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In Search of Organic

In Search of Organic

Founded for its potential for agriculture, the Yakima Valley is a true oasis in the desert.  Irrigated lands fed by an intricate system of canals, filled with mountain fresh water from the high altitude snowpack of the Cascade Mountain Range, make this a verdant agricultural area.  There are over 40 commercial crops grown in this valley, and many of the farmers and growers have taken special care to produce only organic farm fresh fruit and produce.  In fact, Yakima County has 90 certified organic farms, the most in Washington State, along with the largest variety of crops grown in the Pacific Northwest. Many of these family-owned farms sell their organic produce at fruit stands located right in the middle of their farmland. Come tour the organic farms of the Yakima Valley and get your fill of delicious apples, pears, peppers, corn, melons, grapes, tomatoes, and much, much more!

 

JONES FARMS*

This family-owned fruit stand is located smack in the middle of Dennis Jones’ family farm. Dennis and his family are the second generation of Jones' growing organic fruit. They have always believed that the less chemicals used, the better their produce is for you. The organic crops grown on their nearly 150 acres include Bartlett pears, nine varieties of apples, and ten varieties of cherries! Bring the kids in the fall to enjoy the hay maze and walk through the orchard to the duck pond. They also operate a second fruit stand located at 6710 Tieton Drive in Yakima.  Both locations also offer other fruit and produce (which are not designated organic), including many varieties of peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, watermelon, peppers, pumpkins and numerous varieties of squash. Check out their harvest calendar and see what is in season before you go.

 

KRUEGER FAMILY PEPPERS AND PRODUCE*

This family farm has been growing quality produce in the Yakima Valley since 1937. They grow over 100 varieties of hot and sweet peppers, including  ghost peppers and other specialty extra hots, along with over 15 varieties of tomatoes, more than ten varieties of melons and watermelon, 10+ varieties of winter squash, along with eggplants, green beans, juice grapes (Concord and Early Campbell), onions, garlic and much more.  They also provide conventional onions, apples, potatoes, pears, peaches and nectarines throughout the season.

 

MCILRATH FAMILY FARMS FRUIT STAND*

Scott and Esther McIlrath began farming in the Yakima Valley in 1976 and now have over 200 acres of organic fruit in production.  They grow over 10 varieties of apples, three types of pears, and eight variets of certified organic cherries. Pumpkins are also available in October, along with a huge selection of Christmas trees and wreaths in December. Check out their calendar for a complete listing of all their products.

 

BILL'S BERRY FARM*

Bill’s Berry Farm always has something fun going on!  With 8.5 acres of organic blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, you’ll be able to make tons of delicious pies and treats when you get home! Bring the whole family for the Apple and Pumpkins Festival, the last two Saturdays in September and the first four Friday/Saturday weekends in October. Enjoy freshly made Apple Cider Donuts all through September, along with the Barnyard Train, hayrides to the field and a visit to the animal farm!

 

WASHINGTON FRUIT PLACE AT BARRETT’S ORCHARDS

Barrett Orchards has been offering organic cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines apples and pears since 2011. In the fall, purchase organic grown Cameo and Guldens, as well as Asian D’anjou and Bosc pears. The kids will enjoy the harvest hay rides, pumpkins, cider squeeze and hay maze during the Harvest Festival every weekend in October. This is the place to pick up sugar pumpkins for those homemade holiday pies. Their Big Red Barn is filled with country themed gift delights and is your place to pick up Husky and Coug items. Enjoy homemade Winegar's Ice Cream and lots more in their indoor and outdoor seating area. In the spring come out to the Cherry Festival with the whole family for u-pick cherries and the interpretative walk through the Cherry Orchard.

 

JOHNSON ORCHARDS

Johnsons Orchards was founded in the 1890’s when the railroad company offered a free trip to the Yakima Valley to anyone interested in purchasing farm land, and it’s still a family run venture today, although the city has grown up around the orchards. They offer organic peaches, pluots and several varieties of apples, but you should call for availability first.  Pick up a homemade fruit pie from their bake shop and try the homemade caramels and caramel sauce!

 

Every year the Yakima Valley agricultural heritage is celebrated in Union Gap at the Central Washington Pioneer Power Show. Featuring farm equipment displays, demonstrations, farm tractor pulls, draft horse demos, along with a working sawmill, bread shack, thrashing bee and blacksmith shop. This event takes place Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, 2016. The methods for farming have changed a little since the 1890’s, so make sure and tour the Central Washington Agriculture Museum and see the progression of the agriculture industry in the Yakima Valley.

  

 * indicates a 2016 Certified Organic Grower and Producer

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