A tour of the home farm of Cascadian Farm in Concrete, Washington in the Skagit Valley.
I love the opportunity that I have to often get a look behind the scenes of some of our favorite brands or companies. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a tour of the home farm for Cascadian Farm. I couldn’t pass up the chance, so off I went to Washington!
Located in the Skagit Valley, about 2 hours north of Seattle, is the original farm where Cascadian Farm started. In 1972, Gene Kahn started the farm, committed to growing fruits and vegetables organically. One look at where the farm is located and I can see how he fell in love with the area. It is absolutely stunning.
The farm quickly grew, and in 2000, Cascadian Farm was purchased by General Mills. But what I love is that the same ideals that brought Gene to the Skagit Valley in the first place are still in place in the business. They are still just as committed to organic farming practices as Gene was back in 1972.
I will admit that I went into this trip not knowing a whole lot about organic farming or organic products. And while I am still very far from an expert, it really was eye-opening to learn so much about the company and to see first hand how the farm operates.
Because of the success of the company, Cascadian Farm outgrew this home farm, and the majority of the berries and produce are from partnering farms. The home farm does sell their produce at a farm stand there at the farm, and the farm is used to practice new farming techniques.
Today, the farm is run by Jim Meyer, who was our guide on our tour of the farm. I was completely impressed by how knowledgeable he was with just about everything to do with the farm and organic farming in general. For some reason, I think we often get this idea in our heads that farmers are just these country bumpkins, (maybe it’s those darn farmersonly.com commercials), but Jim blew me away with how he was able to answer every single question.
As someone who isn’t always the healthiest blogger, it was really interesting to get a behind the scenes look and to learn from those who are immersed in the organic world. It has really made me want to learn more to become more educated about what I am feeding my family and why I buy what I buy. I have a lot to learn, but this was definitely an educational (and fun!) starting point!!
It was absolutely gorgeous, so I took way too many photos, but I wanted to share with all of you. And if you find yourself near the Cascadian Farm home farm, it would definitely be worth stopping at the roadside stand for fresh organic produce!
This is Jim. A great tour guide!
There were lots of wild flowers to attract the bees. (Check out more on the Bee Friendlier Campaign – I will be planting wildflowers this spring!!)
This is one problem that organic blueberry growers face – mummyberries. They are a mushroom like structures that shoot spores in the air, and will eventually take over the bushes if you can’t get rid of them. It was interesting to hear how Jim was trying to combat this problem. (A lot more work than using pesticides!!)
I loved all of the moss covered trees and structures!
This is a hearty kiwi tree (also known as kiwi berries – see the fruit below). Not only were these trees really cool (I wish I could grow them in my yard!) but the fruit was delicious. They look like miniature kiwi fruit without the fuzzy skin. He said they taste like kiwi, but I thought they tasted more like a fresh grape. Not the kind you can buy at the store, but the taste of fresh grapes, right off the vine. But they were delicious!
They also make their own ice cream, which was delicious!!
They had a great pumpkin patch with all sorts of varieties of pumpkins that I had never seen before. My favorite were the red pumpkins. (I can’t remember the name of the pumpkin, but I want one!)
A big thanks to Cascadian Farm for sponsoring my trip. Cascadian Farm covered the cost of my travel, but I was not required or paid to write this post.