressings, dips and more. To enjoy a taste of these yummies there are shaded picnic tables. Our newest adventures are a corn maze, hay maze, hay rides, and a kitchen that is busy making fresh berry milkshakes and smoothies, as well as other tempting treats. If you are a group or school looking for a farm tour we can provide that as well.

We are so delighted to be descendents of a farm family. As you visit our farm we hope this delightment is fulfilling for you as well. See you this season.